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Be Prepared

Natural disasters force us to look at how prepared we really are.

Two natural disasters in one week is a lot for anyone to bear.

And it made me, and I’m sure most of you, question how prepared we really are.

With Tuesday’s earthquake, and subsequent tying up of phone lines everywhere, I found myself trapped at work with no communication to my daughter’s daycare.

That is a scary place to be.

It seemed the only communication that was going in and out was texting. Thankfully, my husband happened to be home that day and I texted him to go get our daughter.

But being unable to communicate in a world where we over-communicate was pretty scary.

Given the time of year and the fact that earthquakes like that aren’t entirely common in this area made me think it was something worse. So I swore this would be the incident that made me prepare incase the worst did happen. 

From now on, I’ll make sure I have the cell phone numbers of the majority of the daycare teachers and the director, for texting emergencies only.

In addition to making sure most numbers are at your finger tips, one kind mom on the Hyattsville Nurturing Mom’s group alerted the group to a website she found helpful when she lived in California. It’s called 72hours.org. It has helpful tips to be ready in the event of a natural—or other—disaster for you, your family, and your pets.

So I started reading it, and the government website ready.gov and promptly went to town gathering supplies.

I went to Walmart.com and ordered sleeping bags. Seems like a pretty random thing, but if we had to get on the road or stay in the house without heat, I thought these portable beds, often rated for colder temperatures if you buy higher-end ones, would be great to have on hand. WalMart had a fairly good selection at fairly reasonable prices. I also ordered extra flashlights, and even a portable camp light.

Once they are back in stock, I plan on ordering more “D” batteries, which were nowhere to be found once the threat of a hurricane came to town. I also stocked up on some plastic storage bags, to keep matches, some candles and copies of important phone numbers and our insurance cards handy and free from water damage.

Lastly—a few cases of water. According to ready.gov, you are supposed to have one gallon of water per person (or pet) per day and should prepare to have enough for at least three days. Canned goods and extra medicines, or even a first aid kit, should also be kept on hand.

And given the traffic in the area, extra water, blankets and even some snacks should also be kept in your car. This past winter’s snowfall during rush hour produced many stories of people stuck in cars for hours on end without snacks, food and water for themselves or their children.

(I was able to order many of these items for a grand total of less than $200). 

My place of work also has these kits set aside at various stations on each floor, if sheltering in place is needed. So it’s a good idea to check with your managers to make sure your work (or child’s school) also has provisions.

I hope no one needs to use these tools, but I always say if you’re over prepared, then maybe you’ll never need it after all.

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