Are you ready if disaster strikes?

I’m not.

Here lately I’ve been thinking more and more about what I would do in an emergency situation and the reality is, I am not prepared on any level. I once had to go over 24 hours with no electricity in Honduras. We went without electricity, phone, and internet. It was awful, but we were lucky because it was only a day or two, but imagine going weeks.

I used to be stationed in Panama City Beach, so the hurricane they had recently effected a lot of people I know. These weren’t just strangers on tv this time. I see first hand how hard life is day to day because of the hurricane. Growing up I lived in Lubbock, Texas aka tornado alley. I still remember the nice lady across the street. A tornado blew the back side of her house off!

These days we live in Oregon and they often talk on the news about earthquakes. They say it’s just a matter of time. I’m certain that I am not prepared for an earthquake! Plus, I live at the base of Mt. Hood which is a volcano.  With all these things on my mind, I jumped at the chance to work with The Allstate Foundation. Right now, over 60 Allstate agency owners are giving out disaster kits in the area we live in!

Free Disaster Kits in Portland, Oregon!

Right now from April 15 – 19, 2019 Allstate agency owners across Oregon, including the Portland, Oregon area are handing out free disaster kits. These kits are completely free and there’s no sales pitch. The kits include:

  • Face Mask
  • First Aid Kit
  • Flashlight that doesn’t need batteries
  • Water bottle
  • Compass
  • Poncho

Make Your Own Disaster Kit

Water

Water or energy drinks are a must, as they provide the hydration necessary to keep your body temperature stable. The American Red Cross recommends storing at least one gallon of water per person, per day. The organization suggests having at least a three-day supply for an evacuation and a two-week supply for your home. 

You may want to invest in a Life Straw. The Life Straw allows you to drink water anywhere with is microfiltration membrane. It removes 99.99% of waterborne bacteria, including E. coli, salmonella, and 99.999% of waterborne parasites.

Food

Non-perishable high calorie food and fluids: Food such as chocolate or other sugary items can be the ideal supply of energy for your body, which burns sugar and fat in an effort to keep warm. Think about how much food you would need for each person if you were stuck for three days. Here are some suggestions of foods

1. Turkey or beef jerky – these are great and they stay fresh for a long time.
2. Tuna in pouches – not only high in protein, but convenient and come in tasty flavor pouches.
3. Granola mix
4. Peanut butter – super convenient since they now come in small individual containers.
5. Nuts, Dates, or Figs – always fresh and easy to pack and high in protein to keep you fuller longer.
6. Whole wheat cracker packs – get a variety pack and throw a few in your purse.
7. Nonperishable hummus – love these convenient packs and most come with crackers.
8. Dark bar of chocolate – the antioxidants in the higher percentage of cacao is good for you.

9. Protein bars – try to stick to the lower sugar variety.

10. Cans of soup

11. Powdered milk

Flashlight

A flashlight can be purchased cheaply at a wide array of stores, just make sure the batteries in it are fully charged and take some spares. Or better yet, get a flashlight that is charged by a hand crank.

First Aid Kit

Have a first aid kit containing clean dressing, bandages, splints, and antiseptic, you can provide emergency first aid until medical assistance arrives. Make sure to carry a large variety of items too. It is better to have a wide variety of items for different situations than it is to have one large box of Band-Aids. Order a first aid kit. 

Medicine

Some medicines you just cannot go without. My oldest has medicine that he can never miss. We carry a lot of this medicine with us when we travel. In an emergency situation I would want to have even more of this medicine at least a weeks worth.

Independant Radio

Have a windup or battery powered radio and keep it tuned in to the weather report. This will help you stay up-to-date with the changing climatic conditions and allow you to adjust your plans accordingly.

Tool Kit

You would be surprised how useful it is to have a basic tool kit. Having screwdrivers, hand-pliers, a utility knife, a pocket tool, etc. can help you with any emergency. In a disaster basic maintenance tasks can become difficult and the leverage of tools becomes important. Order a small tool kit.

Portable Power Station

Not having power is brutal, so a power station is great to have on hand. If it’s portable even better!   Pick one that can charge smartphones, laptops, and small power appliances. Buy a Jackery Portable Power Station.

Solar Lantern

Luci inflatable smart solar light by Mpowerd. You inflate the light part and then it runs off of solar energy. The light will display in multiple colors. It’s light weight and collapsible, meaning it takes up very little space in your suitcase. It also has a USB port that you can charge your phones off of. Buy a  solar light.

Documents

Birth certificates, social security cards, passports, marriage licenses or any document that is important and cannot be lost.

Small Waterproof/ Fireproof Safe

You need something to keep your documents in that will protect them from the elements.

Whistle

A whistle can be used to signal for help.

What do you put in your disaster kit? We would love for you to add your suggestions below!

For more information on how you and your community can get prepared for a disaster, contact your local American Red Cross chapter.