Saturday, March 7, 2009

Emergency Preparedness

As we’re heading into the spring weather, and the associated bad weather alerts that go with it, it’s time to think about being prepared in the event of an emergency. We had a thunderstorm/tornado warning in Sedgwick county tonight – the first one of the season. With that thought in mind, I decided to address some of the things we need to keep in mind when deciding what to do, what to store, and how to prepare for any given emergency.

There are several sites out there dedicated to food storage and being prepared for emergencies. One of the best groups I know of to learn from would be the Mormons. Their teachings have advocated food storage for generations. Originally, I believe it was seven years, then two years, and now one year. At minimum, you should have a three month supply of the things you eat on a regular basis, and a twelve month supply of staples and things that will keep for a long time, such as the beans, rice, sugar, salt, cooking oil, etc.

The main thing to keep in mind from each of the sites I’ve seen is to store what you eat, and eat what you store. It doesn’t save you any money if you buy things your family won’t eat, or if you buy things that will expire before you can get them eaten. My daughter is terribly picky and she turned up her nose at my beans (several 1# bags of them). I said if she was hungry enough, she’d gladly eat those beans (I feel the same way about white rice). She was doubtful, but I bet she would. I said she didn’t have to like it, but she would eat it. She’d rather have cereal.
Some of the food storage sites I’ve come across are: – you will have to provide your email address to receive information. - I got this link from a friend’s site and it seems to have a lot of good information. - This isn’t a “food storage” site in the traditional sense, but I got this one from the previous one and it’s got good ideas for getting the most bang for your buck. - this blog entry is fairly old, but the information still very good.

I’ve purchased quite a bit of the extras that will keep for long periods of time. I think I have 10-15 pounds of beans, 5-7 pounds of rice, 3 – 5 bags of flour, 3 - 5# bags of sugar, several boxes of cereal (we like cereal around here and I rotate the stock), 2-3 jars of peanut butter, 2-3 jars of jelly, 6 bottles of spaghetti sauce, several pounds of pasta, about 3 pounds of noodles, a case of Ramen, 3 pounds of powdered sugar, 10 cans of condensed milk, a few bottles of cooking oil, one big box of powdered milk, and then some assorted cases of vegetables and canned fruit. It’s not nearly enough for three months, but it is a start in the right direction.

I need to start buying water since the recommended amount is 2 gallons of water per person per day. Personally, I don’t drink that much water, but that also takes into consideration water for personal use, hygiene, drinking, and cooking. I also need to pick up some extra laundry soap, toothpaste, toilet paper, and other cleaning products. I have a lot of shampoo and bar soap but not any extras of deodorant or other hair care products.

To prepare for the tornado season, I will have an emergency box packed and ready downstairs. We have extra pillows and blankets downstairs already, and our excess food storage is also downstairs. So, we’d have water if we needed it. Then all I have to worry about hauling down will be our medications. Since Ron is more mobile this year, I don’t have to worry about his wheelchair. The one he’s got this year is really too heavy for me to carry and I can’t take it apart or put it back together by myself. So, we’ll take our chances that it will be OK and he’ll just scoot down the stairs and use a cane once we get to the bottom. I can’t put a shoe on his foot yet so not sure how I’d protect it from the potential of broken glass, if something like that were to occur due to bad weather.


Anonymous said...

Great post. You're right, many members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) certainly are committed to preparedness. Happy to hear about your success in getting your house in order. A great temporary deoderant is lemon juice - who'd have thought!

Anonymous said...

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