Did you know that 78% of Americans are not prepared for a natural disaster? People too often think, “It’ll never happen to me!”. The beginning of the COVID-19 Pandemic is a perfect example of how necessary items like water and toilet paper can sell out quickly and leave others empty handed. Don’t dilly-dally and end up one of those people who are SOL when all hell breaks loose.
Here are 20 things you can do to prepare for a natural disaster:
Stock up on Items needed for a natural disaster:
- Non-perishable foods (think canned goods and protein bars – foods that will last)
- Clean drinking water. Fill up your bathtub with extra water to ensure you don’t run out.
- Gas for your car should you need to evacuate quickly. A gas can is also a good idea.
- A battery recharger like this one can help you recharge all the batteries in your home to ensure you have an ample supply for flashlights and radios.
First aid kit that includes all the necessary items.
- Copy of your family’s medical records stored in a safe place.
- You will need battery powered flashlights, lanterns and flameless candles. (It is not recommended to use flame candles in a disaster – if an accident happens and your home catches fire – there may not be an emergency rescue service available to help you).
- A battery converter - When the power goes out and your flashlight is dead – and you realize you don’t have a D battery for it – you can convert a common AA battery with a converter like this one.
Additional ways to prepare:
- Charge up power banks to use with your phone.
- Locate your nearest community shelter outside of the evacuation zone.
- Stock up on prescription medications should pharmacies close.
- Properly store products and batteries for emergency use.
- If you have a radio or flashlight only used during emergencies, the batteries should be removed from the device and stored separately to avoid battery leakage and corrosion of devices.
- If planning to evacuate, ensure you have a hotel outside of the evacuation zone and printed directions on how to get there.
- Plan ahead with out of state friends and family who you can stay with.
If you have pets:
- Make sure your pets are microchipped and find pet friendly shelters and hotels in your area – keep a list on hand. Be sure to ask for restrictions on number, size, and species. Go to Pet’s Welcome to search for pet friendly hotels.
- Prepare a list of boarding facilities and veterinarians who could shelter your pet.
- Cats or other small pets will likely need to be crated at a shelter.
- Have a copy of your pet’s medical records including their veterinarian and any medications.
It is best to have a plan already in place before a disaster strikes. Take time to discuss potential issues with your family and determine the best course of action. The Dollar Store stocks a variety of non-perishable goods for an affordable way to stock up on food, and the American Red Cross sells 3-Day Emergency Preparedness Kits you can check out here.
Check out Disaster Checklist for other ways to prepare!