Monday, February 6, 2012

Disaster Forecaster

I live in oft hurricane stricken Florida, yet I don’t think too much about preparing for emergencies.  June-November is our typical hurricane season and if a storm is coming close there is usually plenty of warning.  In the past I have been able to use that warning time to prepare.  (2004 was a doozy of a year!)  Coming across my path lately have been many sites and lots of chatter about preparedness and 72-hour-kits.  I had never really thought of OTHER emergencies for which a kit like this might come in handy.  Now that I have it on my radar and have done a little research, I thought I would share with you and get your wheels turning too.  I could wait until “Disaster Preparedness Month” in September to share this information, but since it has been ringing in my ears so much lately I thought it best to share ASAP.


For my son’s day bags in the past, I have had two packs of clothes ready – one for cool days and one for hot days. Realizing that in an emergency situation, this may not be an ideal thing, I love the suggestion on clothes from… “…just cut off the pants and the shirt if it is THAT hot and now you have summer clothes.  …use sweat pants because you can buy them a bit too big and they will still work, and then your kids can grow into them and you don’t have to replace them as often”.  Now, in Florida – it is mostly HOT.  But depending on the emergency – it might be nice to have a little extra skin coverage.

Most lists recommend that adults have work gloves – and I see no reason able bodied children should not have them for protection, if nothing else.  Although, I have a boy – and there’s some sort of love between a boy and his sticks/branches.   

Organizing on a different level: I can picture how to do this, setting up back packs and plastic tote type bins.  I have even researched water containment units – which ones are easiest to store, stackable, cheapest!, easiest to move, and how long each type of container keeps water FRESH.

Listed from the Red Cross site:

  • Water—one gallon per person, per day (3­day supply for evacuation, 2­week supply for home)
  • Food—non­perishable, easy­to­prepare items (3­day supply for evacuation, 2­week supply for home)
  • Flashlight
  • Battery­powered or hand­crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
  • Extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Medications (7­day supply) and medical items
  • Multi­purpose tool
  • Sanitation and personal hygiene items
  • Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies)
  • Cell phone with chargers
  • Family and emergency contact information
  • Extra cash
  • Emergency blanket
  • Map(s) of the area

Consider the needs of all family members and add supplies to your kit. Suggested items to help meet additional needs are:

  • Medical supplies (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, cane)
  • Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)
  • Games and activities for children
  • Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl)
  • Two­way radios
  • Extra set of car keys and house keys
  • Manual can opener

Additional supplies to keep at home or in your kit based on the types of disasters common to your area:

  • Whistle
  • N95 or surgical masks
  • Matches
  • Rain gear
  • Towels
  • Work gloves
  • Tools/supplies for securing your home
  • Extra clothing, hat and sturdy shoes
  • Plastic sheeting
  • Duct tape
  • Scissors
  • Household liquid bleach
  • Entertainment items
  • Blankets or sleeping bags gives great REASONS for having these things in your kit – as well as instructions for what to do if you are told to “SHELTER IN PLACE”.  There are also some helpful tips on talking to your kids, establishing a meeting place, and teaching about emergencies.  (Don’t touch a downed wire!)

Do any of you have experience with emergency kits/72-hour kits?  Any wisdom you wish to share with someone to whom this is a totally new idea? 

If you are in the Jacksonville/St. Johns area and would like your home better organized, and would like the assistance of a professional organizer, e-mail  You can also find me on Facebook by clicking HERE or by searching for Organize With Julie.  Stalk me on twitter @juliebavi.