Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Emergency Preparedness – A Personal Matter

Emergency Preparedness – A Personal Matter 
By Melody Schafer

There are many reasons for emergency preparedness. When one thinks of emergency preparedness, many think of hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, war and so on. Only some think about emergency or disaster preparedness on a smaller scale….a personal matter. It may be a smaller scale as far as the world goes, but it is NO small matter when it comes to you or your family.
The personal matter I refer to is something such as an illness….an illness as simple as a 1 week cold, 3 week flu or an illness that is much more serious and can lasts months or even years...such as a lifetime disability. There is only so much we can do to prepare for the unknown. We can TRY to think of ALL the possibilities, but when the time comes and disaster strikes us personally, we still will not be 100% prepared. So it behooves us to do all we can, with what we have and while we can.
Thankfully, most of our preparedness will help with most any emergency or disaster that might strike us.

If you live alone or have small children, all the more reason to be prepared. Even if you DO have someone to help you, they may not able to help when you need it.
Teaching our children at a very young age to fend for themselves is one of the best things we can do for their survival. Sometimes parents think their child is too young or it takes the child too long to do something, so the parent just does it for them. The child will find it fun to try to learn to make their own snack for example. I don’t mean to put them at the stove to cook a dinner of course. They should learn simple things such as how to call 911, use a can opener, open a bottle of water or turn on the water faucet. It is much better to try to teach them while you are feeling well, so IF you do get sick you don’t need to worry so much. The older they are, the more they will be able to learn. If nothing else, you have raised your child to be an independent and confident young person who feels they could accomplish anything.
Your life and that of your family would be much more comfortable if you have all the comforts stocked up at home to get through your illness BEFORE hand. Having extra toilet paper, shampoo, and other personal items always make me feel a little bit more ready J
Paper towels, paper plates, cups and plastic utensils, for example, are great to have when you are feeling too sick to bother with cleaning dishes. Young children can easily pull these off the shelf and put their snacks on them and everyone is as happy as one can be in this situation.

Having extra cash at home is also a good thing to have on hand. You may not be deadly sick, but sick enough you don’t feel like you can leave the house. You may just want to get carry out or to be able to pay your friend back when they do bring you something from the store (if you are lucky enough to have a friend or family who will do this for you).
When a lifetime disability is involved, it is great to do all you can ahead of time just like any other time….many people have a disability where they have good and bad days. On good days be sure to do what you can…but don’t overdo it. You may have assistance come on certain days to help you. Think about what needs to be done in case someone is not able to come back again because of an emergency such as a snowstorm and you are stuck home alone. How long could you survive with the current food, water and medications you have at home?
There are a million and one levels of how serious a disaster could be, from a simple cold or flu, as I mentioned, to a worldwide war or pandemic. If EVERYONE in the family is prepared, including extended family, the better off everyone will be in the long run. Why not be prepared for the worst and hope for the best?

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