Friday, September 24, 2010

Will you be my preparedness buddy? When two heads are better than one

For a lot of people, coming up with an emergency preparedness plan can be overwhelming. (What do I need? What should I prepare for? Where would I go?) That’s why, when it comes to preparedness, two heads are often better than one.

With disasters ranging from floods to thunderstorms to fires, it can help to have a preparedness buddy. If you find a friend, family member or neighbor to join forces to prepare, it can make it easier to buy supplies, develop an emergency plan and come up with a communication plan. If you are disabled, elderly or have other special needs, having a preparedness buddy is vital.

Here are some ideas on how you and your preparedness buddy can work together:

1) Shop together and share: When shopping for emergency supplies, save money by buying in bulk, then share the supplies with your buddy. Split up the shopping list so no one person has to buy everything. Then assemble your disaster supply kits together. Your kits should include first aid supplies, non-perishable food, water, batteries, flashlights and other emergency items.

2) Lighten the research load: Ask your buddy to make a list of evacuation routes and hotels while you look up emergency shelters and emergency contact numbers. Make a checklist of other necessary emergency information you’ll need and split the research load with your buddy. Print and share your results.

3) Share your contacts: Give your personal contact information and that of your emergency contacts (such as extended family or out-of-town friends) to your buddy — and vice versa — so that you can check up on each other before, during or after a disaster.

4) Find a responsible adult: Parents should designate a trusted preparedness buddy that their kids can contact if they’re unreachable. That way, if your children need help during a disaster and you’re stuck trying to get home or your cell phone signal won’t get through, your buddy can serve as a back-up.

Knowing you have someone else on your side can make preparing easier! (Have any other ideas on how a preparedness buddy can help? Share them in our comments.)

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