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Stuff happens. NYC has random blackouts; snow and ice storms take down power or pipes freeze. Hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, droughts, volcanoes, and wild fires all happen within the United States. This isn’t a climate change or political rant, this is a fact of life. If you live east of the Mississippi, you probably saw 24/7 news coverage of Hurricane Matthew in October, which hit the south-eastern US. There were evacuations, empty store shelves, and people lining up for hours just to buy gasoline.
File this under the list of “Adult things I have to think about now that I’m an adult,” but you should be prepared for a disaster. We’re not talking tin foil hat making and building a bunker in your backyard prepared; we’re talking basic FEMA-recommended prepared. FEMA does amazing work, but let’s not make their jobs harder by being ill-prepared. To quote the Department of Homeland Security Website “Although local officials and relief workers will be around after a disaster, they cannot reach everyone immediately. Your help may arrive in hours or it might take days. Electricity, gas, water, sewage treatment, and telephones may be off for days or even a week, or longer.” So you can prepare instead of panic, here’s a list of 25 Things You Can Do To Prepare Now For When Disaster Strikes.
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Keep some cash on hand.
Store some food.
Make a plan for your family.
Have a first aid kit prepared
Learn some basic skills.
Know where your local emergency shelters and evacuation routes are.
Have diapers and wipes, and if necessary formula, ready.
Invest in a solar charger for your cell phone.
Know the emergency plans for places you frequent.
Get to know your neighbors!
Have a tarp, rope, and duct tape handy
Plan an emergency indoor heat source.
Keep printouts of your important documents.
Have a good multi-tool or hunting knife.
Be prepared to not have police readily available to respond.
Have general household chlorine bleach (stored safely well away from children and pets!) and a medicine dropper.
Pack a bug out bag.
Consider your pets!
Keep gas in your car.
Pick an emergency contact out of state.
Don’t forget the kids.
Make sure you’re getting emergency alerts.
Have extra water on hand.
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