Preparedness Month

posted on September 7, 2012
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As September is National Preparedness Month, this is a good time to take a look at your emergency plans and ask some important questions.

Do you have supplies?
Many disasters can knock out utilities, such as power, water and gas. While some situations require evacuation, most you just have to wait it out until the electricity comes back. For these types of situations, you should have seven to 10 days of non-perishable food, water and a way to cook. Cans of soup, dry pastas, dehydrated meals and MREs will keep your family fed, and last for long periods of time. You can also purchase meal kits from online companies like Cheaper Than Dirt that are designed specifically for long-term storage. You should also have some type of camp stove for cooking, and a full gas can, just in case you do have to go somewhere.

Do you have a kit?
Better known as a bug out bag in the shooting community, a survival kit is an important tool in emergency situations, such as includes hurricanes, a wild fires or a complete breakdown of society. Regardless of the emergency that arises, a kit with a first aid kit, flashlights, extra batteries, fire making materials, food and water can help you and your family better handle a situation. You should also have some long-term storable food, such as dehydrated meals. Mine includes a handgun and ammunition for both that gun and the one I normally carry.

Do you have a plan?
Having supplies is good for lasting out a storm, but where would you go if you have to evacuate? Sometimes you have to completely leave the area due to fire, floods or winds, and have to find a place to stay. If the authorities have set up shelters, then that is an option, but then you’re packed into an area with possibly hundreds of people you don’t know. It might be better to know a couple of quick routes to the homes of family or friends where you can stay, or you can check into a hotel. In this case, cash is still the best commodity for staying off the streets.

Are you informed?
Finally, you need to stay informed about changes in situations. If you have power, the local news usually handles disasters with constant coverage, but if you don’t have power, that is mute. A small battery powered radio will keep you in the know, but it might be better to consider an emergency radio with a crank power source, which can be purchased for under $50. Some even come with an emergency light.

Survival is so much more than owning a gun and knowing how to defend yourself. It’s keeping you and your family alive and safe no matter what. Find out more about being prepared at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website, or Ready.gov, and let me know your tricks for being prepared for anything.

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