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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Sheltering in Place - The Home Disaster Kit - Part Two - Basic Contents

Shelter in Place - Home Disaster Kit

When the handling of hazardous materials or toxic chemicals is properly done, there is usually little cause for alarm and normally they do not pose a significant threat to your safety. Unfortunately, accidents can and do happen and in the case of a toxic substance or hazardous chemical release they can come suddenly and with very little warning. The release of hazardous or toxic substances may also be intentional due to an act of civil unrest or terrorism. You may have only minutes to respond to the threat in order to protect yourself and your family.
Sheltering in place in the majority of cases is normally a short-term safety procedure. It is designed to provide protection for you and your family if there is a release of toxic or hazardous materials that may affect the air or water quality in your area. If hazardous materials are accidentally or purposefully released into the air or in such a manner that they may affect ground water supplies, you may need to shelter in place for anywhere from several hours to several days. Having a Home Disaster Kit handy will put you in control of the situation should such a crisis occur.
Sheltering in Place - Home Disaster Kit - Basic Contents
1.) Box, bucket or other storage container to hold the basic contents.
2.) Water for drinking.
3.) Food Items - Crackers, hard candy, nuts, canned meats that don’t require refrigeration.
3.) Plastic sheeting to seal A/C and heating vents and to cover & seal door openings.
4.) Duct tape to seal plastic sheeting used to cover vents, windows & door openings.
5.) Knife or scissors to cut and trim plastic sheeting to fit any openings.
6.) First Aid Kit (which includes any needed prescription medications).
7.) Flashlight (include extra batteries) or lantern for light.
8.) Emergency radio and an emergency whistle.
9.) Large trash bags (this will allow the bucket to be used as an emergency toilet)
10.) Hand sanitizer, sanitary wipes and toilet paper
11.) Several large towels to help seal the bottom edges of doorways.
12.) Cell phone or access to a hard-wired landline for emergency communications.
The majority of these items you will probably have available. Simply assemble them in a container and place it where it can be easily accessed in case you need to shelter in place.
Most releases of toxic or hazardous materials won’t require a long time to be properly brought under control during normal circumstances. This will minimize the length of time you will need to shelter in place to just a few hours in the majority of cases. There will generally be no loss of utility services in most cases and unless there has been a serious contamination of ground water supplies, a disruption in natural gas transmission pipelines or a power substation failure, you will usually have normal access to utilities. Don’t rely on this always being the case though because there is always the risk of infrastructure failure that could disrupt utility services.
You can read Part One here:
Sheltering in Place - Home Disaster Kit - Part One
Got HDK when sheltering in place?
Staying above the water line!

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