Emergency disaster response is on my mind a lot right now. The 2018 volcano event on the Big Island Hawaii is heart wrenching. In 2017, we had elderly parents involved in the hurricanes in Houston and Florida. And we should still be so concerned about the people of Puerto Rico!
People always say, “How can I help?” Money donations are very helpful as emergency disaster response during the rescue and recovery stages. Giving blood is also a great way to help. There are some items that can be sent with disaster response teams or to local volunteers that will help during the recovery stage.
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A health and hygiene kit can be packed up in a 1-gallon reclosable plastic bag.
- Bar soap
- Nail file or clippers
- Disposable razor
- Wash cloth
- Hand towel
- Band aids
- Gallon reclosable plastic storage bag
- 5 gallon bucket with lid
- heavy duty work gloves
- vinyl gloves
- N95 particulate masks
- scrub brush
- cleaning cloths (not microfiber)
- foam sponges
- scouring pads, plastic
- insect spray (Deet 15% or Picardin 20% are effective against the mosquitos that carry zika, dengue, and chikungunya viruses)
- disinfectant spray
- liquid laundry detergent
- all purpose liquid cleaner
- liquid dish soap
- heavy duty trash bags
First, be sure you are sending your emergency disaster response donations through appropriate channels. Items that often get requested are blankets, diapers, and baby food. Respirator masks are needed if noxious gases are involved, or mold. Ask if flashlights, batteries, toilet paper, extension cords, or cell phone chargers are needed.
May 2018 Kilauea volcano event, Hawaii: The lava fissures opening up are spewing lava and dangerous sulfur dioxide gas (SO2). The crater eruptions are throwing lava ash into the air, which is similar to small grains of sand. Protection is needed from acid gas and particulates. See more about the local disaster response and what is needed at Pu’uhonua o Puna. Donate from Amazon with this link: http://a.co/bR6Q5yT
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We all need to be thinking what our own chances are for experiencing a natural disaster or unforeseen emergency. Even where I live in Raleigh, in the Piedmont of North Carolina over 100 miles from the coast, we had a hurricane hit us. Review what you would need if you didn’t have power or water for a time. Review what you would need if you need to evacuate your home. Get supplies and important papers together in readiness. For example, we had our documents in a lock box at the bank. We realized that the branch we were using was getting flooded regularly. So we moved our lock box to a branch on higher ground.
- Emergency preparedness series from A Bowl Full of Lemons. Toni also has an e-book for sale that includes all her great advice and a printables kit for preparing your family.
- What should you keep in the car? From the National Safety Council
- Home emergency supply kit from National Safety Council
- Ready.gov has information for preparing for natural disasters