· 4 min read
Hurricane-force winds. Raging floodwaters. Violently rotating tornadoes. No matter where we live, natural disasters can hit at any time. While weather satellites and radar help warn us of natural disasters, it’s not always enough time to be prepared.
Hurricane season is here through November, and Ida and Julian have already left a wake of disaster in their path with deadly and paralyzing flooding, widespread power outages and families evacuated from their homes. This is happening across the globe as climate-driven torrential rains cause dangerous and disruptive flooding in underground rail systems from New York City to London, Taipei, Bangkok and a host of other cities
Like me, you’re probably asking yourself, “What can I do to be more prepared?”
Stock up on water, food and shelter necessities now and replenish as these items expire. Collect water, canned foods and other emergency supplies — including batteries, flashlights and a first aid kit — before a weather warning is issued, not after the storm. Make sure everything is in containers that provide protection, portability and easy access.
“Don’t wait, prepare now,” our experts advise. An emergency preparedness plan can make a difference between life and death with any natural disaster. We’ve gathered these tips to get you organized before chaos hits.
Collect rainwater in clean, food-grade storage containers. Before using, boil it two to three minutes to kill bacteria.
First aid kits and an emergency supply kit are important too.
Staying where you are is not always the safest thing to do. Learn ahead of time where emergency shelters are located and how your community notifies residents of emergencies.
Friends and family can be there for you and your household. Also remember there are federal, state and local agencies set up to help.
Keep water containers high enough off the floor to limit exposure to flood waters.
If you choose to purify and store your own water, use glass or food-grade plastic containers (e.g., PET) with screw-on caps. Clearly mark containers with the date the water was stored and replace annually. The old water can be used for watering plants, flushing toilets or other non-drinking water uses.
These may contain chemicals at harmful levels.
To make a sanitizing solution, use five tablespoons (1/3 cup) of bleach per gallon of water or four teaspoons of bleach per quart of water. Allow at least one minute of contact time. Rinse thoroughly and allow to air-dry.
For other baby items or any non-wooden item in the kitchen you want to keep), contact the manufacturer to see if these items can be sanitized.
Always act on the side of caution when it comes to food. You don’t want to get a foodborne or waterborne illness because your food “looked OK to eat.”
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