You need to know what your goals are. What are your goals? If you’re just starting out reading multiple sources, doing your homework you have heard lots of things. For goodness sake it’s enough to drive you nuts. 72 hour kits ,Bug Out Bags, Water storage. Some of those sources are para-military, scare your britches off sky is falling end of the worlders…dooms-dayers. What’s a wife and mother to do? It makes good sense to be prepared for an emergency. SO you look around and lots of folks say get a 72 hour kit, be prepared fro 72 hours. What’s magic about 72 hours? I’ll tell you. It takes 72 hours for FEMA or the Red Cross to mobilize in a major catastrophe. At least that’s the average. You’re a smart person. What’s an average? Well sometimes FEMA and the Red Cross will be there sooner than 72 hours. Sometimes its longer.
It took FIVE LONG DAYS for FEMA to get to the Super Dome after Katrina.
Seventy-two hours. Every wonder why they quote that in hours? It’s simple ~ because hours sounds sooner than saying days. Say that a couple of times. DAYS. Three whole long days is just an average. Averages are in the middle right? So that means emergency services could be pretty quick or take seven days. Seven DAYS??? Wait a minute but everyone has these 72 hour kits so that must mean emergency services have to reach us by then! Yeah well I don’t know about you but my Momma didn’t raise a dumb girl, since three days is an average my first concern as well as yours should be getting prepared for an emergency that could last seven days, whether it’s weather or otherwise.
Let’s make us some easy to remember goals:
Alrighty then let’s start real easy: ONE DAY
Ok huge thunderstorm and power is out for one full day and one full night. You need the following:
Water: Do you have a gallon of fresh drinkable water for each person in your home?
Power/Lights: Where are the:
Do you have a generator? If so where is it? Can you start it or do you need your husband to do it? You need to learn how to do it yourself. What do you connect to the generator? Your freezer/fridges? One light or two? Which power cords do you use? Where are they kept? Where’s the gas kept and could you fill the generator if you had to?
Food ~ the whole city is without power. So no you can’t run go out to get a meal. So for ONE day you need Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, 2 snacks, then Breakfast and Lunch again for everyone in your home. Could you do that? What about ready to feed formula or
Sanitation ~ ( Let’s assume the worst but hope for the best) Let’s assume no running water for 1 full day. DO you have paper plates, bowels, plastic forks and spoons to go one full day so you can forget about washing dishes for one day? Disposable Baby bottles? Toilet Paper? Paper Towels? What if you had the flu and the power was out for a whole day do you have an extra can of disinfectant? Wipes? Garbage bags?
Entertainment ~ No TV, Internet, Video Games for an entire 24 hours. For some families that’s like asking them to go without air… What are you going to do with the kids for 24 hours? What about yourself? Board games, a deck of cards, Yahtzee, UNO, Pictionary, ISpy go a long way when the powers out.
Safety ~ Whatever makes you feel safe. Lock the doors. Stay vigilant ~ don’t be a victim. I am not going to discuss specific home security choices. That’s not the focus of my site. Be sure you are comfortable with taking care of yourself, your children, your family. I might suggest a big dog, What? You don't think being able to protect yourself is important?
Then let me direct you here: NPR
Seasonal Concerns: Can you stay warm for 24 hours without power? Warm bedding? Extra Socks?
If mother nature caught up with you today do you have feminine paper products? Are you low on diapers? Word of caution: Never be slap out of anything especially critical items. With my luck that’s the day every store would be closed because they’re without power!
ONE WEEK Plan: Ready for some good news? Once you’ve prepared for ONE FULL DAY without power ~ expanding that to ONE WEEK is so much easier! It’s just about quantities. Seven days of food, and water ~ and developing a routine for everything else. You’re kids will love this too because you can skip baths for a week and do “touch up” personal care with wipes. Yippeee!