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Friday, June 7, 2013

Preparing for an emergency

Hurricane season is getting into swing here in Florida. Having been a native, I’ve seen my share of crazy storms and the after math that can follow. I no longer freak out during storms. I’m used to them. I do, however, still believe in being prepared. Anything is possible and having your family set up for success in hurricane season means you have supplies and plans all set.
For this season we have gotten a head start. Candles and flashlights in case the lights go out. My sons are scared of the dark during storms and my husband is partially blind as well as deaf so having light is a must. Don’t forget the extra batteries and matches (or lighter and fluid). You never know how long the power could be out.
What are other ways to prepare? Food is important. If they close the roads or the power goes out, you might be stuck with only what’s in your pantry. How long will it last your family? What will you be able to use without power? We chose to stock up on things like bread and crackers, peanut butter, water (bottles and gallons), my husband’s chips (can’t go without them for too long before going into withdrawal!), finger snack foods for the kids like cheese crackers and fruit snacks.
There are other canned foods that may not taste that great straight from the can, but when it comes down to it – you make do. Those types of things are beans’n’weanies, beans, and even ravioli. What types of things would your family have on the emergency list of foods? You could even consider investing in something like the Wise Food Storage company products.
First Aid comes next in the list of important things to have on hand. No matter what the emergency that comes your way – hurricane, tornado, flood, snow storm – injury can be imminent. Having bandages, Vaseline, Neosporin, gauze, surgical tape, Ace bandages,  saline solution, eye drops, lip balm, rubbing alcohol (you can keep the drinking kind on hand too if that’s your thing), peroxide, surgical scissors, sunscreen, hand sanitizer…. You get the idea? These are things that could come useful and I keep them packed in a kit for “just in case” moments. Don’t forget a blanket or few always clean and packed to go.

Make sure you keep your valuable documents not only locked up, but in a waterproof casing of some sort. A large baggie works. Insurance information, birth certificates, I keep baby books with them too, marriage license (no, just because you lose this doesn’t absolve the marriage – just means you have to pay for a new copy). On the same token, medications and special instructions should be kept with these. Don’t forget your Will if you have one!
Now for miscellaneous items that might seem trivial… spare razors, spare toothbrushes, eye glass cleaners for all my fellow ‘four eyes’, perhaps things to pass the time with. Keep everything packed in waterproof bins if you can and keep them in a place that has easy access when you are in a rush.
But being prepared shouldn’t end with homes only. I also try to keep as prepared as possible on the go. My diaper bag is actually a backpack. It holds more things and is easier for me to keep things organized. In my trunk I keep another backpack with a thick but easy-to-carry blanket, bottled water, and a first aid kit. I also try to keep a portable case that has my jumper cables neatly stored. Keeping snacks in there is a good idea as well. Just remember to switch them out every so often so you aren’t stuck with hard/stale food in your car. If you are able, keep a gas can or two full of gas somewhere nearby. I don’t suggest you keep it inside your home as it’s a fire hazard (especially for apartment dwellers like me). Keep a mini tool kit with things helpful for not just inside needs but car needs as well. Address books are great too in case your smart phone (if you rely on it) should run out of battery.
Remember that this list is not all inclusive! Every family is different with their own unique needs. I need diapers for my baby girl as well as baby foods (or a grinder). I also refuse to leave without my Bible, cape and katana. But I’m a nerd. For my sons, I have little individual-sized pillows and a little bag of toys. Fashion your list to fit your needs and the needs of your family.
If you can afford one, I suggest investing in a power generator. Then you can have electricity for important things like cooking and heating water. Another thing that might be worth investing in is a grill. Even a small one that is easy to store and use can come in handy.  
Also have a plan. Know what you and your family will do during an emergency. For my own family, I might be at work so I have a plan for my husband and children to follow until I can return home to them. Add variations to cater to different scenarios. Hurricanes are treated differently than fires. Tornadoes require different actions than a flood. A little prevention goes a long way.

Now I'm curious... what kind of emergencies would you be most likely to prepare for? Have you seen Doomsday Preppers? Talk about hardcore. Radiation, government collapse, extreme weather, and yes - even a zombie apocalypse! What steps do you or have you taken so far? Leave me a comment below!

2 comments:

  1. Great tips. I love how you laid things out to show what can be put into kits. Thanks.

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    Replies
    1. I'm glad you liked it! I know how when I make a kit up, I often forget things unless I check everything I had or have a checklist. Hope this helps you and everyone else be prepared!

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