Posts Tagged ‘preparedness’

What’s in the pantry: Emergency supplies

Thursday, January 23, 2014
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Sample disaster kit (Newport News, Va.)

Sample disaster kit (Newport News, Va.)

A mixture of below freezing temperatures, snowstorms and 4-Methylcyclohexanemethanol forced my family to take stock of our emergency supplies.  Once again, we are not Doomsday Preppers.  I can’t even call myself a Girl Scout.  I quit the troop because I hated the green, bellbottom, polyester pants.

All kidding aside, we’re never “ready” for a surprise attack. I always have kitty litter on hand, but it’s never in the trunk of my car to help with tire traction. I don’t even think I have an ice scraper in the glove box.  Come to think of it, I don’t even have a pair of gloves in the glove box. Where’s my insurance card?

If you’re like us, you’re only organized in thoughts and good intentions. But those times are a’changin’.  What do you need to weather the next named storm or environmental disaster?  Here’s a little list, compiled from various websites and crazy people:


  • Water; one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation (Writer’s note: I’d up this amount to two gallons per person, per day, for a week.)
  • Food; at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
  • Battery-powered radio with tone alert and extra batteries
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First aid kit, including all-purpose medications for adults and children
  • Noisemaker to signal for help
  • Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Manual can opener for food
  • Local maps or a GPS system
  • Cell phone with chargers or a solar charger

For extreme conditions, FEMA suggests additional emergency supplies:

  • Prescription medications and related accessories (such as diabetic test strips, etc.)
  • Infant formula and diapers
  • Pet food and extra water for your pet; leashes and pet carriers
  • Cash and change; a credit card
  • Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container.
  • Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person
  • Complete change of clothing including a long sleeved shirt, long pants and sturdy shoes
  • Clean, emptied containers
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
  • Mess kits, paper cups, plates, paper towels and plastic utensils
  • Writing supplies
  • Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children
  • Keep automobiles filled with gasoline, and if you’re on the move, a bin to haul these supplies

Another website suggested a patriarchal blessing and a Bible.  Ok, I’ll take along King James.

Whenever the media reports snow of any kind, people race to the store to hoard bread and milk.  The bread I understand.  But milk? I seem to be collecting gallons of water these days.  I’m also stocked up on waterless cleaners such as Cetaphil, dry shampoo, baby wipes, toilet paper and fire starter logs.  Despite the worries and headaches of living with tainted water, I kept thanking my lucky stars that we had electricity.  After experiencing a tornado and a derecho, living in the dark without heat or air conditioning seems worse.  We have our gas logs inspected for safety, and we make sure our charcoal grill is kept in good condition, should those items be needed to keep us warm or to heat meals. Keeping cool in the summer is more of a mental exercise. The Waltons didn’t have central air and they lived through years of heat waves.  WWJD:  What would John-Boy do?

Hopefully, this list will help you to keep calm so you can carry on.  But, if you’re like me, you’ll freak out and get carried away.







A Boy Scout is always prepared. I need a Boy Scout.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011
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When East Coast Earthquake 2011 happened yesterday, I grabbed my earthquake emergency kit, my baby and ran for the closest doorway, ready to wait out the aftershocks.

Or… I drove home from Target and had no idea anything happened until I pulled up Facebook during the baby’s nap.

One of the above scenarios is true. You, the reader, may guess which one. I’ll give you one guess. You have 4 seconds. Go…

If you picked scenario B, ding ding! You’re right, I had no idea the earthquake happened. Apparently it was enough to evacuate buildings in Huntington and Charleston, but not to shake my little Honda. For that, I am thankful.

I’m also thankful the quake did minimal damage, and hope those who had property destroyed can build it back, stronger than before. I have a lot of friends in Richmond, Charlottesville and D.C., and I’m thankful they are all OK.

For me, the quake and the impending Hurricane Irene made me pause and wonder what I would do, as the caretaker of my family, if a natural disaster were to happen (other than a flood —  we have plenty of practice with floods).

I really have no idea. I guess we would need food, shelter and water for most disasters, so I’ll start there.

Shelter: The house we have. Our vehicles. The cellar-like crawl space. I guess you work with what you’ve got, so we would stick to one of those until we could get to an emergency control center.

Water: There are four 3-liter jugs of water in the trunk of my car. That would last approximately eight toilet flushes. FEMA says you should have a three-day supply of water, and average 1 gallon a day for every person in your house. We should get more water. There’s also a stash of New England microbrews in the laundry room. I don’t drink, but in the case of survival, they would work. (Though I’m left to wonder where the boyfriend has them placed on the list of priorities. Drink before water or reserve until water runs out?)

Food: Let’s see… there’s a four-pack of Campbell’s tomato soup in the cabinet. An unopened pack of butter-flavored Crisco. Some flour. Cereal and breakfast bars. I guess we could have tomato soup pie with a Cap’n Crunch crust.

As you can see, we’re not very prepared. There are no weapons in the house, so we’re defenseless against a zombie apocalypse. We have no emergency fund or stocked pantry. We need to get started.

Do any of you have plans for such an occasion? A full fridge and pantry? A lockbox of important papers? Please share any tips or ideas to keep our little family safe.