NC has a history of weather-related challenges that take out electric power and immobilize people for several days at a time. AARP urges all of our members to take some time now to prepare for emergencies. Emergency response experts tell us it is important to do three things: 1) Get a kit; 2) Make a plan; 3) Be informed.
It is recommended that everyone have on hand at least three days of supplies in an easy-to-carry evacuation kit, with additional supplies on hand if you have to stay in your home without heat, water or electricity. Here are the basics:
- Water – at least one gallon per person per day.
- Food – non-perishable, high-protein items that require no refrigeration, preparation or cooking, and little or no water.
- Flashlight and extra batteries, if applicable.
- Medications – have enough for 3-5 days, and a list of your prescriptions (dosage, name of doctor, condition for which it is prescribed).
- First aid kit and first aid reference guide.
- Radio and extra batteries, if applicable.
- Tools – a wrench to turn off gas, screwdriver, knife, duct tape, plastic sheeting, garbage bags and ties among other things.
- Clothing – a change of clothes including sturdy shoes and gloves.
- Personal items – copies of important papers (identification cards, insurance policies, birth certificate, passport, bank account numbers); eyeglasses or contact lenses and solution; comfort items like books, playing cards, bible.
- Sanitary supplies – toilet paper, towelettes, personal hygiene products.
- Money – ATMs and credit cards won’t work if the power is out – you’ll need cash.
- Contact information – a current list of family phone numbers and email addresses, including someone out of the area who may be easier to reach if local phone lines are out of service or overloaded.
- Pet supplies – for each pet include food, water, a collar/leash/carrying case/litter box or plastic bags, tags and vaccination information, medications.
Store your disaster supplies in sturdy, yet easy-to-carry, containers in a place that is easily accessible. Keep a smaller version of the kit in your vehicle in case you are traveling and get stranded during a storm.
Finally, find out the resources that your community has for emergency shelters, especially those for people with physical limitations or medical needs.
Find more information through AARP.