Emergency Preparedness

Categories: Blog,Caregivers,Families,Seniors

Natural disasters can’t be stopped.  Whether you live on the hurricane-prone coast of South Carolina, in the tornado alley of Oklahoma or on prime earthquake property in California, you’ll be better equipped to battle Mother Nature with the following emergency preparedness list.

Since I care for my bedridden Mom and have one more child left living at home, three dogs and a husband, I have always found that being prepared is a good thing.  Some call it “over protective” or “Helicopter Mom”, but that’s okay, I’m proud to claim that Title.  Because it doesn’t matter if it’s a medical emergency in your home or a natural disaster, some level of chaos breaks out no matter how small the situation.  Remember, if you have children they are going to react to the way that you’re reacting.  It’s important for the parent(s) to try to remain as calm as possible. You’re children are depending and relying on you more than ever during an emergency.

Once you create your emergency preparedness kit, make sure you store it in waterproof containers, in an easily accessible location.  You should also consider doing a “disaster dry run”.  One weekend night, unplug the phone, turn off the lights, don’t use any faucets or the stove and see how well packed and prepared you are.  You’ll discover little things like you packed C batteries when you needed D batteries for the flashlight or that you could’ve used a deck of cards for entertainment.

Below is an in-depth emergency supply checklist that I found several years ago that I still refer to:


  • Three days worth of nonperishable food and water per person (about one gallon of water per person for each American Red Crossday)
  • Infant formula and baby food (if necessary)
  • Manual can opener
  • Jack-knife
  • Camp stove with fuel or another nonelectric cooking device
  • Pot or pan for cooking
  • Plastic utensils, plates and bowls
  • Iodine tablets for water purification


  • Bandages in assorted sizes
  • Gauze pads
  • Tweezers
  • Pain relievers (like Advil or Tylenol) for both children and adults
  • Cough medicine
  • Anti-diarrhea medicine
  • Prescription medications
  • Bug repellent, especially in floor or hurricane prone areas where virus-carrying mosquitoes thrive
  • Special needs: contact lens solution, hearing aid and extra batteries
  • Antibacterial hand sanitizer
  • Wet wipes
  • Compression stockings to prevent blood clots which can develop when people sit for extended periods of time
  • Basic hygiene products such as toothpaste, soap, sanitary pads


  • Three days of food, water and any medications
  • Leash and collar with ID
  • Wire cage
  • Copy of latest immunizations


  • Portable battery powered or hand crank radio outfitted with the National Weather Service station, plus extra batteries
  • Cell phone and charger for an outlet and for your car
  • Extra cell phone battery
  • Copy of family disaster plan (addresses of two meeting places and a phone number for an out of the area contact)
  • List of other family member contact information (relatives who don’t live in the immediate area
  • Roll of quarters
  • Phone number to your local Red Cross


  • Account and service numbers for credit cards, bank accounts, insurance policies, mortgage or lease, phone and utilities
  • CD or videotaped footage of valuable possessions
  • Copies of passports, licenses and birth certificates
  • Copy of last years tax return
  • Copies of will
  • Copies of your MIMI – My Instant Medical Information (which will have all your medications and medical information you can also create a Profile for your pet)


  • Matches in waterproof containers
  • Whistle
  • Several flashlights, plus extra batteries
  • Cash for one to two weeks
  • Plastic garbage bags
  • Notebook and pen
  • Toilet paper
  • Chlorine bleach
  • Extra clothing
  • Blankets, one per person, (The Space Emergency Blanket is available at www.rei.com.  It weighs only three ounces and retains 80% of a person’s body heat and is under $4.00).

Create an emergency preparedness checklist that fits your family.  You’ll have peace of mind if Mother Nature pays you a visit.  You’ll be glad you did.




Author: MIMI Medical Staff