What emergency supplies do you keep in your closet?
Surviving a Storm
Acquiring Emergency Supplies
I want to get ready for an emergency. I am going to buy:
- Water (not sure how much, but will start with three cases of bottled)
- Canned goods and crackers
- Flashlight (I have the kind you wind and I want another one)
- Transistor Radio
I cannot think of everything I might need to tie us over for a few days in case of a huge earthquake (knock wood). Please help me come up with a good plan, so I can get my closet stocked.
Keep Critical Items Near First Floor Exit
Please make sure you have a basic first aid kit as well as a few days of any medication you or family members take on a regular basis (prescription and over the counter). Also, include a change of clothes for each family member. If an earthquake is what you're most concerned about, make sure you put the most critical emergency supplies in a back pack or even five-gallon bucket with a lid near the main first floor exit of your home.
Have Cash in Small Bills
Don't forget some cash in small bills! If electricity is out, there may not be adequate ways to use a debit card, get gasoline at a gas station, or buy supplies (like a piece of plywood to cover a window that breaks in an earthquake). We rarely use cash or keep it at home, but everyone in our family knows where we have securely stowed a zip-type bag of small bills for emergencies only.
Learn How to Take Care of Family after Emergency
You can go to the FEMA or C.E.R.T. website, and find many emergency ideas. FEMA will send you many guides free. Find out from your local Emergency Management office (either city, county or state) if there is a free C.E.R.T. class available. It may be through the Red Cross in your area. This is a great, free course that teaches you how to take care of yourself and your family after an emergency.
Consider the Specific Needs of Your Family
Your reader wanted to complete her (I'm assuming) store of emergency supplies. She needs to take a look at her family members. Does she have a baby? She may need to put aside some disposable diapers. Does she have pets? She needs pet food. Does she have young children? She may think about small games and books, so the children could have something to do as they wait out the storm (or earthquake or whatever). Although she has flashlights, she may think about whether she wants to stock some plumber's candles and matches as well. She needs a couple of extra plastic bags to use for garbage or just storage. She needs just a few cups, plates, bowls, and utensils for eating and drinking (she may be able to put all the right amounts of these things in one large resealable bag), and a can opener. She might want to store some hard candy or crackers. She needs to put aside some extra blankets and cleaning cloths, a little all-purpose cleaner, a small box of wet wipes, and toilet paper. She needs to know where everyone's prescription medicine is so she can grab it at the last minute. She needs a first-aid kit (plus extra pain reliever), and she needs to know how to use what's inside that kit. An emergency shelf or closet is a great idea. None of us knows what could blow in tomorrow.
Check Out These Websites for Help with Emergency Supplies
FEMA has an excellent site about what you should do before an earthquake here.
Emergency Supplies to Stay Safe and Warm
Remember to include extra coats, hats, and blankets for cold weather, boots for walking among rubble, toothbrushes, toothpaste, and a change of clothes for all family members.
Add to Camping Equipment
Our emergency supplies also include:
- cans of food and a manually operated can opener
- plastic plates and cutlery
- simple cooking utensils
- cat food for our pets
- hand sanitizer
- two buckets
- a toilet seat
- candles and matches
- sleeping bags
- camping cooker
Some of these emergency supplies are part of our camping equipment. Toilet seats were in great demand in Christchurch after the earthquake, so that has recently been added.
Take the Next Step:
- For more on emergency supplies or to share your own ideas, please visit The Dollar Stretcher Community.
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