While monsoon weather has helped lower the wildfire threat in Colorado, CBS Denver reports that personnel normally stationed here are currently helping fight fires raging in other states.
Wildfire season runs through September, and it’s not too late to make a plan to protect you and your family. The supplies you assemble to prepare for a wildfire can come in handy for other types of disasters, too, from extended power outages to flash floods. Less than 15 percent of Americans are prepared for a disaster when one strikes, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Moreover, according to an Allstate survey, 62 percent of Americans have not built a disaster preparedness kit.
Fortunately, making a disaster preparedness kit is simple. Denver residents recently learned about disaster preparedness kits at the Children’s Museum of Denver. The event, hosted by The Allstate Foundation, Points of Light and its local affiliate, Metro Volunteers, offered families the opportunity to build and take home a free disaster preparedness kit, equipped with a hand-crank flashlight/radio, garbage bags and hand sanitizing wipes, among other items. It was part of SaferLivesSM, an Allstate Foundation program made available through Allstate agency owners in communities across the country.
If you didn’t have a chance to stop by, don’t worry, below is a list of essential supplies that your disaster kit should include. Remember, the supplies you put away should help you, any family members and your pets survive for at least three days, according to ready.gov.
Ready.gov says your disaster preparedness kit should include these supplies:
- Water. Stock one gallon of bottled water per person, per day for three days, and remember that children, nursing mothers and sick people may need more water.
- Ready-to-eat, non-perishable food (for family members and pets). Keep canned and other non-perishable food in a cool, dry place, according to Ready.gov, and try to choose less dehydrating options such as salt-free crackers, whole grain cereals and canned foods with high liquid content.
- Manual can opener.
- Battery-powered or hand-crank radio.
- First-aid kit. Whether you buy a first-aid kit pre-made or make your own, be sure it has all of the necessary supplies. The anatomy of a first-aid kit from the Red Cross is a great source.
- Whistle. Blowing a whistle can be an ideal way to signal for help.
- Dust mask, plastic sheeting and duct tape. In the event you must shelter-in-place due to a chemical accident, these items can protect help you from harmful contaminants.
- Moist towelettes and plastic garbage bags with ties (for sanitation).
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities.
- Local maps. Maps can help you locate emergency services and shelters, according to Ready.gov. Download this Red Cross app to locate shelters and this Ready.gov app to gain access to open shelters and FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers. Paper maps may also come in handy.
- Extra batteries. Be sure to check the battery sizes you’ll need in your flashlight and radio, should you need to replace them.
Once built, keep your kit in a safe, easily accessible place and be sure everyone in your family knows its location. You’ll also want to check your kit at least once a year to ensure all your supplies are ready for use, according to Ready.gov.
Depending on your family’s needs, you may want to consider adding some additional items (like prescriptions, diapers or baby formula) to the kit—refer to this Ready.gov checklist for additional ideas. You can also reference the helpful brochures, in English and Spanish, at www.AllstateSaferLives.org to finalize your disaster preparedness plans.
We’re still knee deep in wildfire season, but you can stamp out your stress and be prepared. The first step is building a kit to protect you and your family.
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