Whew! That's a lot to deal with! But let's look on the bright side - I believe there always is one. We have our families and our friends. We can support each other and be better prepared to help ourselves and others in whatever situation we might face. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which I belong to, has been teaching us preparedness principles for 60 years. Things like storing extra food and supplies and keeping extra cash available. Self-reliant people are free people. Dependent people are easily controlled.
The first, most basic step to preparedness is to assemble an emergency pack. It's exciting to see how many people are starting to keep these on hand. They are often referred to as a 72-Hour Kit or a Grab and Go Bag. We've kept one on hand for each member of our family for about 20 years. We haven't needed it yet, but it sure brings peace of mind to know it's there if we do. Many members of our church who were caught in the crisis of Hurricane Katrina, told how their kits were all they had for themselves and to help others until they could get more help.
The pack should contain anything you think you would need to survive, at the very least, or to be as comfortable as possible for several days. Preferably, it is all in a pack you can pick up and carry if you have to take it with you. We keep 3 days worth of food and a change of clothing that we have rotated and updated each year, to keep food fresh and growing kids provided for. My October 5th post called Brainstorming With Perspective will help you evaluate the things you will want to pack based on what situations might occur for you. Here's a list of ideas. You probably won't want them all, and might have other needs that aren't listed, but this will help you get started:
- Food and Water
- Change of Clothing
- Rain Coat/Poncho
- Blanket &/or Radiant Emergency Heat Blanket
- Backpacking tent
- Plastic sheet
- Flashlight or Headlamp with batteries plus extras
- Lighter and waterproof matches
- Can opener
- Dishes and Utensils
- Radio with hand crank or batteries
- Folding shovel
- Pocket Knife
- Duct Tape
- First Aid Supplies
- Toilet Paper
- Personal Hygiene items
- Pen and Paper
- Soap for body, hair, dishes
- Cloth, small towel, bandana
- Cash - coins for vending machines
- Copies of important documents
- Garbage bags
- Fishing gear
- Sewing Kit
- Any special needs for infants and small children, elderly, handicapped, etc.
An hour or two to prepare could save your life, or someone else's in an unexpected crisis. Let's not put off simple things that could make such a big difference. Because Preparedness is Peace of Mind!