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Emergencies: Dealing with an Emergency in Times of Stress

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The devastating fire in Pedrogão
The devastating fire in Pedrogão Photo by Jornal de Negócios

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Written by  Laurinda Seabra
Friday, 28 July 2017 11:08

Portugal has during the past month been confronted with major fires. These fires has resulted not only in many people dying, but also in many families having to leave their homes at very short notice. What we have realised is that in these cases, family members where caught totally unprepared for this situation. So we decided to write a series of articles as guidelines.

Every year, thousands of people across the world have to evacuate their homes with only a few minutes’ notice due to natural disasters like wildfires, floods, and other emergencies.

If this happened to you and your family, would you have the time and the presence of mind to quickly pack everything you needed to get by for a few days? Chances are, probably not.

Panic and fear can quickly override our ability to think clearly and logically, which is why putting together a series of emergency tips for you.

Many governments advise that in the event of an emergency, you may have to survive on your own for several days. This is why they recommend that every family have a basic disaster kit with enough food, water, medicine, and other supplies to last at least three days.

You can purchase prepackaged emergency kits online. However, it’s much more affordable to organize an emergency kit yourself. Assembling your own emergency kit allows you to purchase supplies that are tailored to your family’s unique situation and needs. It also enables you to take advantage of sales or bulk buying promotions.

 

How to Test Your Kits

Putting together an emergency kit is only the first step. It’s also important that you use the items in your kits before your life depends on them. For example, if you purchase Meals-Ready-to-Eat (MREs) for your family, do you know how to prepare them? Do they taste good? Will your children eat them? If you need to start a fire, do you know how to use your magnesium fire starter and set up your emergency tent? Will everyone in your family be able to fit inside?

These are just some of the problems that you could run into in an emergency situation, which is why testing your equipment is imperative.

You don’t have to practice a full-on emergency drill (although experts recommend it). You could stage a “camp out” one weekend night in your backyard, where you depend entirely on your 72-hour kit to get by. If you get your kids involved, it could turn an educational training exercise into a memorable and fun experience.

 

How to Save Money on Your Emergency Kits

As you can see, the list of possible items for your 3-day emergency kits can get pretty long. And stocking up on all this stuff at once can get expensive.

To save money, start slowly. First, assemble a basic kit for everyone in your family so that you’re at least somewhat prepared for an emergency. Next, make a list of all the items you’d like to have in your kit, and keep this list on your phone, in your car, or in your purse. Periodically review these items, and stock up when they go on sale.


Final Word

No one likes to think about their family in the middle of an emergency situation. However, the reality is that emergencies do happen, and being prepared for them can take a lot of stress and worry out of an already tense situation. With that in mind, we have compiled a series of 3-days emergency kit ideas as part of your family’s preparedness planning, in addition to long-term food storage and an evacuation plan, we looked at what you should include in your kits. Just look for the Emergency tabs and articles on our blog.

 

Here's the links to save you time:

  1. Essential Items for Your Emergency Kit
  2. Suggested Foods for Your Emergency Kit
  3. How to Organize an Emergency Kit at Work
  4. Kits for Kids

 

 EMERGENCY NUMBERS TO DIAL IN PORTUGAL - CALL ON YOUR MOBILE OR TEL - 112

  • Medical emergency (ambulance/ambulância)
  • Police - (polícia) including Local Police (Guarda Nacional Republicana, GNR) and Security Police (Polícia Segurança Publica, PSP)
  • Fire Rescue
  • Pan-European emergency number

OTHER IMPORTANT NUMBERS

  • Health line for emergencies available 24/7 - Dial 808 242 424
  • Forest Fires - Dial 117
  • Sea Rescue (Centro de Busca e Salvamento Marítimo) Lisbon -  Dial 214 401 919
  • Maritime Police (plus pick-up boat service) Lisbon - Dial 210 911 100

 

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