11 “P’s” to Prepare for an Emergency
Don’t wait until you are being asked to evacuate or the emergency has arrived. Everyone thinks that it could not happen to them. Well it could, and it is up to you to make sure you are prepared. Don’t wait! Do it now!
Below are FlyLady’s 11 Ps for Preparedness:
- PEOPLE – Have a plan for getting out of the house, and make sure everyone in your house knows it. Have an emergency bag of food and water for your family. Include wholesome snacks and treats: dried fruit, nuts, peanut butter, crackers, and granola bars.
- PETS – Keep pet carriers and leashes readily available to lead pets to safety. Also, take pet food with you.
- PICTURES – Keep negatives or CDs of pictures in a lock box or at a family member’s home. Have picture albums in one place ready to grab and go at a moment’s notice.
- PAPERS – Have all your important papers in a lock box at a bank and only keep copies at the house. This keeps you from panicking. If you have them at home, then put them in a folder that you can easily grab if you have to move fast. Color code it so you can find it!
- PRESCRIPTIONS – Take your medications with you. Don’t forget the ones that have to be refrigerated like insulin. Have small ice chest and cold packs readily accessible to pack and go. If you have babies; remember their formula or medications.
- PURSES and PETROL – This is where you keep your identification, credit cards, and cash. Keep a stash of cash for emergencies and grab it. You may not be able to use an ATM in the event of a power outage. Make sure your car always has at least a half a tank of gas.
- PROPER CLOTHES and COMFORT ITEMS – According to the weather conditions, gather up a change of clothes along with outer clothing: coats, rain gear, boots, gloves, and hats. If you have babies, remember diapers. Remember to grab your children’s favorite blanket, stuffed animal, or toy. A game or a deck of cards could keep them occupied and calm, too.
- PLANNER/CALENDAR/CONTROL JOURNAL – These documents have all the information you will need from phone numbers and insurance numbers to important dates. They are small and filled with things you don’t have to try to remember.
- PERSONAL PROTECTION – Many of us still have that time of the month. Be sure and grab a box of your preferred protection. It may be hard to find if you have been evacuated. Stress can cause our bodies to do strange things, too. Be prepared. Take medication for cramps, too.
- PHONES and RADIOS – Many of us have cell phones now. Always keep them charged up and have a charger in the car or an extra battery. They may not work in the event of power outages, but then they might. Know which local radio station has emergency bulletins. Keep a battery-powered radio tuned to that local station and have plenty of batteries for it.
- PATIENCE – This is one of the most important things to pack. Keep it inside of you so that you have a clear calm head. Having your P’s to Preparedness list guiding you will keep you patient. In the event of an evacuation, there will be lots of displaced people. Being patient will make things less stressful. Your children need to see you calm and collected. This will help keep them calm, too.
Are your important papers, photos, prescriptions, etc. in one place? Do you have an emergency bag for your family members? Like a fire drill, practice an evacuation drill. You never know how much time you will really have.