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In Case of Emergencies…

Across the country, there are winter storm plummeting communities and leaving countless people without power in frigid temperatures. In case of emergencies, it’s important to have some designated supplies, just in case. It doesn’t matter where you keep them, whether it’s under a kitchen sink, the garage, basement, or attic, whether you use a backpack or a box, but what is important is that everything is together within reach because an emergency can happen without warning. Beyond obvious items like flashlights and batteries, there are also important safety considerations that should be observed.

In Texas, I heard about a tragic case of a family without power who decided to warm up in the car. Unfortunately, they were in the garage and the mother and one of the children died from carbon monoxide poisoning. The father and another child survived. This family was simply trying to stay warm, but chose a way that led to unintended deaths. If you truly feel the need to warm up in the car, drive out of the garage and stay out in the open, but be mindful of your gas tank. Freezing temperatures can kill, even indoors. In addition to wearing a plethora of layers and winter clothes, make sure there are plenty of blankets in the home for everyone to layer up. No matter what you do, it’s going to be uncomfortable, but maintaining warmth is critical, especially if you don’t have a fireplace.

Weather disasters can happen unpredictably. Tornados come out of nowhere and can tear up a community. Earthquakes can level a town. Even though most storms have some sense of warning, like hurricanes, typhoons, and winter storms, it doesn’t take away the need to be prepared for anything.

Keep the following in a safe and accessible place:

  • Water (one gallon per person for at least three days)

  • Nonperishable foods that don’t require cooking or heating (cans of tuna, applesauce, beans, etc.)

  • Battery-powered radio for news (in case internet and power is down)

  • Flashlights (one per person)

  • First Aid Kit

  • Extra batteries

  • Can opener

  • Fire extinguisher

  • Matches or lighter

  • Candles

  • Hand-warmers (ideally rechargeable)

  • Toilet paper

  • Paper towels

  • Personal hygiene products (menstrual products, diapers, baby wipes)

  • Blankets

Besides supplies, discuss with your family where to go and what to do in case of an evacuation. Evacuations can be mandatory for a number of reasons, but instead of getting caught off guard, make a plan beforehand so you know what to do in case of emergencies.


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