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FeaturesFeb/Mar 2014 Issue

Disaster Relief

Preparation Is Key

Heidi Bayer keeps an emergency kit at the ready. It contains an epinephrine auto-injector and three days worth of food, which she checks every six months for expiration dates. She started preparing for Superstorm Sandy five days before the storm hit, stocking up on food, cooking and freezing meals, taking out coolers, stocking ice, getting cash and ensuring there was a full tank of gas in the car. Everything was by the front door before the storm settled in.

As tornado season approaches, Matlack says her emergency plan makes her feel calmer. Her family’s to-go bags contain a change of clothes, pajamas, a first aid kit, medications and a nebulizer. DVD players, portable video games and other activities for her kids also are included. She keeps a bin ready to throw into the van when it’s time to seek shelter. Hours before a tornado is forecast to hit, she packs up the van and heads to the parking garage at the nearby hospital, ready to enter its underground tunnel.

Others take similar steps, taking solace in their stash of allergy-safe supplies.

“It’s important for people to be aware and to be prepared,” Smith says. “Everyone should ask themselves—‘What would happen if I had a major fire, a major flood, ice storm or tornado in my neighborhood? What would I do and what would I need?’”

Wendy Mondello (tasteofallergyfreeliving.blogspot.com) lives in North Carolina.

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