Public service announcement on disaster preparedness

Tuesday, May 02, 2006 at 03:29 PM

As a public service to WTW readers, here are DHS "Preparedness Tips" numbers 12 & 13, my comments in brackets:

Preparedness Tip #12: You should keep enough supplies in your home to meet the needs of you and your family for at least three days. Build an emergency supply kit to take with you in an evacuation. The basics to stock in your portable kit include: water, food, battery-powered radio and flashlight with extra batteries, first aid supplies, change of clothing, blanket or sleeping bag, wrench or pliers, whistle, dust mask, plastic sheeting and duct tape, trash bags, map, a manual can opener for canned food and special items for infants, elderly, the sick or people with disabilities. Keep these items in an easy to carry container such as a covered trash container, a large backpack, or a duffle bag.
[Is any bag carrying all that stuff, plus food and water for 3 days, going to be "easy to carry?"  Through, say, flood water?]

Preparedness Tip #13
Preparing for emergencies needn't be expensive if you're thinking ahead and buying small quantities at a time. Make a list of some foods that:

++Have a long shelf-life and will not spoil (non-perishable).
++You and your family like.
++Do not require cooking.
++Can be easily stored.
++Have a low salt content as salty foods will make you more thirsty.
[Real helpful.  How long is your list of food that's popular with the whole family, non-perishable, easily stored, needs no cooking, and has a low salt content?]

Keep the list in your purse or wallet and pick up a few items each time you're shopping and/or see a sale until you have built up a well-stocked supply that can sustain each member of your family for at least three days following an emergency