Sep 30 2008

Emergency preparedness: Food, water and more

Sorry for my unannounced absence! I thought I would have some posts prepared to run, but I didn’t quite get that done. Last week and through the weekend, Shane and I traveled to Indiana to visit family and friends. It’s probably going to be our last trip until after our baby is born!

Back to regularly scheduled programming…

Last week, we discussed the importance of preparing for emergency situations. You never know when they’ll strike, so it’s best to be prepared, right?

My first aid kits arrived just a few days after I placed the order. I got to use my car kit for the first time this weekend. Yay, preparedness!

Now, it’s time for me to make sure we have all of the essentials to get through some sort of emergency situation. We need:

  • Food
  • Water
  • Flashlights
  • Battery-powered radio

Most authorities recommend having enough food and water per person to last for three days. Based on what you have right now, can you and your family survive if your power went out and you couldn’t leave your home?

We couldn’t. Right now, we don’t have enough water to last us long. We have a water filter pitcher in our refrigerator, but that would only last us until it was emptied. If our power went out and the water was unsafe to drink, we wouldn’t be able to refill it. Bad!

How I’ll fix our water situation:

There are a few options. I can pick up some gallon jugs of water. These do expire, though. Or, I can buy a few refillable gallon jugs and put treated water inside. I’ll need to change the water periodically. You can buy little packets of drinking water, which expire in five years. Finally, you can get water treatment tablets. I think I’ll get a few reusable water containers. Still shopping around for these.

Our food supply is actually pretty low right now. We’ve been eating out of the pantry for awhile, and our stash has finally dwindled. We don’t have anything designated “emergencies only.” Rather, we’d start by eating the perishable items in our fridge and working our way through the pantry. It would be a bizarre assortment of canned veggies and fruits, dry goods, and beans. Yum. And, not the best plan.

How I’ll fix our food situation:

Instead of letting our pantry get so low, I’d probably be better off by keeping several meals stocked there, including canned goods that require little to no prepwork (I have a manual can opener, so no trouble there). I’ll use these ingredients as a part of our regular cooking, but I’ll be sure to keep a decent stash at all times.

Also, I’m actually considering getting some packets of basic survival food. You know, like to eat if things are so dire that it’s your last resort. They don’t look so yummy, but they’re packed with nutrition, are somewhat cheap, and don’t take up much space. I have hardly any available storage space, so I like this option. Of course, we’d only eat these things after our perishable and non-perishable stash ran out.

Lights and radio

I just checked my big flashlight, and the bulb is out. Better put a bulb and a backup on my shopping list this week. I have a few other flashlights, but it would be a good idea to get some more batteries to have on hand. We have plenty of candles, matches, and I even have an oil lamp and oil to use during a blackout.

Finally, I’d like to make sure we have a battery-powered radio (and extra batteries) in case that would be of some use. I’m *kind of* sure I saw one of these at the Dollar Tree before, so I’ll check there before spending much. If not, I’m sure I can find one at a thrift store for just a few dollars.

Some emergency kits suggest keeping a stash of blankets, clothes, and sneakers for people. We have all of those items, and for now, I don’t see the need to gather them all in one location. It would take all of two minutes to gather those things if needed.

Take a look at your household supplies. Can you feed everyone in your family and all of your pets for three days? Will you all be able to drink safe water? Will you be sitting in the dark the whole time? What sorts of items do you keep in your emergency stash?

My last steps in emergency preparations will be to make sure we have a cash emergency fund at home and copies of all of our important paperwork, and quick access to the original documents so we can grab and go if needed. More on that later!

5 Responses to “Emergency preparedness: Food, water and more”

  1. There are water filters that make the water safe to drink. They won’t help you if you have no water pressure, but they give you high quality drinking water. The two most common I know of are the Berkey and the Aqua Rain. They have a higher initial outlay, but their filtration is good almost forever with normal household use. Over the long run, this is a much cheaper option than Brita or Pur filters.

    I also refill all of my empty soda or juice bottles and put them in the freezer. This will keep your food cold longer too assuming you have empty space there.

    KayleighJeanne’s last blog post..Wachovia Is Gone.

  2. My kids love the apple juice. When the bottled juice goes on sale I stock up – when they empty a bottle I rinse it out and fill it up with water. This is great other uses water – like washing dishes cooking or flushing your toilet/shower water. Also if you needed to drink it mix the water between the bottle its in and an empty one. 4-5 times and the water should reconstitute itself as drinkable although the flavor might be a little appleish. I’ve also done this with soda bottles but we don’t drink soda anymore. I have 4 cases of bottled water in the house for our drinking water.

  3. you are amazing with all that you think of doing! We are not totally prepped with the water aspect of things – but you got me thinking about it now!

    Promises Fulfilled’s last blog post..Making It Through

  4. Great thoughts…we all need to evaluate where we are right now. I found a great website that has some fantastic food storage items….

  5. Consider a “wind up” flash light. My son got one for Christmas–they’re great! There are also radios like that I believe.In the car you could add a real blanket or two and “an emergency blanket”–it looks kind of like foil. They’re cheap and available at Bass Pro and other outdoor stores–probably in the camping section at WalMart.

    Lisa’s last blog post..“What I’d life for you to know about Adoption”–a post I wish I’d written

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Hey! I'm Kacie, wife to Shane and mother to Jonathan (7), Vivienne (5) and Amelia (2) . I write about my family's finance: how we save money, improve our spending, and plan for the future.

I hope I can inspire and encourage you to improve your situation. See disclosure.

I'm adopting a much slower-paced posting schedule, and treating this as a hobby blog now.

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