Here we go again—getting ready for yet another possible hurricane. It was just about a year ago that our family had to prepare for Hurricane Irene, and then two years ago with Hurricane Earl. I guess that's the price I pay for living on the East Coast where hurricane preparedness is simply a way of life.
Since none of the weather guys can predict exactly where Hurricane Sandy will land, it's imperative that you have emergency essentials on hand, including a disaster kit, just in case. In our house those emergency essentials include lots of ice, bathtubs full of water, and non-perishables. In addition, we have not one disaster kit but two.
I got our first disaster kit at Target immediately after Sept. 11. It includes flashlights, batteries, gloves, a whistle (makes me think of the supplies that Rose and Jack got when they went overboard in the "Titanic" movie), and survival blankets—the kind you might see wrapped around marathoners at the end of a race. This past summer I acquired our second disaster kit. Actually, I won it.
When I'd attending the blogging conference called BlogHer, I stopped at the Good & Ready table. Though that sounds like the candy Good & Plenty, Good & Ready is a year-round online and on-the-ground emergency preparedness initiative led by the Points of Light Foundation and working with core partners Ready.gov, American Red Cross and the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes. While there I dropped my business card in a bowl to be entered into a drawing to win a free kit, and I did. It was sent to my home a few weeks later. That kit, called a Ready Box, contains many of the same items as the Target kit, along with universal cell phone chargers and Coast Guard-certified food for an emergency situation.
These days we have created an emergency essentials shelf in our downstairs closet. It includes both disaster kits along with extra flashlights and an external battery—designed for use on a boat but which we keep charged at home and use to plug in items when we've lost power in the past. It's kind of like our mini generator.
If you live along the East Coast like I do, I hope that you will be proactive in the coming days about your own hurricane preparedness by gathering together emergency essentials and, if you don't have one, getting a disaster kit. And if you don't have time to order a Ready Box (it's available for sale on Amazon.com), at the very least following these instructions from FEMA on how to assemble your own DIY homemade emergency kit.
For more on how to prepare for a hurricane: