There are many possible scenarios where you may need to leave your home because of a natural or manmade disaster. Ideally, sheltering in place is much more preferable to bugging out. However, this isn’t always possible. If you are required to leave your home because...
If you aren’t prepared get prepared, we can help!
September is national preparedness month. We will be kicking off this month with a list of natural disasters, how likely they could be for you depending upon your geographical location, and some basic items needed in a go/bug out bag. This will provide the foundation for a series on preparedness which will include preparing for your unique situation.
We will start the series with reviewing the most likely natural disasters according to geographical areas of the country, and what to have in your basic to-go or bug out bag.
Where you live will partly determine what your bug out bag would include
- Hurricanes most commonly found in the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, and Gulf of Mexico.
On average, 10.1 named storms occur each season, with an average of 5.9 becoming hurricanes and 2.5 becoming major hurricanes (Category 3 or greater). The most recent storm, Hurricane Idalia (the size of Colorado) slammed into Florida’s coast as a Cat 3 hurricane. It made its way up through Georgia and to the North Carolina coast as a life threatening storm surge, leaving thousands in the dark as utility companies scramble to restore power. Water damage from storm surges also took a toll along coastal towns, flooding and destroying buildings in its path.
Tornados are mostly found in the Midwest and Southeast but can be found in almost every state. On average there are 1,200 tornadoes every year. In fact, the US has more tornadoes than anywhere else in the world with Canada coming in second. The deadliest tornado occurred in Joplin, Missouri May 28, 2011. It was a class F5 tornado and lasted only 38 minutes and caused 161 deaths.
California leads the country with the most wildfires and number of acres burned, however most of western states have wildfires every year. There are, on average , 70.000 wildfires in the US every year. Lahaina, Hawaii is the deadliest wildfire in US history, as the official death toll stands at 115, with dozens of people still missing.
- Structure (home) fires
An annual average of 343,100 fires are from home fires, with 2610 deaths on average. Most fires start in the kitchen, while cooking.
Eastern, Southeastern and Midwestern states are more prone to flooding in the US, as well as those located directly on the west coast. For this year (2023), the NWS reports 59 flood related deaths in the U.S. There are three types of floods, coastal, river, and flash floods.
California has the highest number of earthquakes annually, followed by Alaska and Hawaii. These states lie along the Pacific Ring of Fire, a region with intense tectonic activity due to subduction zones where one plate dives beneath another. Washington and Oregon, also located along the Pacific coast, also experience frequent earthquakes. The Cascadia Subduction Zone, off the coast of these two states, is known for its potential for a massive earthquake that could cause significant damage. Utah is home to several active faults that have recently produced moderate-to-large earthquakes. At his time, there aren’t many earthquake related deaths, (1906 quake in San Francisco with 62 deaths was the most in recent history) however scientists point out that earthquake prone zones are due for a major quake anytime.
Prepare before its too late.
The heartbreaking reports continue to pour out of Lahaina as the massive recovery efforts continue. It will take years for many residents of that historical island town to realize the full impact of the deadliest fire in US history.
Our own Dr Rowland, founder and CEO of Jase Medical had volunteered his time in the aftermath of the Lahaina fire that ravaged this small town.
When asked what he feels was the most important takeaway from his time volunteering at the Lahaina disaster site:
“I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to prepare WHILE YOU CAN. Right before an oncoming hurricane is too late. Other things like supply disruptions, fires, earthquakes also happen in a moment. Even a regular weekend when you can’t get into a doctor or find an open pharmacy and its the middle of the night. The time is today to take one simple step to be better prepared medically. It takes 10 minutes.”
He went on to say,” There were many unavoidable tragedies about Maui. But there were also avoidable ones. One of those was being better prepared. A Jase Case or Jase Daily supply would have made huge difference to a lot of people there. Same can be said for folks around the country dealing with disasters, etc.”
Basic items needed if you have to leave home
There is no cookie cutter one-size-fits-all preparation list or kit, however there are some key items that everybody should have. Depending upon your age, ability, family makeup and size, and region of the country you live in, your needs will differ from even your next-door neighbors.
Every home should have a battery-operated radio that carries local weather and emergency updates.
A go/bug out bag with (at very minimum) for each family member:
Note: Make sure the bag fits the individual. Don’t overpack to the point they aren’t able to wear and easily walk with it on their back. It is a good idea to fill the bag and practice walking and hiking with it on for at least an hour, preferably longer. Adjust fit and weight as necessary after this trial run.
- Change of clothes, including socks and cold weather gear if you live in cold climate.
- 3 of bottles water
- Snack bars- (Lara bars are calorie dense and nutritious).
- Headlamp with extra batteries- to free hands up for other tasks
- Whistle to use for emergencies.
- Fixed blade knife/small pen knife (many uses)
- Paper and pen (in case of evacuation- leave note or for any other emergency)
- List of medications, allergies, health conditions, name and home address, and family care provider numbers, laminated (if you don’t have a laminator, office supply store can do this for a nominal fee).
- Purchase a weather resistant pouch for important papers and extra medications, including your Jase case and Jase daily meds.
- Store your Jase case and Jase Daily medications in the pouch.
- If you haven’t already ordered your Jase case and Jase daily medications yet, do so today. Pack any medical supplies you use such as inhalers, etc.
- If you use refrigerated medications, pack a cup size cold travel container designed specifically for syringes and meds that can keep your supply of medications cold for up to 30 hours. This would need to be stored in freezer until needed and once out of danger can be recharged to keep vital medications cool.
- A small, basic first aid kit, with pain relievers and creams to relieve itching and minor burns. We will go into detail in next post on what to carry in a bug out first aid kit, according to age and ability.
- Brooke Lounsbury, RN
Medical Content Writer
Keeping you informed and safe.
If you aren’t prepared get prepared, we can help! September is national preparedness month. We will be kicking off this month with a list of natural disasters, how likely they could be for you depending upon your geographical location, and some basic items needed in a...
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