Bee Healthy: How prepared are you for a disaster? Here are some essentials

November 3, 2013 

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Our son and his family were living in Manhattan when Hurricane Sandy hit.

Their apartment was not assessed to be in the danger zone at first. But as the storm increased and the water rose to 4 feet around their building, they realized that they had been foolish in not preparing for this possible emergency.

How prepared are you for a disaster? Here are a few items to consider for any kind of emergency:

• One month minimum supply of food that is part of your normal daily diet.

It can be expensive to buy all of the food at once, so just purchase a few extra canned items each week to build a month supply of food.

•  Bottled water. Keep water away from heat sources and direct sunlight.

•  Financial reserves. You may need some money during an emergency to buy gas, food or water.

Just set aside a small amount each week and it will also gradually increase to reasonable amount.

•  Medication and first aid supplies.

If you are on any life-sustaining meds such as heart meds or diabetes meds, keep a three months’ supply at all times.

First aid supplies are essential. You can put together your own kits, or purchase a basic kit.

•  How about flashlights and candles? Do you have batteries and matches?

Our son’s apartment didn’t have electricity for two weeks.

•  Clothing and bedding. You probably have these items already.

It is a good idea to put a set of clothing and shoes in a backpack by your food storage so you can grab it quickly if you have to leave.

•  Important documents. Put them together in one place so you know where they are.

An organized notebook works well with sections for emergency phone numbers, credit card numbers, financial information, birth certificates, and any other items that are important to you.

•  Ways to communicate with family following a disaster. It is a good idea to practice emergency drills with your family. Make sure everyone knows who to call and where to go for safety.

•  Many great sites on the internet for emergency preparedness. Calema.ca.gov; LDS.org/emergency preparedness/food-storage have videos, printable information, and other links.

Our son and his family were very fortunate that the water receded within 24 hours and they were able to leave their apartment and go to a safer place for a couple of weeks.

In the future, they will be wiser in their emergency preparedness!

Hadley is a registered dietitian at Sutter Gould Medical Foundation.

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