Did you know that the month of September is National Preparedness Month? Yep, it’s a real thing. And you know what? I love that there’s a designated month on the calendar where it’s cool to talk about the scary real possibility of disasters happening.
On Instagram this week I talked about how we’re slowly rebuilding our winter stockpile of food (and TP of course…) and how this stockpile saved my family last year when Hurricane Zeta tore through my part of the world. Luckily our home didn’t sustain any damage but we were without power and without the ability to drive far from home due to flooding, down power lines, and the roads being such a mess no one could pass through them.
Having our generator and the food we stockpiled away meant that my family was 100% okay. It, more importantly, meant that we were able to gift our neighbors food from our stockpile.
Another thing that helped us during this time was having cash on hand at home. We were able to purchase fuel for the generator despite the gas station not having internet access (for their card readers) and the only form of payment being accepted was cash.
What to have on hand in case of an emergency.
I wanted to share with you a quick list of things that you can start gathering together this month to help you should an emergency arise.
- A modest stockpile of non-perishable foods (see video below for what I usually keep in ours & if you have a pet make sure to have a modest stockpile of their food as well).
- Bottle water (the best tip I got growing up was to immediately clean then fill your bathtub(s) with water if you do not have bottled water on hand when disaster strikes. If disaster strikes but your water is still running, fill up those tubs just in case!)
- If you have infants or toddlers, stock up on formula and diapers.
- Feminine hygiene products.
- Cash (this doesn’t need to be thousands of dollars but a hundred dollars or so – in small bills – should be sufficient in most emergencies to at least purchase fuel or other supplies).
- Candles & matches or lighters.
- Flashlights and extra batteries.
- Portable charger.
- Toilet Paper (or camp wipes)
- If you have a wood-burning fireplace, make sure to have seasoned firewood on hand.
- Fireproof safe/box (to store your sensitive documents like your Will, birth certs & passports).
- Basic medications (pain killers, cough medications, or any specific medications that your family would need to have access to should an emergency arise like an EpiPen).
- Consider a sleeping bag for every person. This is a great way to stay warm should your power go out and you have no way to heat your home in winter.
- Generator (if you have the budget for one – keep in mind that older generators typically do not use “clean” power and you, therefore, cannot charge your phone or laptop properly and could cause damage).
- Emergency radio
- And last but never least, a Bible.
Of course, there are probably specific things that your family may need but hopefully, this list will help get you thinking about what you’d need in the event of a disaster. And if you have been impacted by Hurricane Ida, my prayers are with you. I know that if you lived through Katrina this is another gut-wrenching moment for you and your family. And I’m truly sorry for your losses from this storm.
What we typically stockpile.
Below is the video that showcases our stockpile from last year – even though some folks in the comments on YouTube were apparently upset by me not being super organized. So if you’re offended by those sorts of things, this may not be the video for you. 😉
Other things to consider…
In addition to the above list of possible things to consider in your emergency preparedness plan, these things should be considered as well. Especially depending on where you live and the type of storms you may encounter.
- Do you have a shelter plan? (this could be for work, home, or if you needed to go to a mass shelter – where would you go if there was a tornado?)
- Do you have or know what your evacuation route is?
- Do you have a communication plan with your family or extended members of your family?
- Does every member of your family know where the emergency meeting place is? The mailbox? A neighbors house? Also having a meeting place that is outside of the city you live in can be very helpful if your area is prone to catastrophic weather and having to evacuate.
- Do you have a fully-funded emergency fund? Or at least a Starter Emergency Fund? If not, let’s get that growing so you have something to fall back on if disaster strikes!
These are just some of the things to consider when creating your emergency preparedness kit. Obviously, we will never be 100% prepared. Life is really unpredictable and that’s what makes it so beautiful. But I do believe that we can offset some of the chaos that comes in emergencies with a little bit of planning and forethought.
What is something that your family keeps in for emergencies?
See more on what to prepare here at FEMA.
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