March 12, 2011

A Word About Preparedness

I'm sure most of us have spent some time watching the footage of the devastating Japanese earthquake and tsunamis over the past couple of days. It's a terrible tragedy and, being a natural disaster, completely unavoidable. The only defense we have against these sorts of events is our readiness. People living in earthquake-prone areas (or areas prone to any sort of dangerous natural phenomena) do the best they can to design buildings to withstand whatever may get thrown their way, and that's a great start. Our Earth, however, always has the power to throw a curve ball. Did you know earthquakes happen all over the world every day? Check out the United States Geological Survey; you might be surprised at where some of the recent quakes have occurred. Obviously, there are many other examples: hurricanes, tornadoes, volcanic eruptions, etc, of events that could seriously affect someone's life.

Some people believe that being prepared for bad times means that you're pessimistic or paranoid. I don't believe I'm either of those things. However, I want to make sure that my family has the things they need in an emergency. There are folks that believe in extreme preparedness. To them, my own version of preparedness is woefully inadequate, but I think we have enough to get through a short to medium length interruption of services. Remember, that when an emergency happens, everyone will be trying to obtain basic necessities. Lines to buy water and canned goods in Hawaii were hours long once the tsunami sirens began going off, according to A bit of planning along with a little space, and you can avoid those lines when an emergency hits your area.

Here's a brief list of some of the things that I make sure to keep in my house, just in case:
  • flashlights-several, within easy reach in various rooms, kept in working order
  • extra batteries
  • candles/oil lamps- The oil lamps are some very cool antiques that can come in handy if power is lost for a long period of time.
  • an emergency light/radio- Ours is from Black and Decker.
  • basic first aid supplies- rotating anything that might expire
  • pantry of food- I would have this anyway, I use it extensively for cooking and meal planning, but I do make sure to keep some items that don't require cooking.
  • alternate cooking sources- anyone with a BBQ grill has one!
  • drinking water- I generally don't buy plastic bottles of water; this is the exception. I rotate it periodically. The fish tank often gets a super-cleaning on days coinciding with the rotation.
Like I said, this is a brief list and really only addresses the sort of interruptions that go along with natural occurrences: power loss, water issues, etc. It also assumes that your home will be intact and you will be there for the duration. If you want to know more, start with It just takes a moment for a disaster to happen, but with some basic planning, your life *may* not be severely disrupted.


Celtic Cat said...

Yes, we need to be prepared. Have a plan, be ready!

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