How to Prepare Your Family for a Disaster

Natural disasters can happen anywhere, at any time, sometimes without any warning. That's why Mighty Mommy has 7 tips to help your family stay one step ahead of Mother Nature.


Cheryl Butler,
October 14, 2013
Episode #251

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Natural disasters can happen at any time, anywhere, sometimes without any warning at all.  Whether it be the horrific floods that Colorado recently experienced, or the deadly tornados that rip through the Midwest without notice, natural disasters are simply out of our control, and that can be terrifying for anyone, especially children.

Last fall, my home state of Rhode Island experienced a devastating hurricane and then months later a destructive blizzard that left families stranded for days without electricity, heat, water, and even transportation.  Having recently experienced a natural disaster, Mighty Mommy knows that you might not be able to control the weather, but by creating a plan in advance you can control how these disasters affect your family..

Today, nearly every school throughout the U.S. is taking steps to prepare students for emergencies such as fires, accidents, or even the unthinkable - hostile intruders taking over the school (which is exactly what happened in the heartbreaking Sandy Hook Elementary shootings in Connecticut). 

Families can follow suit by coming up with a plan for catastrophes that could affect them. Here are Mighty Mommy's 7 tips to help your family stay one step ahead of Mother Nature.

Tip #1:  Assemble an Emergency Kit

According to the American Red Cross, at a minimum, you should have the basic supplies listed below on hand at all times, in case disaster strikes:

  • Water—one gallon per person, per day (at least a 3-day supply)
  • Food—non-perishable, easy-to-prepare items (at least a 3-day supply)
  • Flashlight
  • Extra batteries
  • First aid kit – check out the Anatomy of a First Aid Kit
  • Prescription medications (7-day supply), ibuprofen, children’s Tylenol, allergy medications such as Benadryl
  • Multi-purpose tool
  • Sanitation and personal hygiene items
  • Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies)
  • Cell phone with chargers
  • Family and emergency contact information
  • Extra cash
  • Emergency blankets
  • Map(s) of the area
  • Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)
  • Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl)
  • Extra set of car keys and house keys
  • Manual can opener

Tip#2:  Build a Personal Support Network

Build a support network prior to an emergency by contacting your friends and relatives and giving them your cell phone numbers so they can communicate with your family before, during, and after the storm or other incident takes place.  It’s good to have a network in your own community as well as one that is away from your town or out of state so you have double the resources available to you and your family during a crisis.


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