Is your household prepared?

I was recently at a FEMA led Emergency Preparedness training. The class was less boring than it sounds and really got me thinking. Not just about being prepared at a government and city level, which is what I was there for, but on a personal level.

How does an entire city stay in a state of preparedness for an emergency? While there are plans, practice, contact lists, mutual aid agreements, and more across the pillars of city and county government the real preparedness is in the household of every citizen in the form of an emergency kit and a family plan.

A family plan doesn’t have to be complicated. Know how you will receive alerts and communicate as a family, where you will shelter, an evacuation plan if applicable, and where the emergency kit is. Wait, you don’t have a kit? It’s time to put one together.

There are a lot of resources out there to aid you in putting together an emergency kit for your family. What is right for you will depend on your family and it varies widely. First, get the basics. You’ll need nonperishable food and water for at least three days. Include a flashlight, batteries, first aid kit, a battery powered radio, wrench or tools to shut off utilities, whistle to signal for help, a knife or scissors, water purification tablets, and a form of fuel to warm food or boil water and receptacles to do so. And, of course, a phone charger.

The rest depends on your family make up. Infants, seniors, anyone with special needs, and pets all need to be considered and included.

Medications and important documents are often overlooked. suggests having copies of prescriptions and orders for medical equipment with you. Ask your insurance company to assist you in obtaining enough medication to have on hand in case you must shelter in place.

You can build a kit yourself, or purchase a readymade kit and add items specific to your needs.

Vital records should be at hand. Consider making color copies to keep in your emergency kit in a zip lock bag. This includes driver’s license or passports, birth certificates, social security cards, child custody papers, and vaccination records. Don’t forget your insurance policies. After all, after a disaster is when you will likely most need that policy number.

Golden Hour Senior Center will be distributing Five-Day Survival Kit Backpacks to 175 senior residents, thanks to a generous donation from Tata Chemicals. Each backpack will support one person for five days and are being delivered on July 9 to seniors who depend on home delivered meals, are low income, live alone, or are high dietary risk.

Many thanks to Tata, who continue to be a supporter of Golden Hour Senior Center and our residents. Last week I had the pleasure of talking with Irish Kreis and Bill Cummings at Golden Hour.

We when through the kits and talked about what if’s. It brings some peace of mind to know they are preparing these vulnerable households.


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