Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Single Father’s Guide to Natural Disasters (Time-Permitting) Checklist - Part I

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So, I’m here at The Single Father’s Guide headquarters in charming Warwick, New York, even as “Frankenstorm” begins its monstrous approach. New Jersey Governor Christie has called for evacuations for essentially all of the Jersey Shore, while New York Governor Cuomo began to shut down MTA on Sunday. Yesterday afternoon, I received an automated phone call from Warwick Valley Central School District Superintendent Ray Bryant who notified me school will be closed through Tuesday, at a minimum.

 Unfortunately, natural disasters are a fact of life. Whether it’s flooding in the Midwest, hurricanes in the East and Gulf Coast States, or earthquakes in the West, preparedness is not just a luxury, it’s a down right necessity.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency recommends a steps including, “be informed, make a plan, and build a kit[i]” prior to a predicted or sudden disaster. In other words, be ready. “A basic emergency supply kit could include the following recommended items:
  • Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
  • Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Manual can opener for food
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger[ii]
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In the case of some disasters, like this storm in which the East Coast is in the crossfire of an approaching hurricane and an eastbound winter storm, some floods, and other natural disasters, people in the path are the fortunate beneficiaries of notice. Those of us in the eastern time zone were pretty sure on Friday that a storm would arrive on Monday or Tuesday. As such, we had a little time to brace ourselves even a little more.
Check in to The Single Father’s Guide tomorrow for Part II of “The Single Father’s Guide to Natural Disasters (Time-Permitting) Checklist.”


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