Helpful hints to assist in non-medical related disaster/survival situations.

When  disaster hits, preparedness is the key to survival. Be ready for the worst by planning properly.

* Always maintain an emergency supply of water and food. Pack a bag with all that you need to survive outside your home for at least one week and have emergency money available. Have an evacuation route planned out with at least three alternative routes prepared in case the first choice fails.

* There are five cornerstones to preparing: stock extra consumables; collect tools and supplies; develop useful knowledge and skills such as first aid and home repair; buy insurance and establish an emergency fund; and establish a support group among neighbors, friends and family. An effective preparedness plan should address all 14 human needs: food, water, shelter, light, heating/cooling, air, sleep, hygiene, medicine. communications, electrical power, financial security, transportation, and protection. Taking steps now can provide a huge difference in how well your family survives a disaster.

The FEMA BASIC DISASTER SUPPLIES KIT is simply a collection of basic items your household may need in the event of an emergency. <www.ready.gov>  For pets see  <www.avma.org> & <www.aspca.org>

Try to assemble your kit well in advance of an emergency. You may have to evacuate at a moment’s notice and take essentials with you. You will probably not have time to search for the supplies you need or shop for them.

You may need to survive on your own after an emergency. This means having your own food, water and other supplies in sufficient quantity to last for at least 72 hours. Local officials and relief workers will be on the scene after a disaster but they cannot reach everyone immediately. You could get help in hours or it might take days.

Additionally, basic services such as electricity, gas, water, sewage treatment and telephones may be cut off for days or even a week, or longer. Your supplies kit should contain items to help you manage during these outages.

 A basic emergency supply kit could include the following recommended items:

·        Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation

·        Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food

·        Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both

·        Flashlight and extra batteries

·        First aid kit

·        Whistle to signal for help

·        Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place

·        Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation

·        Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities

·        Manual can opener for food

·        Local maps; and  cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger