Disasters can happen, are you ready?

posted on 30th of january, 2009

we are under a volcano watch this week in Alaska, thought i'd share some of the info that comes in emails as it is great information that is easily overlooked

Plan for a Volcanic eruption:

Develop a Family Disaster Plan and include specific preparedness procedures for volcanoes. While volcanoes are located in other areas, ash may be carried some distance away during an explosive eruption. Heavy ashfall may reduce sunlight, causing a sudden demand on electrical power and possible brownouts. Ash can clog watercourses, sewage plants, and various machinery. A one-inch layer of ash weighs ten pounds per square foot. Fine ash is extremely slippery, hampering both driving and walking. Ash can also damage the lungs of small infants, the elderly and infirm, or those already suffering from respiratory illnesses.


Disasters happen anytime and anywhere. And when they do, you may not have much time to respond. A hazardous material spill could mean evacuation. A winter storm could confine your family at home. An earthquake, windstorm or other disaster could cut water, electricity, and telephones for days.

Do you have enough supplies to last 5 to 7 days? Do you have an emergency contact phone number and meeting place for family members? Have you thought about your pet’s safety? The following information from the American Red Cross will assist you in preparing your own home emergency plan. If you have any questions, please contact the MOA Office of Emergency Management at (www.muni.org or 343-1401 or the Alaska Chapter of the American Red Cross (www.alaska.redcross.org or 646-5400).

Disaster Supplies Kit

After a disaster, local officials and relief workers will be on the scene, but they cannot reach everyone immediately. You could get help in hours, or it may take days. Would you be prepared?

Your family will cope best by preparing for disaster before it strikes. Start now by assembling a Disaster Supplies Kit. When disaster hits, you won't have time to shop or search for supplies. But if you've gathered supplies in advance, your family can endure an evacuation or home confinement.

Prepare Your Kit

There are six basics you should stock for your home: water, food, first aid supplies, clothing and bedding, tools and emergency supplies, and special items.

Review the checklist below. Gather the supplies that are listed. You may need them if your family is confined at home.

Place the supplies you'd most likely need for an evacuation in an easy-to-carry container. These supplies are listed with an asterisk (*).

Possible Containers Include:

A large, covered trash container,
A camping backpack,
A duffel bag.


Store water in plastic containers such as soft drink, water bottles and five gallon plastic water jugs. Avoid using containers that will decompose or break, such as milk cartons or glass bottles. A normally active person needs to drink at least two quarts of water each day. Hot environments and intense physical activity can double that amount. Children, nursing mothers, and ill people will need more.
Store one gallon of water per person per day.

Keep at least a three-day supply of water per person (two quarts for drinking, two quarts for each person in your household for food preparation/sanitation).


Store at least a five - seven day supply of non-perishable food. Select foods that require no refrigeration, preparation or cooking, and little or no water. If you must heat food, pack a can of sterno. Select food items that are compact and lightweight. *Include a selection of the following foods in your Disaster Supplies Kit:

Canned & dried foods sufficient for your household for 3 – 7 days
Canned juices, milk, soup
Staples (sugar, salt, pepper)
High-energy foods - peanut butter, jelly, crackers, granola bars, trail mix
Comfort foods - cookies, hard candy, sweetened cereals, instant coffee/tea
Foods for infants, elderly, persons on special diets, pets
Be sure to rotate food items every 6 months!

First Aid Kit

Assemble a first aid kit for your home and one for each car. A first aid kit* should include:
Sterile adhesive bandages in assorted sizes
Assorted sizes of safety pins
Cleansing agent/soap
Latex gloves (2 pairs)
2-inch sterile gauze pads (4-6)
4-inch sterile gauze pads (4-6)
Triangular bandages (3)
Non-prescription drugs
2-inch sterile roller bandages (3 rolls)
3-inch sterile roller bandages (3 rolls)
Moistened towelettes
Tongue blades (2)
Tube of petroleum jelly or other lubricant

Non-Prescription Drugs

Aspirin or non-aspirin pain reliever
Anti-diarrhea medication
Antacid (for stomach upset)
charcoal (use if advised by the Poison Control Center)

Note: First aid kits can also be purchased ready-made at many stores.

Tools and Supplies
Mess kits, or paper cups, plates, and plastic utensils
Emergency preparedness manual
Battery-operated radio and extra batteries
Flashlight and extra batteries
Cash or traveler's checks, change
Non-electric can opener, utility knife
Fire extinguisher: small canister ABC type
Tube tent
Matches in a waterproof container
Aluminum foil
Plastic storage containers
Signal flare
Paper, pencil
Needles, thread
Medicine dropper
Shut-off wrench, to turn off household gas and water
Plastic sheeting
Map of the area (for locating shelters)
Toilet paper, towelettes
Soap, liquid detergent
Feminine supplies
Plastic bucket with tight lid
Plastic garbage bags, ties (for sanitation use)
Personal hygiene items
Household chlorine bleach
Clothing and Bedding

Include at least one complete change of clothing and footwear per person.

Sturdy shoes or work boots
Rain gear
Blankets or sleeping bags
Hat and gloves
Thermal underwear

Special Items

Remember family members with special requirements, such as infants and elderly or disabled persons. Don’t forget Pet Supplies – food, water, bedding, litter, etc.

For Baby
Powdered milk

For Adults
Heart or blood pressure medication
Prescription drugs
Denture needs
Contact lenses and supplies
Extra eye glasses


Games and books, cards, crayons, pencils, drawing paper, etc.
Stuffed animals, other small toys

Important Family Documents

Keep these records in a waterproof, portable container:

Will, insurance policies, contracts deeds, stocks and bonds
Passports, social security cards, immunization records
Bank account numbers
Credit card account numbers and companies
Inventory of valuable household goods, important telephone numbers
Family records (birth, marriage, death certificates)

Store your kit in a convenient place known to all family members. Keep a smaller version of the Disaster Supplies Kit in the trunk of your car.

Keep items in airtight plastic bags.
Change your stored water supply every six months so it stays fresh.
Replace your stored food every six months.
Re-think your kit and family needs at least once a year.
Replace batteries, update clothes, etc.

Ask your physician or pharmacist about storing prescription medications.

General Disaster Preparedness Information

Your home can be a safe haven during an emergency. Upfront preparations are the key to your safety. Learn how you can be aware and prepare.

Comments (2)

Comment by Noonie on January 30, 2009

Gosh, just saw this today! I was asking a friend about the Washington - Oregon area a month ago, never thought about Alaska! Hope you can all manage to be out of harms way!

Comment by Irisangel on January 30, 2009

I just saw this on the news this morning. If this vlocano erupts as they are predicting, I pray that the damage will be minimal and that all our fellow citizens will be safe.

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