Thursday, September 1, 2011

September is Emergency Preparedness Month

All this month I will be posting topics that we should be thinking about when preparing for an emergency.

Today let's talk about the basics:  Food, Water, Shelter

The national government has advertised that we need to have at least a three day supply of food in case of emergencies.  Since we don't know what kind of emergency we will be preparing for all the time if we are going to talk "basics" here then we need to think about a variety of food items that will sustain us for at least three days.  We might have power, we might not.  So we should prepare for both.  If we have power then we can cook on an electric stove or oven.  We could also include foods from our freezer, fresh veggies on hand and canned foods that need to be heated to eat.  If we don't have electricity then we should be prepared to eat foods straight out of the package or canned foods cold.  If we don't have electricity we might still have a cooking source like our grill or a campstove.  It is a good idea to include an alternate cooking source in our emergency kit that way you have a way to cook other than relying on power.

Recommendations say we should have a three day supply of water for each member of our family and for our pets.  This is a gallon a day per person.  So for my family a three day supply of water is 15 gallons.  That sounds like a lot, especially if we have to move.  If you can't keep a three day supply of water or if you have to evacuate and can't carry it then consider a filter system or purification tablets.  They are much easier to carry.

This will vary from emergency to emergency and from season to season.  The best place for shelter is our own home.  If we can stay there it will be best.  However, that is not always  possible.  A shelter may be a tent, a trailer if you have one, a hotel room or possibly your car.  When thinking about shelter we also need to consider the season and the weather.  Again sheltering in place seems the most logical but if it is the dead of winter then we need a heating source.  If we have to evacuate our home then we need to think about another type of shelter.  A tent would be logical but in the dead of winter that may not be reasonable.  Sheltering in your car might not be logical either.  If we keep a small amount of emergency money in our BOB (Bug out bag) then we might be able to afford a hotel room or other accommodations for a while.

Once you have these basics then you can begin to expand upon them.

Here are a link to help get started:

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