Saturday, January 28, 2012

Your Evacuation Essentials - Medicine And Medical Items

You may wonder why I did not cover medicine and medical items first when writing about evacuation essentials. That is because you may not be able to get any medicine or medical care unless you have the right papers with you. If you have not yet read my post on "List of what to take if you have to run for your life", this post will make more sense if you read that one as well.

If you have to take medicine all the time, you should have copies of your prescription(s) with you. You need contact information for your medical providers, including your pharmacy. 

Over the counter and alternative medicine remedies  have a place in your go bag as well. If you know or strongly suspect you will need over the counter or alternative medicine remedies, it is good to decide whether they are important enough to you to keep in your go bag.

Comfort items, both emotional and physical, are an important part of well-being in stressful times. Small items that are not too heavy can be included in your go bag. Examples are chewing gum, copies of family photos, tea, knitting, or embroidery. Only you know what you need to calm and relax you.

A pillow may not fit in your go bag, but you will not get one at a shelter. If you must have one, take your own.

Blankets can be scarce at shelters as well, so if it is possible, you may want to bring your own.

Small containers of toiletries and other personal care items are a good idea to keep in your go bag. They may not be available at your shelter or they won't have the kind you like.

An extra set of clothes including underwear are necessary for a go bag. Time spent in a shelter can end up being much longer than you think and you will want clean clothes.

Some form of entertainment not involving electricity could be a good to have in a shelter. That could be a deck of cards, a board game or a jigsaw puzzle. A big puzzle might not have a place in the shelter large enough to leave it undisturbed while you work on it. You could bring a board for it and store it under your bed or bring a small jigsaw puzzle.

An emergency preparedness kit needs to include food and water for each member of your family for three days, a battery-powered or hand-crank radio, flashlight, spare batteries, first aid kit, can opener, local maps, moist towelettes, toilet paper, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation.

Each family or individual's kit should be customized to meet specific needs, such as medications and infant formula. It should also be customized to include important family documents.

This is what FEMA recommends:

Recommended Supplies to Include in a Basic Kit:
Water, one gallon of water per person per day, for drinking and sanitation.
Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
Battery-powered radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert, and extra batteries for both
Flashlight and extra batteries
First Aid kit
Whistle to signal for help
Infant formula and diapers, if you have an infant
Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
Dust mask or cotton t-shirt to help filter the air
Plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
Can opener for food (if kit contains canned food)
Clothing and Bedding
If you live in a cold weather climate, you must think about warmth. It is possible that the power will be out and you will not have heat. Rethink your clothing and bedding supplies to account for growing children and other family changes. One complete change of warm clothing and shoes per person, including:
a jacket or coat
Long pants
long sleeve shirt
sturdy shoes
a hat and gloves
a sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person
Other items for your family to consider adding to its supply kit. Some of these items, especially those marked with a * can be dangerous, so please have an adult collect these supplies.
Emergency reference materials such as a first aid book or a print out of the information on
Rain gear
Mess kits, paper cups, plates and plastic utensils
Cash or traveler's check, change
Paper towels
Fire Extinguisher
Matches in a waterproof container*
signal flare*
paper, pencil
personal hygiene items including feminine supplies
Household chlorine bleach* - you can use bleach as a disinfectant (diluted nine parts water to one part bleach), or in an emergency you can also use it to treat water. Use 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners.
Medicine dropper
Important Family Documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof portable container.

I think it is a good idea to have items in your go bag that will allow you to survive outdoors. The above suggested by FEMA will not do that. You can make a micro survival kit that is small enough to fit in a pocket or an altoids tin. The altoids survival kit comes in many varieties and you can pick what you put in it if you make it yourself. None of the versions of mini survival kits is any good unless you have practiced enough to know how to use it. 

In previous posts I included links to the pocket size survival kit and the above suggestions from FEMA as well as other sites with slight variations on them.

I hope you will take care of yourself and your loved ones by reading my previous posts and looking at the links and learning. That is how you can save your life and the lives of your loved ones for free. I am going to write a book, but it will cost money. It will have the advantage of being portable and you can put it in your go bag.

The best advantage is what you put in your mind. Nothing is as portable and handy as that.

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