My Story: Emergency Preparation

contributed by S.V.


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Here are some of my tips for surviving emergencies. In Australia, we have to live with bush fires, which destroy everything in a matter of minutes. Following are the tips:

  1. Buy a scanner or a fax printer with flatbed (faster than a scanner) and scan all your documents and family documents. It will take time, but it's worth it.
  2. Scan all bank and credit cards front and back to show your signature. These need to be put on a CD/DVD or thumb drive and backed up on a similar media. Every family member should carry their details on their person.
  3. Keep all the glassware on the ground shelves in the cupboard for less sharp debris flying around.
  4. Keep torch, radio, extra batteries, some water, medicines, resealable bags, plastic shopping bags, packet knifes in a plastic tote box and write the name and address from inside with a texta pen. Seal around it with packaging tape to prevent water leaks. If a large family, keep a couple of tote boxes ready all the time. Check batteries.
  5. Keep dust mask and safety goggles. These will stop people from losing sight and choking in a fire due to smoke. They will be able to find the way out. Find your way out by keeping your self down. Smoke is a killer.
  6. Close all room doors and windows securely. Add tint film to the windows. This will minimize shattering.
  7. Put on ID tags for each individual around the neck. Easier to locate in case of unconsciousness.
  8. Keep animals safely in the house.
  9. Keep money for each person individually in a resealable bag and hide it in underwear.
  10. Wear warm clothes and raincoats in heavy rain/tornado. In case of fire, wear cotton clothes that fully cover the body, cover hair with cotton head cap and cover face with masks. Do not wear synthetic clothes during bush fire as they burn and stick to the body, making the burn worse.
  11. In case of a fire, either fully prepare the house with water in tubs and any containers, wetting the lawn and roof before hand and stay on or leave early if there are elderly and kids that need to be moved. Do not wait until the last minute when everyone is trying to leave. Even if it is unnecessary, it's better to be safe than sorry.
  12. Take insurance for the full value of the house and possessions if you are the owner, or if you are a tenant, take contents insurance. It is not easy to rebuild even if all the money is there.

"My Story" is a regular feature of The Dollar Stretcher. If you have a story that could help save time or money, please send it by mailto:MyStory@stretcher.com

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