National Preparedness Month, A Preparedness Medly

By Shannon Randol, contributing writer, American Red Cross

You know what momma always said, “It’s better to be safe than sorry!” It’s National Preparedness Month, so the American Red Cross wants to remind you of a few things you should always keep in your “go bag” or emergency preparedness kit! We’re so prepared, we made a list of a few songs to help you pack.

What Your Kit Should Include:

1. Water

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Don’t go chasing waterfalls for your water supply! TLC did know best; “stick to the rivers and lakes you’re used to.” A.K.A buying a case at Walmart or 7/11 and keeping it in storage.

2. Food

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“It’s peanut butter jelly time!” It’s important to have at least three days worth of non-perishable food that requires little to no water.

3. Medications

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There isn’t an appropriate song to remind folks to bring prescribed medication, sorry. I want to keep my relationship with my public affairs team.

BUT it’s important to keep in mind pharmacies may be closed in the wake of a disaster; keep a week’s worth of prescriptions and a list of allergies and/or doctor’s phone number on hand.

As an added bonus, keep a copy of medical history in your preparedness kit. 

4. Radio

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“I would listen all night long just to hear my favorite song, because you could hear the music on the AM radio”

Have a battery powered radio on hand, or if you’re the vintage type a hand crank radio. I know what you’re thinking, radio-pssh we have Twitter!! Unfortunately your phone will eventually lose its battery, leaving you in the dark, literally. A radio will aide in keeping you informed about what’s going on throughout the community.

5. First Aid Kit 

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What if the emergency came in like a wrecking ball? Would your family be prepared to treat its injuries? Don’t end up like Miley Cyrus’ love life.

6. Personal Documents

Don’t be left high and dry without any identification. Keep medical records, passports, birth certificates and insurance policies together.

Another bonus: Save an old pair of glasses, an extra set of contact lenses, hearing aids or batteries to keep in your preparedness stash. 

7. Contact Info

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If I were to make my “one phone call,” I’d only be able to call my best friend’s 10-year-old-long-dead house phone, in New York. Which wouldn’t do me any good. Make a list of phone numbers and addresses for family and friends (in state or out of state), so you can call them, maybe?

8. Map

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A map will be there for you in your “darkest hour and darkest night.” If it can lead Maroon 5 back to “you” then it can also lead to the nearest evacuation route. Mark your map with highlighted routes on multiple passages to get you to safety. Some roads may be closed in emergency aftermath, become familiar with alternate routes!

Again, your phone’s GPS won’t work after a few hours (especially if you have an iPhone).

9. Money

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“You got money and you know it. Take it out your pocket and show it, then throw it like ..” Well, don’t throw it, unless you’re in a music video makin’ it rain.

Having small bills or change on hand is better than an ATM card during an emergency. ATM’s or banks may be closed and you don’t want to risk the possibility of being stuck without some extra cash. What if you need more water?

10. Sanitary Supplies

Ladies, I know you’ve got this.

11. Extra Clothes

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Conttonelle might think it’s cute to go commando, but nothing is worse than not having an extra change of undergarments. Emergencies aren’t planned according to the weather, and if it’s summer, well …

12. Pet Supplies 

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“Who let the dogs out? Who Who Who Who!” Well, probably Mother Nature. Prepare for your pet so it’s one less added stress you won’t have if facing an emergency.

13. Tools

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Keep portable tools to aid in the possibility of a long term stay without electricity. For example, an adjustable wrench, a can opener,  duct tape (duct tape fixes everything), garbage bags, etc.

Be the sharpest tool in the shed and don’t be lookin’ kinda dumb with your finger and thumb in the shape of an ‘L’ on your forehead.

If this task sounds too daunting or overwhelming, never fear the Red Cross is here! You can purchase prepackaged emergency kits through our online store. No excuse now!

Be prepared and be #RedCrossReady.

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