I was born and raised in Upstate New York. Far from the beaches, far from the seas, hurricanes and other natural disasters have never really affected me.
Of course, my town has seen its fair share of natural misfortunes. From the Rochester ice storm of 1991 to the rising water levels of Lake Ontario, homes and lives have definitely been turned upside down.
But still, I couldn’t imagine being in the eye of the storm – waking up one day to your community flooded and home ripped to shreds. In the wake of Hurricane Florence, I began to wonder how prepared I would be if I ever lived in those target areas such as Florida and the Carolinas. Then I thought, how prepared are the people who actually reside there?
I did some digging on the topic. According to a 2015 survey conducted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), 60% of Americans have not practiced for a disaster. Despite the fact that 80% of Americans live in areas that have been hit by weather-related disasters, only 39% have developed an emergency plan.
My research also uncovered another interesting fact. Millennials actually tend to be more prepared for an emergency situation compared to any other generation. For millenials, 44% have a plan and 49% have a kit. In comparison, only 38% of baby boomers have a plan and 41% have a kit. While these differences aren’t very drastic, it is still alarming to hear that less than half of these generations are prepared. Emergency situations are inevitable, so it is important to have a plan and be resourceful in the event that the inevitable arises.
Remember Food and Drink
While this should go without saying, make sure you have food and water prepared! In March, my friends and I were stuck on the highway in the middle of Pennsylvania due to a snowstorm. We talked to a man driving a truck and he said, “You have to be prepared for these things. I’ve got canned food and four gallons of water stored.”
Long story short, he was prepared to be stranded for 9 hours. We, on the other hand, were not.
Prepare Your Passports
When disaster strikes, you’ll want to have passports and other important documents on hand. Many don’t consider these things when preparing for an emergency. However, such items are essential to your identity and travels. If these items are not stored in your kit, make sure they are easily accessible in the case of an emergency.
Pack Your Medication
If you take daily medication, you will want to have it prepared in your kit. Many don’t consider medical prescriptions important items in an emergency kit. Don’t let that be you! For a lot of people, their medications are essential to their health. If you do store some doses of your prescription away, be sure to check on them routinely to make sure they are not expired.
Think About Your Pets
Oftentimes, pets are left out of the situation when preparing for an emergency. However, your furry friends are probably a very important part of your family! When creating a disaster kit, pack supplies for your pet. You’ll definitely want to stow away some food and toys and perhaps a bed or blanket for your pet.
You should always be prepared if and when disaster strikes. Compile a kit, make a plan, and be prepared for anything.
Have you ever made an emergency kit? Tell us about what you put in it!
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