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Be Prepared: Emergency Kits and More

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Earthquake in Virginia

Yesterday while the three of us were going around town taking care of errands (aka looking for an HP TouchPad) an earthquake occurred in Virginia. While we didn't personally notice it, our family on the Eats Coast certainly did and contacted us to make sure we were alright.

I'm happy to hear that there was no deaths and no major damage due to the earthquake.

Hurricane Irene This Weekend?

Unfortunately, the earthquake isn't the only news on my radar this week. Hurricane Irene is coming up and some of the models have it projected to hit the Outer Banks in North Carolina.

While our area will probably be spared the brunt of it, many people could need to evacuate. Considering the two big events of this week, I decided to review our emergency plan.

Emergency Kit Supplies

After you have a plan, many organizations like FEMA recommend having an emergency kit ready to cover the immediate needs of your family until help arrives.  

What do you need for your emergency kit? According to the Red Cross, here are some of the essentials:

In addition to the above supplies, depending on your family's circumstances, you may also need:

Should We Buy Preassembled Emergency Kits?

I know it sounds like a lot to buy and pack, but thankfully there are some good pre-packed emergency kits you can pick up at pretty affordable price. Here are some options to consider.

Just keep in mind, it's a good idea to ‘fill in the gaps' so your bags are customized for your particular needs. Medicine and clothes should be on that list, but you may need a few other items to complete your kit.

Find and Go to a Safe Location

If you're in an area where a disaster, like a hurricane, will strike, you should have a safe location planned to evacuate your family

. Most of our family lives relatively nearby, so their places aren't necessarily safer if we need to leave. Our best bet would be to head a few hours West to where a couple of our live. Should we need to head over there, we'd notify our families and give them another contact number to reach us by.

Protect Your Pets

Of course, if you have to leave, you'd like your pets to be safe. Before disaster strikes try to keep a list of hotels and motels that accept animals on the premises. You also want to have your local animal shelter's number ready in case you have to call to get other recommendations if your first few choices are full.

Make sure your pet is secure in a pet carrier in case they panic. You need to be able to keep them under control as you evacuate. If you haven't already consider getting your pet an ID chip or at least have their collar tags up to date with your contact information.

You can't afford to have a limited water and food supply and many mouths to feed. Your pets should also have their own survival kit.

If you can't take your beloved pets with you, call boarding kennels and make arrangements for their care. Have their medical records on hand to prove they are up to date.

Being Prepared For Emergencies

I'll admit right now, we aren't prepared as we should be with our emergency kit. Just because of the time involved in getting one ready with everything, I'm heavily leaning towards purchasing a kit a pre-made kit from an organization like the Red Cross.  We really would need to have something grab and go ready.

How prepared are you? Do you have a plan and kit ready for your family?

Photo CreditNOAA/NASA GOES Project

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