September is Preparedness Month
Where you live, Mother Nature also lives.
Make a Kit
Why should you stockpile food, water, and other supplies? Because bad things happen. You never know when disaster will strike.
Whether it is a Snow Storm, Ice Storm, Hurricane, Wildfires, Tsunami, Tornado, Earthquake, Sand Storm or Flooding, you should always be prepared. This goes for humans and pets alike.
A first aid kit should always be available in all areas; Home, Car, Boat, etc.
Emergency kits should be kept at all times. If you wait until you need it, it is a sure bet others have beaten you to it. Grocery stores may be empty. The power grid, water/gas lines, transportation, fuel, and highways may all be broken or shut down. FEMA is NOT responsible for providing you food and supplies. It is your responsibility to provide food, water, and other supplies for at least the first three days of a disaster. In extreme cases, you could be on your own for up to several weeks or even months.
Basic 2-3 day stockpile for your home:
Food should not be a concern because most people typically have more than 2-3 days worth of food on hand, and could go that long without eating if necessary. The biggest need is having sufficient water on-hand. You will need 1 gallon of water per person per day. Use tap water in six-gallon water containers, and/or use buckets with lids. To purify, either boil the water, add 8 drops of bleach per gallon or water purification tablets.
6-8 week stockpile needs for more severe disasters:
Buy bulk items of food having a long shelf life. You could buy and store your own rice, beans, pasta, and other dry or canned goods. Another alternative if you do not want to have to worry about shelf life of the food, you can buy Freeze-dried & Dehydrated foods. The shelf life for this type is around 25 years.
- Keep canned food in a cool, dry place
- Store boxed food in tightly closed plastic or metal containers
- Replace expired items as needed
- Re-think your needs every year and update your kit as family's needs change
You can also purchase already prepared Emergency Kits. Costco, Amazon, Survival, and Sporting Goods stores, just to name a few. Do your research. Another alternative is to make your own.
These kits, based on the supplier, include food that has a shelf life between 15-25 years. Search for reviews with respect to the taste of the food. We do not think you want to eat cardboard. The food should taste good especially if you have children.
The typical survival kits include supplies such as matches, cord, space blankets, water pouches, compass, multi-tool, etc. Some also include a water filtration system, hand crank flashlight/radio/cell phone charger. These kits are great in case you have to evacuate your home. You may have to pack a can opener, toilet paper (I suggest wet wipes), towels, etc.
- Family Communication Plan: Who to call-Family/Friends in and out of state
Choose an out-of-area emergency contact person. It may be easier to text or call long distance if local phone lines are overloaded or out of service. Everyone should have emergency contact information in writing and/or programmed into their cell phones.
No Cell or Landline service? Purchase 2-way radios (a.k.a Walky-Talkies). We would suggest one that is long range.
- Utility Shut-Off: Where and how to shut off the water, power, and gas
- Escape Plan: When, where, and how to bug out to if your home or city becomes too dangerous. Choose two places to meet in case of a sudden emergency, such as a fire. Right outside your home outside your neighborhood, in case you cannot return home or are asked to evacuate
- Safety Skills: How to provide CPR, dress a wound, properly prepare water, set up temporary shelters, start a fire, etc.
What might other stuff be worth stockpiling?
- Fire: lighter; matches
- Fuel: extra propane tanks; kerosene; gasoline; wood
- Light:flashlights (hand crank?); candles; lantern; wicks
- Cooking: vegetable oil; cook stove; cast iron pans
- Flavoring: salt; sugar; honey
- Protein: tuna/chicken cans; boxes of oatmeal; dry milk
- Carb's: dry pasta w/cans of tomato sauce; crackers; dry cereal
- Toiletries: buy large Costco quantities for everyday use, always have spares
- First-Aid¹: band-aids, vitamins, iodine (f/radiation), rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide
- Drugs: aspirin, analgesics, antibiotics, antifungals, antihistamines, antivirals, and steroids
- Water:buckets w/lid; bleach; filter (Britta?); identify local source
- Power: batteries; rechargeable batteries; a solar recharger
- Weapons:(for defense) shotgun, pistol, rifle, ammo, bat, machete, sword, nun-chuks...
- Shelter: tarp; stakes; rope; twine; sleeping bag; blankets
- Seeds: if extreme TSHTF then start your own vegetable garden
- Help/Barter: buy more of the above than you need to help neighbors and for trading
Source: ready.gov, redcross.org, Fema.gov