Are you ready for the SH$# to hit the fan? Whether it be a terrorist plot, zombie invasion, or Mother Nature wreaking havoc on us, you need to be ready to provide and protect your family.
Do you have enough water for your family? The bare minimum for survival is one gallon drinking water per family member per day. This doesn’t include washing dishes, bathing, or flushing! We need lots of water people, lots of water. An easy way of storing water is to use the 2 liter soda bottles. Just clean them out and rinse with a bleach solution (1t to a gallon water) then fill and store. While these may not contain the best tasting water after a time, the water will be good enough to bathe with, flush with, or heat to do dishes. You can store the water in many places even if you have a very small home—under the bed, under the couch, etc. I personally like the 5 gallon camping water containers that are available in the sporting goods department of many stores.
Do you have spare cash in the house for emergency needs? ATMs are not able to spit out cash in a power outage so you need to keep money squirreled away for the rainy day! If you cannot put back a large amount , start small. Save your change or put back at least a dollar per week. Something is better than nothing!
Do you have easy to prepare food in the house? In an emergency, you may not have the provisions to fully cook raw meat, dried beans or rice. It would use a lot of propane or wood to properly cook these items. I know most people want to get away from processed foods, but in an emergency situation, those cans of stew or ravioli are gonna be mighty tastey! If you really do not want the store bought canned stuff, then home can some high protein foods that are just heat and eat. I can vegetable soup, beef stew, chicken, and beef; all of which could be eaten straight from the jar or just heated quickly. Canned fruit or fruit juice is a blessing as well—store bought or home canned. Dried or evaporated milk is also a good thing to store. Remember if you buy the store canned goods to have a hand operated can opener on hand as well! Cooking oil or shortening are great to have on hand as well!
How will you heat your food? Small propane tanks are cheap, easy to store and use. You can buy a small burner attachment very inexpensively for those. Stock up your grill propane tanks. We have 3 and try to always have 2 filled spares on hand. No propane grill, then stock up on charcoal, lighter fluid, and matches, and matches. Did I say matches? You will never have too many! I would store my charcoal in plastic garbage bags to keep the moisture out. Also, you could stock up on those Sterno cans to heat small amounts of food.
How will you provide light for your family? Emergency candles are cheap and easy to store. Oil lamps can provide a lot of light in a room and also several will heat a small room if it is sealed off. You can find new oil lamps at many department stores and don’t forget to stock up on lamp oil, extra wicks, and oh yes, matches! I am lucky enough to have several antique oil lamps filled and ready for emergencies! I decorate with them but they really are so very practical! A hand powered flashlight is an awesome tool to keep on hand. No batteries to replace and you can find nifty ones on amazon that have emergency radios in them as well as cell phone chargers. What a great item to have in your preparedness arsenal!
Battery flashlights are a good thing to have on hand as long as you have batteries stored for it also. Remember, batteries will last longer if stored in a freeze inside plastic jars or containers.
Solar bulbs are an option. They can be charged all day in the sun then brought indoors to provide some light. I must say though, I bought a cheaper one and it isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. I would have better spent my money on cheap garden solar lights—you could just bring them indoors at night!
Some miscellaneous supplies that would be useful in an emergency would be plastic tarps, duct tape, plastic trash bags, paper plates and plastic eating utensils, and the biggie------TP. Yep, good old toilet paper. Can you just imagine running out of this gold paper (as my Boy Scouts used to call it)? EWE, GROSS! What would it hurt to stash an extra couple of pkgs. of TP under the bed for emergency use?
You need some boredom busters! What will you do with no TV, cable, or computers? Heaven forbid the kids or hubby get bored! Stock up on board games and cards. You will never regret this—trust me!
These are just basics in preparedness but will go a long way to make an emergency situation more tolerable.
Please share your preparedness tips in the comments—we can never be too prepared!