Thursday, June 01, 2006

Be Prepared

Growing up in a home where my Dad worked professionally for the Boy Scouts, I heard this statement alot! "Be Prepared!" It is a good piece of wisdom though, and in honor of the first day of hurricane season, I thought I'd share how I prepare for this!

I have two plastic bins set aside for hurricane or emergency supplies. The top one fits under the bed and stores everything misc. like plates, silverware, can opener, matches, toiletries, toilet paper, ziploc bags, batteries, first aid supplies, etc...

The second box is seasonal ~ meaning that I fill it up at the beginning of hurricane season and empty it at the end. We eat the food or I donate it to a food pantry and the box is put away until the next time.

I plan my food mainly just for Emily and myself as I know if I had to evacuate, David would not be allowed to leave due to work requirements. However, if we are stuck here - he would be part of the equation, so I meet in the middle somewhere. Plus, keep in mind that you can always raid your cabinets for extra items.

David taught me that you can heat canned goods by opening and placing on the engine of your car. I also have a gel fueled fondue pot and an extra bottle of fuel that I would use for heating food either here or somewhere else. And, if we are stranded at home, we have a gas grill we could fire up as well.

I stocked my food box with the following items: (all opinions seem to agree that you should have enough food and water for three days for each person)

bottled water, ramen noodles, ready-to-eat-soups, canned meats such as chicken and tuna, canned veggies, crackers, granola bars, apple juice box drinks, fruit cups, cereal, and peanuts

My goal was to keep the entire cost to about $20, but it was $26, even buying store brands. Honestly though, what is a few more dollars if I have to actually use this to feed my family in an emergency?

I also keep an index card handy of what I would need to take if we evacuated:

Both plastic bins; extra water

Baby and Pet supplies

Important papers and household inventory - kept together in a handy spot


Important Items like photo albums or family heirlooms that we could not replace

Fondue pot and fuel

Bug Spray

The one thing I have never invested in is a radio that does not use batteries, this may be the thing we add this year. The only other things I'd need to take care of would be cash and figuring out where to go! We keep the maps in our car and I have an evacuation guide, but many are very limited on taking pets. I'm hoping and praying that I don't have to use any of this, but I feel better knowing that it is taken care of if I need it and I won't be rushing to Wal-Mart to find out they are out of everything I need!


Mary Ann said...

Thanks for this post. I was just telling my husband the other day that I need to get an emergency box together. Thanks for sharing what you put into yours.

Susie said...

Wonderful ideas here! This is similar to our earthquake kit that we have here in CA ...

Anonymous said...

Hi, Monica:

Great idea! I hope you won't need it, but it is always good to be prepared!! :)

Just a tip: when I assembled a similar bin back during the Y2K preparations, the water bottles I had put in the bin leaked. I'm not sure if the plastic gave way or something poked them, but many items in the bin were ruined after sitting in water for I don't know how long. Just to be safe, you might want to double wrap them.

Love you!

Anonymous said...

Yes, Monica, you're being prepared reminds me that I need to get another emergency kit ready here. One never knows what might happen. Thanks for the ideas.
Love, Grandma