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Symptoms to Take Notice of in Children

The NHS has been facing ever-increasing pressures in recent years, with slashed budgets, staff shortages and lack of resources taking its toll on the quality of care. One of the many ways we commonly see the impact of these pressures is in waiting times for GP…

Mother of the Bride Guide

The day you’ve dreamed of for years has finally arrived! Your little girl is all grown up and has chosen a partner to start her life with, and you are officially a MoB -- Mother of the Bride! While congratulatory remarks are appropriate at this juncture, so are a few…

How to Through A Larger Than Life Small Wedding on a Budget

This one is as simple as crowdfunding your honeymoon. It might sound strange at first, but do you really need another blender or set of dinner plates? Instead of having your guests purchase a bunch of things you’ll end up trying to return anyway, why not let them chip in for…

Simple Steps for Preparing For an Emergency

Emergency Preparedness

Two years ago a rogue tornado tore through my neighborhood. Eight of my neighbors' homes were completely destroyed by the violent wind and rain.  The tornado came so suddenly, Dr. D. and I barely had time to get down to our basement. We huddled in a crawlspace under our stairwell as we listened to what sounded like a freight train blowing down our street. Our power, phone and cable lines were knocked out for 36 hours.  We were stunned by the devastation the tornado brought - particularly because we live in an area where tornadoes are very rare - but thankful that all of our neighbors were ok and no one was  injured. At that time, I didn't have an emergency preparedness kit pulled together. I had to rummage through the house looking for candles, flashlights and batteries. Recent news about environmental crises in the US and around the world have reminded me that Dr. D. and I can be much better prepared than we are.

On my drive home earlier this week I heard an interview on CNN with an official from FEMA.  He talked about how families could be better prepared for emergencies  just by assembling a handful of items that most of us already own in one central location.  At a minimum, he said, we should put the the following  items into a basic kit:

  • First aid kit
  • One gallon of water per person for at least three days
  • Three-day supply of non-perishable food (such as peanut butter, canned fruit and tuna)
  • Battery-powered or hand-cranked radio
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Whistle signal for help
  • Dust mask to help filter contaminated air; plastic sheeting
  • Duct tape
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Manual can opener for food
  • Maps
  • Cell phone charger

The FEMA expert also advised having a family plan so that your family members know what to do and where to go should disaster strike. I have to admit that it's scary to think about a disaster. And the reality is that sometimes there will be no way to prepare. But knowledge is power. The real value the FEMA expert's words had for me was learning  that most of what I need for a basic preparedness kit, I already have in my own home. I went home that evening and started putting my items together. It gives me some peace of mind. For a full list of items to assemble your own emergency kit, log onto FEMA's helpful website, www.ready.gov .


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