Tsue ~ That's What She Said: Is Your Family Prepared? ~ National Preparedness Month

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Is Your Family Prepared? ~ National Preparedness Month

Before retiring, my father was a volunteer firefighter and worked professionally with our state's Fire Marshall department.  Despite growing up to tales of fire tragedies, when a fire broke out at our neighbor's home a few weeks ago, I realized with chagrin how ill-prepared my family actually was for an unexpected disaster.

While Michigan certainly does not fall in the danger zone for hurricanes, certain areas are prone to flooding.  Although the frequency of tornadoes ranks Michigan lower as compared to other states, those that do invade   rank high in intensity.   Nestled in the suburbs, we may not have fear of forest fires, however home fires are not infrequent.  Add to the mix an annual concern of ice storms, heavy snows and power outages and this Mom is convinced I need to re-invest time in assuring my family is prepared.

Natural Disaster, Twister, Cyclone

Fortunately, when our neighbor's home caught fire, no one was hurt or injured.  We had noticed the smoke and flames engulfing their backyard deck early enough that the fire department arrived in time to save their home from extensive damage, as well as to keep the fire from spreading to other homes and through the abundant mature trees in our area.  Even so, now weeks later, repairs are yet being done to erase the damage caused.  Had a few more minutes elapsed, the entire house could have been engulfed.

Firefighter, Residential Fire, Anthony Quintano Photography
Photo Credit:   Anthony Quintano
Although our minor neighborhood disaster resulted in a best outcome under the circumstances, the event certainly caused me to pause and consider the level of my family's preparedness for an emergency or disaster.  While certainly not pleased about the misfortune that befell our neighbors, I was glad for the reminder to restock and refresh our family emergency kit and check our fire extinguishers.

Basic Disaster Supplies Every Family Should Have 

Water & Food - three day supply 
three gallons of water per family member
non-perishable food
manual can opener

Radio, Weather Radio, Local Maps and Flashlights
battery operated or hand crank
back up batteries

First Aid Kit & Whistle

Dust Masks, Plastic Sheeting and Duct Tape

Personal Sanitary Supplies
Moist Towelettes
Garbage Bags
Plastic Ties

Basic Tool Kit

Cell Phone 
Solar Charger 
Power Invertor

Learn more about keeping your family safe in the event of a natural disaster 
or home fire from The American Red Cross or FEMA.gov.

What is in your family's emergency kit?
When was the last time you took stock of your emergency supply?
Do you have a system for testing your home's smoke alarms?
Tell me your emergency tips in a comment below!  I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Family Emergency Kit suggestions sourced from FEMA.gov.  The opinions above are both honest and of my own experiences.  My disclosure policy.


Samantha said...

disasters are never a good experience- but at least we are better prepared (if there is such a thing!) for next time

Minta's Creations said...

disasters are scary but like Sam said if we can learn to be prepared then at least we will have a plan. Thanks for sharing!

Crystal Threeprncs said...

No we are not and we should be. I try every year to get at least are hurricane kit together, and ever year I end up with just a few bottles of water. I hope it don't take a hard lesson learned to get my act togther

Pam said...

It is always good to have a plan for disasters. I know when we had the tornadoes come through, an emergency kit would have been great.

Grace Hodgin said...

I think practicing a routine on what to do during an emergency is a good idea too as it doesn't matter if you have it all together and stored close by but if everyone looses their head and doesn't have a plan of attack or roles then that causes problems too.

Closer to Lucy said...

Nothing scares me worse than not being prepared...we are as much as we can be but you never know exactly what you will need or what to expect.

Jai M. said...

I live in a Tsunami zone so this is something we think about. We have our escape route planned out for either driving or running. We also have a case of shelf-save food ready to carry out the door if we need it.

Turning the Clock Back said...

Thanks for the reminder! I have never checked my fire extinguisher and am seriously short on supplies!

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