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10 Safety Tips You Need to Know About Emergency Preparedness

We were in for a real change of pace when we relocated from our friendly, suburban New Jersey community to the mountains in New York's Hudson Valley. Living on the outskirts of New York City has introduced our family to power outages, flash floods, and the sketchiest WiFi imaginable. We adjusted. Learning to rely on my first aid training, we've experienced the benefits of maintaining a properly prepared first aid kit and progressed to keep an easily accessible hiker-style "To Go" backpack filled with our emergency supplies. Basic items to be included in an emergency preparedness bag are water, food with a manual can opener, first aid kit, clothing, flashlights and radio with batteries, tools and supplies, and any other essential items. A similar, smaller emergency preparedness kit should be safely stored in your car. Remember to check your kit regularly to restock any used or expired items. Our 11 Point Preparedness Plan offers useful advice on helping to prepare kids to best handle emergencies.

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10 Safety Tips You Need to Know About Emergency Preparedness

1. Place important documents in protective plastic sleeves in a sturdy backpack or portable lockbox, include your wallet with cash and ID, phone, and emergency contact list with phone numbers and addresses.

2. Stock up on non-perishable food essentials, medication, pet supplies. Fill up your car's gas tank and an extra gas container if operating a backup generator. Check on family members and neighbors, setting up emergency plans.

3. Charge any devices that provide light including laptops, tablets, cameras, video cameras, and old phones and external battery back upsGather candles, flashlights, lighters, matches, and batteries in an accessible area. 

4. Clean and fill bathtubs and sinks with water. Place a cover of plastic wrap over sinks to prevent dust and debris from collecting. Fill washing machine with water, leaving lid up to hold water. Use bottles and other containers with water to store near sinks for brushing teeth and washing hands. Thoroughly clean and sanitize trash cans to be filled with water for flushing toilets.

5. Fill food storage containers with water stored in freezer to keep food cold and as a source of clean drinking water. Fill and cover drinking cups with water inside of the refrigerator and on countertops to be used opening water bottles.

6. Clear refrigerator space by cooking frozen or refrigerated meat and perishable food items, then refrigerate or freeze in the event of loss of power.

7. Throw away expiring food, clean pet areas, empty trash cans removing anything that will cause foul odors. 

8. Store outdoor decor, removing water hoses, potted plants, furniture and barbecue grills. Remember to securely lock gates, while keeping a clear exit path.

9. Designate an emergency safe place close to the door to store essential items and an emergency preparedness bag ready to leave in case of emergency.

10. Pack a small emergency bag into your car in the event you are required to evacuate. Store bottled water and shelf-stable snacks, too.

Here's a bonus tip - Take a quick video of your home's contents, walking through room by room, briefly opening cabinets, drawers, and closets to show proof of your property in case an insurance claim needs to be filed.

Think safety first at all times and share this info to help family and friends.