Thursday, March 24, 2011

Getting Prepared!

Due to the tragic tsunami and earthquake in Japan our family has been thinking a lot about emergency preparedness. Our tiny family of three needs to have a plan if something were to happen. So here are some things that we have been doing to get prepared.

When fire season hit our small town in 2007 we were not prepared. When my family was evacuated I grabbed our 72 hour food kits, which were gifted to us, then discovered that the food was expired. We were stuck in our car in traffic for hours while our entire town was evacuated through the only two roads open. One road was the military base and the other was a web of winding roads through Del Luz Canyon. We however were lucky to have family that lived in Del Luz and knew the roads well. We were also luck that most people would have rather waited in traffic then get lost in Del Luz. We still sat in traffic but not as long as friends of ours did. I know many people who sat in there cars for hours on deserted military property. Not able to get out of there cars, or stop for food. Eating whatever they might have grabbed in the 15 mins they gave us to get out. Praying that there homes had not been consumed by the unpredictable fires. I know that none of them were in traffic for 72 hours but there kits would have come in handy if they had little children in the car that needed to eat often. I grabbed whatever I could and we snacked on crackers and juice boxes till we arrived at my brothers home. If our 72 hour food kits would have been up to date we would have had enough snacks and treats to feed us for those grueling hours in traffic. My poor little 2 year old at the time had no clue what was going on and she wanted more in her tummy. 

This was a lesson to me, be prepared! Make sure you have emergency essentials. You might ask what are emergency essentials. They might be a little different for everyone but they are basic things that will make your life easier during an emergency. 

First you need to think what are the emergency I am going to face living where I live. We live in California. Most common emergencies are earthquakes and fires. Think about what you will need if you get evacuated. I know people who were evacuated from there homes in the middle of the night. You might want to have a change of clean clothes and shoes in your kit. Where will I store it? What will I store it in? What will my kids need? What will we eat? How will we stay warm? There are so many question you need to think of. Here is a simple list of basic supplies. 

In our 72 hour canvas duffel bag I have several 2 Gallon Ziploc Bags that are each for separate essentials. One is for toilettes, one for each persons extra clothes and shoes, one for kids (game, coloring books and toys), and one for  tools (radio, duct tape, batteries, flash light, etc.)

□ supply of water (one gallon per person per day) (How I do our water storage is very simple! We drink apple juice every week. I wash out our juice bottles with a little bleach and fill the with tap water and put them in and empty cupboard or some place where they won't be disturbed.) 
□ first aid kit and prescription medications and over the counter (Advil, children's Motrin)
□ extra pair of glasses
cash (if your area that has no power you will need cash)

□ change of clothes and sturdy shoes
□ battery powered radio, or winding radio

□ blankets or sleeping bags, rain poncho, body warmer, emergency blankets

□ N95 dust mask, working gloves, duct tape, swiss army knife
□ flashlight with batteries
□ wind/waterproof matches, and candle
□ personal hygiene products (wet wipes, feminine products, tooth care, toilet paper, hair brush, etc.)
□ games, books, toys
□ list of emergency plan contact info and your personal important documents

Before when I was talking about my food 72 hour kits and how they were expired. Here is what I made for my 72 hour food kits. It is basic food 72 hour kit, one for each family member in your house. I taped this printable sheet below to the front of a 2 Gallon Ziploc Freezer Bag. The biggest I could find. The cooking stove and the cooking fuel they are referring to at the bottom of the paper is this great little fold-able stove and cans of fuel. Each can of fuel can cook up to 5 hours. You can blow them out when you are done and use it again for the next meal. I have 2 fuel cans in each of my kits and one fold-able stove for each kit.

I hope that this helps anyone who is trying to figure out what to do and how to get started.
Thanks for looking.

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