Resolve to be Ready in 2012!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


Still making New Year’s resolutions for 2012? Join FEMA and Resolve to be Ready in 2012! The nationwide campaign’s goal is to increase awareness and encourage everybody to be prepared for emergencies in the coming year. Roughly half of all Americans make New Year’s resolutions and commit to improving their lifestyles or reaching a long-term goal. Why not make a resolution that is easy to keep – and can save lives?

Article by Auxiliarist Mary Bethea, Harrisburg, PA

The water can be a dangerous and hostile place, but if you’re prepared, you can dramatically increase the odds of survival if your boat sinks.  One of the ways you can Resolve to be Ready is to have a properly equipped ‘ditch bag’ aboard your boat.  A ditch bag is a water-tight, buoyant package stocked with basic tools and supplies, which has been prepared in advance of a boating emergency. Having a ditch bag just very may well save your life.

The well-equipped ditch bag could mean the difference between a close call and your last call. Photo from BoatTEST.

What’s in a ditch bag? Contents could include (needs may vary):
– water-proof, handheld VHF radio
portable GPS
– flare kit
– first aid kit
– sunblock
– ziplock bags (for passports, cell phones, etc…)
– drinking water
– waterproof flashlight
– green light sticks
– some line
– sound producing device

The ditch bag should be kept in a location where you can retrieve it in case of a rapid disaster, such as a catastrophic hull breach or fire. And, as always, your life jacket should be on – not in the ditch bag.

Remember, you have to survive to be found. So be ready and take FEMA’s Resolve to be Ready pledge.  Visit or, which includes free information, checklists, and guidelines about how to put together an emergency preparedness kit, make a plan, and stay informed.


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