The West Coast is in the beginning of Wildfire season and the East Coast is experiencing hurricanes which should be a reminder to everyone to be prepared for not only seasonal disasters ,but those disasters that can strike at any time.
When I was an active firefighter I would see both small and large emergencies. I discovered most people were not prepared for the disasters they experienced. For example, I responded to a family with a broken water pipe in the middle of the day. Because they were unprepared, they neither had the knowledge of where the water meter was or how to turn it off and did not have a tool that would shut off the water. So, instead of just turning off the water themselves, they had to wait for the fire department to arrive and shut it off. All this extra time caused a lot more damage than was necessary. At about 15 gallons per minute, 10 minutes means an extra 150 gallons in your house.
So the point to this article is to remind folks to get prepared. Not for just the big disasters but the small ones as well. I know that can seem overwhelming, but it is actually more simple than you think. I am gonna give you some key items to keep at the house and in your car so you can be prepared for most of the things I would see as a firefighter.
- Fire extinguisher- Since all homes have a kitchen and 87% of all fires in the home start in the kitchen, this is a great place to start. Check out my blog on fire extinguishers here.
- Utility shut off tool- Store a tool that will shut off both the gas meter and water meter. You need to have control over your environment. Even if you are renting.
- First Aid kit- Your injuries shouldn't have to wait for a fire engine or ambulance to show up before you can start helping stabilize things. You should be able to manage bleeding, shock, burns, etc. immediately. Check out our real first aid kit. I think it is the best first aid kit on the market at that price.
- Okay, for bigger ticket items and very essential in any disaster planning, you must store water. A Water Barrel package is good for long term storage. If you have a pool, the Water Bottle Filter is a great option for sheltering in place or a grab and go scenario.
- Last pack or purchase a good Grab & Go bag, also called Bug Out bags, 72 hour bags, etc. We have a great 2 person kit on wheels or a larger bag for a family of 4 called our Family Survival Kit.