For emergency preparedness, start with the basics (click on the links for purchase of each item):
- Have a plan and make sure to conduct emergency drills. Ensure that everyone knows their responsibilities and meeting places for each type of emergency or disaster.
- Stay informed of the weather and changes. Have a NOAA weather radio and an alternate form of warning.
- Make sure to have a “go kit” to bug in and shelter in place or “ready to bug out bag” that is ready and available.
- A good rule of thumb is to be prepared for at least a week, but in reality, you should plan on 30 days. If there is an epidemic then you should plan for at least 30 days.
- For more tips on EDC (Every Day Carry) Bags and INCH (I’m Never Coming Home) Bags see our sister site www.Readytobugoutbags.com.
Emergency Preparedness – Making a Plan
Emergency preparedness starts with making a plan with your family and conduct drills to make sure everyone knows where to go and what to do for all types of emergencies. Make sure to include indoor emergencies with outdoor emergencies. Plan ahead and put a list of emergency numbers that is easy for everyone to find. This includes an emergency contact for you and your family that is out of state to call if you and your family are separated by a disaster. Keep family records in a fire safe and water proof container.
An emergency preparedness must – is to know your alternative source of electricity and how to hook it up to your ranch. Find out how big of a generator you will need to run the necessary equipment during a power outage. Also, find out how much fuel is needed for your family, farm or ranch for 24 hours during summer and during
Have smoke detectors, fire extinguishers and hose ready. Have a place to meet in case of fire. Make sure to know where the gas and water shut offs are to the house and barns.
Find out what emergency services are available to you in your community, at home, at work and at your children’s school. Learn the evacuation routes in your area.
Have a place to go for storm shelter for summer storms and severe weather emergencies.
Emergency Preparedness- Staying Informed
The second critical step in emergency preparedness is staying informed. It is a must to have two ways to stay informed of emergencies. Always have a NOAA weather radio with a warning alarm and another form of information such as a local radio channel, local television channel or computer.
It is your responsibility to stay informed. Do NOT rely on outdoor sirens to keep you informed of an emergency. These sirens rely on electricity and a human interaction for them to work properly.
Have a portable weather alert radio and two way radios if you have more than one vehicle or meeting place for any kind of basic emergency and disaster preparedness.
Emergency Preparedness – The “Go Kit” or Ready To Bug Out Bag
Always make sure to include food and water for you, your family and your pets for at least 1 week for emergency preparedness. Keep ready to eat dehydrated meals or canned food and monitor the expiration dates. Switch out your supply of water every three months and batteries every six months. Keep a “go kit” or “ready to bug out bag” ready for the current season for you and the family. Keep the kit in a place that it can be grabbed easily for an emergency such as a basement corner or root cellar.
In your “go kit” always include family, livestock, horse and pet identification and pictures. Evidence of ownership as well such as pictures of you with your pet. Animal identification is the MOST important for emergency preparedness or disaster preparedness. Proper fitting collar with identification on pets. Microchips are to be used in addition to a collar with an identification tag.
Basic Standard Go Kit For Families, Companion Animals, including Livestock and Horses (this can be used for a super handy camping list as well as for emergencies):
- Cash and credit cards. Credit card readers will probably not work in a disaster. Small bills, change will be scarce.
- Personal hygiene products. Toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, antibacterial soap and gel, intimate hygiene products, chapstick, deoderant at minimum. Shampoo, conditioner, sunscreen and skin restoring lotion.
- Food for a week for each member of the family. Long shelf life food including some food that doesn’t need to be cooked in order to be eaten. You will consume that first until provisions are made or at a time when you are unable to cook.
- Water for each member for 1 week. Water in storage will need to be rotated at least every 90 days. Wright the date on the container so you know when it was put in the kit or shelter. You will use more water than you think, be generous.
- Water treatment tablets and at least two ways to filter water, iodine tablets are great for emergency use only not long term. Chlorine dioxide can be used longer.
A water filter straw or water filter bottle for each member of the family is essential.
- Medicine including prescription and over the counter. Medical, vaccine records and identification records for each family member and pet.
- First aid kit enough for all members. Should include fire starter, flares and space blankets. Medical supplies including band aids, bandage supplies, antihistamine, splints, eye wash and salves.
- Extra set of prescription glasses for all members that require them and an eyeglass tool kit for each person.
- Portable radios with extra batteries and a NOAA weather radio with extra batteries.
- Flashlights with batteries and extra batteries.
- Protective eye wear. Medical help is not readily available. Protect yourself! Safety goggles over glasses to protect your glasses.
- Emergency toilet or waste bucket with resealable bags.
- Toilet paper or washable cut rags. You can get wet bags to put the cut rags in and wash them by hand in their own bag.
- Dish soap, biodegradable soap and a roll of paper towels.
- Blankets. Wool is best, it keeps heat even when wet. Flame retardant wool blankets are also better. Merino wool is softer than ordinary wool.
- Can opener and church key or bottle opener for home canned foods.
- Emergency cooking equipment if necessary.
- Fire extinguishers. One is none, two is one. Take your family to the local fire department for hands on how to use them.
- Good utility knife and sheath.
- Hand tools and shovel. Including an ax, hammer, pliers, screwdrivers, hand saw etc.
- Two way radios for additional vehicles and in case of separation(with extra batteries and alternate ways to operate). See portable radios above for the link.
- Long sleeve shirt, long pants, hard soled shoes (for debris and support) and a large brimmed hat. Cold weather gear if needed including shoes and hat. Include layers and lots of extra socks and gloves. Long underwear is a fantastic layer for winter and there is also a heat layer for intense summer weather.
- Good, hard soled walking shoes and leather work gloves.
- Games and books for family.
- Extra fuel for generators, cooking and vehicles. Never leave your vehicle with less than half a tank of gas in case of emergency. Get fuel stabilizer for gas cans.
- Chlorine bleach with spray bottles.
- Make sure your information is on the Animal I.D. Tags on all pets.
- Evidence of ownership such as pictures of you with your family member or animal will be required.
- Vaccine and identification records for each animal.
- Food and water for all animals for a week.
- Animal bowls, feeders, and waterers. Make sure food is in airtight containers. Buckets with lids work well and are multi purpose.
- First aid kit for pets and animals including protective boots for debris for animals that do not have hooves (be careful that they do not overheat in these- use when in debris).
- Plastic bags for waste. Cat litter and box if necessary.
- Leashes and collars – rope or leather, include extra. Teach your pet to walk and potty while on a leash.
- Portable crates with disinfectant. Make sure to introduce your pet to portable crates before using to reduce stress and injury.
- Saddles, saddle blankets.
- Water resource for a week and extra buckets for larger animals. Introduce your horse to a bit of gatorade and filtered water before an emergency happens to prevent dehydration. An all in one feed is excellent as well unless you have extra hay and a way to haul it.
- Hay nets are handy for lots of things.
- Halters and lead ropes, or an all in one like a lead rope halter.
- Horse blankets if inclement weather or fly sheets if needed. Make sure to use these in your normal practice of care before using them in an emergency situation to prevent injuries.
- Sand bags and plastic sheeting.
- Wire, rope and bungee cords or tarp straps.
Emergency Preparedness Hints for the Go Kit
A great item for the Go Kit is Vetericyn. I was very skeptical at first. I have used to it to wash out eyes, treat cuts, fungus and galls. I am very pleased with the results and the best part is it doesn’t sting or cause pain when applied.
It keeps wounds clean and rinses out eyes without irritation. Now, I take it with me everywhere. The spray is great for rinsing eyes and the gel spray is good for everything else. The gel sticks in the wounds and doesn’t run out.