A Prescription for Disaster

pill-sortersA disaster doesn’t have to have a long duration to create dire needs in a family. There are those among us who can do without food for a day, but can’t get along without medication on a regular schedule. In some cases, the consequences could be quite serious, as pharmacies can’t open if there is no power.

Medicine should always be a part of a disaster supply kit. If it is critical enough, you may want to consider keeping a second stash of doses in your secondary kit, like in your car. But those pill bottles can be fairly bulky and you don’t have unlimited space for storage in a kit… Read more

Stay Connected

One of the biggest frustrations many people had in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina was the loss of communications. In many instances, victims were scattered among several states and it took weeks to reunite families.

Now the American Red Cross has teamed up with several other agencies to create the Safe and Well website, providing a central database for disaster victims to register and their loved ones to search. However, not every disaster rises to that level, and there are steps you can take in advance to organize your communication. Read more

Stock Your Disaster Supply Kit

Red Cross Disaster Supply KitBeing prepared for a disaster is just as much mental work as it is physical. A mindset of preparedness is one that is less likely to panic, because obstacles have already been anticipated. However, it’s not enough to “think” your way to being Red Cross Ready – there are some significant actions you can take right now to “organize your disaster” and have that peace of mind.

The first big piece of “preparedness” is “Make a Kit.” Every family has its own unique needs in a time of crisis, but there are some constants that are recommended for every household. Your Kit should be stored someplace secure and accessible, and should provide for your household for a minimum of three days. You can buy a kit to get started, or just use this as a shopping list, adding any additional items that might pertain to you: Read more

Out of Sight, Not Out of Mind

Plastic TubIn an ideal world, we’d all have a big sealable plastic tub to store and tote our disaster supply kit. It’s durable, it’s water-resistant, and it’s clear so you can tell at a glance what is inside and where. It’s also bulky and somewhat unsightly, and those living in apartments or other small domiciles might not have a great place to store the kit.

Better to have a small kit than none at all. Read more

Emergency Preparedness: Plan for your Pets

Pet First AidA Family Disaster Plan needs to take your pets into account. Many of the same guidelines for people apply to pets, but there are a few differences you need to consider in your plans. Your pet needs its own supplies, its own food, its own first-aid kit, and maybe an alternate shelter.

Here are some suggested items for a Pet First Aid kit:
** large and small bandages
** scissors
** tweezers
** cotton swabs Read more

Disaster Preparedness: Know Your Disaster Readiness Level

spongebob-readyJust how “ready” are you to deal with a disaster? Here’s a quick, 10-step quiz that will help you find out. The Council for Excellence in Government is sponsoring the “What’s Your Readiness Quotient” test.

Not only will it help you gauge your “RQ,” but the C.E.G. is also comparing and compiling these results on a regional and local level. The data should help emergency preparedness organizations learn more about where, when, and how to target the messaging that gets people to actually prepare.

Take the quiz, and post your results below. You’ll help yourself, and you’ll help so many others in the future!

Disaster Preparedness: Keep Medication and Perishables Up to Date

Stinky_OdorYou wouldn’t drink milk past its expiration date, would you? Then why take any chances during your next disaster or home emergency.

There are any number of reasons you might dip into your disaster supply kit, such as an ice storm, power outage, water disruption, or neighborhood evacuation. The last thing you want is perishables making your preparations worthless. Read more

National Preparedness Month Series:How to Organize for the Unexpected

Because September is National Preparedness Month, Stacks and Stacks Clutter Control Freak Blog has asked the American Red Cross to provide you with a series of tips on how to organize to make dealing with a disaster easier. This is the first of several posts that will be written by Ike Pigott, Director of Communications and Government Relations for the American Red Cross Southeast Region, over the next several weeks.

hurricane damageIf I told you that you could only get three things out of your house before it disappeared forever, how long would you ponder that decision? Ten seconds? One minute? One day? The more time you spend thinking about questions like that, the better your answers become. There are no “universally right” answers because we all have different preferences and priorities.

The quality of your answers depends on planning, thinking, and preparation. Actually, planning for disaster is just another form of organization. Read more