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Emergency Preparedness Checklist & A Reader Challenge

January 16, 2013

Here in Southern California we are in windy season.  The Santa Ana winds blow offshore and usually bring much warmer weather since they blow from the direction of the Mojave Dessert.  I actually really like them as I feel something sort of magical in them.  They can be extremely destructive as was the case last December when most of our area lost power for a week due to downed trees and power lines.  We had many friends with a lot of damage to their homes.  It was at this point Daja and I felt like it was time to get organized about preparing for “life’s happenings.”  Over the past 11 months we have diligently been putting away our stores for those unexpected events that are inevitable in this life.  This month in particular we thought it would be good to give you a simple checklist of items we all should have around.  The list also will help you track where these items are located so there is no panic in an emergency.

Emergency Checklist

Emergency Checklist

This list is by no means exhaustive, but will give you a great starting point!  We would encourage you to make this a family project.  Call a family meeting and talk about these points as well.

  • Everyone needs to know where the emergency supplies are kept and the older children should even learn how to turn off the breaker, gas, and water.
  • Discuss your designated meeting spot outside the home (front yard, across the street, neighbors yard, etc.)
  • Every person in your family should carry a little card with emergency phone numbers on it, especially the number of one out-of-state person. In the case of an emergency, every member of the family can call this person to give their status and that single person can help coordinate the family.  (Think of Dad at work or children at school or anyone not with you.  It’s important for these family members to be able to call in to a single person who can get word to the rest of the family.)
  • Discuss where on the outside of the home you will leave messages for each other.  This is important for when Dad makes his way home from work and finds Mom not there.  She will have left a message saying she went to check on the neighbors or went to get the children from school, etc.  This could be as simple as a chalk message on the drive way.

The Big Girl 72-Hour Kit Challenge!!

The last item we want to address is our 72 hour food supply.  Let’s face it in a real emergency we are going to be on over-load.  Even though we’ve put up some amazing food, it won’t be the time to meal plan.  You want to have several meals planned and set aside with your emergency supplies.  Most emergency-preparedness sites even suggest having a 72-Hour Kit for each member of the family.  I know it’s a lot of planning but in the case of an emergency, you will be so blessed having thought of these over a cup of tea, sitting warm and snug in front of your computer, rather than during a very stressful time.  So your challenge is to take the next week and plan out 72 hours worth of shelf-stable breakfasts, lunches, and dinners, for each member of your family.  Next Wednesday Daja and I will reveal our kits and you can chime in with your comments and plans.  Then during February our challenge will be to purchase and put together our kits.  Ok?!  Don’t panic!  We’re still taking baby-steps together to make sure we are ready for all of “life’s little happenings.”

8 Comments leave one →
  1. January 16, 2013 4:30 pm

    Years ago (when I was you gals’ age 🙂 ) I was really into preparedness too. In fact, I still am in many aspects. I would venture a guess that our little family (only 3 of us now since #2 got married last October) could probably eat… and eat quite well… for 2-3 weeks without going out of the house, using the stores of food we have. I’m a huge fan of dehydrated/freeze-dried staples & use them as part of my regular everyday cooking. I drink instant organic coffee everyday too. At the end of the 2-3 weeks we would probably be scrounging around at the bottom of the barrel but we still wouldn’t starve to death.

    If we (northwest Indiana) had a disaster, it would undoubtedly be a tornado. We have an occasional bad snow storm, with lake-effect snow that can be a couple feet deep & knock out power, but usually that power is out at the max 5 days or so… and our built-in generator is enough to keep the furnace & water pump running & refrigerator/freezer going until the utility company restores everything. I think most everybody in these parts has enough food to last them until the snowplows got through… which is usually within 12-24 hrs… 48 hrs. at the very max.

    What I’ve always wondered then, is…. if we had a true disaster like a tornado…. all my water & stores of food & flashlights & heck, probably even the (anchored down) generator itself, would all go up in the funnel & land in the next county before we hardly knew what hit us. You’ve seen people going through the rubble after a tornado… there’s no way gallons of water or cupboards filled with food stores could survive that.

    So I’ve always wondered…. why go to the extent of all that preparedness… if it’s going to be sucked up like Dorothy of Oz anyway? You know what I mean?

    I’m NOT a non-believer in preparedness, per se. I’ve got 20# of flour, 10# of sugar, 5 gallons of white vinegar, yada, yada, yada, in my pantry right now, amongst many other things. I use powdered milk everyday & not just in emergencies. But I have all those things MORE because I dislike going to the store (dislike going out in public period!!)… than because I want to be “prepared”. I think my being “prepared” is more like a good “side-effect” of my dislike of grocery shopping. 🙂

    Anyway, I don’t know if I made a statement, asked a question, or both here. *lol* But I love this website & I love this topic & I love being a homemaker & I love you gals. Keep up the good work, my dears!!

    God bless– Andrea
    XOXOXO

    • January 16, 2013 5:28 pm

      I think what makes this site unique is that we are not preparing only for the end of the world, the proverbial zombie Apocalypse, but also for “life’s happenings.” Sure, we might have to face “The Big One” in our lifetime. But for sure we will have to deal with things like the Santa Ana winds knocking at our power for a week, gas and food shortages, etc. In California at least, we have had to deal with these things in the past year.

      I think preparing for the major disaster can be really daunting and freeze a lot of us in our tracks. Since we can’t do everything, we do nothing. What we’ve been striving for here is to begin by preparing for the small things–for the spouse who loses a job, for a downturn in whatever market you’re working in, for power outages, wind storms and skyrocketing grocery and gas prices. And then gradually to build our storehouses and supplies for the big disaster.

      How each of us plans for that will be different, of course. Our big risk in Southern California is a major earthquake. For some others it might be the tornado or hurricane or ice storm.

      I think there are two things that we emphasize that you don’t really see in other preparedness websites. 1) That we are always encouraging our readers to prepare, but to put their trust in the Lord. 2) To build community–through your church, neighborhood, friends. If we are going to survive life’s happenings, we’ve got to do it together.

      We did an interview with Kelly Crawford, whose family survived the big tornado that swept through Alabama. Their house was reduced to nothing while their family held on for dear life in the basement. You can read that interview here: http://theprovisionroom.com/2012/03/15/where-your-treasure-is-an-interview-with-kelly-crawford/ In the interview she talks about how they prepared and how they will prepare differently in the future, as well as the role their church and community has played in the recovery. (You MAY want to read it with kleenex.)

      • January 17, 2013 10:52 pm

        I never thought about preparing for a job loss, Daja!! After all these years I never thought of that as being a part of it all. Thank you for the enlightenment.

        It occurred to me too, as I was reading your response, that the knowledge & habits I have as a 56 year old woman would not be the knowledge & habits that a young bride may have… or even a not-so-young-but-still-very-youthful bride may have.

        I hope you did not take my comment as a negative because I surely did not mean that in any way, shape or form. It’s just a question I have asked myself for years… decades, really… as I’ve pondered a possible “disaster” here at our house or as I’ve watched other disasters on the news (I think the last time I ever watched a newscast about a really big disaster was the time the hurricane hit New Orleans & all those areas down there). People were on their roofs in New Orleans, waiting for rescue, while their preparedness floated by them downstream.

        I often wonder how any of us could possibly survive a natural disaster like that, regardless of what we have stored. But it didn’t even dawn on me how single-mindedly I was looking at the subject. A natural weather disaster was the only kind I was thinking of… but there are many other kinds of disasters to prepare for, which wouldn’t touch a finger on our stores of food or any of our preparedness items (job loss, major illness, etc.).

        Thank you for all those additional angles to the topic, for me!!

        XOXOXO

      • January 17, 2013 11:07 pm

        Ohhhh…. I just read Kelly’s interview!! Kleenex in hand, indeed!!!! 😦

        There was much sorrow in her words but also much hope… much happiness… much love. Unless you’ve gone through something like that, you really have no idea how *wonderful* people can be in a crisis.

        Unfortunately… but very fortunately, at the same time… we understood everything Kelly is saying with this past summer’s events of our youngest daughter Bailey’s cerebral hemorrhage. The family wakes up one fine, sunny, warm, beautiful Saturday morning in May…. by 2pm you’re watching your 14yo daughter being whisked away in a helicopter, clinging to life….. and by nightfall you & your husband are sitting at your daughter’s bedside in the ICU of a major Chicago children’s hospital, asking each other “What in the world just happened???”. On May 26, 2012, we had a very different kind of “tornado” hit our home but it was sudden… without warning… and left us reeling.

        The way people stepped-up, stepped-in, stepped forward… some we knew & some we didn’t know… all begging us to tell them how to help… people praying all over the world for this tiny, 5’1″ 102-lb little girl with a 3cm blood clot that was splitting her brain in half.

        Preparedness: being prepared with stores of food to have & to share… being prepared with stores of compassion to have & to share… being prepared with the love & knowledge of Christ to have & to share. Preparedness.

        Thank you, girls. Thank you!! XOXOXO

      • January 18, 2013 10:36 am

        Oh no, Andrea! I didn’t receive it negatively at all! It’s important to talk about these things because it always makes us consider different angles. It helps us to know what we should explore more on this blog.

        So glad that Bailey is doing better and that the Lord carried you through that storm. {{{HUGS}}}

  2. January 16, 2013 5:38 pm

    love this ladies!! thanks for putting this together! can’t wait to see the follow-ups and keep pluggin’ away – I adore what you’re doing here! Blessings!

  3. January 17, 2013 2:14 pm

    Even though we have never had a real emergency in Chicago, I have thought about preparing. I will start with stocking up on water. Thanks for the article and reminder.

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