When Disaster Strikes do you Have your Grab and Go Bag Ready?

What area of the United States is immune to possible natural disasters?  Did you say California?  Wrong, they have wildfires and earthquakes.  The rest of the country deals with tornadoes, hurricanes, blizzards, floods and fires too.

To keep you and your family safe is foremost on your mind when disaster strikes so why not get prepared for disaster now.  The surest way to make a fast exit is to have your own personal “grab and go” bag nearby so you won’t waste valuable time.

A patient in a practice in San Diego, where I worked, lost his life in a wildfire when he went back home to retrieve pictures of his family.  He was the only one killed in that fire.

Get a small suitcase with roller wheels and get started with the following:

  1. Personal needs such as travel size toiletries, extra pair of eyeglasses or Contacs, first aid kit, baby wipes and multipurpose tool or knife and a can opener.  A week’s supply of medications-stored in waterproof bags.
  2.  Electronics, cell phone, extra charger, tablet/laptop and charger. Good flashlight with LED batteries, portable battery pack and emergency crank radio
  3.  Clothing that can be layered for warmth and is durable. Rain gear and boots. Hat and gloves.
  4.  Paper work, documents and photographs.  Copies of your credit cards, social security cards, passport, driver’s license and medical insurance cards and birth certificates. Special photos not stored on the cloud.  Put the copies in a waterproof bag.
  5.  Food and drink such as bottled water and granola or protein bars that travel and store well—enough for 3-4 days.  Canned foods that can be eaten without heating.
  6.  Cash in small bills and change. Enough for a few days as Banks and ATMs may be down or out of reach

If you drive to work, it is wise to keep this bag stored in your car.  If you are most often at home, keep it somewhere near the door such as a coat closet to be able grab it quickly.  Prepare a bag for every member of the family including your pets and keep them together if possible to make as quick an exit as possible.

If you are in the dental office when disaster strikes you may also be responsible for patients.  Every dental office should have a first aid kit as required by OSHA.  Putting together a bag with extra food, water, clothing and blankets would be advisable.

You never know when disaster will strike or how much time you have to get out, so it is best to be prepared.


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