At home

Shelter

Is your home safe?

Before you encounter a danger, inspect your household to eliminate a potential risk. Given that, all belongings should work properly, be tidy and usable.

Feel free to use the list below to examine your home’s safety:

  • Water’s and gas’ valves
  • Fuses and capability to cut-off the electricity
  • Windows and doors tightness
  • Faucets and water outflow
  • Presence of additional lightbulbs
  • Paintings and mirrors away from beds

Make sure that you’re familiar with how to shut down the gas, turn off the electricity and water supply. Teach your family members how to do it.

Beside household infrastructure, take care of yours

  • Install verified locks at doors and windows
  • Keep one key package outside your household
  • Display the fire extinguisher in an available spot
  • Install the smoke detector, test it once a week during the heating season, according to the instructions
  • Conserve valuables in unobvious places (e.g. money in shoes, gold bars in the freezer, jewelry in the pantry)
  • Get a good insurance policy, make sure its scope protects you from effects of disasters
  • Get to know your neighbors – it’s essential to maintain good relationship with your neighbors, despite where you live

Water

Water is essential at your household. With no water, there is no food or proper hygiene.

BEFORE YOU RUN OUT OF WATER:

  • Collect maximal reserve, keeping in mind that a grown up human needs 4 liters of water daily
  • Prepare emergency methods to get supply (buckets, bowls, garbage bags, trash bins, etc.)
  • Look for water springs located nearby (especially deep wells but also ponds, rivers, lakes and fountains)
  • Gather the equipment to carry water home
  • Provide water purification and treatment equipment

HOW TO MAKE WATER SUPPLIES:

  • The biggest water containers fill with tap water – it might be 5 liters bottles as well as 20 liters’ barrels, originally containing food
  • Maintain regular supply of water in bottles
  • Install an underground rainwater container
  • Dig a pond, if possible

SAVE THE WATER:

Climate change is real-life situation which effects all of us. In Poland, there’s an increasing number of periods of a long-term drought. Although town’s and city’s residents may not notice this situation yet, as the water is still running out of their tap, those who live in the countryside experienced this kind of problem often.

Deep-sea springs tend to deplete quickly and renew very slowly. Many of them lose their usefulness due to pollution by sewage, fertilizers or pesticides. Access to water is becoming increasingly restricted what causes higher costs of purchase. Regardless of whether you’re willing to save a certain amount of money monthly or reduce a usage of dwindling water resources, take a look into a few simple ways to save water:

  • Turn off the water while shaving and brushing your teeth
  • Use a filled cup to rinse your mouth - instead of a dozen or so liters, you will only use a half of liter of water
  • Change a flush to a model with a half-tank flush option
  • Tighten or repair dripping taps
  • Change all taps to water-saving ones, or install an aerator - a kind of fine mesh sieve that will fill up the flowing water
  • When washing your hands, don’t turn the tap fully. To clean your face and hands, water doesn’t have to spill, it can flow in a calm stream
  • Don’t wash the dishes under running water; fill one sink chamber with water and liquid, and wash dishes in it. Rinse them in the other bowl or under a small stream of running water
  • Don’t start the washing machine and dishwasher until they’re full
  • Take a quick shower instead of a bath - a full bath is equal to 180 liters of water and a minute shower is only 10 liters
  • Use water at least twice, if possible (for flushing the toilet, washing the car, etc.)

As you prepare water supplies, remember about a drinkable water for animals.

Food

Prepare food reserve that will allow you and your family survive without external supply for at least 90 days (optimally, for 6 months if you can). Select articles from everyday use. Pay attention to requested storage conditions. Create your stocks for several months not to feel any additional financial burden.

Copying purchases method works well:

  • In case of buying a product with a shelf life longer than 1 year that doesn’t require refrigeration conditions, buy 2 packs instead of 1
  • Use one pack, put the other in a reserve
  • Repeat until the big enough supply will be created

A supply’s rotation:

  • Write clearly on the package the expiry date
  • Systemize your inventory according to your preferences
  • Position new stockpiles at the back by moving older stockpiles forward - practical application of the FIFO method
  • Eat the products before the expiry date
  • Buy the products back to the stockpile as soon as you eat them

If you have pets, remember to prepare their supplies as well. Keep food in a dry and sealed container so that they aren’t exposed to rodents or insects.

Warmth

Prepare yourself for such possibility as switching off the heating in your apartment or house. Try to become independently of heat supply by preparing a substitute heat source. This could be an electric heater or a fireplace. It’s essential to prepare extra warm clothes; sleeping bags, duvets will be useful as well. If necessary, gather your family in one room that’s much easier to heat than the whole house. Protect doors and windows from excessive heat loss. Remember about animals, they too can feel the cold. It's a good idea to give them hot or lukewarm water instead of cold water. In extreme situations, take all animals home.

Means of transport, tools

Transport

In case of a threat occurrence seek to manage your fuel rationally, as you may not have a place to refill the tank soon. If possible, use a bicycle or walk on foot.

Make sure that the means of transport you possess: car, tractor, scooter, motorbike or bicycle are always in working order and ready to use at any time - tires inflated, spark plugs, engine and brakes in working order, fuel tank full. Remember to always have a minimum of ½ tank of fuel in your car. Examine if everything works properly. After a few days, come back and check the tires again to make sure there’s no air loss. Have spare inner tubes, repair kits, screwdriver, wrench suitable for vehicle bolts. Just in case, have a metal, certified canister of 5 or 10 liters of fuel suitable for the engines you have. Keep the canister in a safe place, away from sources of fire, protected from children and overheating.

Useful equipment

Equip your apartment or house with following items. Naturally, if your needs are different, you can match our suggestions to your own requirements. Below we present an absolute minimum to be complemented with your inventory:

  • Small cranked or battery operated radio
  • LED and induction (or crank) flashlights
  • Various types of battery stock
  • Candles with a supply of matches, lighters, flint
  • Petroleum lamps with wicks and kerosene stocks
  • Can openers, bottle openers
  • Sturdy waste sacks of various capacities
  • Coffee filters
  • Sharp knives
  • Disposable dishes and cutlery
  • Aluminum foil
  • Strings of various types and lengths
  • Scissors
  • Strong adhesive tape
  • Work and disposable gloves
  • Multifunction penknife - multitool
  • Buckets, bowls

Health

Hygiene

In an emergency, our health may be over-exposed to harmful factors. Therefore, maintaining hygiene is particularly important – it may protect us from many life-threatening diseases, transmitted by dirt, including dirty hands. In a separate area, you should keep:

  • Liquid or diced soap
  • Toothpastes and brushes
  • Hair shampoo
  • Deodorant
  • Cotton and paper towels
  • Toilet paper
  • Plain and moistened hygiene wipes
  • Tampons and pads
  • Shaving cream/ disposable shavers
  • Scissors, cutter, pliers, nail file
  • UV-filter cream
  • Lipstick
  • Sunglasses
  • Additional pair of glasses for those using corrective glasses

Prepare disinfectants by yourself according to one of the two WHO-recommended recipes:

First recipe:

  • 8 333 ml of 96% spirit
  • 417 ml of 3% oxidized water
  • 145 ml of glycerol (glycerin) 98%
  • Make up to 10 liters with sterile distilled or boiled water
  • After mixing, set aside for 72 hours to disinfect the containers with the remains of possible microbes

Second recipe:

  • 7 515 ml isopropyl alcohol (isopropanol) 99.8%
  • 417 ml of 3% oxidized water
  • 145 ml of glycerol (glycerin) 98%
  • Make up to 10 liters with sterile distilled or boiled water
  • After mixing, set aside for 72 hours to disinfect the containers with the remains of possible microbes

Private Life Saver's Kit– a customized first aid kit

To design an Private Life Saver's Kit, we need to use a container. It may be a plastic box, a bag, a sachet (optimally waterproof). The more pockets, lockers, compartments in the container, the better – it’ll be easier to segregate the content.

A holder should include:

Medical devices for general use

  • Elastic bandage, plain (cotton) bandage, large gauze, set of gauze, cotton swabs
  • Plaster without dressing (rolled up on a roll), plasters with dressing (set)
  • Disposable medical gloves (for those who are allergic to latex - pay good attention to the composition)
  • Scissors, tweezers, safety pin
  • Compression bands, preferably wide
  • Celox-A - hemostatic agent in the form of an applicator
  • Dice soap
  • Spirit, oxidised water, potassium permanganate, Octenisept
  • Liquids - physiological salt, electrolytes
  • Sutures (needle and a thread in sterile packaging, ready to use)
  • Two large heating sets with NRC film that will counteract the cooling

Medicines – given medicines are our suggestion, ask your doctor what will fit you best

  • Antibiotics - locally acting as ointment - Bactrim, Balneocin, Argosulfan, Octenilin gel
  • Special bandages like Aquacel Ag, Bactigras
  • Broad spectrum antibiotics - must include G+ and, very importantly, G-
  • Painkillers - locally acting as Bengay, Camphor, Viper, weaker drugs like Nurofen, Paracetamol, Ibuprofen, Ketonal, Diclofenac and stronger (narcotic): Tramadol, Morphine, Oxycodone, Fentanyl, Buprenorphine etc.
  • Stopping diarrhea drugs
  • Medicaments regulating bacterial flora, electrolytes
  • Phenistil gel, bite preparations
  • Medicines taken permanently by family members
  • Animals’ medicines

Have a minimum of 6 months' supply of permanently taken drugs, arrange them in a way to use the ones you bought the earliest. We recommend to check the expiry dates of medicines regularly.

Documentation

Secure the most important documentation – yours and your family members. Make photocopies and scans of your most important documents:

  • Identity card, passport, driving license
  • Confirmation of the other entitlement, if you have one
  • School certificates, graduation diplomas
  • Certificates of employment
  • Proof of ownership of the vehicle, registration certificate
  • Civil status records (birth, marriage, death)
  • Notarial deeds confirming ownership of real estate
  • Insurance contracts - personal and property
  • Animal health booklet with records of recent vaccinations
  • Take photos of the house and its equipment or record it - a copy of such documentation will make it easier for you to obtain compensation from the insurer
  • Other documentation, according to materiality determined individually

It’s good to archive copies of documents in a fireproof cassette or in a safe, at your discretion. While preparing computer data copies, you can place it inside an external drive. Choose a location to place a safe – it may be your house or apartment, or any other difficult to situate place. If it seems necessary, prepare a second copy of these documents and deposit them in another location, such as: your parents’, grandparents’ or good friends’ house.

You can certify copies of documents with a Notary Public, so that these documents will possess the same importance as the originals.

Funds

In accordance with the principle that says it’s not good to place all the belongings in one place – make use of it when it comes to money.

Cash

It’s necessary to have some cash in the pocket. Preferably, it’s a reasonable amount of money, in different denominations, including a lot of coins. Let it be cash that you won’t spend daily. It’s supposed to be in your pocket or wallet, with you.

It’s also mandatory to have some cash at home, in sufficient quantity to last at least 3 months. Consider dividing it into several parts, and place each part separately (remember where!). Question securing your money in a foreign currency as well.

Valuable objects

It’s good to possess small (easy to take away immediately) valuable items, i.e. chains, rings, coins, gemstones. Therefore, the object’s material is essential to be a raw material that will never lose its value - gold, silver, gemstones. Such objects may turn out to be a better protection than paper money and also an element of barter trade. Additionally, they take up relatively little space.

Money in the bank, payments

In a modern world, cashless trading has become commonplace and the risks associated with our banked money are truly significant and real. Moreover, the mobile applications usage is exposed to high risk, as banks don’t accept complaints if someone impersonates you. Consequently:

  • Place money in at least two banks
  • Create a savings account, transfer your surpluses there
  • Daily use your current account
  • Use your payment cards only for your current account (never for a savings account)
  • Don't use e-banking on the phone - it's very easy for hackers to deprive you of cash or take out a loan on your behalf
  • When logging into your bank account, make sure that the connection is encrypted (see if the padlock in your browser bar is closed)
  • Protect your transaction with additional confirmation, e.g. SMS to your phone
  • Never give anyone passwords to your account