Hurricane season is almost upon us. There are readers of this blog living in earthquake, tsunami, tornado, winter storm, bird flu pandemic, country music infestation, and even war zones.
All kinds of disasters are going on throughout the world and all we can really do is prepare the best we can, pray hard and then go on living like we mean it.
Who knows if the next terror attacks will involve spit-wad activated nuclear bombs contained in pocket PCs? Not me. I most definitely do not know, homeland security personnel reading this blog. Please do not shut down my site.
We can’t know everything but we can plan for the things we do know are likely to happen. Here are a few random tips for emergency preparedness. Please share yours in abundance.
1. Keep an axe under your bed — Now that you’ve sent me your addresses for those removable tattoos, I may be coming for you. If you’re one of the lucky few who did not give me your street address, you still may want to keep that axe or hatchet handy. If you live in an earthquake zone, there’s a good chance that during the quake your doors will shift, making it either impossible to get out of your bedroom or to get into other rooms in your house. If you’re in an earthquake zone, you should also keep a pair of old shoes (for broken glass) and a flashlight under the bed. This is one of my favorite tips because it’s really easy to do and very practical. Just make sure the hatchet is safe from your kids.
2. Have a single emergency contact — Often in times of emergency people are not able to call into or within the disaster zone but some calls can be made out. Designate one person living in another state to be your main contact. Then if your family is separated in an emergency, you can each call that one person and tell them your whereabouts and they can let you know if they’ve heard from the other members of your family. We emailed all of our family on both sides and told them to contact Dan’s mom in Utah if there was ever an emergency in Seattle. She will be the one person who knows what’s going on.
3. Have enough food and water on hand for at least 3 days but hopefully as much as a full year in case of emergency. Make sure this food is usable (no cooking required unless you have a stove and fuel available) and something you will and can actually eat.
4. Find out about your city and county emergency procedures.
5. Go to the Red Cross and FEMA websites to find tips. They also have print materials they can send you free of charge. The LDS provident living website also has some great ideas for getting started with food storage, including tables to guide you on how much basic food to store.
6. If “they” say evacuate and you have the time and means to evacuate safely, JUST DO IT.
This is just the tip of the ice berg. Share all your great ideas and links and we will revisit this topic again.
That first one–I thought it was a joke at first. It reminds me of when scott was out of town and Aidan found his baseball bet next to my bed. “Why is this here?” Oh, someone must have left it there. “I’ll go put it up.” NO! I mean, you don’t have to…
With the food storage, my aunt taught me something smart. If you’re out of work for 3-6-12 months, you’re not going to need just food. How about shampoo, conditioner, deoderant, lotion, toothbrushes and toothpaste, zip locs, toilet paper, paper towels, etc.? We’re working on having a 3 month **everything** storage, and if/when it’s looking good, we’ll stretch it to 6 months and so on.
Um…..I own a flashlight. Yeah, I’m not really very prepared for an emergency at all. Whoops. Also, the flashlight is really small, was free from Target, and has no batteries. Awesome.
Heather from One Woman's World says
I would say that it’s a good idea to store a camp stove and fuel, so you can actually cook the things you’ve stored, since most things that are ready-to-eat don’t keep long, and are more expensive.
Aunt Murry says
If you have pets, store an extra leash for each pet (the cheap ones) and food for them. I have a tupperware container full. I almost got causght in a tornado once when mine were just pups. Taught me a lesson!
After Katrina, I realized how important it is to keep an axe in the attic, too, if you have the remotest chance of getting flooded.
We’re not as prepared as we should be, but I did buy a large plastic tub with wheels at one end to use for evacuation. It’ll hopefully float (remember them floating stuff around in New Orleans) and only one person is needed to move it. It also fits nicely in the space in the back of my van. Now, I just need to put stuff in it!
I do keep all our important documents in file folders in the very front of a file cabinet in my garage. I’m hoping I can grab them quick, even if the house is on fire. Probably smart people have a fire proof safe for that.
When I’m pregnant, I also send away for the free cans of formula the manufacturers will send you. Breastfeeding comes easily enough for me, so I don’t use it, but its a comfort to know its there should something happen to me or my milk supply in an emergency situation.
The Country Music Infestation has arrived here. We are embracing it. Well, some of us are. My husband is not embracing it so much. He prays every day that we will be released from its evil clutches. Too bad he didn’t read your emergency preparedness tips BEFORE we got married. I’m sure the ax would have been an excellent for a little newlywed radio-squishing.
I was going through my food storage and my day-to-day life to see what we were missing.
Ladies, don’t forget the “feminine supplies”. Add having *that* happen during an emergency is just one more thing to worry about. We also have mulivitamins in our food storage as well as coloring books and crayons and a few things that we could use to entertain the kids. Right now EVERYWHERE has crayons on sale.
Also, has anyone heard if sugar prices are going up? I had heard it in passing that the sugar crops were rained out. Our stores are having caselots and if it could save me money to stock up on lots of sugar now, why not?
shannon @ rocks in my dryer says
We keep two oil lamps in our garage (the old-fashioned, Little House On the Prairie kind) plus 2 big full bottles of oil. Cheaper and handier than having tons of batteries and flashlight bulbs on hand. Plus, it’d kind of fun. We live in tornado country, so power outages in the spring are fairl common. We just turn on the lamps and play Little House!
Eskinose Kisses says
We have the LED flashlights that don’t need batteries in each of our 72 hour kits and they really weren’t that expensive (around $8). We also have an emergency kit in one of our cars….now we just need to get one for the other car. And we have a first aid kit we keep with our 72 hr kits. My husband used to think I was crazy to be stocking up like it’s Y2K, but I’d much rather have what little supplies we’ve been able to get than nothing at all. Now he thinks I’m crazy for other reasons! ;o)
We use old milk jugs washed out and fill them up with water. Not nessacarrily to drink, but in case the water is shut off in an emergency situation.
Don’t forget to have important prescriptions on hand if at all possible, have at least a 3 month supply.
One of the little things we do (since we aren’t doing all the big things we should) is try to make sure our car never has less than a half-tank of gas. Just in case of emergency. The other thing we try to do is have extra supplies of diapers, wipes, etc. I hate hate hate having to run to the store (if I even have the car!) because we’re down to our last diaper. So now we run to the store when we’re down to our last 50-pack of diapers.
You could just do like us.
Live in denial that anything will ever happen and have no “stashes”. All of our flashlights have dead batteries. Thanks kids.
This will seem silly, maybe, but…
BUY A HOUSE WITH (DECENT) STORAGE SPACE.
We didn’t. We bought our 3-bedroom no-basement house when we had 4 children. The fifth child complicated things a little, but we managed. But there isn’t anywhere decent to store stuff, particularly not anywhere that doesn’t range between 0 F and 100 F over the course of the year (ie, garage or shed).
We end up stashing things in hallways and bedrooms. That’s hard to do when the master bedroom is a whopping 9×10…