Do you have a disaster plan in place? A home emergency kit?
No one wants a disaster, but even minor disruptions can cause chaos if you are not prepared.
As much as we think we have everything under control, we can't control Mother Nature. Nasty storms, tornadoes, floods and power outages, can cause a lot of havoc in those first 48 hours or more. Basic needs become difficult if you are not ready.
Many areas that are used to rough weather will tell you they have everything they need for a bad winter. But even in the summer, we can still need those supplies to help us through the crisis, especially if the hydro is out or the roads are blocked.
But what do you pack? Where do you keep it?
Here is a basic list of supplies you should gather to place in your home emergency kit:
bottled water (depending on the size of your household, you can get large containers)
canned food and can opener
packaged snacks such as granola bars and cereal bars
candles and matches
first aid kit
The above list is the basics, and you most likely have these items around the house now. So instead of running around in a dark house trying to find them, then gather them now, put them in a suitcase or backpack, that you store in a cool dry place, and make sure everyone knows where it is.
Just in case you need to leave your house, you can just grab it and go. If you don't want to use a suitcase or backpack at least a plastic tub, something waterproof and critter proof, since you will have food supplies in there, you don't want to be attracting mice.
If you can afford to add more to your kit, then add:
battery operated radio (make sure to have fresh batteries)
So that you can find out what is going on, and not feel left in the dark. There are usually emergency announcements on the radio. Change out the batteries in your kit at least once a year.
But you will be amazed just how often you will reach for your home emergency kit, as depending on where you live, you don't usually go a year, without some kind of power outage, or ice storm.
Just remember to replace any items you use. But the important message here is, that you are ready. You don't have to try and go out in bad weather to get supplies, and risk your life or health.
Emergency response teams would rather you stay in your home for those first 48 to 72 hours, until things can get organized. Stay tuned to your radio, and also plan some activities to keep kids and yourself busy.
If you are on prescription medicines, you should never let your supply dwindle. Always have an extra month of your medicines, as it could be hard to get a refill in an emergency situation, and you don't want to be falling ill.
Once a year you should go through your home emergency kit, if you have not had to use it yet, and take out anything past the shelf date. If the bottled water has a date, or you just feel it is too old, water your plants with it, and get more. Add it to your shopping list. The same with batteries. Use up the ones in the kit for other household items, and replace your emergency ones with fresh batteries at least once a year.
Otherwise replace them as you use them..
Just think of your home emergency kit or disaster kit (as my kids call it) as part of your household. Make sure everyone knows where it is, and then you are prepared for whatever Mother Nature throws your way!