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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Baby Steps, #1: Plan for a short-term emergency

“It’s an emergency!”  How many times have I heard one of my kids yell during any given week?  Sometimes it really is an emergency, but just as often, they only want me to see a new toy advertised on TV or listen to a newly discovered knock-knock joke.
Knock-knock!
Who’s there?
Don’t you recognize me?   (groan)
In real life, emergencies and emergency planning are no joke, but too often we get caught up  in the day to day busyness of our lives and take proactive steps to prepare for life’s unpleasant surprises.  If the idea of being prepared for emergencies, is overwhelming, let me suggest a simple baby step.  Plan and prepare for a one-week emergency.  By far, this is the most likely event you and your family will encounter whether it’s a severe weather event, a natural disaster, or a flu bug that hits everyone in the family, mom included.
Need some baby steps to help you get started or to pass along to a friend who is just beginning her journey?  Here are some simple

Water storage

One of the easiest things you’ll ever stock up on is water.  It’s as simple as refilling clean 2-liter soda bottles with tap water, labeling them with the date filled, and storing them in a closet or under a bed.  Fourteen of these bottles is a week’s supply of water for one person.  Empty juice bottles work just as well.  Buy a few cases of bottled water if you like, and you’re set.
water bottles The Baby Steps, #1: Plan for a short term emergencyimage by shrff14

A week’s supply of food

This step is a little more tricky because I want you to assume that your power will be out for some or all of this week-long emergency.  Think about meals your family would eat that require little preparation.  Without electricity, you’ll be eating things like cereal with dehydrated milk and pudding cups.  Stock up on some energy bars, applesauce, jerky and dehydrated fruits and veggies. Peanut butter and honey on crackers, Dinty Moore stew, pudding and applesauce cups, and trail mix will keep tummies filled until life returns to normal.  With a black Sharpie, circle the expiration dates on these products since many aren’t intended for long-term storage.

A back-up method of heating water and cooking

Whew!  It’s amazing how many more options there are when you can heat up some water and cook a simple meal.  A solar oven, rocket stove, grill with plenty of fuel or a campstove (with fuel) will make life easier and meals more satisfying.  Having a method of heating water for purification might be a lifesaver.  Just be very, very certain that whatever method you choose can be used safely in your home or yard.

Stock up on non-edibles

At some point during this emergency, someone is going to get a splitting headache, and it will probably be you!  Make sure you tuck away an extra bottle of painkiller and a children’s version as well.  This emergency could happen just when you use up your last drop of shampoo, so be sure you have extras of things like shampoo, baby wipes, toilet paper, dish and laundry soap, tampons, etc.  Again, look for bargains, and buy what you can, when you can.  In case you find yourself in a water shortage, stock up on paper plates, cups, and disposable forks and spoons.
Emergencies will always catch us by surprise.  That’s their nature.  However, whether we are prepared or not is entirely up to us.  Take action today to put these four steps into place, and you’ll feel ready for Baby Step #2.
Don’t miss my series, “The Baby Steps”, with a new step posted each Wednesday!  Subscribe via RSS feed or my email newsletter so you don’t miss a thing.
© 2010, thesurvivalmom. All rights reserved.
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