Winter Storms: Be Prepared

Jan 03, 2009

Provided by the Butler County Health Department

Disaster Kits in a Bucket
Emergency management organizations encourage citizens to keep disaster supplies, emergency food and water on hand in case of flood, power outage, tornado or earthquake. All of the following items will fit into a five-gallon bucket. The items are: 1 roll of toilet paper, 1 camp stove, 2 cans of Sterno, 1 mess kit, 4 boxes of water proof matches, 6 books of regular matches, 12 paper plates, 6 each plastic forks, knives and spoons, 12 disposable drinking cups, 1 flashlight, 2 AD batteries, 2 emergency solar blankets, 12 hand/foot warmers, 6 heavy duty plastic bags, 12 hand sanitizer packets, 2 light sticks, 1 roll of duct tape, 1 pocket (utility) knife, 1 hand can opener, a two punch can opener, 2 combs, 1 tube toothpaste, 2 toothbrushes and 1 first aid kit. Items for the first aid kit: 6 pairs plastic gloves, an 8 oz bottle contact lens saline (to irrigate and clean wounds), 6 knuckle band-aids, 6 regular band-aids, 6 Telfa pads, 1 roll tape, 1 tube antibiotic ointment, 3 burn gel packets, 6 wound wipes (Providone-Iodine), 2 stretch gauze, 2 instant ice compresses, 6 packets each of buffered aspirin and non-aspirin pain reliever, 1 each scissors and tweezers, a 4 oz bottle of Hydrogen Peroxide, and 6 sanitary napkins, which can be used to dress a large wound.

Keeping Food Safe During an Emergency
Did you know that a flood, fire, national disaster, or the loss of power from high winds, snow, or ice could jeopardize the safety of your food? Knowing how to determine if food is safe and how to keep food safe will help minimize the potential loss of food and reduce the risk of foodborne illness. This fact sheet will help you make the right decisions for keeping your family safe during an emergency.

Always keep meat, poultry, fish, and eggs refrigerated at or below 40 °F and frozen food at or below 0 °F. This may be difficult when the power is out. Keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible to maintain the cold temperature. The refrigerator will keep food safely cold for about 4 hours if it is unopened. A full freezer will hold the temperature for approximately 48 hours (24 hours if it is half full) if the door remains closed. Obtain dry or block ice to keep your refrigerator as cold as possible if the power is going to be out for a prolonged period of time. Fifty pounds of dry ice should hold an 18-cubic foot full freezer for 2 days. Plan ahead and know where dry ice and block ice can be purchased. Refer to Power Outage Guide for suggested holding times in times of power outages.

Be Prepared for Any Type of Emergency
Keep food items on hand that don’t require refrigeration and can be eaten cold or heated on the outdoor grill. Shelf-stable food boxed or canned milk, water, and canned goods should be part of a planned emergency food supply. Make sure you have ready-to-use baby formula for infants and pet food. Remember to use these items and replace them from time to time. Be sure to keep a hand-held can opener for an emergency.

Keep appliance thermometers in the refrigerator and freezer at all times. When the power is out, an appliance thermometer will always indicate the temperature in the refrigerator and freezer no matter how long the power has been out. The refrigerator temperature should be 40°F or below; the freezer, 0 °F or lower. If you’re not sure a particular food is cold enough, take its temperature with a food thermometer. Move food into coolers and store outside when temperature in refrigerator raises above 40°F or your freezer raises above 20°F.