Do you own a first aid kit? Is it stocked? Do you have a safety car kit for the winter? If your house caught fire in the middle of the night tonight would you and your family know what to do? Do you keep a fire extinguisher in your home? Are your smoke detectors working?
If you are feeling worried right now about these things, start taking action NOW. It is too late when you’re standing on the sidewalk watching your house burn down from a kitchen fire you could have put out with a fire extinguisher. It is too late when you have to bury a member of the family who didn’t know to leave the house because there was a dead battery in the smoke alarm, and they died of smoke inhalation in their bedroom.
Start Planning Now
I don’t want you to panic, but for the next little while, make these kits and preparation plans a top priority for you and your family. Work on them a little bit at a time, and in no time they’ll be ready and you can let some worry and anxiety go.
Start a family meeting and plan your fire exit plan. Practice it every three months. Prepare an emergency suit case you leave in the front hall closet to grab on the way out of the house. Or rent a safety deposit box to place some important things into.
Start the Emergency section in your CleanHome Life Organizer Journal, so you’ll have it to reference.
There are real benefits to being prepared for life threatening situations. Being prepared can reduce fear, anxiety, and prevent losses that accompany disasters. Don’t put it off, the need to prepare is real.
Make a first Aid kit
Actually you should make more then one first aid kit. You should have one at home and one for each vehicle you have. If you buy the supplies in bulk that don’t expire you’ll have a easy portable first aid kit on hand where ever you are in no time.
A well-stocked first-aid kit is a necessity in every home. But don’t panic if you can’t get all this stuff together right away, you can buy ready made first aid kits, or just keep stocking it up until you get it done.
The first-aid kit should be kept in an easy to reach place. Not stuffed behind a million unfolded towels in the linen closet. Also be sure to pack a mini first aid kit when you go on vacation or out for recreation like when boating, or hiking for example
Choose a container for your kit that is roomy, durable, easy to carry, and simple to open. Plastic tackle boxes or containers for storing art supplies are ideal, since they’re lightweight, have handles, and offer a lot of space. A durable back pack for hiking trips, or bike rides is a good idea, as they are easy to carry.
The following items are basic supplies. You can get most of them at a pharmacy or supermarket.
Camping/hiking kits- It’s equally important to have a first aid/survival kit with you whenever you’re going to be hiking or camping in the woods. This kit should be lightweight and small.
Store the supplies in two or three half or whole sized Zip Lock sandwich bags to keep them safe from the elements
One bag should contain supplies for more serious injuries, like deep wounds. For these keep a small roll (a couple feet) of cling (self adhering) and tube gauze, and 4 non-stick gauze pads.
Another bag (which can be combined with the one above if you’d like) should contain dressings and supplies for minor wounds. One extra large bandage, 5 or so plastic adhesive bandages, 2 fingertip bandages, and some knuckle and butterfly (wound closure) bandages.
The third bag should contain medications and cleaning supplies. 4 alcohol prep pads (individually wrapped), a small hydrocortisone (anti-itch) cream tube, some antibacterial ointment, Tylenol, ibuprofen, and aspirin should be brought for fever and pain relief. Bring enough for two doses, and remember that aspirin should not be given to children. You may want to bring diarrhea medicine as well, just in case.
Other things you should bring are a throwaway brightly colored Poncho, a good high powered whistle, a Power bar or trail mix snack, and a hypothermia blanket. These blankets are large but extremely compact and will keep you warm and alive if you are lost or stuck somewhere with an injury.
A lot of us spend a lot of time in our car, commuting back and forth to work, school and events, weekend trips out of town, and even week long driving vacations over holidays and summer. Checking over you car for safety and having a car safety kit for all sesons of driving is important.
You never know when you’ll kill the battery by accident from running the radio too long at the beach, or when the cold winter weather will drop so low your car won’t start without a boost after a long shopping trip at the mall.
Here are two lists of what to keep in your car.
The following items should be kept in the car all the time:
- Road maps
- The car manual
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- Your Car First-aid Kit
- Booster cables
- Gas Can
- “Call Police” Sign for your Window
- If you have a cell phone make sure you carry a car charger with you. If you don’t have one, consider a pay as you go service plan and keep it for emergencies only.
- A car jack, spare tire, gloves and a cross wrench for changing a flat tire
- Tire pressure gague
- Warning light or road flares for night emergencies
Car Winter Safety Kit
- Shovel- just a small retractable one to help dig yourself out of a snow, or spread sand for traction if needed.
- Sand or kitty litter- used for traction if your stuck on ice or packed snow.
- Cloth rags or a roll of paper towels
- Extra winter clothing and boots ( this is because we often dress for where we are going not getting stuck in a snow bank. Having your kids snow pants, and everyone’s scarves, mittens and winter boots for everyone will ensure warmth if your stuck or need to walk any distance.)
- Emergency food pack-Pack canned foods like Tuna, a bottle of peanut butter, dry snack bars, nuts etc. A can opener and a case or a few large bottles of bottled water.
- Ice scraper and brush
- a box of matches and a fat long candle in a empty Apple Juice can (to warm hands, heat a
- drink or use as an emergency light)
- Small Fire extinguisher
- Extra windshield washer fluid
- Gas line antifreeze
- A large warm blanket or two.
Car Care Check List weekly and before a long trip
Car maintenance is important for safety, but also for saving money of costly repairs that could be fixed sooner and cause less damage, and also to give you better gas mileage.
I know that not all women are keen on getting their hands dirty, but these things are easy to learn, and I’m not talking about changing a transmission. If you don’t have a spouse or a mechanic who can do these things for you, ask someone to teach you how to do it. It will save you time, aggravation and money.
You don’t need to be a mechanic to do a little car inspection such as checking your tire treads or listening for squeaky brakes. Many of them you’ll be able to perform yourself, but some will require a visit to your trusted mechanic, or input from your mechanically inclined spouse/partner or friend.
Either way, making sure your vehicle is roadworthy is a task that shouldn’t be overlooked. I had a friend who never knew to check the engine oil and transmission fluid an basically drove the car until it was completely dry of fluids and ceased up on a major 400 series highway in Toronto, Canada. Rather then a few dollars of maintenance of oil changes and topping up of fluids, he had to buy a new car… a VERY expensive lesson to learn!
The following is a general checklist of things to consider on a weekly and monthly basis. You can check them over on your Sunday “prep for the week” task list and 10 minute Clean Car sweep.
•Once a month, check the tire treads. Uneven wear indicates a misalignment. The car should be taken to a trained professional for diagnosis and correction. If you have difficulty seeing the tread, you need to replace your tires. Blowouts always take time to fix and they can lead to a dangerous accident.
•Keep tires inflated to recommended pressure (in your car manual in the glove compartment).
•Rotate tires after the first 5,000 miles and every 7,000 miles thereafter.
•Once a week, check to make sure brakes are working properly and be mindful of any squeaking.
•Once a month, check brake fluid.
•Every other time you fill your gas tank, you should check the oil. Know what kind of oil your car takes and keep some spare jugs in your trunk in your car kit.
•Schedule an oil change every three months or 3,000 miles, whichever comes first.
•Replace oil filter every time you change the oil.
•Once a month, check the transmission fluid: While engine is warm and running, put emergency brake on and leave it on for the whole time. Next, shift to drive, then to park. Check dipstick. Add fluid if needed; don’t overfill.
•Once a week, check to make sure headlights and brake lights are clean and working. Check signal and hazard lights as well.
•Keep spare bulbs and fuses in your car kit.
•Check battery with every oil change. Make sure there’s no open flame, including a lit cigarette, near the battery. Battery cables should be secure and free of corrosion.
•Once a week, check antifreeze and coolant levels. Never remove pressure cap when engine is hot.
•When you get your oil changed, request that they inspect all belts and hoses for excessive wear and tear.
•Once every – other month, check air filter. Replace with every tune-up, or whenever you see that it’s dirty.
•Once a month, check for holes in pipes and muffler. Make sure there are no loose or broken clamps, or rusted parts.
•Once a year, check emission for compliance with local emission laws.
Planning for a Fire
No one ever plans to have a fire in their home, but knowing a head of time what to do, and planning for ways to prevent small incidents of fire from spreading can really save you a lot of anxiety, time and money.
The first thing to do is to make sure you have a fire extinguisher in your kitchen that is easily to get at in case of a fire at the stove.
The second thing to do, is to check your smoke detectors in your home every spring and fall. if you add this habit into changing your clocks back and forth, you’ll remember to do it. If you don’t have enough smoke detectors in your home, make them a number 1 priority on your list of getting prepared for an emergency. You can’t plan to exit a burning house if you are die from smoke inhalation in your sleep because you didn’t have a detector to warn you.
The third thing to do is to get a carbon monoxide detector if you have gas appliances and hearting source. Carbon monoxide poisoning is fatal and invisible until it is too late in most cases without a detector.
Remember: These purchases can most likely lower your house insurance payments, and can probably be deducted from your taxes as household costs. Ask your accountant.