Tuesday, November 1, 2011

November Preparedness Challenge

Getting Started

Being prepared for emergencies and potential power outages is an essential part of living a self-sufficient lifestyle. Depending on where you live, you may face tornadoes, snowstorms, hurricanes, wildfires or earthquakes. The sudden snowstorm earlier this week is a perfect example. Millions of people have been out of power and many still are. How you handle these situations will depend on how well you have prepared for them. 

So, where do you begin? Here is a quick primer on where to start.
·         Step One - Start with a emergency plan. Where is your family to meet if your house catches fire? Make sure everyone in the family knows where they should go. It should be easy enough to get to, like a tree in the front yard.

·         Step Two – Have “Emergency Bags” ready for every member of the family. An Emergency Bag is a backpack or bag with the necessities needed to survive for 3 days. These should contain complete changes of clothes, shoes, personal information and identification, medications, and food. By having a bag ready to go, this frees up critical time that you may not have in the event of a natural disaster. I keep one for my husband and me, ready to go by our bed in case of a tornado. Because we live in a mobile home, it is very important that we are able to get out to a safe place as fast as possible. FEMA has a good page on what to include in an emergency bag here.
·         Step Three – Water, no one can live without it. Three days without it, and you’re done for. Make sure you have a minimum of one gallon of water per person, per day for at least three days stored in your home. One gallon per person should be enough for drinking and cooking.

Step Four - Many people live day to day regarding having food in their home. Have you ever seen a grocery store right before a snowstorm or hurricane? All of the necessities are wiped out, and may not arrive for weeks, depending on the seriousness of the situation. Make sure you and your family can live at least two week on the food in your home. You don't have to go out and buy the latest and greatest food supplies advertised on television.

When you are out grocery shopping, instead of buying one bag of beans, buy two. Then, when you use one of what you bought, you still have one left in the pantry. This way, you can slowly you will start to build up your food storage. Also, be sure that you have food that can be prepared without modern conveniences, such as the microwave or even electricity.

This is just a brief overview of the many aspects of being prepared for emergencies. I hope to go into more depth on different topics in future Preparedness Challenge posts, so keep reading! The FEMA website has a lot of good information that goes into further detail.


  1. Excellent list! As a family, we recently updated our Emergency 72 bags. It was sad to see how long it had been, my kids clothes were so small, they would have never been able to squeeze into them!

    Visiting from voiceBoks
    Thanks, Becky Jane

  2. Great tips! My back up cooking plan is always my gas stove top. I make sure I keep plenty of matches on hand, and if the power goes out, I can still light the stove top with a match! That's why I was insistent on a gas oven.

  3. That is great that you are able to use a gas stove! That is an area I am lacking in, we depend on electric for everything, unfortunately. I do have small camp stoves, etc.,that we can use if we needed to. We are hoping to get a wood stove eventually.