With all of the extreme weather situations that have faced us in the northeastern states in the past couple of years, preparing your family for a storm or other disaster can make a lot of sense. Unfortunately, many people just don’t have room to store all of their supplies at home, making the self-storage facility a vital ingredient in the disaster preparation process.
There are two ways to look at using a self-storage facility in disaster preparation. One would be to use the local storage unit to actually store all of your disaster suppplies, while the other would be to use it to store other items away from the home so there would be room for disaster supplies on-site. Understandably, some people prefer to have their disaster supplies on hand in case of an emergency, but for those who live in flood zones where disaster supplies might be damaged or otherwise compromised in a storm, choosing to keep them at an off-site self-storage facility might be the best solution.
Why Prepare for a Disaster?
Some people feel that they shouldn’t prepare for a natural disaster, such as a hurricane, flood or earthquake, because they would most likely be evacuated in advance. Even if you plan on leaving or being removed from your home, it is still better to be prepared just in case you are unable to get out and it takes days or weeks for rescue crews to come or power to be restored.
If you return to your home following a disaster, you will still need to have access to disaster supplies, especially if your home is damaged or if utilities are down. The more prepared you are for this type of situation, as well as any other general disaster, the better you will be able to cope with it when the time comes.
How to Create a Plan
There are a lot of amazing resources available on the Internet for disaster preparation. That being said, you should start by making a plan with your family on how you will contact each other, where you will go and what you will all do in the event of a weather emergency or other disaster. Look over your home and find a “safe” area where you will all gather to sit out the storm if you are unable to evacuate and also map out a couple of local emergency shelters in your area in the event that your home is destroyed.
Create an information sheet for each family member that is clearly marked, up-to-date and laminated to ensure it doesn’t get damaged by flood or weather that includes emergency and family information. Include names, addresses and contact information for doctors, hospitals, medical insurance, pharmacies, veterinarians, kennels, homeowners insurance and anything else that could be important for your family to access during or following a disaster.
How to Create a Disaster Kit
Experts say that for proper disaster preparation, you should have enough food and water for each person for three days. How much is enough? Each individual – adults and children alike – should have a gallon of water for each day to use for drinking and personal sanitation purposes. So that’s 1 gallon per person times three days. With regard to food, non-perishable items should provide enough caloric nutrition for each person for three days. Include a manual can opener and dining utensils. Choose canned foods that have a high liquid content, as well as salt-free crackers, whole grain cereals and other nutrition-packed options. Think three meals a day for each person times three days. That’s a lot of water and food, depending on how many people live in your home.
Other items to pack in your disaster preparation kit include:
- flashlight with extra batteries
- wrench or pliers (to turn off gas and other utilities, as needed)
- first aid kit
- battery-operated or crank-powered weather radio
- any essential medications and prescriptions (include a three to seven day supply)
Where to Keep Your Disaster Preparation Kit
As mentioned earlier in this article, the choice of where to store your disaster preparation materials will depend on the amount of space available in your home. Ideally, it is best to store these items where you can have immediate access to them in the case of a disaster scenario. If you do not have room to store these items you can either make room by moving unused furniture and storage boxes to a local storage unit, or store your disaster preparation items in a self-storage facility that provides 24/7 access in your local area.
Contact Affordable Storage in Fall River for information on storage unit rentals, storage opportunities for RVs, boats, cars and recreational equipment, as well as Penske truck rental options to help you get everything moved and secured. Affordable Storage in Fall River can provide you with the extra space you need to build your own disaster preparation station at home.