Emergency Preparedness: How to Prepare for a Very Quick Getaway

Why emergency preparedness is so important — and how taking these specific steps could save your life: Internet ScamBusters #148

Internet ScamBusters™

The #1 Publication on Internet Fraud

By Audri and Jim Lanford

Copyright © Audri and Jim Lanford

All rights reserved.

Issue #148

Hi Everyone,

With all of the natural disasters lately (hurricanes, earthquakes, wildfires,

etc.), we decided to create a three-part series on emergency preparedness: how

to prepare if you have to leave the house NOW. We sincerely believe that preparing

ahead could save your life — or the life of someone you love.

We’ll start with the first part of this emergency preparedness series today. We’ll

review the basics — and then point you to a number of ideas most people don’t

think about when they consider emergency preparedness. We’ll cover the other two

parts of this series within the next few weeks (depending on what scams come up

that we need to deal with).

First, though, we wanted to let you know that the feedback we got on our Christmas

traditions site has been remarkable. If you haven’t visited yet,

we suggest you check it out now.

And, we recommend you take a peek at our brand new Christmas

Crafts site, AboutChristmasCrafts.com. You’ll find lots of great

free Christmas craft projects for the whole family. Check it out now.

Now, on to emergency preparedness…

Emergency Preparedness: How to Prepare for a Very Quick Getaway

Emergency preparedness is something most people don’t like to think about. After

all, who wants to plan for a disaster?

However, planning ahead can make all the difference if a real emergency does strike.

So that’s why we’ve decided to write this three-part series.

We’d like to begin by having you imagine what you’d do if some kind of disaster

does strike — and you have only five or ten minutes to leave your home. What

would you grab (in addition to your family)?

Pets? Photos? Family heirlooms? Cash? Your computer? Jewelry?

Take a few moments and write down a list.

Next, imagine you had no warning at all — the house is on fire and everyone needs

to leave NOW. Is there something you could grab on the way out that wouldn’t take

any time at all — but that would make a big difference?

One goal of this three-part series is for you to be able to answer these questions.

In Parts 2 and 3 we’ll help you prepare your financial, medical and other records

to help you be ready for a disaster — because these records are vital if a disaster

does strike.

Today, we’ll focus on ways to help you prepare for an emergency where you don’t

have to leave in a few minutes. Instead, we’ll answer these questions:

– How would you take care of yourself and your family should a major disaster


– Could you feed your family and provide them with warmth and security if life

as you knew it was suddenly ripped away and a new and more primitive world were

left in its place?

Preparing Ahead Could Save Your Life

Victims of natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina are realizing that emergency

preparedness isn’t something to be laughed at, but is something that can mean

the difference between life and death should disaster strike.

When preparing for disaster, you first need to think about things that your family

cannot live without — water, food, and shelter.

Experts agree that you should have at least 2 weeks of food and water on hand

in case a disaster strikes. That means 2 weeks of food, water and clothing for

each and every member of your family.

Water is Most Important

The most important point of this article is to stock up on water. You can live

without food for much longer than you can live without water. And dehydration

is a common problem during disasters.

Allocate one gallon of water per day for each person in your family. If a disaster

occurs, it’s likely to take three days for help to arrive. So, make sure — no

matter what — you have water for your family for three days. Then store as much

additional water as possible until you get to two weeks worth. It’s best to store

water in a cool, dark place.

If you run out of water before help arrives, you can turn off the water to your

house and use the water that was reserved in your hot water tank. Just make sure

you boil it before you use it. If boiling is not possible, add two drops of chlorine

bleach for each gallon of water. Just make sure the bleach is plain bleach and

not scented or enhanced.


Make sure you also have at least three days of meals on hand, if not more. Again,

experts suggest having 2 weeks worth of food in case of an emergency.

It’s easy to store canned goods and foods like power bars. Remember that you need

food with high concentrations of vitamins and minerals but wrapped in nice, small

packages with dates that don’t expire for quite some time.

Some people spend thousands of dollars on survival equipment, and store all kinds

of food. Since the chances of a disaster are reasonably small, you probably won’t

want to do this. (We don’t — but we do have two weeks of water and food.)

We also recommend you keep a three-day survival kit that is small that you can

grab if you do need to leave. It needs to contain food and water for at least

three days (as well as some other things we’ll talk about in this article and

the other two articles).

Freeze-dried food is one option since it takes less space, but you will need extra

water to reconstitute these products. Power bars are a good option.

First Aid and Medications

Survival isn’t always about food and water. If you really want to know how to

make it in the wilderness, which is exactly what the roads of your town can become

in a state of emergency, you might want to pick up a Boy Scout Handbook.

The Boy Scout Handbook contains a lot of useful tips on how to survive and you

might find yourself needing this info in times of disaster. It also contains great

first aid info. We recommend you include this handbook in your three-day survival


In addition to food and the Boy Scout Handbook, you’ll want to keep a first aid

kit on hand. Make sure your first aid kit contains bandages, Tylenol or aspirin,

antiseptic and medicine for upset stomach.

You’ll also need at least a two-week supply of each prescription that any member

of your family takes. This will ensure no one is without the medications they

need should disaster strike. (You should rotate these meds so that they don’t

become out of date.)

Other Items

We recommend you have some extra money you can easily get to because ATM machines

may well not function in an emergency.

In addition, candles, matches, flashlights, a crank radio, and lots of batteries

will all be very useful.

Camping gear — such as lightweight butane stoves, coolers and tents — can come

in handy. So can an adapter for your car that turns the cigarette lighter in your

car into an electrical outlet. Gortex (or similar) jackets and thermal blankets

are important for warmth. And consider a plastic waterproof box and a can of fluorescent

spray paint.

A satellite phone would be great — but these are very expensive. Unfortunately,

cell phones are often not very helpful during disasters. A generator is also very

useful, and some people will find that the portable models are not prohibitively


This is obviously not an exhaustive list — it’s just meant to get you thinking

about emergency preparedness.

Action: Spend a few minutes now considering what you’d need if you didn’t have

electricity or communications for a week or two. And take a few minutes to follow

the advice above.

Finally, we recommend you check out our previous article on a related topic: "10

Emergency Preparedness Tips to Help You and Your Family Prepare for

Natural Disasters and Even Terrorist Attacks."

By taking the time to prepare now, you’ll likely be more safe and secure should

you find yourself in a disastrous situation.

That’s it for now. We’ll cover more scams next week, and then return to this important

issue of emergency preparedness in the weeks ahead.