I have a secret confession. . . I've become obsessed over the past few years with stockpiling emergency supplies in case there is ever a catastrophe in my city. I don't live in the rural mid-west, so growing livestock and a self-sustaining garden are out of the question. Instead, I've accumulated so many canned goods that my pantry is overflowing and I've had to clear out space in my walk-in closet for storage bins.
Mr. Incredible smirks and shakes his head, and I am sure Dash and Jack-Jack think I'm nuts too! However, I did feel validated when I read that September is National Preparedness Month. Besides, even though there are times I do want to wring their necks, I love my children with every fiber of my being and will do everything in my power to make sure they are safe. So, this blog is for all the parents out there to get us all more focused on planning for emergencies!
Can Your Family Survive a Catastrophe?
FEMA has declared that September is National Preparedness Month, and encourages all citizens to plan now for emergencies. The time to start planning for an emergency is not in the middle of one. They have a website devoted to helping families, citizens, and businesses with emergency planning. Go to www.ready.gov for more info.
Let me just say that I am NOT a fatalist or pessimist, but I do believe in preparing for emergencies and possible catastrophes. Admittedly, I don’t read the Bible often (shhh. . . don’t tell my mother), but I do agree with what is written in Proverbs 22:3, “A prudent person foresees the difficulties ahead and prepares for them; the simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.” Since I don’t consider myself a simpleton, I have been talking to the kids about devising a family emergency plan and a home emergency kit.
89 Cents Could Save Your Life
FEMA guidelines suggest that everyone should prepare a 72-hour survival kit that includes one gallon of water per day per person. It is possible to survive for days, even weeks, without food, but a person can only survive for about 3 days without water. Water is the most important purchase you can make for your emergency kit.
So, last week Violet and I went to our local grocery store and stocked up on 89-cents gallons on water. Not a bad investment for an item that could be the difference between life and death!
My "Must-Have" Item: A Hand-Cranked Emergency Radio
No family should be without access to communications during an emergency or disaster, and Amazon.com sells a selection of hand-cranked and/or battery-operated radios. I ordered a CC Observer wind-up emergency radio by C.Crane from Amazon.com for my family. I chose it because the ratings were great, and the radio was affordable ($40)—and I am not disappointed!
The AM/FM radio includes Weather band, and there’s an LED flashlight on the side of the radio. It runs off of the built-in rechargeable batteries or 3 "AA" alkaline batteries (not included) if preferred. Of course, if you don't have alkaline batteries around, just wind-up the radio and keep it running as long as you need. It can even be used to charge a cell phone.
If and when your power goes out, having a way of receiving information is vitally important, so check out a selection of emergency radios on the right. All radios are available at Amazon.com.
A Freebie for All
A few years ago, after Hurricane Katrina, natural disaster planning was on the forefront of my mind, and I located a list of items to have on hand—items that would be the first to disappear, during a disaster. I believe that everyone should review this list as a starting point for their emergency kits,so check out this link. http://www.thepowerhour.com/news/items_disappearfirst.htm
Okay, that’s enough of my Public Service Announcement . . . but seriously, your life and the lives of your children are too precious to be left to chance (or to expecting the government to come to your rescue), so please, please, please begin preparing now. And, let’s hope we’ll never have to use our emergency kits.
***SPOILER ALERT*** September's giveaway will be related to this blog post, so start planning your emergency kits today to be able to get in on the giveaway!