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Tips: Emergency Preparedness
Dr. Dale V. Atkins, April 2011

Given the recent sudden calamities that have occurred in different parts of the world (earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, and fires) it seems wise to consider whether and how you are prepared.

Without instilling panic in yourself or those you love, you can create a plan. Your plan can be for yourself and your family. If you are on your own, be sure you connect with someone who will be your "go-to" person.

Here are some tips for emergency preparedness:

Water - At a bare minimum a person needs about a gallon per day. Plan on having enough water per person to last three days; more would be even better. Clear plastic bottles are a good packaging for fluids. If there is a natural source of water nearby (river, lake, etc.) you can use it ONLY if you have a way to carry and sterilize the water.

Medications - You need all prescription medicines that are essential to your life, as well as an adequate first aid kit.

Electrical Alternatives - Since electricity and cell service may be interrupted, have a good flashlight with extra batteries. Consider a battery operated radio to help you receive important information.

Food - Most likely you have enough food in the pantry to handle a couple of days. You may want to have one week's worth of food on hand. Canned foods (soup and other prepared foods) and dried foods (rice, pasta, energy bars) are best. Pack an "old-fashioned" can opener and camp stove with plates, cutlery and cups.

Money - Keep some cash available. Power outages also affect ATMs and credit card machines.

Extras - If power is out, gas tanks may not function. Be mindful of trying to keep your vehicle with a full tank (a good idea just for reducing anxiety if you need to leave the house in a hurry and don' t have to worry about stopping for gas). Helpful, too, are books,games, toilet paper, plastic bags, rope, blankets and a tarp.

As the Scouts always say, BE PREPARED.

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