Sunday, November 4, 2012

Emergency Preparedness: GET READY NOW!

As Hurricane Sandy has reminded us, we all need to be prepared for natural disasters. But how many of us actually have emergency kits ready? I know in our house we have some canned goods and water in case of earthquake, but we are nowhere near ready if we needed to grab one bag and go. Are you? The basic disaster supplies kit recommended by FEMA is as follows:

Basic Disaster Supplies Kit

  • Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
  • Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
  • Battery-powered or hand crank 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
  • Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Manual can opener for food
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger

Of course, in winter, if you live in a place with seasons, another essential item would be to have several reliable sources of fire. If your house loses power for a week (like I know some people did in the East Coast) and you have a fireplace in your house, at least you will have the option of burning wood and staying in your own home. My friends at Zippo recently provided me with a Emergency Fire Starter Kit to test for our family's disaster supply kit.

The Emergency Fire Starter Kit doesn't rely on a flame to start a fire. It uses a simple flint wheet to spark water-resistant, waxed tinder sticks that store in a waterproof case. In emergencies, where matches or lighters are unavailable, this kit can start a fire almost instantly and may save lives. Some of the outdoors' top people think so, too. It was awarded the Seal of Approval by the North American Hunting Club.

I recruited my favorite Eagle Scout to assist me in testing the Emergency Fire Starter Kit. Stewart opened it up and in no time at all had the tinder stick lit. He stated it was "pretty fast." Considering it lit up in less than a second, I would have to agree. Originally I had planned to couple the test with a marshmallow roast over an outdoor fire pit, but the weather has not cooperated. First it was 90 degree temperatures earlier in October, then rain, then back to hot weather. So no marshmallows, but we did have a successful fire start test. Goes to show, Zippo doesn't just make lighters anymore. They do have an entire product line dedicated to the outdoors. If you are looking for a fire starter kit for your emergency preparedness bag, the Zippo Emergency Fire Starter Kit seems like a great choice.

If you are on the East Coast, our prayers are with you for things to get back to normal, or as normal as they can be after a natural disaster of this magnitude. As my Eagle Scout always says, "Be prepared." Let's hope we all will be for the next big thing.

I did not receive compensation for this post. I did receive a product sample to facilitate my review.

No comments: