Floods. Storms. Widespread power outages. And now, Hurricane Sandy is poised to strike. Every week, it seems, there’s another story about a life-interrupting disaster. But few American families are adequately prepared to weather such a disaster. Often, all it takes is a thunderstorm that knocks out your power to realize how unprepared you are for a real emergency. And preparing for the unexpected is a bit more complicated when you have a baby, in fact, almost two-thirds of American families do not have an emergency preparedness kit at home, according to a Harris Survey sponsored by GE.
You don’t need to build an ark -- or build a solar-power hydroponic greenhouse and fish farm in your backyard, like one family did on National Geographic’s hit show, Disaster Preppers. Instead, “assess what are the most likely emergencies, and build your planning around those,” says Tom Guilford, a civilian contractor in Emergency Management at Offutt AFB in Omaha, Nebraska. Here are the products to have on hand.
Emergency Step Ladder What It Is: Two-Story Fire Escape Ladder What It Includes: Slip-resistant rungs and an easy-to-unfold, non-tangling design. It holds up to 1,000 pounds and can be easily stored under a bed. Why You Need It: If you have a two (or more) story home, you need an escape ladder. During a fire, a window may be your best chance of escape; the blaze may block stairs or doors. Plan regular fire drills, and make sure that your children understand how to use the ladder or, that you know how you’ll carry your baby or toddler down in an emergency. Where To Buy It: $33 at Amazon.com