* Threat levels raised after increasing tensions with North Korea
* North Korean official to the UN: President Trump is on a “suicide mission”
* Know how to react — and what to set aside in your emergency supply kit
Whether you consider it posturing or a very real threat, there’s no question that talks of a nuclear war have been dominating both news reports and casual conversation in the last few weeks.
While Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told ABC News that “The president doesn’t want to be in a nuclear war,” and that the government “will do everything we can to make sure that doesn’t occur,” there remains ominous overtones in the back and forth verbal sparring between President Trump and North Korean President Kim Jong Un.
Though we don’t have anything to fret about just yet, it’s never a bad idea to stay prepared. According to the Department of Homeland Security, there are two key things to remember should a nuclear attack take place: stay covered and stay prepared.
After an emergency, you may need to survive on your own for several days. Being prepared means having your own food, water and other supplies to last for at least 72 hours. Here’s what you’ll need:
1. Place Your Items in Airtight Plastic Bags
Create a Disaster Supplies Kit by using airtight plastic bags. These ones are leakproof, resealable, and, at 9″ by 12,” big enough to hold everything from food to documents. The transparent window lets you easily see what’s inside without having to open the top.
2. Bottled Water
It goes without saying that you should have water on-hand. Get individually bottled water to avoid contamination. Homeland Security recommends one gallon of water per person, per day. Get enough for at least three days; you’ll want that water for both drinking and cleaning (if necessary).
3. Non-Perishable Food
You can really pack any non-perishable food in your emergency kit, though experts suggest ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits and vegetables. Protein bars and healthy, dried snacks are good too. Pack at least a three-day supply. Oh and if you’re going to pack canned food, don’t forget a good can opener, too.
You’re going to need a flashlight and this one is a best-seller with almost 90% positive reviews online. It features a bright LED light that can illuminate up to 600 feet. It’s also super durable, grippy and water-resistant. An “SOS” mode lets you send out a signal for help should you be in distress. This flashlight runs on three AAA batteries. Get extra batteries — and not the rechargeable kind. When the power is out, you won’t be able to use them.
5. Battery-Powered or Hand-Crank Radio
A must for your emergency kit is a working radio, to keep you not only attuned to the news, but also to any emergency alerts. This one is a working AM/FM and NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) weather alert radio, which will broadcast emergency weather alerts for your area should they occur. The radio also includes a flashlight.
Charge this radio with three AAA batteries, through solar power or through the hand crank. Bonus: you can use this radio to charge your USB port devices like your phone as well.
6. Dust Mask
A dust mask will help filter contaminated air, whether you’re indoors or outdoors. This one, from JessPad, is super lightweight and adjustable. An interior carbon filter layer increases filtration efficiency by filtering out dust, pollen, gases and odor, not to mention fine particles and bacteria.
7. Moist Towelettes or Wipes
Grab a couple packs of wipes to help clean, disinfect, and deodorize your body. These ones, from Adventure Bath Wipes, contain aloe vera, vitamin E and witch hazel astringent, making it gentle on your skin and leaving you refreshed and moisturized. Bonus: these pre-moistened towels can also be used to wipe down any surfaces that are dirty or contaminated.
8. First Aid Kit
If you don’t have a basic first aid kit at home, this is the one to get. It has almost all 5-star reviews and includes 120+ pieces, like an icepack, bandages, shears and survival tools (like a compass). This product also comes with a bonus mini first aid kit with bandaids, antiseptic alcohol pads, sting relief pads, gauze and CPR kit. Stash that one in your car and be doubly prepared.
9. Potassium Iodide Tablets
We’re not doctors, but the FDA has approved the use of Iosat Potassium Iodide since 1982. According to the FDA, potassium iodide (KI) is effective in reducing the risk of thyroid cancer in individuals who have been exposed to radioactive iodine following a nuclear reactor accident or detonation of a nuclear weapon. Health officials worldwide say taking potassium iodide tablets can help prevent thyroid cancer (the thyroid is the only part of the body that absorbs and stores iodine). Keep in mind the tablets only prevent radioactive particles from going into your thyroid; it is not a general defense against radioactivity. There are also some side effects you should be aware of. Get the low-down here.
10. Plastic Bins
Store your entire disaster supplies kit in one or two easy-to-carry containers such as a plastic bin with a secure, locking lid. These ones measure approximately 18″ x 12″ x 7″ and feature a see-through design so you know what’s inside. Plus, they’re stackable for easy storage and organization.
After assembling your kit, remember to keep it in a cool, dry place (especially for the canned food and water). Check your items every six months and replace expired items as needed. As your family grows, make sure you add essentials correspondingly. Don’t forget about pet food, too. Above all, make sure the emergency kit is in an easy-to-reach place.
What To Do In a Nuclear Emergency
If there is a nuclear emergency, don’t panic. According to the Department of Homeland Security, the first thing you should do is seek shelter. Find out from officials if any public buildings in your community have been designated as fallout shelters. If none are nearby, try to go as far below ground as you can. A brick or concrete building will be your best bet. If you can’t go underground, lie down in the center of the building.
Close all windows and doors and draw in the blinds and curtains. The light could be really bright and you don’t want to look directly at it. Plus, the goal is to surround yourself with as many walls as possible to avoid any radioactive material.
Turn your radio on and await word from officials before venturing outside. Hopefully you’ve packed your emergency kit so you’re prepared to wait it out.
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