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Prepare Your Family for a Natural Disaster 
by Rita Templeton September 09, 2005

  • Water drained from pipes
  • Melted ice
  • Water from a hot water heater (provided it hasn’t been damaged)
  • You can also drink the liquid from canned fruits and vegetables to prevent dehydration.

Unsafe sources of water include:

  • Water beds
  • Toilets (even the flush tank)
  • Pools and spas – although you can use the water for personal hygiene, it’s too full of chemicals to drink
  • Hot water boilers
  • Radiators

You can purchase water purification tablets to make questionable sources of drinking water safe. These tablets can be found in stores with camping supplies, or bought online.

Make sure to keep all containers of food and water completely sealed, and in a cool, dark place where they’ll be undisturbed. To prolong their shelf life, you may want to store everything in a big plastic or metal container. Note the expiration dates on everything and use the food before it goes bad, replacing it as you go. If you have children, check periodically to make sure that the extra changes of clothing and shoes still fit. Keep two big duffel bags or other easy-to-carry containers with the supplies so that everything can be quickly packed into them, or simply store the goods in the containers to begin with.

You might also consider making a similar kit for your car, containing flares, jumper cables, first aid supplies, changes of clothing and shoes, protective ponchos, food and water.

You may not be able to avoid disaster when Mother Nature strikes, but by being well-equipped for an emergency, you’ll be one step ahead. Gather your family, make a specific plan, and practice it. Make sure that everyone knows exactly what to do, where to meet, and where emergency supplies are located. If ever a disaster strikes, you’ll be thankful you and your family put forth the time and effort to prepare.

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