Part of being a healthy RV traveler is being as prepared as possible for whatever might come our way. Being aware of weather reports for wherever we are traveling is a good start, but that doesn’t guarantee that a devastating natural disaster will not occur while we are there. Tornadoes, hurricanes, severe thunderstorms and earthquakes are just a few of the natural occurrences that could put a serious damper on your road trip – or worse.
An important step we should all take to make sure we are as prepared as possible is to ensure we have emergency supplies with us at all times. Of course, we will already be more prepared that most, since a well-stocked, self-contained RV is mighty handy to have around if disaster strikes. But we need to be ready for the worst if there are no power hookups in sight and getting more fuel is not an option, or if our RVs have been damaged.
For starters, there are several items found on any disaster preparedness list that you will likely already have with you. These include:
• Prescription and non-prescription medications
• Blankets or sleeping bags
• Basic tools
• Trash bags
• Extra clothing
• Enough food and water for each person for at least three days
• Food and medications for animals traveling with us
• Extra baby items, such as diapers, wipes and formula
• Sturdy, comfortable shoes
• Fire extinguisher
• Matches (waterproof or in a waterproof container)
• Mess kits (plates, utensils, cups)
• Paper towels
Other items you may or may not currently have in your RV but that are recommended by Ready America (www.ready.gov), a government website dedicated to disaster preparedness, include:
• Dust masks
• Plastic sheeting and duct tape (which in our case can be used to cover broken RV windows as well)
• Hand can opener
• Battery- or crank-operated radio and flashlights
• Extra batteries
• Copies of prescriptions
• Extra pair of glasses or contacts
• A dropper for measuring bleach as a water treatment (16 drops to one gallon of water)
• A well-stocked first aid kit
• Non-perishable foods that do not require cooking
As mentioned above, most of us already include the majority of these items when packing our RVs for a trip. However, if you see something on these lists that you don’t already have in your RV, you should consider adding them to your list of needed supplies.
If a natural disaster does occur while we are on the road, it is important for us to remember that we are likely better prepared than the folks who live in the area. Because of this, once you’ve made sure your family is safe and that you have what you need to survive in the aftermath, you should consider seeing if there is any way you can help out the locals.