Emergency Preparedness Part 1
by Phil Karras, KE3FL

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 In this article I will be going over a number of general things to
 consider before an emergency occurs.  In the case of a hurricane, we
 will have plenty of time to prepare for its arrival.  The following
 things should be considered:

 ** Make sure you have a week or two of any needed prescription drugs.

 *  Check the first-aid kit for expired items and replace them.

 *  Have a flashlight or two and a battery powered radio with plenty of
    extra batteries.

 *  Have enough food for a few days that does not need refrigeration
    or extensive cooking.  (See below)

 *  Stock up on water.  The two liter soda bottles are good, milk
    bottles are lighter duty.

 *  Have a bottle of bleach (with chlorine) on hand to purify water if
    needed after the storm.

 *  Fill up the fuel tanks of all vehicles since gas can not be pumped
    without electricity.

 *  Have enough cash on hand to cover your needs for one week.  This
    should be in small bills and plenty of coins.  ATM machines will
    most likely be off line for at least one week.

 *  Have good shoes hiking-type since the aftermath of a storm will
    leave many sharp objects on the ground.  Don't leave home without
    your shoes on!

 *  Protect your important papers in heavy-duty plastic bags.  The zip-lock
    type are light duty and rip easily.

 *  Board up all windows.  Do not tape them since this will not help
    protect them and it makes more work for you after the storm when
    they must be cleaned.

 *  Park the car in the garage or as far away from your house as possible.

 *  Bring all objects that can be blown away into the house or chain them
    down to something that will not blow away or break.

Some other points to consider:
 *  Plan a way of cooking your food.  If you have an electric kitchen,
    consider buying a gas camping stove.  If you have a gas stove you
    may be okay unless the gas lines break.

 *  Keep one week's supply of food and water on hand.  If you have a well
    and the electricity is off, you will need a supply of water for the
    toilets as well.  (Depending on the toilet, 1.5 to 3 gallons per

 *  Keep a first aid kit well stocked.  (Make sure the kids have not used
    up all the bandages and cream in your kit BEFORE the emergency!)
    You should check your first aid kit before going shopping every
    week.  (Hint: I try to keep a kit for the kids and one for the

During the Hurricane:
 *  Stay in a low inside room.  One in the basement that has no windows
    is best, unless it starts flooding.

 *  If you are out driving do NOT cross a water covered road.  Too
    many people have been swept away and died because they thought
    the water wasn't deep enough to push or float the car.
    If you don't know, DON'T GO!

After the storm:
 *  Do not eat any food that was touched by flood waters.

 *  To purify water use 4 drops of bleach (see above) to one gallon of
    clear water, and 10 drops per gallon of cloudy water.  Shake well
    and let it stand for 10 minutes before using.

 *  If you were flooded and you use well water, pump out the well and
    have the "new" water checked before resuming consumption.

 *  Test all electrical systems before using.

 *  Check, check, and check again and then re-light any gas appliances.

Emergency Radio
 I have been trying to make my radio hobby emergency-prepared.  The
 following are the basic things to consider.  I will be writing more
 specific suggestions for this in future articles:

 *  Power:  Have a source of emergency power for your rig(s).  The ARES
    group has a number of 70 AHr batteries to give to ARES members.  In
    the June, 1994, issue of "NewsWaves," page 6, I wrote about trickle
    charging to keep your battery at full charge.

 *  Antenna:  If you can, take your antenna(s) down until after a storm.
    Otherwise have some sort of emergency antenna ready to go up.

 *  Coax:  Have plenty of coax with connectors on both ends ready for use.
    It doesn't hurt to have more than one length of coax.  I have a 100
    ft length, and a 30 ft length as well as a number of sections three
    feet long.

 *  Frequencies:  Remember these frequencies
           3.920 Maryland Emergency Phone Net - every day 6:30 PM
           3.640 Maryland DC Net - every day 7:00 PM and 10:00 PM, cw
          14.325 Hurricane Watch Net
         145.410 Carroll Amateur Radio Emergency Team an ARES net or
         146.475 CARET simplex if the repeater is down Tuesdays 8:30 PML.
         147.060 Frederick County ARES net Monday 7:30 PM local
         146.460 Montgomery County ARES Tuesday 8:00 PM local
         162.400 National Weather Service 24hrs/day
         162.475    "
         163.500    "
         147.300 Skywarn net, active in severe weather.
Information: If there are other points (or frequencies) that should be added to our above list or to any of the other lists I am compiling for the ARES group, please write them down and get them to me at a club meeting. Or send them to me via e-mail to: KE3FL .

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