Wednesday, February 16, 2011
72-Hour Kit Wednesday - Hand Crank Radio
Even though we cannot predict or prevent earthquakes, floods, tornadoes, or other natural disasters, we can prepare our families to cope and survive as well as possible. Here are some things that you can discuss in your families to prepare for any unforeseen event.
First, establish a "meeting place" where family members can gather in the event of an emergency. You may want to select a local school or church.
Second, in case it is not possible to gather, having a common message center is vital. One of the most important keys to receiving and sending information to family members who may be in various places when a disaster occurs is through an out-of-state contact. This is a friend or relative designated to handle messages should you not be able to call or locate your local family members. While most local private phone lines may be out of order for hours after a disaster strikes, pay phones are usually operable much sooner. The out-of-state contact can receive and relay messages from family members so you will know they are safe.
Establish in advance who your out-of-state contact will be. Everyone should carry with them a card with the out-of-state contact's name, address, and day and evening phone numbers. Let your children's teachers know who the out-of-state contact is for your family. That way, if your children are at school and you cannot pick them up, school authorities will know whom to relay a message concerning where your children will be taken. Each family member should carry a phone card or enough change for several phone calls.
This week’s suggested item for your 72-hour kits is one small hand crank radio. These range in price from about $15 up to $50 or more. My theory on this is that you just need a way to know what is going on in the event of a widespread emergency. You cannot plan on having access to a car radio in the event of an emergency as you may not have your car with you. It is always possible, depending on the type of emergency that you may be separated from others or even stranded with others who are not prepared.
A battery-powered or hand crank radio is helpful in monitoring the status of the disaster. Be sure to keep a fresh supply of batteries on hand. Check expiration dates on the batteries and rotate them regularly. Do not keep batteries inside the radio because they expire more quickly and may leak. When charged, most cell phones are able to call 9-1-1 even when they are not active. It is wise to have a cell phone (even not activated) when traveling or for emergency use. However, do not totally depend on Cell Phones. If towers are damaged they may be useless.
Emergency Essentials has a good selection of different radios with everything from a basic hand crank AM/FM radio to wavelength emergency radios which include a flashlight, charger for your cell phone depending on what you want and how much you want to spend.
If you have a transistor radio that uses batteries that is okay too; just make sure to start with good strong batteries (not stored in the radio) and to rotate the batteries with fresh ones every 6 months. If there is a chance you will forget to rotate the batteries, you are better off using a crank radio.
I am including a link to Emergency Essentials to see their variety of radios; many of these are on sale in their catalog on a regular basis. You can also give them a call at 1-800-999-1863 for more information on what is available.