February 6th, 2015
The next Pineapple Express is supposed to hit us today. The National Weather Service is watching this storm carefully as it’s stronger than the last big one in 1997.
So spend some time today making sure your emergency supplies are current and complete.
You should keep at least six months of drinkable water, and rotate it regularly. Those large jugs of water can be used to water plants or cook pasta and rice.
The government guideline is one gallon per person per day, three days minimum. But as we’ve seen, sometimes the power stays out for a week, and water can be turned off for just as long. So ideally, you should have two weeks on hand. And don’t forget water for your pets.
Think about food you can eat easily if you don’t have any power. And always keep a manual can opener around. Remember, no electricity means the electric can opener won’t work. Many soup cans have pull tops, but always double check.
Don’t ever try cooking indoors with a camping stove or bring the barbecue into the house as the carbon monoxide is deadly.
There are kits out there for freeze dried food that you can get. Just make sure you have additional water on hand to reconstitute them.
Also, if you have pets, make sure you have enough food for them for two weeks as well. Store dry food in a tightly sealed container and rotate it out for freshness.
At least one per person, and have lantern style ones in major rooms like the kitchen and bathroom. Have extra bulbs. Some people like candles, but there is too much of a risk of fire using candles. You might accidentally leave one burning.
Have batteries for your flashlights, lanterns, radios and your cell phone. There are batteries out there now that can recharge your cell phone. Have at least two per cell phone in case your power is out for over a week.
What should be in your kit? For starters, any medicines that you take regularly as well as additional over the counter pain relief, antacids, and allergy medicines. Keep a close eye on the expiration date.
Also, if you need an asthma inhaler or an epi-pen, try to keep an extra one on hand.
The Red Cross recommends:
Especially in the winter, you want to be able to stay warm.
You should also have a copy of vital documents such as insurance policies, medical consent forms, list of emergency contact numbers, doctor’s name and contact information, prescription lists, personal identification (drivers license, work ID card, etc.) all stored in a water-resistant folder or sealable plastic bag.
A hand crank radio to stay on top of news alerts.
Solar powered phone chargers.
Heavy duty plastic bags for waste, and to serve as tarps, rain ponchos, and other uses.