Disaster and Emergency Response Planning
Posted 12 months ago
The thought of finding yourself caught in the middle of an emergency or disaster can be extremely daunting. In a world subject to vast physical, social and economic change, it’s never too early for effective emergency response planning, starting with an emergency go-to bag or kit.
Planning for any disaster will differ dependent on factors such as, the emergency being faced, your geographical location, as well as your and your families’ individual needs. An emergency response plan and emergency kit could look different for each scenario you’re facing whether it’s hurricanes, power outages, extreme heat or a terrorist attack. Ready gov, an official website of the US Department of Homeland Security, provides guidance and information for several eventualities and understanding what disasters, hazards or emergencies could affect your area should be the first step for any emergency prepper. However ultimately, the process is a case of devising plans and procedures to manage unforeseen events and matching urgent needs with available resources to ensure the best chance of safety.
And to help you make a start, here’s our go-to five inclusions for any emergency kit:
Emergency Water Source – Human life can only survive three days without water in comparison to weeks without food. Because of this, it tops the list for a must have emergency supply, with every professional preparedness organization advising to consider an ongoing water source when in case of an emergency. Rather than carry stocked water, with a sell by date, storage requirements and a heavy addition to the kit, a portable filtration system can provide a much more practical and effective alternative. The LifeSaver Family Emergency Preparedness Pack as well as the LifeSaver Ultimate Emergency Preparedness Pack include one of few purifiers which removes viruses, bacteria and Protozoa (cysts) instantly. Contaminated water can be a fast track ticket to serious illness or death so arming yourself with a water source which provides you with ultimate protection and sanitation – capable of filtering up to 60,000 litres / 15,850 US gallons of clean, safe drinking water, is the perfect start for any survival kit.
Food Supplies – Seems like an obvious addition however it’s important for planners to consider prepping nonperishable, sealed goods rather than depend on the current contents of their kitchen fridge, which may keep for a day or so, should you find yourself at home without electricity. For the safest, sustainable approach to food management, a survival kit should include a mix of canned fruit, vegetables, soups and stews which can be nutritious and easy to store. Nuts, dried fruits and dehydrated meat, such as beef jerky, can also provide a much-needed source of protein, and as they don’t require special storage conditions, could be just the ticket to keep you and your family nourished during a disaster or emergency situation.
Radio – In an overly digitized world, people are becoming more and more reliant on their mobile device as a primary communicative tool, and also as the go-to source of information such as updates on the weather, maps and directions, contact details and general day to day queries. Whilst a mobile phone and charger could prove a useful inclusion for an emergency kit, dependent on the emergency, an old school battery operated, or wind-up radio should not be overlooked. Radios continue to be a vital piece of survival kit – particularly for making and responding to distress calls. As you may find yourself without access to a phone directory and in need of emergency response, finding a strong radio signal can provide you with reliable access to emergency services and other people. Remember to repeat your distress call for several minutes should you not get an answer before trying different frequencies. Local maps and a list of important contact details are also a smart addition to keep you informed.
Flashlight – Whether it’s a natural disaster or an unanticipated power outage, having an emergency light source is critical to helping you and your family navigate through an emergency or disaster situation. Since power could go out for days or even weeks, it’s important to prep portable, long lasting and waterproof light sources which you can rely on. Emergency preparedness flashlights can be bought in all shapes and sizes, suitable for different family members. With multiple brightness level options, purchasing a flashlight with lower brightness levels could ensure a longer run time should you need it. Be aware that alkaline batteries can leak over time, so it’s best to pack lots of spares and store away from the light source itself.
First Aid – Medical supplies are a must have for any emergency or disaster response kit. As well as catering to any personal medical requirements, a good kit should include adhesive bandages, scissors, safety pins, peroxide, sterile gauze pads, antibiotic cream or ointment, anaesthetic spray or oral antihistamine for allergic reactions. Aspirin, paracetamol and other minor medicines are also a good idea. However, one of the most important items could be first aid training itself. When minutes count, it’s important for someone in your party to understand the basics of looking after yourself and others including:
- Illness and injury assessment
- Basic Life Support and CPR
- Treating bleeding and burns
- Management of fractures and broken bones
- Reducing disease transmission