Emergency Preparation

Tracy / December 4, 2011

Preparing for an emergency is never an easy task for a family of any size, but it is really a project for this many folks!

Back in April, we had no power for 5 days.

I was grateful it wasn’t cold….you can always live without the air conditioning. No heat? Well, that becomes a totally different story– especially with little ones in the home.

I also realized there were food items we were missing. At the time, it was easy enough to jump in the car and run to the store, but I was painfully aware if the power was out because of winter weather, that would be a different story.

I began to formulate a plan to prepare for winter weather.

How much food? How to heat the home? (We have no fireplace.) What about other items we might need- paper products, baby formula, diapers, etc.? How about things that might entertain the children while we wait for the power to return?

I keep a little journal with my daily “to-do’s” in the front. In the back, I keep sections for things just like this:

This is not a process that can be completed in a day, or even a week. I’m thinking this is going to be months in the making.

Ideally, I would like to have a box full of games and activities, a box for flashlights, batteries, etc., and boxes for food (enough to feed my family for a seven day power outage–and no, we don’t normally eat Ramen noodles, Tang, and animal cookies for dinner, but in a power outage, anything goes!). We are also storing water, but it won’t need to be added to Rubbermaid totes.

Yesterday, we spent time writing everything down we’ve purchased and gathered, thus far:

These are pictures of food storage, and lighting/heating boxes. We haven’t added everything we have just yet- I’m trying to take my time and make sure it is all sorted, labeled, and listed in my notebook.

We also opted on a propane heat source rather than kerosene. I’ve talked with many folks who said the fumes coming from kerosene can be pretty bad. This little heater seemed to be just what we need:

It’s safe inside, and out. It heats a pretty sizable space and has a built in oxygen sensor.

We purchased the last one on the shelf at our local hardware store. I’ve already bought several propane canisters.

I also have a box specifically for keeping the littles busy if they are stuck indoors. We’ve bought word search/puzzle books, coloring books, card games, puzzles, etc.

I hope it will make the time pass a little faster. Many of these items were purchased at a local Dollar Tree, but I’ll bet after Christmas, there will be lots of stocking stuffers on sale. They would make great emergency box, “fun for kids” time!

Paul and I have made it a habit for a couple of months now to pick up non-perishable food items, batteries, flashlights, etc. each time we visit the store. Buying everything at once would be a tremendous expense, but buying one or two things at every grocery visit makes this preparation quite affordable.

Do you have an emergency stash? What types of items are you storing?

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