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  • Home Necessities to Help You Be Prepared for Any Natural Disaster

    By guest contributor Katherine Oakes

    Family - via Modernize via Modernize

    At Modernize, we believe your home is your sanctuary and your shelter. In the chance that a natural disaster or unforeseen emergency should occur, it is important to know that your home is still that safe space. Even though imagining those worst-case scenarios can be difficult at first, knowing that you and your family will be safe despite the extreme circumstances will be enough to give you peace of mind.
    Making sure that you and your loved ones are prepared for any sort of situation can seem like an overwhelming task. Where do you even begin? Start by narrowing it down and consider what items would be necessary to have stored in your home in case of an emergency. Since many of the incidents that occur and leave people stranded are due to natural disasters like hurricanes, storms, floods, earthquakes, or tornadoes, it’s more likely that you may be stuck in your home without power or access to clean water. Think about what kind of items and products you use on a daily basis and then make it more specific by asking yourself what you would actually need in order to survive?

    To help you get started, we’ve outlined some of the most important things to consider storing in your home in case of an emergency.



    At least half of the human body is comprised of water, and since dehydration can easily be one of the first things to seriously affect you when you are without it, it’s extremely important for keeping your area and yourself clean and hydrated. So as you are creating your plans, make sure that water is at the top of your list. FEMA recommends storing at least one gallon per person per day for two weeks at minimum, and it will be even better if you have the space to store more.


    via The Emergency Food Assistance Program via The Emergency Food Assistance Program


    If you are following the two week rule, then you’ll want to include enough food in your emergency storage to adequately sustain you and the other members of your household for that amount of time. It is, of course, wise to store non-perishable items like canned food or packages that require water and to consider how many calories they will provide per person per day. However, if you have the means to store food that needs to be slightly cooked, you can use cooking equipment that doesn’t need electricity and is battery-powered to do so.


    First Aid Kit

    Having a well-stocked first aid kit can make all the difference. There are plenty of kits for sale that come with all the essentials you might need. However, you can always create your own first aid kit by buying products individually and customizing it to your liking. Keep it nearby your food and water for convenience.


    Other Functional Necessities

    Add things like several flashlights, batteries, and matches, and candles to your storage as well. It’s also important to keep a hand-crank or battery-powered radio in your collection so that you can stay well informed throughout the process and know how to safely move forward with your loved ones. Also consider what daily medications you or others might need to have in case you cannot get more. Do your best to stock up and keep them in your first aid kit or in a safe place.


    What are some other home necessities you have on hand for an emergency? Let us know in the comments!

  • 10 Travel Preparedness Tips You Won't Want to Forget

    10 Travel Preparedness Tips you won't want to forget

    At some point in our lives, many of us have been subject to Murphy's Law of Travel—what can go wrong, will go wrong. And often we're too excited, stressed, or concerned with getting the car or suitcase packed that we may forget to prepare for any unexpected emergencies we may face while traveling.

    Just like preparing for an emergency at home, work, or school, it's equally important to prepare for travel emergencies. So here are our top 10 Travel Preparedness and Safety Tips:

    1.  Tell someone you trust where you're going

    If you've seen the movie Taken, you'll know that telling someone where you're going and any change of plans you might make can ensure your safety. Whether you're traveling solo or as a family, make sure you:

    • Always tell friends, family, or those picking you up from the station or airport your travel routes and schedules.
    • Always tell friends, family, or those picking you up from the station or airport any delays or changes to your travel plans.
    • If you take short cuts or alternative routes while driving, inform someone of these changes.
    • It's nice to be friendly with other travelers, but DO NOT give out extensive information about your travel plans to strangers.
    • Give your trusted friend an itinerary of your daily plans. If your plans change, let your friend know.


    2.  Don't forget to your . . .

    • First Aid Kit--include medicines for stomachaches, diarrhea, headaches, and motion sickness
    • Hygiene Kit-- to keep in your carry-on bag just in case your luggage gets lost or you get stuck in a place where you'll need these items
    • Emergency Car Kit--a great idea to stick in your car or rental car in case you have some type of emergency while on the road. Make sure to pack a car emergency kit. The article, "Emergency Kits Tackle Unepxected Problems on the Road," gives some great advice on what types of items to include in your car emergency kit.
    • Small Emergency Kit or Survival Pack like the SOL Origin bring with you in a daypack or backpack if you plan on going hiking or doing another high adventure day trip
    • Emergency Food--Calorie Food Bars can last even in extreme temperatures making them great for car travel
    • Important Medications
    • Child Care Items
    • Extra Clothing
    • Travel Documents--passport, tickets, I.D., etc.


    3. Know what to do if you get sick

    If you got VERY sick or injured in another state or another country, where would you go for help? What would you do?

    Before: make sure your health insurance coverage will cover you in other states (you may want to look into getting traveler's insurance that will cover medical emergencies)

    During: See a Doctor right away! If you have:

    • Diarrhea and a high fever (102 degrees or above)
    • Bloody diarrhea
    • Flu-like symptoms (especially in countries with diseases like Malaria)
    • If you've been bitten or scratched by an animal
    • Been seriously injured (broken bones, gashes, large cuts, or wounds, etc.)
    • Been sexually assaulted
    • Been in a car accident

    For more tips on what to do if you get sick on an airplane, car ride, cruise, or during international travel, check out the Center of Disease Control's (CDC) article, "Know What to do if You Get Sick or Injured on a Trip."


    4. Be aware of your surroundings

    Learn about your destination before you go there—the people, the place you will be staying, the culture of the area, etc. Secure your belongings: make sure you have your purse or daypack with you and positioned on your body so that others cannot get into it. And be aware of what's going on around you so you don't get stuck in an unsafe situation. Report any suspicious behavior.


    5. Pack smart

    • Make sure to pack light so you can keep your hands free and move quickly if you have to.
    • Store your passport, I.D., cash, and other important documents in different places. You may want to store your credit cards in a money pouch, and some cash in your front pockets, etc. That way if one item is stolen, everything isn't lost with it.
    • Keep at least one change of clothes with you in your carry-on or daypack if your luggage will be stored in a separate compartment.
    • Bring a water filtration/purification method with you, like a Katadyn MyBottle if you are in a country where the water is not safe to drink.


    6. Read up on transportation companies before booking

    Several cruise ships have "report cards" issued through the Vessel Sanitation Program of the CDC. This program inspects the cleanliness, repair, food preparation, water quality, hygiene, and pest management of the vessels. You can find these report cards on the CDC website before you book your cruise. Also, check into reviews of airlines, bus companies, etc. because, as we all know, some perform better than others at getting you where you need to be on time.


    7. Get a maintenance check on your car before travel

    • Make sure your gas tank is always half full
    • Make sure your lights are in good working order (especially if traveling at night)
    • Make sure your car has gone through any passed and safety or emissions tests required by your state
    • Repair any issues with brakes and replace tires with low tread


    8. Follow the rules of the road

    Observe the speed limit, buckle up, give your full attention to the road (DO NOT drive while impaired), and be respectful to other motorist. Also, if you experience car trouble pull over to the side of the road. Basically, to ensure your safety, follow the rules you were taught when you passed your driving test.


    9. Be familiar with safety and emergency evacuation procedures

    for the hotel you're staying in and for the mode of transportation you've chosen. Read up on them before you go, or ask for a copy before boarding the vehicle or while checking into the hotel.


    10. Learn which weather disasters are common to your destination

    Read up on the types of disasters common to the area where you'll stay, especially if you've never experienced those types of emergencies before. Find out about local radio systems and emergency alerts. Know where you can go for safety. Pay attention to weather forecasts for your destination. Downloading a Red Cross Mobile app to your phone can also help you prepare for and be aware of emergencies in the area.

    In case an emergency occurs while you're in a different country, know how to contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate before you leave home by using the U.S. Passports and International Travel's Country Specific Information Pages


    Happy and Safe Travels!



    For more safety tips, check out these sources:








  • Create a Family Emergency Plan in 10 Minutes or Less

    One of the first steps you need to take to get prepared is make an emergency plan. Whether you live alone or with family, friends, or roommates, it’s important to be on the same page with your household, as well as those who don’t live with you but will be anxious to locate and touch base with you in an emergency.

    A basic plan is a good place to start, and we've got a great (and free) fill-in-the-blank Emergency Plan PDF so you can have a custom family emergency plan in 10 minutes or less.

    Sample Family Emergency Plan


    You can build a more comprehensive plan from there if you’d like, but this plan covers the basics:

    1) Grab survival kits/emergency kits/bug-out bags
    2) Designated meeting point near the home
    3) Designated meeting point in the neighborhood
    4) An out-of-town relative or friend that everyone can call to check in with (it’s pretty common for local lines to be busy following a disaster—your best bet for reaching each other is to call someone with a long-distance number and leave messages for each other).
    5) Out-of town meeting place/evacuation location
    6) Evacuation plan with primary and secondary exits from each room
    7) Emergency Contact Information
    8) Evacuation assignments (who will take what based on how much time you have)

    So, whether you’re just getting started in prepping or you’ve been building food and water storage for years, be sure you’ve got an emergency plan in place—it’s one of the most fundamental (and easiest) things you can do when it comes to emergency preparedness.


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