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Central Mississippi Amateur Radio Association
From the perspective of Amateur Radio, if you are not fully prepared to take care of yourself and your family, you are not prepared to render help to others and in fact you may be a liability to others. Below are some useful tips and links to help you become better prepared.
Basic Disaster Supplies Kit
A basic emergency supply kit could include the following items:
♦ 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
♦ Manual can opener for food
♦ Local maps
♦ Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger
Maintaining Your Kit
Just as important as putting your supplies together is maintaining them so they are safe to use when needed. Here are some tips to keep your supplies ready and in good condition:
♦ Keep canned food in a cool, dry place.
♦ Store boxed food in tightly closed plastic or metal containers to protect from pests and to extend its shelf life.
♦ Throw out any canned good that becomes swollen, dented or corroded.
♦ Use foods before they go bad and replace them with fresh supplies.
♦ Place new items at the back of the storage area and older ones in the front.
♦ Change stored food and water supplies every six months. Be sure to write the date you store it on all containers.
♦ Re-think your needs every year and update your kit as your family’s needs change.
♦ Keep items in airtight plastic bags and put your entire disaster supplies kit in one or two easy-to-carry containers, such as an unused trashcan, camping backpack or duffel bag.
Kit Storage Locations
Since you do not know where you will be when an emergency occurs, prepare supplies for home, work and vehicles.
Your disaster supplies kit should contain essential food, water and supplies for at least three days.
Keep this kit in a designated place and have it ready in case you have to leave your home quickly. Make sure all family members know where the kit is kept.
Additionally, you may want to consider having supplies for sheltering for up to two weeks.
Get more information on building a disaster supplies kit.
You need to be prepared to shelter at work for at least 24 hours. Make sure you have food and water and other necessities like medicines in your kit. Also, be sure to have comfortable walking shoes at your workplace in case an evacuation requires walking long distances.
Your kit should also be in one container and ready to “grab and go” in case you are evacuated from your workplace.
Get more information on building a workplace disaster supplies kit.
In case you are stranded, keep a kit of emergency supplies in your car. This kit should include:
¨ Jumper cables
¨ Flashlights and extra batteries
¨ First aid kit and necessary medications in case you are away from home for a prolonged time
¨ Food items containing protein such as nuts and energy bars; canned fruit and a portable can opener
¨ Water for each person and pet in your car
¨ AM/FM radio to listen to traffic reports and emergency messages
¨ Cat litter or sand for better tire traction
¨ Ice scraper
¨ Warm clothes, gloves, hat, sturdy boots, jacket and an extra change of clothes
¨ Blankets or sleeping bags
¨ A fully-charged cell phone and phone charger
¨ Flares or reflective triangle
¨ Baby formula and diapers if you have a small child
Be prepared for an emergency by keeping your gas tank full and if you find yourself stranded, be safe and stay in your car, put on your flashers, call for help and wait until it arrives.