Disaster Preparedness after Joplin, MO

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Late April and May of 2011 have proven to have been exceptionally violent months for tornadoes in the USA. Hundreds of these storms have been sweeping across the mid and southern states, leaving paths of destruction in their wake.
April 24th a total of 79 tornadoes rip through Mississippi and other southern states. On April 27th a tornado sweeps across Alabama, causing great damage and loss of life. On May 22nd there were 48 reported tornadoes, including the one that tore a 6-mile path across south-western Missouri, killing 116 people when it ripped into Joplin. 25% of the city of Joplin has sustained extensive damage.
The devastation of complete neighborhoods and of city infrastructure has been on a massive scale. From Minnesota, Iowa, Kansas and Missouri to Oklahoma there were 68 reported tornadoes over just the two days of May 21st. and 22nd.
With such wide-spread destruction it is a necessity that each and every one of us are prepared to look after ourselves for the first 72 hours of a major disaster such as these.
When we are faced with extensive damage to our homes, our neighborhoods and even our cities, we must be ready with the proper supplies to see ourselves through the first few days.

Experience gained from past disasters has shown that it can take up to 72 hours or more to mobilize a significant relief effort during an emergency. Therefore everyone needs to be preparing to cope on their own for at least the first 72 hours – that’s 3 days – of an emergency.
We all need to have an “Emergency Kit” in our homes and our vehicles, ready to go at a moment’s notice. It is no longer an extravagance, it is a necessity.
Your family’s Emergency Kit should be comprised of two separate parts, a First Aid Kit and a Go Bag.
A comprehensive First Aid kit is the first essential part of your preparedness plans, and should contain sufficient supplies to treat cuts, scrapes, abrasions, stings, bites, sprains, bruises and minor burns.

Your 72-Hour Emergency Kit should be tailored to meet the basic survival needs of your family. Store your emergency supplies in an easily accessible place if evacuation is required. Items may be stored in a 32-gallon trashcan, suitcase, duffel bag, backpack, footlocker or individual packs.
You can build your own emergency kit or purchase a kit from a reliable source such as First Aid Kit Products, or Survival Gear Kits. Both offer a wide range of survival supplies.
Your emergency kit should, at the very least, provide food for each family member and sufficient drinking water for 72 hours, a flashlight, a battery-operated AM/FM radio, an Emergency Survival Sleeping Bag and Waterproof Matches.

Other items may include:
• The prescription medications you take every day such as insulin or heart medication.
• All prescribed medical supplies such as glucose or blood pressure monitors.
• Manual can opener
• Plates, utensils and other cooking supplies
• Pocketknife or Multifunctional Tool
• Water filtration bottle
• Rope or twine
• Heavy work gloves
• Disposable lighters
• Folding Shovel w/Sheath
• Trash Bags
• Toothbrush and toothpaste
• Personal Hygiene kit
• Shave Kit
• Maps
• Sturdy shoes, a change of clothes, gloves and a warm hat
• Rain Ponchos
• List of emergency contact phone numbers
• List of allergies to any drug or food
• Copy of health insurance and identification cards
• Extra prescription eyeglasses, hearing aid or other vital personal items
• Prescription medications
• Extra keys to your house and vehicle
• Disposable camera
• Any special-needs items for children, seniors or people with disabilities.

Don’t put if off for another day. Prepare now for the unexpected. The safety and well being of your family is at stake.

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