Speaking of weather…we had some! It snowed around 8-10 inches last Sunday night. On Monday, schools, grocery stores and restaurants were closed. We were pretty much snowed in! My hubby tried to drive out with his Suburban and slid off the driveway into a deep snowdrift and got stuck. He had to call a tow truck to help get him un-stuck! We’ve actually had a very mild winter so far here in the Ozarks, so the snow is fun to see! But it does bring with it some challenges.
Fortunately, the local weather report gave us a heads-up to get prepared for the upcoming storm, so the day before, I ran down to the market to stock up on groceries for the week. It sure was a comfort to know that I was prepared to feed my family.
It got me thinking about being prepared for all kinds emergencies. Weather related, power outages, health-related outbreaks, and even a National emergency. I do think being prepared to provide and protect our family just makes good common sense.
Sometimes I’ll watch YouTube videos of Preppers to see how they prepare food and shelter to take care of their families. Many of them live off the grid on self-sustaining homesteads. I find it fascinating to see how they live…how they survive. There was a reality show on TV this past fall called Risking it All, where 3 families moved from their suburban homes to live in the wilderness. Each family was on their own in separate parts of the country. It was a fun show to watch but I wouldn’t want to live off the grid. I like electricity and Hot showers too much. Lol.
But then again, if there was a long-term power outage… how would I handle that? We have our own private well for water but we need electricity for the pump to work. A generator would solve that, which we don’t have. So the next best thing would be to store-up bottled water (I need to get some). Something to think about.
In 2012 Hurricane Sandy left over 8 million people without power for a couple of weeks on the East Coast. Sadly there was so much devastation. We don’t have Hurricanes here, but we do get the threat of Tornadoes and Ice storms. When I lived in California there was the threat of Earthquakes and fires.
Proverbs 31: 21 and 27
“She has no fear of winter for her household,
for everyone has warm clothes…She carefully watches everything in her household
and suffers nothing from laziness.”
According to the Word of God, as Homemakers we are called to take good care of our home and family, in good times and bad. (Side-note: By Homemaker, I mean any woman that takes good care of her home and family, whether she works outside of the home or inside of the home).
After thinking about it, I’m not fully prepared for emergencies, but I want to be. So, I thought I’d list some of the basics that we should have on hand to be prepared, for our family’s sake…just in case:
1. Food: I like to keep the fixin’s for soup on hand, along with tuna, canned beans for chili, peanut or almond butter, crackers, nuts, dried fruits, evaporated milk and the staples; flour, oil, baking powder, baking soda, salt, spices. I also have fresh and frozen veggies, fruits, and meats, but in a power outage they could spoil so they would have to be eaten first. The experts say “When the Power Goes Out. Keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible. A refrigerator will keep food cold for about four hours if the door is kept closed. A full freezer will hold its temperature for about 48 hours (24 hours if half-full)”.
You can cook on an outdoor grill if your power goes out (outside only, never inside), or in a wood burning fireplace if you have the right equipment like a grill to set your pan on , a cast iron dutch oven, and real wood of course (You cannot use Duraflame or any manufactured fire logs to cook over. They have too many chemicals which would make your food unsafe to eat (that includes roasting marshmallows too, that’s a no no!) Also, they don’t generate coals after burning down which are needed to cook your food). With the proper tools and utensils cooking from the hearth sounds very Little House on the Prairie-ish and kinda fun!
Of course if you really want to get super-duper serious there are lots of companies that offer freeze dried food with a shelf life of 20 years or so. Just google “Freeze dried food emergency preparedness” for more information.
FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) recommends a 3 day supply of non-perishable foods. Keep a non-electric can opener handy.
If you have pets, keep some extra pet food for them too! :D
2. Water: This is essential. We must have water to live. In a past blog post HERE I talked about how I’m trying to eliminate plastic as much as I can in regards to food storage, but if I need water and all I have are plastic water bottles I’ll drink it! There’s that old timey saying “Beggars can’t be choosers!” Lol! On a daily basis, at home though, I drink my filtered water in a glass mason jar. FEMA recommends a three day supply of 1 gallon per person, per day.
I did discover this Blue Can Water which has a shelf life of 50 years and is recommended by the U.S. National Guard. I think it’s a good option to use for emergencies since the plastic bottles have a shorter shelf life.
3. Lighting: We do get tornado warnings from time to time, and severe thunderstorms which always seems to be in the middle of the night. So having a source of light is important for safety and comfort if the power goes out which it does from time to time. I have two kerosene lamps which will keep the room lit for a long time, but it’s best sitting in one spot and not carried around for obvious reasons. You can find these at Walmart or Cracker Barrel. You’ll need to stock up some matches too. Although oil lamps are charming and old fashioned, if you have little ones, I DO NOT recommend the Kerosene lamps or candles, as they can be a fire hazard. Stick with flashlights. I have some hand-crank flashlights that don’t need batteries that we’ve used several times as we were heading down to the storm shelter (I keep them in my nightstand drawer). When there’s a tornado warning my son Dusty and His wife Kimmy come over with my grandkids since they don’t have a storm shelter, they live just down the street. So we only use flashlights and a battery lantern.
This red Coleman Lantern is the one we use. It has a handy carry handle which can also be used to hang on something.
4. Heat Source: Of course in the winter it’s important to stay warm during a power outage. We have a wood burning fireplace and
a stack of wood to burn. I realize not everyone has a wood burning fireplace, so if you’re at home in the winter with the power out, the experts say to gather everyone into one room with doors to the hallway shut to keep the heat inside. Lots of blankets to wrap yourself in is obvious but you may want to think about Emergency Thermal blankets for underneath the blankets. They are waterproof and help to retain 90% body heat inside during disasters. I’m adding that to my list to get soon. You can find them very inexpensively here.(affiliate link) It would also be a good idea to carry a few of those in the car too.
Hand warmers are a quick way to warm up and are a good idea to have on hand if needed, at home and in the car. They are designed to stay warm for 7 hours.
5. Baby Supplies: If you have little ones, keep well stocked in diapers, wipes, formula, food. meds., and other necessities. (Photo source Pinterest)
Maybe keep a bin of extras so you don’t use them all up. Of course as your little one grows you’ll need to rotate diaper sizes. (photo source Pinterest)
6. First Aid Kit: I saw this idea on Pinterest and thought it was a great way to hold medical supplies for your first aid kit.
7. Paper goods: Having plenty of toilet paper in the house is a good idea. Have you ever been down to one roll? Eeeek! Not something we want to happen when we can’t get to the market! Every other trip to the grocery store I’ve been buying a package of toilet paper to stock up. Paper plates, paper towels and cups are also something to keep on hand if tap water is unavailable to wash dishes.
8. Plastic Trash Bags and Ties: For last resort personal sanitation :/ Recommended by FEMA.
9. Anti-bacterial Hand-wipes: If water from the tap is not available then these will be needed to keep hands clean.
10. Communication and Radio: Having a way to communicate with your loved ones during an emergency situation is priceless. My main source of communication is my cell phone so I have to make sure I charge it every night. If the power were to go out I can use my smart phone to check on the news and weather, but I have to be careful not to use up the battery. A battery operated radio would be a valuable thing to have too. There’s an all in one hand-crank radio-flashlight-cell phone charger that can be found here, which seems like a good idea. (Affiliate link)
11. Gas in your car: I have a new rule for myself, here it is: whenever my car is half-a-tank low or so, I go fill it up. If for any reason there was an emergency and I needed to drive somewhere (like the hospital, to go help someone who needs me, or an evacuation) I would hate to be running low on gas! In the past, sometimes I’d be driving around only to be surprised that my car was on “E” and then I’d be prayin’ that I could make it to the gas station. Sheeze! Not a good plan! Now I’m more intentional about checking my fuel. Better to be safe than….you know…sorry!! :D
Well, we all want our family to be healthy, safe and sound. I don’t like thinking about emergency situations but sometimes they are a part of life. Keeping our home stocked with a few extra supplies, just in case, makes good sense. Gathering these supplies can be quite expensive all at once, but we can build up our surplus a little at a time. We can buy one or two extra things each time we go to the market. That’s what I’m going to do. How about you?
The items I listed are just the basics, if you want a more detailed list you can click HERE for Cozi’s Emergency Supplies Checklist.
So now I’d love to hear from you! Do you have an emergency supply? Are you a prepper? Is there anything you would add to my basic list? Do you have freeze dried food storage? If so what brand or company do you recommend? Any thoughts on this subject is welcomed!
God bless your Darlin’ heart!