Emergency Preparedness Kit Recommendations Compare Survival Kits

National Weather Service Already Has Chosen Names for 2014 Hurricanes and Tropical Storms

Hurricane-photo-forwebFirst responders in coastal regions will help people prepare for the worst during National Hurricane Preparedness Week May 25 through June 3.

This year’s Atlantic hurricane season runs June 1st through November 30. The Eastern Pacific season is May 15th through November 30. The National Weather Service has already compiled a list of names for hurricanes and tropical storms anticipated for this season.

Based on records dating to 1950, a typical season has 12 tropical storms; about seven of those become raging hurricanes. Tropical storms have sustained winds of 39 mph or higher, becoming hurricanes when those winds reach 74 mph, producing enough power to wreck houses and flood neighborhoods.
USA Today reports that even the best forecasts can be wrong. In 2012, more than twice as many hurricanes formed than were predicted. The results were devastating for many U.S. homes and businesses.

The National Weather Service says prepare early for hurricane season,and prepare well:
“Everyone needs to be prepared for the unexpected. Your friends and family may not be together when disaster strikes. How will you find each other? Will you know if your children or parents are safe? You may have to evacuate or be confined to your home. What will you do if water, gas, electricity or phone services are shut off?”
The best advice includes acquiring an emergency preparedness kit containing items to help you and your family during a hurricane or tropical storm. Consider having more than one kit and storing those in different locations at your home or office. In addition, the National Weather Service advises:

Emergency Plans
• Protect yourself and family with a Family Emergency Plan for your residence
• Consider an Emergency Plan if you are away from home, such as at work
• Business owners should create a Workplace Emergency Plan
• Make sure that schools and daycare centers your children attend have School Emergency Plans
• Pet owners should plan to care for their animals with a special pet survival kit
• If you own a boat, prepare it for a coming storm or move it away from the coastal area

Be alert for evacuation guidelines from local authorities. It’s smart to keep a contact list of local resources including emergency management agencies, law enforcement, local hospitals and the American Red Cross.

The first ten names that the National Weather Service has chosen for 2014 hurricanes and tropical storms are: Arthur, Bertha, Cristobal, Dolly, Edouard, Fay, Gonzalo, Hanna, Isaias and Josephine.

Be prepared for any of them!

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Very Active Hurricane Season Expected

2013 hurricane season is expected to be very active

As we approach the peak of hurricane season, which began on June 1, NOAA has changed its earlier predictions. While they still expect this year to be above normal, it is expected that La Nina will be responsible for slightly reducing the number that was expected in the original forecast.

This year’s Atlantic season is expected to spawn 13 to 19 tropical storms, with 6 to 9 actually developing into hurricanes. This sounds similar to last year when there were 19 tropical storms and 10 hurricanes.

This year’s strongest storm is Hurricane Henriette in the Pacific, a Category 1 at the time of this writing. It is expected to strengthen as it approaches Hawaii. So far the Pacific has seen 8 tropical storms with 4 developing into hurricanes. The Atlantic has seen 4 tropical storms and no hurricanes – yet.

Are you prepared for hurricane season this year? Be sure to pay attention to the forecast and evacuate if directed to do so. Also, make sure you have the right supplies with a home survival kit that fits the size of your family and a hurricane kit to have the right tools to protect your home and family.

photo credit: NASA Goddard Photo and Video via photopin cc

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Wild Weather Means Being Prepared for Anything

This is a funny time of year. From one day to the next, you aren’t sure if you will get rain, sunny skies, snow or tornadoes. Or all of the above.

Keeping up with the weather forecast can be exhausting in the early spring when it seems like a new season every few hours. The best way to go is to prepare for anything and everything.

Instead of preparing for a specific weather event, consider being prepared for severe weather in general. Create a basic survival kit and then add items for more specific weather events. You may find that most of the things you need will be useful no matter what kind of weather disaster you encounter.

For example, having water and food bars for your family is important no matter what happens. Have a supply in your home, in each vehicle and in your boat, as well as packed in with your camping gear.

Emergency lights, shelter and an emergency radio will serve you well in nearly any situation.

Some people shy away from the hurricane kit because they don’t live in an area prone to hurricanes. However, the supplies in that kit are useful in severe winter weather as well as in the case of a tornado. Personally, I feel everyone should own a hurricane kit as well as a survival kit.

When you browse the kits available, don’t just look at the name of the kit. Look at what that kit contains and how it can be put to use in a variety of situations.

photo credit: NASA Goddard Photo and Video via photopin cc

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Water Purification Tablets

Imagine you have just experienced a hurricane. The power is out. Gas lines are broken. The water supply is shut down. You have enough water to last a couple of days, but it will take far longer for the grid to be functional again.

The area is flooded and that flood water is a soup of filth, contaminated with oil, sewage, various chemicals and industrial waste, insect larvae and decaying matter.

A person in good condition can survive about a week without water. A person injured in a natural disaster may not have quite as long. Add in excessive heat, and your odds decrease even more.

What do you do when you are surrounded by water that you cannot drink? You purify it

First, filter out the large debris by pouring water through a cloth. Then purify it with water purification tablets.

Water purification tablets work by releasing diatomic iodine and HIO into contaminated water and disinfecting it. About 30 minutes after dissolving two tablets into a quart of water, it is safe to drink.

Water purification tablets are affordable and portable. They are a must have item for every disaster and emergency kit. Stored in a cool, dry location, tablets are good for as long as four years. Once opened, the bottle should be used within a year.

If you aren’t sure about the safety or effectiveness of water purification tablets, consider this: they were developed by the U.S. Military during WWII and they are still in use today. If the military feels confident enough to use them, you should feel safe about using them, too.

It is a good idea to filter contaminated water first, before using the tablets. They are effective against bacteria, viruses, and many cysts such as giardia lamblia, but not effective against cryptosporidium cysts. Cryptosporidium can be removed through other filtration tools.

photo credit: eagle102.net via photopin cc

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Disaster Preparedness Means Planning Ahead

Checking out the top stories on television, radio and the internet, we see many natural disasters occurring in many parts of the country. Fires are burning in Colorado and South Dakota. A record heat wave is sweeping the eastern seaboard from North Carolina to New Jersey. Throw in a few earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, floods and tsunamis and we have very good reasons to prepare ourselves for the worst.
Kiplinger.com recently published a list if the 10 States most at risk of disaster. In it, they ranked the states that had suffered the biggest property losses from disasters over the past decade (2002-2011). Topping the list were Louisiana ($32.2 billion), Florida ($31.4 billion) and Texas ($24.9 billion). Mississippi was in 4th place with $15 billion in estimated insured property damage. Rounding out the top 10 were Alabama, Tennessee, Missouri, Oklahoma, Ohio and Illinois, all with between $5-8 billion dollars. It should come as no surprise that most of these states are located in Tornado Alley and that most of the damage was caused by tornadoes or hurricanes.

Hurricane season usually runs from the beginning of June to the end of November. At the beginning of this season, NOAA issued the following statement. “Conditions in the atmosphere and the ocean favor a near-normal hurricane season in the Atlantic Basin this season, NOAA announced today from Miami at its Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory, and home to the Hurricane Research Division.” But, don’t let that lull you into a false sense of security. “NOAA’s outlook predicts a less active season compared to recent years,” said NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco, Ph.D. “But regardless of the outlook, it’s vital for anyone living or vacationing in hurricane-prone locations to be prepared. We have a stark reminder this year with the 20th anniversary of Hurricane Andrew.” Hurricane Andrew was a Category 5 hurricane that devastated South Florida on August 24, 1992 and was the first storm in a late-starting season that produced only six named storms.

Preparedness is the key to survival, so do everything you can to prepare for any type of emergency before it happens. Make sure your emergency survival kit is complete and up to date. Augment your emergency supplies with a hurricane kit and and follow the steps in your hurricane preparedness guide and you will have prepared for the worst.

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