Preparedness for the Unprepared

by | Feb 5, 2010

In preparation for the serious weather settling in on us, here’s some useful information from my files.  The first is a yes/no survey to assess your general level of preparedness; the second assesses your ability to handle a minimal power outage/winter storm scenario; the third is a very basic home preparedness checklist.  For your information!


(These yes or no questions will clarify your state of readiness for emergencies)

1.              Has your family rehearsed fire escape routes from your home?

2.              Does your family know what to to do before, during, and after an emergency situation?

3.              Do you have a functioning flashlight in every occupied bedroom?

4.              Do you keep shoes near your bed to protect your feet in a night emergency?

5.              Do you know how to shut off the water line to your house?  Do you need a tool to do so?

6.              Do you know how to shut off the gas to your house?  Do you need a tool to do so?

7.              Do you have smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms in the proper places in your home?

8.              Do you have and know how to use a fire extinguisher?

9.              Do you have duplicate keys and copies of important insurance and other papers stored outside your home?

10.           If your family had to evacuate your home, do you have an identified meeting place?


(These yes or no questions will clarify your readiness to take care of yourself for the minimum 72 hours recommended by the American Red Cross)

1.              Do you have sufficient food on hand to feed everyone in your household without resupply for 72 hours?

2.              Do you have the means to cook food without house gas and electricity?

3.              Do you have sufficient water for drinking, cooking, and sanitary needs?

4.              Do you have an 72 hour evacuation kit in case you were ordered from your home?

5.              Would you be able to carry these kits if you had to evacuate on foot or government mandated transportation (buses, trucks, etc.)?

6.              Do you have an established out of state contact?

7.              Do you have a first aid kit in your home and in each car?

8.              Do you have work gloves and tools for minor rescue and clean up?

9.              Without electricity and gas do you have a way to heat at least part of your house?

10.           Do  you have a plan for toilet facilities if there is an extended water shortage?

A Minimal Emergency Preparedness Checklist:


1.              Water: one gallon per person, per day

2.              Food: select foods that require no refrigeration, no preparation or cooking, and little or no water.

3.              Flashlight and batteries

4.              First aid kit

5.              Medications:  especially any prescription or non-prescription medications you or your family require regularly.

6.              Battery operated radio and batteries

7.              Tools:  wrench, manual can opener, screwdriver, hammer, pliers, knife, duct tape, plastic sheeting, garbage bags and ties.

8.              Clothing: seasonal appropriate change of clothes for everyone and sturdy shoes.

9.              Personal items:  eyeglasses, copies of important documents, insurance polices, toys and books for children.

10.           Sanitary supplies: toilet paper, moist wipes, feminine supplies, personal  hygiene items, bleach, hand sanitizer.

11.           Money:  have cash.  In an emergency, many banks/ATMS may not be open.

12.           Contact information:  print out current list of family phone numbers, lawyers, doctors, insurance agents.  Include the number of someone out of state you can call to take messages for scattered family members.

13.           Pet supplies as appropriate.

14.           Maps of the local area and surrounding areas.