Saturday, March 29, 2014

Disaster Preparation

When disasters hit, it’s common for store shelves to get stripped bare in a real hurry. Sometimes, the transportation system is hit so hard that highways are closed, and trucks may not be able to deliver supplies to refill the store shelves.

Eventually FEMA or some other relief agency might show up, but that might take days or even weeks. Depending on where you live, you could be on your own for a long, long time, leaving you wondering where your next meal is going to come from.

Well, that’s what I want to talk about right now. How can you avoid being in such a vulnerable position that you have to depend on someone else to provide the basic needs for your survival?

It comes down to this — if you’re wise, you’ll take responsibility for your own welfare. This might sound harsh, and I don’t mean it that way, but I just want to keep things real — when a disaster hits, you’re either part of the problem, or you’re part of the solution. There’s no middle ground.

If you’re prepared to take care of your own needs, that takes pressure off the relief agencies, and allows them to help someone else. That means you’re part of the solution. If you fail to be prepared to take care of your own needs, then you become part of the problem that the relief agencies need to solve.

One of your basic needs is food. When the store shelves are stripped bare, and the trucks aren’t able to resupply the stores, you’ll be out of luck unless you’ve prepared in advance.

You should have at least a 3-week supply of food in your house or apartment, so you don’t need to depend on the store. That’s a 3-week supply of food to make meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner. That’s 21 breakfasts, 21 lunches, and 21 dinners for each member of your family. You need to plan what you would feed your family, and have that much emergency food supply stored in your residence.

The best emergency supply of food consists of what your family normally eats. Don’t fall into the trap of buying bulk dehydrated or freeze dried foods that nobody in the family has ever eaten before, and nobody even knows how to prepare. Simply stock up on extra cans, bottles, and packages of the foods you normally eat. Mark with the date of purchase, and rotate these packages of food into your everyday meals, then replace with fresh ones each time you go to the store. That way, nothing ever gets too old, and you have a sort of mini-store right at your house.

Figure out how to cook if the power is out, and how you will store foods if there is no functioning refrigerator or freezer. One hint is to prepare only enough food for the meal, with no leftovers that need to be refrigerated or frozen. It’s all about planning and preparation.

One final word on this topic — don’t stop with just food. Have on hand enough water for drinking and food preparation. Also, toilet paper, soap, toothpaste, medications, and other supplies that you use on a daily basis. Think of all the things you need to keep yourself going, and then imagine you can’t go to the store to buy any of it. That’s the first step in making your plan. Then go out and buy enough of those items so you wouldn’t be left wanting if the stores were suddenly unavailable. Start with a 3-week supply, and build from there.

Disasters strike suddenly. The key to riding it out is to be prepared.

1 comment:

  1. I'm good for at least a month, and after that there is the neighbors dogs and the local coons.