Why emergency preparedness is so important — and how taking these specific steps could save your life: Internet ScamBusters #148
The #1 Publication on Internet Fraud
By Audri and Jim Lanford
Copyright © Audri and Jim Lanford
All rights reserved.
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
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.)
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
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.