Easy Things to Do to Prepare for an Emergency

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September is National Preparedness Month. You might have noticed that I’ve shared a few things about how to be better prepared for an emergency over the past few weeks. There have been plenty of stateside events, big and small, over the last month, to make us think twice about how to handle an emergency.

While I haven’t done everything that I could or should do, I’ve made some baby steps.

I loved Lauren’s suggestions about packing emergency, or evacuation bags, for everyone in the family. I found $2 backpacks at Target’s back to school clearance, so I snatched up six to pack each of my kids a bag of things they might need if we need to leave home in an emergency.

I also started my stockpile of bottled water. I am too overwhelmed by the idea of buying 24 gallons at one time. Heavens! So, each time I go to a store, I’m adding a couple jugs to the cart. That extra $2 doesn’t make a big dent in the budget, but I’m working toward having a backup water supply in case we are without it.

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And I’ve got a list of things to tackle in the coming weeks like:

  • completing our emergency bags
  • backing up our computers on external hard drives and storing one in the safe
  • building our stockpile of water, batteries, candles, and light sticks
  • reviewing with my kids our emergency plans
  • stocking up on more easy-to-eat dry goods, like crackers, dried fruit, sunbutter, etc.

Be Prepared

In case you missed any past posts on emergency preparedness, it’s never to late to catch up — or get prepared.

Get Your Kitchen Prepared

The Eat Well Spend Less series also looked at Emergency Preparedness this month. I love these ideas for what to stock in my emergency boxes as well as what to cook if the need should arise.

Check out these great posts on how to be ready for the unexpected when it comes to food and provisions:

Making the Most of Your Pantry, Fridge, and Freezer

Five Ways with Lentils :: Simple Bites

Five Ways with Pasta :: Food Your Way

Five Ways with Beans :: Good Life Eats

Whole Grains 101 :: Food For My Family

Creating and Using a Long Term and Short Term Food Storage :: Tammy’s Recipes

5 Basic Steps to Emergency Preparedness :: Kitchen Stewardship

Create an Emergency Fund in your Pantry :: Kingdom First Mom

What’s ONE easy thing you can do this week?

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  1. Great post! It’s so important to be ready for whatever may come, especially since it seems that weather becomes less predictable every year.

    If you’re a commuter, it’s also really important to keep an emergency pack in your car plus some inclement weather supplies (especially if you live in an area where it snows).

    You just never can be too ready…

      1. Great idea! I keep an old diaper bag in my trunk with extra clothes and diapers for the kids, (and an extra shirt for me from when the baby used to spit up a lot), along with some snacks in case the kids get hungry while we’re out and about. It’s more of a minor irritation pack than an emergency pack – after reading this post I will add some more items to it just in case.

  2. Great that you are slowly getting ready! We have backpacks and we put cases of waterbottles under the kids’ beds. That way I have an extra water supply and I don’t have tons of clothes and toys under the bed for them to clean!

  3. Thanks so much for this post! Here in hurricane country, we needed this reminder to “Be Prepared!”

    And don’t forget to discuss emergencies with your kids, but also re-assure them that you are there to protect them and keep them safe.

    We had an issue with our washing machine this week and it started to flood our laundry room. I knew the water was coming from a finite sourse; my 6-year old, though, did not, and started panicking and balling when he saw all the water come flooding out. It made me chuckle a bit, but also reminded me to reassure him of his dad and I’s job to protect him and keep him safe 🙂

  4. I’m visiting your site after seeing your post on The Simple Mom. A few weeks back there were flood warnings in our area and I was panicked. I’ve never had to evacuate for anything and had no idea what to do. Especially now that I’m not only responsible for myself, but have my husband and daughter to worry about too! I found out that my husband (of three years, how did I not know this??) already has a survival kit packed!!! Fortunately, we didn’t have any flooding in our neighborhood. But, I definitely need to see what all is in his survival pack to see what I’d like to add to it. And I love the idea of each person having a back pack. Thank you for this post. Can’t wait to check out the others that I missed!

    1. We’ve been married for 16 years and are still learning new things about each other. Glad to know he was prepared. That’s great!

  5. I’ve been thinking about this since Laurent’s post. It was a reminder I need to update the emergency bag in the basement I packed back when I only had one child and he was only two! My husband thought I was nuts for packing that stuff but after ending up in the basement three times because of tornado warnings I wanted to be ready. Even something simple like an extra pair of shoes in case you were barefoot and a window gets broken. A look around my Donate pile and the kids’ clothes I was recently given made me realize how easily I can assemble a few outfits for each of us without having to buy anything.

    In terms of food, this time I’m definitely going to make a note on the calendar to use what I’ve stashed before it spoils. I’m also not above buying a few packaged items I wouldn’t normally. Eating prepackaged cooked rice once or twice a year isn’t going to compromise our diet too much. 🙂

    1. Great point about eating it up — and not worrying about how it might not be your normal menu selection.

  6. My computer just died. Last photo backup: Nov. 2010!!! The computer nerd guys couldn’t recover any of my photos or data. I am just sick about it. SO–back up, obviously. Also we are scanning all the documents we’d need to start a life if our home was destroyed (birth certs, ssn cards, insurance info, banking, etc) and storing it on a USB stick. We have a “zombie kit” in the basement with everything we’d need to save civilization (my husband has gone a little overboard), but in the car I stashed a toddler backpack of first aid, water, energy bars, those silver emergency blankets, and flash lights in the void left by my stow and go seat. Next thing on the list is a rain barrel.

  7. Part of our backup water supply is empty juice jugs refilled with water and kept in the freezer. They fill up empty space to help the freezer be more efficient/use less electricity, and they’re available to melt in case our water goes out. As an added bonus my husband takes one of the frozen jugs with him if he’s going to be working outside in the summer and has cold water to drink all day.

  8. This is very timely, especially since we in our country are just recovering from one of the worst typhoons to hit our city in two years. (The last was Ketsana, which ravaged over three cities and took 6,000 lives in 2009).

    I’ve gotten into the habit of making emergency bags for situations like this. Last Tuesday to Wednesday, we had no electricity, and so we had to make do with our “stash”: canned foods, beans, rice. Actually, I always keep a stash of goods that will last about two years based on the expiry date; but if we don’t use it within three to six months from purchase, I donate it and just buy a new stock of supplies.

    During these times, I am reminded by the Lord to always be prepared–in ALL things: being a good steward of finances, being responsible for my child, preparing for the future and investing in our health, and of course, for His coming. 🙂

    1. Wow, you do know from personal experience. What a great example to the rest of us for getting prepared — and staying that way.