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Are You Ready For Emergencies

Storms, terror, illness, job loss, accidents and injuries, all these things and more can come unexpectedly and wreck havoc with our lives and families.  Being prepared can mean the difference between surviving and not surviving, betweem misery and relative comfort, between needing help and being able to help others. 
 
Caring Hands Ministries has published an Emergency Preparedness Guide for several years.  Here is a web version.

What do you normally do to get ready for a storm? What do you keep on hand for general emergencies?

Our first and best protection is to be hidden in Christ Jesus and to be enough aware of His voice and His leading so we obey when He tells us to do or not do something. That applies to all of every day life. How often have you felt you should call a friend and found they really needed you right them, or been delayed and missed a wreck or the 10,000 other everyday ways He helps us.

That said it is sensible and useful to have some basic family and/or personal disaster preparedness. The disaster may be as minor as a storm that makes you not want to go to the store or puts the power out or as major as a job loss or something caused by people who mean harm. At one time every family had some sort of "blizzard shelf". Now many can not make it for even a day without stopping at the store. In working with people who have suffered an emergency with both Red Cross and Caring Hands Ministries I have been amazed at how many families really have no idea what they may need and have made absolutely no provisions to keep their children and themselves safe and comfortable or to be able to help others.

SUPPLIES NEEDED TO PREPARE FOR AN EMERGENCY
We define emergencies as any situation where usual supplies and services are not easily available.


Supplies in vehicle for emergencies or accidents on the road, away from home, or if you have to leave home without time to pack.

Water at least 16-32 oz for each person likely to be in traveling in vehicle in any emergency plus at least 20 oz. Juice or tea may be substituted for -1/3 of this. Individual size water bottles are best and some of these should be in the main part of the vehicle as trunk or truck bed could be inaccessible if vehicle leaves road in accident or if there are injuries. More water should be kept in vehicle in hot weather.
First aid supplies clean pads for applying pressure to bleeding, (individually wrapped sanitary napkins are ideal), antiseptic wound cleanser, adhesive tape to hold wound pads in place, emergency blanket (see below), rubber gloves to prevent blood from getting on hands or in cuts and to keep injured area free from contamination, clean white sheet, standard or advanced first aid kit depending on your abilities and training and needs of family. Each person should have any regular or emergency medications. These things should also be kept in main area of vehicle if possible.
Warmth Emergency blanket(s) (Coleman and others make reflective plastic sheet that folds to about the size of a pack of cigarettes and weighs a couple of ounces. These will reflect body heat back to person in cold weather and can also be used to reflect heat away and provide shade in hot weather. The cost is $2-$2.75each. They are available in Ingles groceries, Wal-Mart, camping and sport stores). At least one should be in the main passenger compartment of vehicle, a coat or sweater for each passenger, and a regular blanket in cool weather, and year round in mountain areas, Sterno or other “canned heat”, “Hot Hands” (available in sporting goods, camping, and some grocery stores, Wall-Mart, etc. these are small packs that give off warmth when bent)
Food enough to last 2 days, packages of crackers and peanut butter and/or cheese, juice, individual servings of pudding or fruit, tuna, Vienna sausages, meal replacement bars or drinks, formula, other canned food not damaged by heat or cold that can be eaten without cooking, plastic utensils, Lifesavers or other candy treats, aluminum foil and zip lock bags. Some of this should also be in main passenger area.
Pets If you have pets even if they seldom ride with you keep water and something to drink from, food, carsick or other needed meds, leash, pet carrier even a folding one if possible, blanket. Each pet should have a tag with emergency number and veterinarian name and number and vaccination information. Most shelters will not allow pets. Pets left in cars in warm weather are in danger from heat in a closed car. This makes a pet carrier that is escape proof important. Cold weather is also a danger to pets.
Personal Comfort diapers or pull-ups, handiwipes (these are very useful even if there are no children), toilet tissue, plastic bags, emergency potty, change of clothes, socks (can double as mittens), hats, gloves, flashlight and spare batteries, matches or lighter, battery radio, power cords to connect cell phone and other devices to vehicle lighter, comb, Bible, other book(s), notebook, pen, crayons, stuffed animal which can also be a pillow, toy(s), folding rain poncho(s), 2 or more days supply of your normal vitamins, immune system balancers, anything that a family member considers essential for comfort and survival. Small propane heater, (open car windows little when using. Be aware of danger of carbon monoxide), spare propane tank(s), small grill and fuel for use outside vehicle. Roll of plastic, duct tape, fish line or rope, simple tools for car repairs and/or creating emergency shelter.

Gas Keep gas tank at least 1/2 - full. Top off tank if emergency is predicted.

There are now hand crank powered flash lights, flash light radio combos and even flashlight radio, cell and other battery charger combos available that work on a principle similar to the old wind up record players. They would be a great addition but based on our own experience with a hand crank flashlight test them and don’t rely exclusively on the crank powered items.

Tools Pliers, screwdriver, knife, duct tape, flat fix. Basic tire changing tools. Jumper cables and / or one of the gadgets that plugs into the car lighter and powers up the battery in 10-15 min. Kitty litter for traction and getting unstuck on ice or slippery mud. A small shovel (the fold up ones are great) for digging out of mud, sand, snow, or prying things out of your way., A few newspapers in the trunk are a good idea to put between you and the ground if you have to check something under the car, to start a fire if need be, even be emergency covers and of course to provide Fido or Kitty (or even a human) with an emergency potty, Keep a map handy if you do not know back roads and alternate routes you may need to use in an emergency evacuation.

You may be saying how could I possibly keep all that in the car, especially inside the passenger compartment. How much of what is in your glove compartment do you really need? If it’s normal it has things you need but also receipts for a shirt you bought a yr ago, directions to somewhere you have no idea where, a few plastic spoons, a stray bolt, a broken toy etc. Sort out some of that and you’ll probably find room for an emergency blanket the size of a deck of cards, a couple of meal bars and juice boxes, a small flash light, maybe some basic first aid supplies at least a pad to stop bleeding and maybe some duck tape, a screw driver and pliers. Does your car have side pockets, pockets on the back of the front seat, an arm rest that opens? A few diapers and a child’s change of clothes and a few more meal bars or cans of food and a few water bottles will fit there. So will the hand wipes and maybe a first aid kit. Is there space under the seats? In many cars there is plenty of room for a blanket. A change of clothes or at least a sweater or rain poncho can ride in a neat bag in back along with a special toy for children and a notebook and crayons or pencils.  

Supplies at Home
All of above plus water and food enough to last your family and pets a week or longer that can be prepared without electricity, 7-10 days supply of all regular meds, emergency and comfort meds, 7-10 days supply of vitamins and /or immune system balancer, normal cold meds, asprin or Tylenol, disposable dishes and utensils, clean clothes, extra or emergency blankets. Emergency light, heat, and cooking, supplies. Remember that gas furnaces may have electric thermostat and not work if the power is out. Be aware of the need for ventilation when using emergency heat, cooking, light. Keep children and pets away from open flames. You need both clean bottled water and water for cleaning and sanitary purposes, store cleaning and sanitary water by filling washer and tub as well as milk, soda, and detergent bottles that have been washed out. If there is space in your freezer fill clean milk or soda bottles full of clean water and freeze. This will provide both ice to keep foods cold and later drinking water. Battery powered radio for emergency information and weather reports, extra batteries for flashlights, radios, TV, cell phone, laptop etc., games and toys for adults as well as children and teens that do not require electricity or batteries, tools, plastic, tape, etc. for emergency repairs. Keep some cash on hand in case banks, ATM’s and credit card terminals are not available.

Being Prepared

Learn where power, gas, and water shutoffs for your home are and how to use them, Be sure you have any special tools needed. Learn location of local shelters and safe places and evacuation routes from your area. More than one family member should know these things. If your family has never done a long camping trip or emergency preparedness training plan a camp out at home for practice, take emergency preparedness training from Red Cross, scouts, etc.

Take training that will help you be part of the solution not part of the problem. Get to know your neighbors and make an emergency plan together. Expect to share resources and provide enough food, etc. for neighbors who may not be prepared, expect to both take care of elderly neighbors and learn from them about how to live well without modern conveniences. Keep regular and emergency meds on hand. Fill regular prescriptions before you run out or ask the doctor about prescribing enough to keep an emergency supply.

Do all you can to get and stay healthy, consider using an immune system balancer regularly to help you resist disease, pollutants, contaminants, and infections.

Buy some extra groceries on each shopping trip so that you have the supplies you

Plan a contact place or person with family, neighbors, church members so you can check on each other without tying up phone and cell lines. Keep your emergency numbers written down as well as in the cell phone incase it has a problem or low batteries.

Note: these preparations will help in case of storms and other natural disasters, job loss, sickness, or other, financial crisis, as well as with homeland security situations

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All this is natural preparedness. What about supernatural? Pastor Turner always says we need to be at a place in the Lord where if we get an emergency call or see an 18 wheeler hurling towards us we don't need to get right or get close with God before we can pray....and eternal preparedness at some point every one is going to come face to face with Jesus, are we ready, are we sure?