Emergencies often come with little to no warning. That’s why it’s essential to be prepared for just about anything. By the end of this three-part guide, you’ll have the knowledge you need to start preparing for the unexpected.
Since emergency preparedness is such a broad topic, we’re splitting this guide into three parts. This is part two of our “Are You Emergency Ready” series. Each guide will contain practical tips on how to make sure you and your family are prepared for emergencies.
In part one, we discussed the ins and outs of food and water. In part two, we’re outlining the importance of light, climate control, and first aid.
So without further ado, let’s get started on part two.
Are you prepared to go without power for 24 hours? Most of us don’t have a clear plan for when the power goes out. And just waiting for the power to come back on doesn’t count as a plan. We recommend that you prepare and have a blackout box for a power outage. We also recommend you have a flashlight for each room in the house and each of our emergency bags. If you want to illuminate a large area or room, get a Lion Energy power unit with attachable LED lights and you’ll be set. We will also share some thoughts on lighting that will be useful for extended periods of time without power.
The Blackout Box
The most common emergency you will run into is a power outage. Power can go out for a number of reasons, but it’s nice to know exactly where to go when it happens. A Blackout Box is designed to be the first thing you grab and contain some essentials. Here are a few things you might put in your own:
- Candle Holders
- Utility Tool
- Hand Warmers
- Crank Flashlight
- Charge Bank
- Propane Burner or Cooking Fuel
Directional Light vs Omnidirectional Light
Most of the flashlights used on a regular basis are directional. This means that where you point the flashlight there is light. In addition to having directional flashlights, it’s always great to have omnidirectional light like a lantern. You can have one good solid lantern set in the middle of the room to illuminate the entire room. It’s convenient and effective.
Battery Power | Crank Power | Solar Power
Different types of lights rely on different types of power sources. A crank light allows you to rotate a crank and generate power for the light. A solar light charges in the sunlight and allows you to use that charge to generate light. It’s great to have a mix so you are not relying on AA batteries or just a single lantern. Getting a few sources of light is key, and even adding candles to the mix ensure you will have light in your home.
Longer Periods of Power Outage
For longer periods of power outage, you are going to need to think about renewable power and climate control. We will talk about these two things in the following sections.
It’s important for you to understand your own geographical area and the different needs you have during the different seasons. In the winter, does it get below freezing? Are temperatures above 100 degrees in the summer? Depending on where you live and what time of year, you will need different essentials. Let’s talk about some things you can do to prepare for emergencies in the heat, and in the cold.
Dealing with the Heat
I know we talked about water before, but if you live in an environment that gets super hot, you need to make sure you get more water than the minimum limit. Water. Water. Water. A good rule of thumb is that if you are thirsty, you are probably already getting dehydrated.
- Stay in the shade and cool areas: Avoid direct sunlight in the heat of the day if at all possible. Many basements are naturally cooler and are easier to keep cool.
- Prepare a generator and fans: If possible, have a small generator or a battery pack that can keep a fan running. Use it in already cool areas to maximize efficiency.
- Pack and prepare sunscreen: Protect yourself from negative effects of sunlight. Wear loose clothing and bright colors to limit the sun’s effectiveness. Sunglasses are good to have too.
- Recognize the symptoms of dehydration and heat exhaustion: Recognizing these symptoms will help you to treat and prevent them.
Dealing with the Cold
Dealing with a power outage in the winter or bunkering down for a winter storm can often be more frightening than dealing with extreme heat. So what are the tips and essentials that you need to know to make sure you are prepared for an emergency in the cold?
- Frozen Water: keep your water in a place that doesn’t get to freezing temperatures or move it to the area that you are keeping warm.
- Good Clothing: this includes a good jacket, good boots, good gloves, and something to cover your head and face. You should have these items for every member in your family.
- Source of Heat: one of the most common ways is to have a gas or propane heater. You want to make sure you have fuel for these sources of heat.
- Carbon Monoxide Monitors: if you are running a gas or propane heater then you will want to make sure they are approved for indoor use. In addition, it’s nice to have these monitored in case there is a malfunction with a heater.
- Insulation: in the rooms you are keeping warm you will want to make sure to cover all drafts where cold air may be coming in from. You may want to insulate those rooms or even put up emergency blankets that reflect heat around the room.
- Generator: if you want to have electric power then you are going to need a generator or a power bank. Solar power generators are nice because they are quiet and can be charged during the day when it may be a little warmer. The also are safer than fuel-based generators and a lot less noisy.
Pro tip: one of the benefits of winter is that it can be cold enough to store your perishable food outside. You don’t have this benefit in the extreme heat.
First aid kits are a must have for emergencies. Many of us have a first aid kit or two lying around the house. Having a first-aid kit stocked and ready specifically for emergencies is something you will want to consider as you prepare for different scenarios. Below are some of the basic items you should include in your first aid kit.
Basic First Aid Kit
- Antiseptic (to disinfect the wounds)
- Adhesives (of all different sizes)
- Latex Gloves (to avoid contact with blood)
- Sterile Gauze Pads (to cover wounds)
- Roll of Bandages (to keep gauze in place)
- Scissors (to cut gauses, bandages, and dressings)
- Triangle Bandage (arm swing)
- Hemostatic Dressing (helps stop bleeding)
- Survival Blanket
- Eyewash Solution
- Burn Gel
- Pain Relief
- Personal Medications
- Cold Pack
- List items in your kit and their expiration
- List of important numbers.
We recommend having a basic first aid kit for each of your vehicles, a more advanced first aid kit for your home emergencies. As you use your first aid kit be sure to replenish the supplies and keep a list of what is in each kit and when it might expire. Having extra first aid kits for camping and hiking is also a good idea. As the old adage goes, it’s better to have it and not need it then need it and not have it.
Take the Time to Learn First Aid
Preparing for emergencies is as much about what skills and knowledge you have as it its about what items you’ve prepared. When it comes to an emergency do you know how to perform basic first aid? If not then the best time to start learning is today. Here is a short list of basic first aid skills.
- Handling a sprain or fracture
- Cleaning and treating cuts
- Treating burns
- Treating heat stroke
- Treating shock
If possible take the time to go to a first aid or emergency preparedness course. Take the course yourself and with other family members. The more people in your group who know what to do in case of emergencies the better.
We hope you have found part one of this guide helpful. If you did, we would love for you to come check out what we have to offer at https://lionenergy.com/. Stay tuned for part three where we’ll discuss cooking, renewable energy, and additional supplies you’ll need to be emergency ready.