I Just wanted to send a note out to everyone on the East Coast affected by the recent disaster of Sandy. I have many friends, family and loved ones living on the east coast, and my heart is going out to all of you as I watch the terrible images on the news. Living in Los Angeles, we have been blessedly spared of the impact of this disaster, but we HAVE had three earthquakes in the past 2 months, and i wanted to take this opportunity to remind ALL of us how important it is to be prepared for emergency situations like these.
Ever since I watched the devastating images on Tv several years ago from Haiti in the aftermath of their earthquake, I have slept with an emergency kit beside my bed (and later I added one in my car). Some basic reminders about what to include and plans to make ahead of time:
- CROWBAR: When I watched the images of disaster from both Haiti and Katrina, it occured to me that many of the people who perished and suffered the most injury were stuck in places. Loved ones tried to dig people out, but there's only so much you can do with your bare hands. I found a mini crowbar at Home Depot for around $8 that I keep near under my bed.
- SHOES: Always keep some hard-soled shoes near your bed or within easy reach, if there are windows blown out, you don't want to have to walk over broken glass.
- WATER & DEHYDRATED FOOD: This is self-explanatory, but always have more water than you think you'll need. Also, you can find packages of dehydrated long-shelf life food in camping goods stores.
- GAS: I always try to keep my gas tank at least half full, imagine needing to get out in an evacuation and runnin gout of gas!!
- FLASHLIGHT: This can be one of the most important things to have. Also note that it's best to keep a fresh pack of batteries OUTside of the flashlight, too many times I've reached for a flashlight only to find the batteries dead and or corroded.
- PET FOOD & LEASH: Hopefully your pet will be safely with you during any emergency, you want to have some extra pet supplies tucked in the kit.
- RADIO: Something battery opperated or solar powered.
- KNIFE: It's a good idea to have a camping knife
- FIRST AID KIT
- LIGHTER OR MATCHES
- 3 day supply of any essential medications
- GLOW STICKS: Make it easier for rescuers to locate you.
- EMERGENCY CONTACT PHONE NUMBERS: In this age of cell phones, few of us have all these numbers memorized
- DESIGNATE A MEETING PLACE: This is very important- tell all family members of a close by agreed upon meeting place, like a park
- GLASSES OR SPARE CONTACT LENSES and supplies
- HYDROGEN PEROXIDE: I keep this in my kit b/c it can be used for a number of medical emergencies but can also be used to purify water in a pinch.
- BLANKET: If you don't have room you can find a "space blanket" at camping stores which doesn't take up space but can amplify body heat in emergencies.