I have always said it is better to be prepared and not need to use your kit than to need an emergency preparedness kit and not have it. Have you been procrastinating about putting together one?
When I was a young mother, I read a cookbook by a precious Mormon lady who taught how to build a pantry that would protect her family for two years. Having never even known about the Mormon faith I really didn’t understand the reason behind this. Now that I have been acquainted with their religion I know the reason is to protect the family. Desperate people do desperate things. When your family has food and shelter then most of their needs are provided for. I wish I still had her cookbooks. I had three of them. I don’t even remember her name. This would have been in the late 70s or early 80s. I am thankful that I read them and had a pantry to feed my family.
We can rest better knowing that we have prepared for any emergency. Storms knock out power, earthquakes take down bridges, floods prevent us from traveling to the grocery store, villains keep us barricaded in our homes, and bad germs make us want to lock the doors to keep the world outside. We can’t allow terror to invade our homes. This is why being prepared will keep us sane.
I want you to begin thinking about this. Where would you put your extra food? Is clutter taking over that linen closet that would be ideal for this purpose? Is your pantry so full of junk food that there is no room for storage of your emergency pantry? Are your shelves in your basement covered by piles of clutter so that you can’t get to them?
First things first! Eliminate this clutter to make room for peace of mind. Then you can start to build your emergency pantry. There are examples on the internet. I saw one this morning that was the God Breeze for this essay.
It’s that time of year again. Wild fires and hurricanes can wreak havoc on our lives. We can FLY in the face of Danger and Emergency if we are prepared. Don’t wait until you are being asked to evacuate. Everyone thinks that it could not happen to them. Well it could, and it is up to you to make sure you are prepared. Don’t wait! Do it now!
Below are FlyLady’s 11 Ps for Preparedness:
- PEOPLE – Have a plan for getting out of the house, and make sure everyone knows it. Have an emergency bag of food and water for your family. Include wholesome snacks and treats: dried fruit, nuts, peanut butter, crackers, and granola bars.
- PETS – Keep pet carriers and leashes readily available to lead pets to safety. Also, take pet food with you.
- PICTURES – Keep negatives or CDs of pictures in a lock box or at a family member’s home. Have picture albums in one place ready to grab and go at a moment’s notice.
- PAPERS – Have all your important papers in a lock box at a bank and only keep copies at the house. This keeps you from panicking. If you have them at home, then put them in a folder that you can easily grab if you have to move fast. Color code it so you can find it!
- PRESCRIPTIONS – Take your medications with you. Don’t forget the ones that have to be refrigerated like insulin. Have small ice chest and cold packs readily accessible to pack and go. If you have babies; remember their formula or medications.
- PURSES and PETROL – This is where you keep your identification, credit cards, and cash. Keep a stash of cash for emergencies and grab it. You may not be able to use an ATM in the event of a power outage. Make sure your car always has a half a tank of gas.
- PROPER CLOTHES and COMFORT ITEMS – According to the weather conditions, gather up a change of clothes along with outer clothing: coats, rain gear, boots, gloves, and hats. If you have babies, remember diapers. Remember to grab your children’s favorite blanket, stuffed animal, or toy. A game or a deck of cards could keep them occupied and calm, too.
- PLANNER/CALENDAR/CONTROL JOURNAL – These documents have all the information you will need from phone numbers and insurance numbers to important dates. They are small and filled with things you don’t have to try to remember.
- PERSONAL PROTECTION – Many of us still have that time of the month. Be sure and grab a box of your preferred protection. It may be hard to find if you have been evacuated. Stress can cause our bodies to do strange things, too. Be prepared. Take medication for cramps, too.
- PHONES and RADIOS – Many of us have cell phones now. Always keep them charged up and have a charger in the car or an extra battery. They may not work in the event of power outages, but then they might. Know which local radio station has emergency bulletins. Keep a battery-powered radio tuned to that local station and have plenty of batteries for it.
- PATIENCE – This is one of the most important things to pack. Keep it inside of you so that you have a clear calm head. Having your P’s to Preparedness list guiding you will keep you patient. In the event of an evacuation, there will be lots of displaced people. Being patient will make things less stressful. Your children need to see you calm and collected. This will help keep them calm, too.
My husband and I had to pack for potential evacuation this past year (luckily we never actually had to evacuate). Although I had a list of my “important stuff” and knew where everything was, we were unprepared for how long it actually took to gather our belongings and load it into our car. It took a couple of hours!
Please, walk through FlyLady’s 11 Points to Preparedness for Evacuation. Touch each item you would want to bring. Are your important papers, photos, prescriptions, etc. in one place? Do you have an emergency bag for your family members? Like a fire drill, practice an evacuation drill. You never know how much time you will really have.
FlyLady here: We have a Red Office in a Bag to hold your important papers. Plus it is easy to find when you are in a panic.