One Less Thing to Worry About: Is Your Home Prepared for Disaster?
Your home is your castle, and though you may often imagine defending it from people, you may not often think about defending it from the weather! The truth of the matter is that in general, your home is far more vulnerable from the weather than it is from invaders, so think about what it will take to get your home ready to face down wind, rain, storm or sleet!
First, make sure that you have light. A lot of extreme weather disasters will knock out the power very quickly, and downed power lines result in darkness unless you are prepared. Some people like to have a gas-powered generator on hand, while other people prefer to go the traditional route and keep flashlights and candles. If you have flashlights, make sure that you have extra batteries, and if you have candles, keep matches around.
Because natural disasters can also reduce your ability to acquire food, make sure that your home is well stocked with long term food storage and water. Having enough of both to last a week is ideal, and chances are good that you will never have to use it. Another thing to keep in mind that you should have the ability to open up those cans as well, so keep a can opener nearby!
Think about how you can communicate with the outside world. Depending on the nature of the disaster, phonelines might be crammed. Make sure that you have texting for your phone, which uses less bandwidth. Also make sure that you keep a battery-powered radio in your home or one that can be operated by hand-crank. This allows you to keep in touch with the world outside your own home. Some people simply keep a spare cheap cell phone in their emergency care supplies as well, along with a charger. Keep a hundred minutes on this phone, and you’ll be fine.
One small thing that can save lives is a whistle. In the unlikely event that the house is blown down on top of you, you can use a whistle to signal to people that you are trapped below. This small thing is unlikely to ever see use, but it can help you out immensely in the right circumstances.
Personal sanitation can be handled with a chemical toilet bucket or with garbage bags, plastic ties and moist towelettes.
If you are someone who is deeply invested in making sure that you do well in a disaster, take a moment and think about what is in your home and what can help you!