Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Preparing for a Natural Disaster

With flood and tornado season around the corner, it's time to begin preparing for the worst. 

Flood Season: Spring/Summer (during spring thaw, snow melts, and excessive rainfall) 
Tornado Season: March - July (the further south you live, the earlier it starts)
Atlantic Hurricane Season: June - November (peaks in September) 
Pacific Hurricane Season: May - November 

A proper Emergency Kit should be a staple in every household as a flood, tornado, or hurricane can strike with nearly no warning.


Food: According to the Red Cross, your kit should have enough food and water supplies to last your entire family 72 hours. Keep the food in a separate, easy to carry bag in the event you need to move locations. Refresh your water supply every 6 months and food every year. 
  • Drinking water ... 4 litres per person, per day (consider pets)
  • Food ... non-perishable food that does not require cooking, water, refrigeration, or heat (consider pets) 
  • Hand can opener
  • Basic utensils and dishes 
Non-Food Items:
  • First aid kit (include personal medications) 
  • List of medical conditions, allergies, and medications of each family member
  • Flameless Candles *
  • Crank-operated flashlight
  • Crank-operated radio
  • Extra batteries (stored in a sealed bag)
  • Blankets or sleeping bags 
  • Personal hygiene supplies, including garbage bags with twist-ties, feminine products, and toilet paper
  • Spare house & car keys 
  • Extra cash in small denominations 
  • Spare pair of glasses for each applicable family member (avoid contacts)
  • Emergency contact information, including your family doctor 
  • Rain gear and a change of clothes for each family member, including walking shoes 
  • Photocopies of personal documents for each family member (birth certificate, marriage certificate, passport, will, licenses, etc.)
  • Mobile phone ... after the disaster strikes and your family is together, turn off your phone to conserve the battery in the event you need it later 
Additional Items:
  • Pocket knife
  • Duct tape 
  • Whistle
  • Plastic sheets or tarps
  • Local map 
Don't just scatter these items around your house: have them in a central location and somewhere easily accessible to all members of your family. It could be months or years before a natural disaster strikes, so you should continually remind your family of the safety kit: where it is, and what's in it. Also, make sure you're updating it with new supplies and ensuring nothing in it has expired, including medications. 


© Copyright Colin Kinnear and licensed
 for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
Although no reputable organization recommends including traditional candles in emergency kits, thousands of families do.

In 2005 - 2010, candles used as a source of light caused...
  • 117 fatal home fires
  • 177 deaths 
In many of the above situations, candles were lit because of a power outage. Some of the fires killed more than one family member, even entire families. In 2005, a house fire was started by a lit candle that killed 11 members of a Louisiana family when they were without power; the youngest was only 6 months old. 

How do fires start?
  • During a power outage, it's hard to see possible fire hazards near the candle you are lighting.
  • People will leave lit candles unattended in rooms, especially bathrooms, which is how 20% of all candle house fires start. 
  • The added chaos of a power outage creates more situations where a candle could be knocked over or forgotten.
Flameless Candle Alternative 

Besides being a source of light, during a time of chaos and uncertainty there is a familiar comfort in sitting by candlelight. Rather than further endangering your family, put a Candle Impressions® Flameless Candle in your Emergency Kit to keep everyone calm and safe. 

Why add Candle Impressions® Flameless Candles to your Emergency Kit? 
  • They are flameless, making them family and pet safe
  • They have battery run-times of up to 3,000 on 2 'C' batteries
  • The light and flicker is identical to traditional candles 
  • Outdoor Flameless Candles are available if water is a concern
Hopefully your family never experiences a natural disaster. But as the old saying goes, "better safe than sorry." Having an Emergency Kit equipped with Flameless Candles will keep your family comfortable and minimize the inconvenience of being without power, even during brief outages. 

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