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Natural Disasters on Vacation
Recently, I was out of town with three children (two of those with autism). We ended up getting stuck in a hotel during not one, but two tornado touchdowns all within four miles of our location. I don't know how many of you have ever bee in a hotel during a tornado but it is not fun. Of course there is no power, but when the hotel loses power then the alarm starts to go off. Unfortunately, the hotel staff had no idea how to turn the alarm off so we had to deal with that nonstop high pitch squealing that seems to aggravate the senses of most people.
The hotel clerk moved everyone to the lobby. When I pointed out that the lobby was glass encased, he nodded and asked me where we should go. I lined my charges up in the hallway beside the lobby. My daughter looked down the hallway and pointed out that it looked like we were in a creepy horror movie which of course, added more stress to the situation.
Thankfully my kids had left the room with their DS and iPods because that was the only source of light and entertainment that we had for over two hours. I was actually beginning to panic because I knew the batteries would not hold out much longer and of course, there was no way to recharge them.
We did make it out safely and without any major damage but all the way home, I kept thinking of ways that I could have been more prepared for that unexpected emergency.
Since returning home, I have been on a mission to be prepared for any emergency. I have been reading Preparedness Pantry daily. The insight articles are invaluable and have provided me with a wonderful framework to follow. I have since created a backpack for each of our family members that will provide them with enough provisions for three days. I have also created small "to go" boxes for each of our animals in case of an evacuation. I am now in the process of stocking up on different types of emergency food (MREs, canned, freeze dried).
-- Bridget, KY
This is a perfect example of why it's important to have a vehicle kit (like previous commenter said) AND an EDC (every day carry) with certain provisions on your person at all times. I recommend a Maxpedition Versipack with first aid kit/mini-trauma kit, flashlight and batteries, paracord, lighter/ferro-rod/matches/tinder, mylar space blanket, emergency money ($100 or more cash and coins), disposable poncho, wool gloves/beanie hat, straw water filter, small fishing set (hooks, line, sinker, bobber), knife, kubaton/mace, etc. This is just off the top of my head. You would add/subtract to fit your needs.
Being prepared while on vacation is a tough one. Certainly I feel prepared at home and while I have vehicle kits in our cars, the one time they often get removed is when we go on vacation because we need the space. Go figure!