07 March 2012

Disaster Plan

Impending parenthood makes you think about all sorts of practical (and not so fun) things, like estate planning and disaster preparedness. The latter was my project for today.

The American Red Cross has lots of disaster preparedness resources, including this checklist on its website. Locally, King County has a great website, which suggests that everyone prepare for three days in three ways. I've taken both of these and common sense into consideration when planning for a disaster.

First, I made a kit for the car, which includes the following:

  • A pair of old shoes (and socks)
  • List of emergency contacts
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • Whistle with built-in compass 
  • Trash bags
  • Tissues
  • Paper and pen
  • Knife
  • Poncho
  • Some emergency thermal blankets
  • Basic first aid kit 
  • Antibacterial wipes 

It all fits neatly into a little 6 quart/5.7 liter container, which will live in the trunk. All that I'm missing are some jumper cables.

For home, the kit is designed to help us get through in the event of an earthquake, sudden major storm, extended power outage, terrorist attack, and the like. The kit includes the following:

  • Tarp and light tube tent
  • Gloves
  • Duct tape and nylon string
  • Wrench for utility shut-off
  • Emergency candles and waterproof matches
  • Protective masks
  • Water purification tablets 
  • Flashlight and spare batteries
  • Emergency instant lights
  • Toilet paper and tissues
  • Hand sanitizer, alcohol swabs, and baby wipes
  • Deodorant, soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, and feminine hygiene products
  • Ponchos and emergency thermal blankets
  • Trash bags
  • First aid kit
  • Pens and paper
  • Manual can opener
  • Knife and some plastic spoons
  • Whistle
  • Basic backpack (to take the survival show on the road)

Of course, I've also prepared copies of essential documents (passports, driver licenses, marriage certificate, car titles, insurance statements, insurance cards, list of doctors, list of emergency contacts, and last year's IRS 1040).

The whole home kit fits comfortably inside a 10 gallon/37.9 liter tote.

We still need to add sufficient water for George and me (and whoever may be staying with us at the time) for 3 to 5 days as well as food for the same period of time. The handy calculator on King County's website will make it easy to calculate exactly what we need. It makes sense for us to add some other items, too, like solar power station and cell phone chargers. Once the baby comes, we'll need to add her essentials (identification paperwork, diapers, wipes, baby food, pacifier) to both kits.

How have you prepared for a disaster? What's in your kit?


Janie said...

Surprisingly, we have quite a few of those things together. Great suggestion and a reminder for us all. We never know. Better prepared that being in an "event" with no resources. Hats off, to ya!

aaron and misha said...

I have been meaning to do this! Every time there is a disaster somewhere in the world I am reminded of how much I need to do this. I will in the next few months, but until then, my plan will be to head to Kirkland ;)

ALKS said...

Mom: Glad to know that you are prepared!

Misha: We're hoping to be prepared enough to take in friends who haven't gotten to making a kit or who may be more severely affected...so feel free to head over!