Although warmer weather can always be welcome as a respite from winter storms, it can also signal new environmental dangers that are on the way. Different regions face their own emergency concerns, and many of these can be seasonal in nature. One of the prime issues that affects inland and coastal regions can be excessive spring rainfall. When this is combined with a late winter thaw the results can be:
• Flooding, including flash floods
• Mud slides
• Sink holes
• Washed out roadways
For many of these disasters that arrive with the spring, they can also be as temperamental as the weather itself. These hazardous conditions can be as likely to occur during an extended rain event as they are to happen several days later, when the weather appears to be pleasant. Much of this is due to how the ground absorbs water, and how close to the surface the water table already is.
As a result, an excursion on a warm day could easily end in disaster. This also means that staying safe should extend to all aspects of life, whether it is in the home or on the road. While enjoying the warm weather outdoors should be encouraged, awareness and emergency preparedness is also a part of the equation.
The Bare Necessities?
One of the problems that many people encounter with disasters that happen outside the home is that resources for dealing with the issue can be lacking. Even a basic first aid or road kit is lacking in many vehicles, and even when these supplies are present, they are often left in the vehicle, while people venture off.
Portable emergency kits do not need to be extensive, since even minimal supplies are better than no resources at all. An effective personal emergency kit should at least include:
• Long-term food storage with at least a day’s worth of food kits
• Water, as well as water collection and filtration devices
• A sturdy knife or all purpose tool
• Some form of covering, such as a tarp, mylar blanket, or other canvas sheeting, for warmth and protection from the elements
• Compact flashlight with fresh batteries
• A means of signaling for help
These items can be easily stowed in a small backpack, and their presence can be the difference between a nice excursion and being caught in an emergency away from home.