Whether it be winds fire, snow, flooding or even earthquakes, living in the Sierra Nevada gives residents a special variety of potential natural disasters to be ready for.
To prepare for disasters, though, the emphasis must be on the “pre” — that is, gathering emergency items in advance, putting them all in one place and letting everyone in the family know where they are.
If an emergency occurs, you’ll be ready to provide for your family for a few days, if needed.
Making up a family emergency kit can be a great family project. Pack items in containers that are easy to grab and carry, such as a duffel bag or one or two camping backpacks.
Begin with these basics:
• A three-day supply of water (about 1 gallon per person per day) and nonperishable food.
• A can opener and utensils for cooking and eating.
• Sanitation and hygiene items, such as toilet paper.
• A flashlight and extra batteries.
• Portable chargers or battery extenders for your cell phones and mobile devices.
• A hand-crank or battery-powered radio.
• Extra clothes and shoes.
• Photocopies of important documents, such as emergency contacts, insurance policies, birth certificates and a list of medicines.
• A first aid kit.
• A multipurpose tool.
• Blankets or sleeping bags.
• Duct tape and plastic sheeting, in case you need to shelter-in-place.
• Any special items, such as medicines, baby formula and pacifiers, or food and water for pets.
Keep the supplies in a cool, easy-access spot and replace the food and water every six months. The Federal Emergency Management Agency advises that you rethink the kit once a year to keep up with your family’s changing needs. Designate a day — the first of the year, or Daylight Savings Time for example, where you regularly update your kit.
For more ideas—including additional items to pack and what else to consider during emergencies and evacuations—visit the American Red Cross at www.redcross.org
And remember, the Carson Valley Medical Center Emergency Department, located at 1107 Highway 395 N in Gardnerville, is open 24 hours, 7 days per week to help you in the event of a medical emergency. Visit www.cvmchospital.org for more information.