Disaster Prep For The Rest Of Us

by Dave Robinson

Dave Robinson

Building Your Kit, Week 5
Originally published December 31, 2012

According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (F.E.M.A.) and the Red Cross, the mantra for disaster preparedness is: Get A Kit, Make A Plan, and Be Informed. Trust me when I say that survival is not a kit. Knowledge is more important than “stuff.” Preparedness and survival is all about a plan, your kit is simply a big part of your plan. I must admit that building a kit is more fun than making a plan, but it is all about a balanced approach to coming out ahead in the event of a disaster.

For the past few weeks, I have been providing a shopping list and a list of tips for building a 72 hour kit. I firmly believe a 72 hour kit is only a good start. Your plan should be to extend your kit to a fourteen day supply as most disasters don’t know to stop at 72 hours.

After seven weeks, those who participate will have a well-rounded starter kit that should see them through most emergencies. Because we all have different needs, everyone’s kit will be different. Some of us have babies in the house, so those families will want to stock up on infants’ things, others will have folks with special needs and those requirements must be considered as you build your kit and make your plan. For those reasons, I don’t recommend buying one of the kits on the market, as they will probably not meet your family’s complete needs during an actual emergency.

Shopping list for Week Five:

1. Gloves. Latex or non/latex, plus a good pair of work gloves.

2. Paper plates, cups and utensils.

3. Canned vegetables, soup/stew.

4. Toilet paper (lots) and paper towels.

5. Travel sizes of personal hygiene items, dental care, soap, feminine care, deodorant, etc.

6. Disinfectant wipes.

7. Supplies for baby, elderly or special needs.

Tips for Week Five:

Select an emergency contact person residing out of the area for family members to contact in case they are separated. Sometimes it’s easier to connect a phone call out of the area than it is locally.

Keep a copy of this seven week list in your car when you go shopping. Check off items as you go.

Make sure that all adults and teens in your household know how to shut off water and utilities.

Never use a portable generator in an enclosed area. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Clean, pure drinking water may be in short supply during an emergency. For a free set of plans to build a water filtration system send me an email. You may also send your comments and questions to disasterprep.dave@gmail.com.

Note: Dave Robinson is Bandon's Postmaster and has worked for the postal service for 30 years. He has a background in law enforcement, served in the Air Force in Vietnam, worked nine years for the Coos County Sheriff's Department, and serves on the Myrtle Point School Board, where he lives.

additional columns by Dave Robinson