The other day I was listening to sports radio while I worked at my desk. The radio personality started to talk about a blizzard that was coming in the afternoon and it caught me off guard because the local sports talking heads rarely mention the weather but were doing so throughout the day because the coming storm was projected to be the worst blizzard in decades and were trying to get the word out to everyone.
While we have some pretty decent storms that will come through and dump 12" of snow on the valley floors this storm was to arrive right before the commute home. It got me thinking about my vehicle's preparation level. Quickly I realized it wasn't very good which is pretty sad considering I work in the emergency preparedness industry. All I had was a couple road flares, set of jumper cables, and a small first aid kit. What would have happened if I was snowed in on the freeway and the roads were closed due to lack of visibility? I started to think about the different items I might need to get through the night as comfortable as possible. Food, water, blanket, and a tow rope quickly came to mind not to mention many other items that could prove useful in this circumstance.
Luckily for me the storm didn't come down as far south as originally thought and the wind gusts had little to no snow to churn up. Needless to say the near miss got me thinking and measures have been taken to assure that I am ready the next time I am out on the roads during a big storm.
Of course not everyone drives to work, people that use mass transit don't have a trunk to store emergency supplies. We talk to companies everyday that are preparing for their employees in case a disaster strikes during work hours when staff is present but from my own personal experience I have to think these businesses are the exception, there are many more that are not prepared than there are that are ready to react to a disaster.
So what can you do? For one, ask your manager or the owner of the company what they are doing to prepare for the different emergencies that occur in your particular area (earthquakes, hurricanes, tornados, floods, blizzards, ect). If the company isn't preparing or currently prepared it doesn't mean you can't be, see if you can store a 72 hour kit loaded with food, water, and emergency supplies near your desk or somewhere else on site. These items are chosen for their utility but also for the compact size and light weight nature making it easy to move around.
TIPS for Emergency Preparedness on the Go
- Think about your specific area and the types of natural disasters. Also think about other possible scenarios like fire, flood, or possibly even terrorism.
- Look at emergency items and 72 hour kits to get an idea for what is out there with an eye towards your specific regional needs.
- Plan for the unexpected, after you plan for the typical things think hard about the not so common problems that can happen.
- Think about your storage options. Can you store products at work? Is your vehicle loaded with the necessary provisions?
- Think about having items that can help others or maybe just having more than you need. You may be out on a lunch break with your spouse when the disaster strikes, does your vehicle preparations have enough for two?
- Don't forget food and water on the go. Having high calorie food bars, like those made by Datrex and Mainstay, and water made by Aquabox and Datrex will keep you fueled as you deal with the challenges of an emergency. These products' shelf lifes are not affected by high temperatures like other foods, you will get the 5 year plus shelf life from them even if they are stored in a truck in 100 degree heat.
- Gene K., Product Development at The Ready Store