Disaster Preparedness Outside of the Home

By Mina Arnao

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When most people think about emergency preparedness at all, they usually focus on what supplies they need to keep in their garage or in a closet. This is definitely important, however, the majority of people and their families spend a great deal of their day at work, at school or on the road. A natural disaster such as an earthquake can strike at any time without warning so it is imperative that emergency preparedness planning look at all locations that a person may be at any given time.

At Work: Whether you work in an office, a retail store, a school or a job site, the first thing you should do is find out whether your company or organization has any plans or supplies in place. If you work for a large company, chances are, they will have both. Even so, you may still want to have a small backpack under your desk with a few essential supplies such as food, water, blanket, flashlight, a change of clothes and a first aid kit.

At School: Your children cannot ask the question, but you should. Find out what your child's school has in place in case of an emergency (i.e. earthquake, blackout, fire, lockdown etc). Do they provide the essentials (ask specifically what those are) or are you required to provide kits each school year? There is a great disparity in the preparedness levels from school to school so find out where your school falls. If your school does not seem to be taking it too seriously, raise the issue with the other parents. Your child is counting on you.

In Your Car: People today spend many hours in the car driving back and forth to work, running errands or traveling for work or pleasure. What would happen if an emergency occurred...

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Energy Sources During an Emergency

By Steve Lucchesi

When preparing for heating and cooking during an emergency and your areas electrical grid is out of service try relying on your stock piled wood or various heating oil's. During an emergency your natural gas service will be interrupted, so it's best to plan on storing alternative sources of energy.

One of the best solutions to interrupted gas or electrical service is having a backup generator. Generators typically run on gas, so an ample supply of gas stored properly is recommended yet dangerous. The only drawback on some generators is the noise that they create, attracting the attention of others that may not be as fortunate. There are gas, natural gas and lp type generators, I recommend the lp due to the longer shelf life of the fuel in case the disaster is for a long extended period of time. When using backup portable generators, power inlet boxes are perfect for connecting your generator to the transfer switch. You basically install the box just like an external power outlet and connect to the transfer switch. When the power goes out, just start the generator and plug it into the outlet.

If you have a fireplace or wood burning stove, the best backup sources of energy is 1 year to 1.5 year old dried out hard wood from trees such as oak or ash. In addition we recommend a lot of start up kindle and waterproof matches, a backup to the matches is a flint starter. A great natural gas that stores longer than other fuels such as kerosene or gasoline is propane.

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