Disaster Preparedness by Lynn Stanton, M.D.
September is National Disaster Preparedness Month! For those of you who are wondering how to cope with disaster planning, there are reasonable solutions which do not require a PhD. Here are a few basic suggestions that could help keep you and your family safe in case an event occurs.
In a non-catastrophic disaster, more than likely you will be able to stay in your own home. The authorities can caution you about the dangers of staying, but they cannot force you to leave. Once you leave, they cordon off the area so you cannot return. To prepare yourself and family to hunker down, assume that all utilities such as water, power, phone lines, and wireless service will be turned off and be prepared accordingly.
In preparation, be sure to know all of your neighbors. Be aware of who is able to help, who will likely need help, and who can be a runner and message carrier. Store one gallon of water per person per day. You may need water to flush toilets if they are still working.
Have canned or boxed food that does not require cooking available. For instance, cereal, beans, tuna, and fruits, are all good to have on hand if a disaster strikes. If a heat source is available (i.e. bbq or stove), then dry foods such as rice, pasta or potatoes are nutritious choices to have on hand.
Fire fuel such as wood, gasoline, and oil is important to have handy. But make sure they are stored in safe places as to prevent a house fire.
Always have first-aid equipment available. The American Red Cross has excellent resources on their website that can help you to assemble the necessary supplies.
When you can stay in your home, (even if damaged), it is likely that your neighbors will need help. If you have extra water or food please share with others until help arrives.
The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.