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Friday, January 30, 2015

What To Do In Case Of An Emergency...

Is it just my neck of the woods, or has January 2015 been one of the snowiest Januaries that I have ever seen?

I wouldn't classify it as being THE snowiest January ever.  If I recall, the winter of 1997/1998 was horrible as well.  And I'm sure that those of you who were alive during the giant blizzard of 1977 probably have some stories to tell from that period as well.  But as I type this message out (just after midnight), the sky is a sickly shade of lavender, and the snow is coming down and blanketing the earth into a brighter shade of white than ever before.

If only we had this weather around Christmas.  To me, snow is only magical in the month of December.  In January, it's a nuisance and it needs to melt.  Like now.

Of course, here in Canada, snow is something that is for the most part expected between the months of November and April.  We just look up, shrug our shoulders, grab the shovels, and scrape the ice off of our vehicles.

Because we're Canadians, and we can handle it.

That being said, I sure hope that my pals in the Maritime provinces and the Northeastern United States are surviving the massive storms that hit the area just a couple of days ago.  I imagine that some are still trying to find a way to dig out, and I would imagine that some areas are still without power at this time.  Stay safe everyone.  Believe me, I was a survivor of the great ice storm of 1998 which knocked out power and major services for several weeks in some places.  It was a very scary and frustrating time to go through, and I certainly wouldn't want to wish that sort of thing on anyone.

I think that it is important to be prepared for any sort of disaster, especially one that happens to be out of our control. 

Granted, in my neck of the woods, the only things that we really have to be aware of are ice storms, blizzards, and the occasional tornado.  Not that I have seen a tornado up close and personal, but Ontario, Canada has been known to have a few pop up.  But other places also have to deal with hurricanes, floods, wildfires, earthquakes, and even mudslides.

Do you have a survival kit to prepare yourself for such disasters?

Truth is that when it comes to natural disasters, nobody can really predict when or where a disaster will strike, nor can they tell how severe a storm system or an earthquake will be until it actually happens.  That's why it is essential to have some sort of plan in the works in case something happens and you have to make do with the bare necessities.

So, I'm here to give you some suggestions for what to include in an emergency kit, and places where you would want to store them.

I figure that this topic will be a good one to discuss around this time of year.  And besides, it's not like I have any better topic to discuss today. 

Okay, so what should you have in a survival kit?  Quite a few things.

1.  Batteries:  This should really be a no-brainer here.  When the power lines come crashing down, your home will be left in the dark and you will have no electricity.  You really should have a huge supply of batteries available on hand at all times in case this happens.  Try to get a huge supply of both AA and AAA batteries.  Those are the ones you will likely use the most of.  Oh, and keep a few C batteries on hand too.  Some flashlights and portable radios require them to work. 

Speaking of which...

2.  Flashlights - at least one per member of the household.  Again, this should be a no-brainer.  Especially in the first few hours of the crisis.  You will need to have some sort of light source to move around the house or place of business.  You will also need a flashlight to be able to light the next item safely.

3.  Candles:  Candles can be a really useful item in a power outage.  They will be your main source of light through the ordeal, no matter how long it lasts.  Just be careful with them.  Make sure that you light them in areas that are not flammable.  And keep them away from drapes, flowing furniture, clothing items, or anything else that can catch on fire.

4.  Non-Perishable Food Items:  Canned foods are a must have here.  Or dried foods like beef jerky or dried fruit.  Really, anything that will not go bad or expire within the next two years will work.  And make sure that you check your emergency kit every six months or so to toss any food that goes bad.

5.  Bottled Water:  You never know when a disaster could knock out your water supply, so it's best to have a supply of it on hand in case you need it.

6.  Board Games and Puzzle Books:  I know this sounds like a silly thing to include, but you need to have something to pass the time with!

Can you think of anything else to include in an emergency kit?

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