Are You Prepared for a Disaster?

Are You Prepared for a Disaster?


Nurses are usually prepared for the common disasters they see at work- a code blue, code red or maybe even a code black, but have you ever thought about what you would do if an emergency occurred at home?

I recently lost electricity in my home for a period of about 9 hours. Luckily it was overnight, but nonetheless, I was in the dark without electricity and wasn’t prepared. You never know when an emergency situation may occur. Mother nature doesn’t let us know when she decides to bless us with a tornado, flash flood or hurricane.

Being without necessities such as water, electricity and food for any period of time is an inconvenience at best and downright dangerous in some situations, especially if you have medical problems. Being adequately prepared for disasters can help you get through and minimize your stress at the same time.

A list of potential items you may want to have on hand include:

-Copies of your important documents in a waterproof and portable container (insurance cards, birth certificates, deeds, photo IDs, proof of address, etc.)

-Extra set of car and house keys

-Credit/debit cards and cash, especially in small denominations. I recommend you keep at least $50-$100 on hand.

– 3 days worth of bottled water and nonperishable food, such as energy or granola bars

-Flashlight: Note: Traditional flashlight bulbs have limited lifespans. If you’re going to use one of these then make sure you have extra batteries. Light Emitting Diode (LED) flashlights, however, are more durable and last longer than traditional bulbs.

-Battery-operated AM/FM radio (and extra batteries)

-Keep a list of the medications each member of your household takes, why they take them, and their dosages. Keep at least a weeks’ worth of meds on hand if you can. If you store extra medication in your emergency kit, be sure to refill it before it expires.

-First aid kit

-Contact and meeting place information for your household, and a small regional map

-Childcare supplies or other special care items

-Lightweight raingear and Mylar blanket

This list isn’t all-inclusive but will get you started with a good emergency kit if needed. Place the items in a duffle bag in an easily accessible area. The items you include will vary with the region you live in and what natural disaster(s) your area is prone to. The bottom line is to be prepared for the unexpected.

Do you have a home emergency kit? If so, what’s in it?