T Rex Family

T Rex Family

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Emergency Preparations...Thoughts on Irene

In watching all the folks gear up for Irene, it has made me look inward as to what my emergency preparation status is. I ask you as well as myself, "If Irene were hitting your home today, would you be ready?"

From last week's pickle canning. 25lbs = 24 jars.
Last year I did a series on some of our emergency preparations. I told you about the time we were evacuated from our home due to fire and how our preparations saved us from undue discomfort. It certainly reaffirmed our need to update some of those preparations which we have since done so. 

I was first introduced to "prepping," as it is called, when I was asked to be the emergency preparations coordinator for my church group while at college. At that point I had little experience preparing for emergencies aside from some dry and canned goods that we kept around the house. Really, though, Mom and I had little extra funds for such preparations. Had I known then what I do today about such preparations, we probably would have moved its importance higher on our scale of priorities.

I know sometimes folks scoff or even joke at our preparations. Some just say, "I'll just come to your house if there's ever an emergency." Some are curious and ask questions. Some reply and say, "Which is your favorite website for food purchases?" And some give the blank stare of bewilderment like we subscribe to some odd cult. 

For us, self sufficiency is of utmost importance. We are not in a place in our lives right now to be completely self-sustained. However, we strive to ensure that we have enough food, water, and other supplies so if there were an emergency situation, we would be prepared. Even a disruption in food supply chain makes a huge impact as more and more agriculture is taking place great distances from where it will eventually be sold. We want to ensure that our family is provided for in case of emergency - period. 

We encourage others to do the same. I've taught home canning classes and tortilla making from food storage supplies. T Rex Dad has taught others how to store dry goods. And yes, we do have some "refugee rations" for folks who say they'll just come to our place in case of an emergency. However, when the refugee rations run out, you better hope the disaster has past or have other plans. 

So, in answering my initial question, the absolute honest answer would be a resounding "yes". We have plenty of food, water, batteries, flashlights, candles, fuel, diapers, wipes, toilet paper, medical supplies, radios, communication devices, plus many other items I cannot think of off the top of my head. We are ready. This has taken many years to achieve. It was not something we did overnight or in one day. A trip to Wal-Mart would not even begin to cover our preparations. It could be a good start. 

(Also a quick note to those folks who are going through Irene, the T Rex Family household will be sending good thoughts and prayers your direction.)

How about you, "If Irene were hitting your home today, would you be ready?" What would it take to motivate you to start preparing for emergencies?


Kim said...

I remember your series last year. It made me think about what we needed to do. But I think it's that we live in such a perceived safe place - one that rarely gets hit by natural disaster. However, I re-thought this a few nights ago when we had a tornado warning and one of the worst storms I'd ever seen. This is good advice my friend. And don't you find it's always the same people that scoff??

mitchsmom said...

We'd be fine, especially for just a few days for a hurricane (I' be lived most of my life in FL, so used to that).
Our storage has b een coming along nicely.

We have sort of different sets of storage: short term/evacuation (hurricane, etc, think days), mid-term (maybe 3 mos.-ish, job loss, etc), and long-term (for the apocalypse, LOL).

Long term had been helped alot since I signed up for automatic monthly deliveries from Shelf Reliance. One of the boys' full-wall closets is getting fairly full with that.

Short/mid term I try to fill in with good deal sale items, I stock up like crazy when there's a good deal (pbj, 2 for 1 pasta sauces, pasta, mac/cheese, mexican, beans, rice, soups, veggies (esp.at thanksgiving, our walmart has a lot of staples & canned veggies on sale). I get all stiff that we actually easy & rotate thru so it isn't wasted

mitchsmom said...

*stuff that we actually eat... My phone was acting funny...

We mix it in with normal everyday stuff... I usually get more fresh foods, but hey if we lose our jobs well be roughing it.
I do, however get some bulk organic items from Amazon subscribe & save.

JKMommy said...

I keep thinking we're good about our preparedness, but... in preparing for Irene this weekend I realized we are a little disorganized.
We have great car emergency preparedness kits. But no water storage in the house... we have city water so that usually keeps going without electricity... but if it gets contaminated we are in trouble.
We live a mile from the store... I guess that makes us a bit lazy?

But we do have food, a way to cook, and water that we stored in several 5 gallon buckets for washing and all... diapers might be an issue as I only have some SUPER LARGE disposables on hand - we could use them in a pinch...
My one thing with preparedness that I know we are TOTALLY unprepared about: if we had to evacuate - I do not have a plan. At all! Maybe you could write about that sometime? what do you do if you have to MOVE quickly? What do you take? I would have such a hard time not taking everything!!!

Crunchy Beach Mama said...

I am not very organized in life these days so I can't say I am prepared at all. As I was rounding up flashlights for Irene I couldn't find our big main ones. Where in the heck could they have gone? I had to go to Walmart and buy 2 more along with bottled water because I do not buy bottled water but now that I have some it will be considered my emergency water! This is a great post and I am going to do my best to get together a good stash. BTW, I will have to go back and read your fire post. We were evacuated for fire too a couple of years ago. Scary.

Anonymous said...

Great reminder. We have plenty of food in the house and freezer to keep us well fed but it is the electricity that I worry about the most. Rain, snow and ice storms in the mid-west frequently knock out our power. If we were ever to be hit by a really big storm that did serious damage and took out power for a long time I think we might struggle.
Not sure what we can do about that at this point because we are not in a financial place where we can go off the grid right now. Would love to someday but just can't afford it right now!

mitchsmom said...

Abbie... generator! Sometimes you can find decent used ones that aren't too bad.

Even if it's just big enough to keep your freezer and a light or two (or a fan, in Florida!) on, it makes a BIG difference if you're without power for an extended time (as we were with hurricane Charley and the two that followed it that year).

We also use our generator regularly while camping out on ranches at dirt bike (woods) races so it's sort of like second nature (or UN nature!) to us.

T Rex Mom said...

I know the idea of preparing seems almost like insurance and it can seem like something expensive during tough economic times. However, I will say that it can help during those tough times. If you have non-perishable food items, they work great if you just cannot afford to make it to the grocery store for a month or two.

Caitlin said...

I do keep a small emergency box (hence me being able to still have D batteries even though the store was out), but this hurricane made me realize that I really need to up it quite a bit now that both boys eat more. Also, I need to be keeping more water around!

I would say that since we are in an apartment our goal / space is to have a few days worth, but eventually it would be nice to have more like you!

Caitlin said...

PS our town's water has tasted weird - like dirt!- since the hurricane, so we are drinking that bottled water that we got. Thankful that I didn't share! :)

Jenners said...

Irene was a good little test for us in this area. Turns out we weren't really ready … but we are now!

Charis's Mum said...

We were without power for >24 hours because of Irene. I was thankful that we had a gas stove and running water. Praise God. Thankfully, we are running at full capacity and I was prepared for what happened to us. But, if it happened with no warning, that would have been another story. I don't think I'd be prepared to evacuate either.

septembermom said...

Irene did hit my area and luckily we got through it okay compared to many of my neighbors. Your post reminds me of all that I need to do in order to feel better prepared in an emergency. Thanks for this post.