Thoughts on Personal Disaster Preparation

If a disaster struck today would you be ready?  Do you have a plan for your personal safety - for your family's safety?   How would you be able to keep in touch with each other if the local phone service is disrupted?   How would you know that everyone is accounted for and safe?    Are you prepared to help your family, who may be scattered around the valley and country?   Do you know what to do if you are unable to leave and have to 'hibernate' in your home for a few days?   How will you be able to help others, if your own family is not safe and secure - or their location unknown?

The time to plan for such things is not AFTER they happen, but today!   That way, you'll be prepared for what ever comes, and you will be able to gather your family together or at least be able to have a common place to meet or call.

1. Pray!  Remember to pack your bible, and keep foremost in your mind that nothing has escaped God's sovereignty.

2. Create a unique plan for your family now
Planning ahead will help you have the best possible response to disaster. Decide soon what you and your family will do when your daily routines are disrupted by an emergency. Plan together what each person is expected to do, where everyone will go, and how to get there.  Write down your plan, share it with each other and then practice it at least twice a year.  

At a family meeting, discuss what kind of disasters can happen where you live.  Establish responsibilities for each member of your household and plan to work together as a team.  Designate alternates in case someone is absent.  If a family member is in the military, also plan for how you would respond if they are deployed.  Include the local military base resources that may be available.

3. Choose three places to meet after a disaster:

* Right outside your home, in case of a sudden emergency, such as a fire.
* Outside your neighborhood, in case you cannot return home or are asked to evacuate your neighborhood.
* Out of town, in event the disaster leaves the Phoenix area uninhabitable.

4. Choose an out-of-area contact person for all members of the family to call in case of disaster. The selected contact person should live far enough away that they would be unaffected by the same event, and they should know they are the chosen contact. Remember that during a disaster, it may be easier to make a long distance phone call than to call across town.   Predetermined meeting places and contacts will save time and minimize confusion should your home be affected or if the area is evacuated. You will find the Red Cross Disaster Contact card at

Each adult in your household should learn how and when to turn off utilities such as electricity, water and gas. Ask your local fire department to show you how to use a fire extinguisher. 

Tell everyone in the household where emergency information and supplies are kept. Make copies of the information for everyone to carry with them. Keep the information updated.

Practice evacuating your home twice a year. Drive your planned evacuation route and plot alternate routes on a map in case main roads are impassable or gridlocked.

5. Include your pets. If you must evacuate, take your animals with you. If it is not safe for you to remain, it is not safe for them.

6. Purchase or build your own Disaster Emergency Kit for the needs of your family. 
(See page 2 for details on items available from the Red Cross.

7. Three Day Hibernation Plan
  In the event of a major disaster or terrorist attack that fouls the air, and leaving the area becomes impossible, you can create a three day hibernation plan.   One such plan created by an engineer here at SBC seemed to have many of the elements that are important and not covered in other planning I've seen, and that document is attached - to stimulate your thinking. 

8. Purchase Potassium Iodide Tablets
(available from  Nothing can protect us from all the damaging  effects of fallout, however, a salt of the elements potassium and iodine, taken orally even in very small quantities 1/2 hour to 1 day before radioactive iodines are swallowed or inhaled, prevents about 99% of the damage to the thyroid gland that otherwise would result.

8a.  Hand Crank Flashlight surpasses the battery version - and for your home hibernation, consider a Coleman type lamp and stove, along wth MRE (Meals Ready to Eat), available online or in some stores.

9. Work with others to help those without a plan after your family is safe.

10. Support your community.
Support your community plans by volunteering in the community and by giving blood.   Be trained in First Aid and CPR either through the Red Cross home training kit, or in classes often available through them, your fire department, local hospital or Community College. 


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Red Cross Supplies - available from them.  Kits also available from the Weather Channel, and some retailers like Army/Navy Surplus stores.   Radios also available at Radio Shack, Amazon or E-Bay.   OR - you can build your own survival kit.




Deluxe Emergency Preparedness Kit (Adult, 3-Day)   Part #32132




Whether you are at work or home, be prepared when an emergency strikes with the Deluxe Emergency Preparedness kit designed to include the following items:
# Backpack                                                                          

# Battery Powered Flashlight (batteries included)

# Battery Powered Radio (batteries included)           # Emergency Blanket

# Food Bars (4,800 calories total)                            # Work Gloves (one pair)

# Light Sticks (3 each; one lasts 12 hours)                 # Moist Towelettes (6)

# Breathing Mask (NIOSH-N95)                             # Plastic Sheeting (10'x10')

# Rain Poncho                                                          # Personal First Aid Kit

# Roll of Duct Tape                                                  # Water (2 quarts)

# Water Container (2.5 gallon)                                  # Whistle

# First Aid and Emergency Preparedness Guide       

# Personal Hygiene Comfort Kit (includes shampoo/body wash, wash cloth,  toothbrush and toothpaste, comb, and deodorant)



Safety Tube   Part #321329EA


The American Red Cross Safety Tube is a handy emergency kit that fits easily into a purse, backpack, briefcase, or glove compartment. The Safety Tube is packed with a pealess whistle, 6-hour lightstick, procedural mask, and 4.2 oz. water packet. Plus, look inside the label and find emergency preparedness tips and a spot to record your emergency contact information.

The NEW Safety Tube has been enhanced to include the following features:

  • Larger tube case with an easier-to-open cap;
  • Clear fixed bottom allowing the user to view the content from outside the case;
  • Upgraded Mask which is larger and easier to apply;
  • Wrapped Light Stick which helps retain a longer lifespan. The Safety Tube has a 3-year lifespan.


FR400 AM/FM Radio w/ NOAA, TV VHF, Flashlight, & Cell-Phone Charger

Part #FR400

Improved technology, functionality and versatility, the FR400 is ideal for emergencies. The FR400 provides you with a water resistant radio, LED lights, and cell phone charger when you need it most. Using the Hand-Crank Power Generator, charge the internal rechargeable Ni-MH battery pack in times of need. With NOAA weather channels and TV-VHF channels, you have easy access to weather forecasts and can listen to TV shows while away from the set.


  • AM/FM/NOAA/TV1/TV2 - VHF channels 2-13
  • Water resistant body
  • NOAA weather – all 7 channels plus “Alert” function
  • Hand Crank Power Generator
  • 3 LED light system with emergency flash
  • Can be powered from four different sources:

1.         From the built-in rechargeable Ni-MH battery that takes charge from the dynamo crank and from an
AC adapter (AC adapter included)

2.         From 3 AA batteries

3.         From the AC adapter alone (AC adapter included)

4.         From the dynamo crank alone, even with no battery pack installed

  • Emergency siren
  • Built-in cell-phone charger
  • Crank-charge system charges built-in rechargeable battery
  • Charges rechargeable battery via AC adapter (included)
  • Can be powered by 3 AA batteries
  • Can be powered with all batteries removed, by continuous cranking
  • Power Source: Built-In Rechargeable Ni-MH Battery Pack; 3 AA Batteries (not included); Crank power alone;
    AC Adapter (included); AC Adapter recharges built-in Ni-MH battery pack

These items are all available at


 Emergency supplies

1. One or more cellular telephone(s), AC adapter, and rapid charger system.

2. One or more battery-operated AM!FM Shortwave radio(s), (battery-operated TV is optional).

3. Two or more flashlights, incl. one fluorescent, for area lighting.

4. Extra batteries and bulbs

5. Emergency telephone numbers (hard copy) (poison control, out-of-state relatives. etc.).

6. One or more loud plastic whistles.

7. All needed prescription medications and all over-the-counter meds and supplements.

8. Fully stocked first aid kit with X-Acto blade, and supply of latex gloves.

9. Extra eyeglasses and lots of artificial tear eye drops.

10. Adequate supplies of water including;

            One-half gallon per person per day drinking water (sealed bottles), plus

            One-half gallon per person per day bathing water (sealed or tap), and

            Two one-gallon plastic jugs (with caps) per person.

11. Non-aerosol antiperspirant/deodorant and large bottle of antiseptic mouthwash

12. One or more large insulated food coolers and a variety of sealing plastic bags.

13. Mechanical can opener for all food containers.

14. Flatware utensils, including a pair of scissors (for plastic sheeting) & several sharp knives.

15. Food that can be eaten cold to last five days. Note that high liquid content foods (canned fruits, tuna fish in water, juices, chunky soups, etc.) are preferable (to save water).  Dryer foods can include dried fruits, granola bars and candy.

16. Supply of towels and extra bedding to conserve body heat.

17. One or more empty 3- or 5-gallon bucket(s) with lids.

18. Duct tape, several sheets of clear 9x12 plastic to seal doors and windows, but to allow light in.

19. Deck of cards, books, several board games or puzzles for entertainment.


Your emergency suite should be pre-designated to include one bathroom, one land-line telephone, one television and a minimum of windows that open. If possible, most, if not all your emergency supplies should be stored in this suite. At initial warning, the first person available should do the following sequentially;

            First, make telephone contact with other local family members.

            Then turn off the air conditioning system(s) and all appliances.

            Then fill the bathtub and fill and cap all the empty water jugs with tap water.

            Then move a tall ladder (for taping higher openings) into the emergency suite.

            Then close and lock all doors (interior also) and all windows in the entire house.

            Then duct tape the inside edges (all around) of the emergency suite opening windows.

            Then assemble all the emergency supplies (see list above) in the emergency suite.

            Then add a clear plastic sheet over each window (that opens), keep it flat, cover the entire window opening on the inside, fasten with tape on the interior flat walls.

            Then close and cover (with plastic and tape) the air conditioning vents, bathroom exhaust fan grill and any attic access holes in the emergency suite.

            As soon as everyone is in the suite, seal entry door(s), all the way around, with the duct tape. 

Remember that persons can live a week without food, but only a few days without water,

As the primary goal is to conserve breathable air, children may be kept sedated with Benadryl.

Read about the top 100 items that disappear from store shelves after a disaster. (double click here)

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