Some easy steps now may end up saving your life

In Costa Rica we have four disasters we should be prepared for: earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes and flooding.

A major earthquake its not if, but when. The scary thing is if they happen when you are sleeping. You should have many child’s plastic whistles around your house or business, many around your beds. They cost 500 colons for a bag full. If your house collapses on you, you can blow on the whistles, and rescuers will find you faster. Most likely you will have something broken, so the faster they can find you the better.

Have flashlights by your bed. Instead of storing your canned food in your kitchen cabinets, store them in your nightstand by your bed or under your bed. Use them as you need them, but when you use one, replace it with a new one or something else. Keep proteins like tuna fish, canned beans, peanut butter, dried nuts, breakfast cereal. No dried rice or beans. They need to be cooked, or you will get sick eating them.

If you need some medicines, have them with your food and some ibuprofen. Have 5-10 plastic containers of water under your bed. You can only live five to seven days without water. You do not want to die from thirst.

Try and think of things you may need. Sadly, most Latin families don’t have the money for stored food. But they could have the water and whistles. So many times rescuers don’t know where people are buried.

If a earthquake happens in the night, lay in bed, and if you hear things smashing to the floor, get outside, if you can get on your feet. Major earthquakes are so severe you can’t get on your feet.

Hug your body to a wall. It’s your best shot at surviving. Most people think doorways, but experts say the wall is best bet. Plus a good solid bed can hold debris off of you. A girl survived 21 days after a earthquake because she had some access to water and food.

Next is tsunamis. flooding and hurricanes. This one is cheap and easy: Swim noodles. They sell these as pool toys. They are six feet long and four inches around and cost $1 to $3.  One size fits all, but if  you have small children get smaller ones. They make excellent life jackets. You just loop them around your back and under your armpits with the ends sticking up in the air. They will last forever and will keep your head above water.

I believe if the people who died in these recent water disasters had them, half or more would still be alive today for just a couple of bucks. These pool toys could save thousands of people a year from drowning. Governments could have them at fire houses, police stations, schools or have them ready to drop into potential disaster areas. It would be best if they where florescent green so they could be seen by rescue crews at night better.

A little preparation could save your life. Be prepared.

John Nutter
Calle Blanco
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