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It's just the start of hurricane season down here in the Sunshine State and Mother Nature is having a field day. Not to be all doom and gloom, but disaster can strike anyone, anywhere, and at any time (usually when you least expect it). With that in mind, let's go through my top 5 tips to help you prepare and get organized for any emergency. As they say, better to be safe than sorry!
Tip 1: Keep a First-Aid Kit
Show of hands - who actually has a first-aid kit on hand? You better believe this lady does. A basic kit will help treat minor injuries such as allergic reactions, scrapes, cuts, and minor burns. Keep a small one in your purse or in your car and one centrally-located in your home. Make sure it's easily identifiable and that EVERY member in your household know its location. You can build your own based upon your family's specific needs or you can find a variety of first-aid kits online.
IMPORTANT: Be sure to check your kit regularly to replenish used stock and check for expired medication.
The Red Cross recommends the following list for an average family of four:
You can snag a first-aid kit from the Red Cross here or I've compiled a list of top-rated kits below.
A very comprehensive first-aid kit that goes beyond the basics...
This one is a great starter kit from a trusted brand with just the essentials...
Form meets function with the cute travel kit that fits in your purse, diaper bag, or backpack...
Tip 2: Learn CPR and Other Safety Skills
If you don't know CPR, there is no time like the present. CPR Training is affordable, not time-consuming, is readily available is most areas and online. My husband and I took a CPR course through our local hospital before we had our first son. It was incredibly instructive and we learned so more than just how to do chest compressions. If you need a refresher, here's a great breakdown from the Mayo Clinic. If you take away anything, let it be this:
"It's far better to do something than to do nothing at all if you're fearful that your knowledge or abilities aren't 100 percent complete. Remember, the difference between your doing something and doing nothing could be someone's life."
Other Safety Skills:
Tip 3: Build an Emergency Kit
An emergency kit goes beyond a basic first-aid kit; it contains essential supplies you need to help get you through an emergency or disaster. In a situation where you need to evacuate or leave quickly, i.e. a hurricane or a tornado, an emergency kit could literally be the difference of life or death. The definition of an emergency is an unexpected, dangerous situation - the key word being, unexpected. However, when you're creating your kit try to plan for scenarios that are more likely to apply to you and where you live. For example, if you're in California you may be more likely to experience Earthquakes, whereas here in Florida, hurricanes are a more common occurrence. Some of you may be thinking an emergency kit is a little overkill, but you can never be too prepared when it comes to your family's safety - and that kind of peace-of-mind is priceless. Download your free emergency checklist here.
Tip 4: Have a Disaster Plan in Place
When disaster strikes people generally react in one of two ways: 1) they keep their calm or 2) panic. In either case, having a plan in place increases your odds of surviving said disaster. I'd like to believe that if the unthinkable happens, I will be with my children and I will be able to guide them to safety. Unfortunately, that's not very realistic. The odds are that you and your family will separated when an emergency occurs - and that's why it is vital that you have a plan in place AND that everyone knows the plan.
These are important questions that you need discuss with your family to help put an action plan into place. Download the FEMA Emergency Communication Guide here or snag my Important Info bundle, designed specifically for emergency situations here. It includes an emergency contacts list, an emergency plan outline, and other vital information like health insurance and medical profiles for each family member. I keep my emergency info sheets along with other important documents in a single binder so I can just grab it and go if we have to leave quickly.
Tip 5: Stay Informed
Communication during a crisis is vital. You need to know how to access the most up-to-date information so that you can quickly respond to any situation. Do you know how to reach your family or emergency services if you lose cell phone coverage? Whether you're just letting someone know that you are safe or alerting authorities that you are in distress, it's important to have a plan in place. The apps highlighted below are incredible resources for emergencies or disasters.
Bonus Tips: Prep Your Home
“Hope for the best, prepare for the worst”
― Chris Bradford, The Ring of Earth
Being prepared won't prevent a flood or a hurricane, BUT it will provide you with the tools and skills you need to take on the scariest of situations.
Have you experienced and emergency situation? Share how you prepare for the worst!