Thursday, March 12, 2015

Are You Prepared?

So many people ask me why I am prepping for the end of the world.  Well, I’m not.  And why would I?  No, I am prepping for the hard stuff; actual disasters in real life.  Disasters can be natural or man-made, large or small and last hours to months or years. I am neither a hoarder nor do I think the government is out to get me.  I have, however been subject to several long term electrical outages, home floods, damaging summer and winter storms and major health crises.  While I don’t want to experience civil unrest, I have been witness to it.
Here are some of the things I recommend.  Keep several gallon jugs of drinking water in a convenient location in your home.  I have made a “storm room” in my basement where I can relax in a comfortable chair and read a book if a tornado is trying to take the roof off my home.  I change out my water every six months to ensure that it is clean and fresh.
I keep a small pantry with about six to eight months of food.  I have canned foods that I buy at the grocery store.  I use these regularly and restock to keep them from expiring.  There are MREs selected specifically for what I would eat.  If you hate the food, don’t stock it.  Under the stress of a disaster your appetite may be compromised and you won’t eat stuff you don’t like.  I also have long term storage items such as Wise Foods in sealed buckets.  These contain packages of tasty casserole style meals that require only the addition of hot water.
Then there are my Aladdin Lamps purchased from Lehman’s Hardware in Kidron, Ohio.  They run on odorless fuel and provide not only bright white light, but can effectively heat a room.  Alongside the lamps are LED flashlights and spare batteries.  My other backups are GOAL ZERO solar chargers and lights. And, finally, candles and matches.
Whether I must shelter in place or evacuate, I have a 72 hour emergency kit, better known as a Bug-Out Bag (BOB).  This is a lightweight, durable Maxpedition backpack that contains items such as 550 paracord, energy bars, water filter straw, fire starter, knife, multi-tool, matches, solar-turbo weather radio, flashlight with extra batteries, first aid and hygiene items, rain poncho, Mylar blanket, nitrile gloves and N95 face mask, canteen, copies of ID and important personal papers and contacts, zip-lock bags, duct tape, extra socks and underclothes, cash in small change and bills.  These are but a few of the important items.  Your pack should weigh less than 25 pounds or only ¼ of your weight.
Keep in mind that in a medium to large scale disaster, neither the police, fire, nor rescue crews will be readily available to aid you.  Your local agencies may be stretched to the limit of their resources.  Larger government agencies such as FEMA are generally not immediately available.  I do not think it wise to rely solely on government agencies to be there when disaster strikes.  Your own preparations may save your life.
“Prepping” is not a new concept.  Our grandparents planted gardens, hunted and canned their produce, stocking up for the lean months ahead.  They made their own butter, soap, clothes and quilts.  They made do with their possessions and fixed what was broken.  Things were re-purposed or passed on to others to continue using.  They did not dispose of something because it was old.  They did not have all manner of electrical appliances.  They had storm cellars, root cellars and saved their meager earnings “for a rainy day.”  That lifestyle still makes sense today.  Our modern wantonly wasteful and increasingly dependent lifestyle cannot last.  “Prepping” will go on.

Donna Johnston
Ann Arbor Arms
Emergency Preparedness Instructor
Join our Emergency Preparedness Class Wednesday March 18th, 5-6:30pm, Cost: $25,Call us at (734) 531-6650 to save a seat!

Photo Courtesy of Ben Weatherston Photography

No comments:

Post a Comment