The old joke, “If you don’t like the weather in Arkansas, just wait a day” seems more like the truth the older I get. I believe it was just two weeks ago that my family and I were celebrating “Sledfest” at our house. Last night as I watched the Oscars I was being warned of potential tornadoes in my area and this morning when I woke up all of America seemed to be talking about earthquakes in Arkansas. At t his rate, I expect a blizzard to envelope us next week..
No matter what the severe weather outlook, it is important for Arkansans to have a plan in place in case of an emergency. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) this means means having your own food, water, and other supplies in sufficient quantity to last for at least three days.
The following is a recommended list of items to include in a basic emergency supply kit:
– 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
– Can opener for food (if kit contains canned food)
– Local maps
– Cell phone with chargers
Additional items to consider adding to an emergency supply kit include:
– Prescription medications and glasses
– Infant formula and diapers
– Pet food and extra water for your pet
– Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container
– Cash or traveler’s checks and change
– Emergency reference material such as a first aid book or information from http://www.ready.gov
– Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person. Consider additional bedding if you live in a cold-weather climate.
– Complete change of clothing including a long sleeved shirt, long pants and sturdy shoes. Consider additional clothing if you live in a cold-weather climate.
– Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper – When diluted nine parts water to one part bleach, bleach can be used as a disinfectant. Or in an emergency, you can use it to treat water by using 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners.
– Fire Extinguisher
– Matches in a waterproof container
– Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
– Mess kits, paper cups, plates and plastic utensils, paper towels
– Paper and pencil
– Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children
Through its Ready Campaign, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security educates and empowers Americans to take some simple steps to prepare for and respond to potential emergencies, including natural disasters. For more information on how your family can develop a family emergency plan, visit www.Ready.gov.
House to House written by Amy Glover Bryant, Director of Communications, and is distributed weekly by the Arkansas Realtors® Association.