Today I am sharing 15 ways to be prepared for the unexpected. These are a few of my bare minimum ideas, but it’s a good start. I want you to picture it’s 7:00 p.m. at night and all of the sudden the lights go out. The TV turns off and it’s dark everywhere. We look across the street to see if Mary has her lights on. Hmmm, we don’t see any lights. Then I can see I am going to miss my favorite TV show. Dang! Oh goodness, NOW it’s really hot because the fans or air conditioning are off, or it’s really cold because the furnace is no longer working. We need to ask ourselves, am I prepared to withstand the temperatures without any power available?
Now it’s the next day and still no power. No internet. No lights. No running water because the local power system can’t pump the water to our homes. Let’s take a moment and see how we really need to be prepared. You know, are we prepared for the unexpected?
Now it’s day three, and the power is still off, no electricity, no running water. We know this happens all over the world occasionally. But with the various fires, flooding, tornadoes, and hurricanes going on around us we could be without power for days, weeks or maybe even months.
15 Ways To Be Prepared
1. Keep up on laundry. If we lose power for two weeks or more you will want at least 90% of your laundry done. I know hand washing clothes can be a chore. Are you prepared to hand wash all your laundry? Hopefully, at least our underwear can be rinsed and dried. Do you have enough laundry detergent to last you several weeks or months? Do you have a clothesline to hang your wet clothes to dry? My laundry detergent recipe: Homemade-Laundry-Detergent-or-Soap-by-Food-Storage-Moms I use one teaspoon of my homemade detergent per load in my H.E.front loader washing machine.
2. Budgets, please organize your bills, set them up on automatic payments, if possible. This way none of your bills will be delinquent. I am thinking while I write this post I am picturing only four or five states around us without power. So if your auto payment is in say a state outside your area you will be good to go. No late payments. You might not be able to go online and pay that bill, we might be without power for days or weeks.
3. Gas tank, please keep at least half full or more. UPDATE: I now suggest we keep our gas tanks 3/4 full. If you need to leave or evacuate your neighborhood your car is ready to take you and your family as far as your gas tank can drive you.
4. Small bills, please keep a few one and five dollar bills so if you absolutely need something you have the cash to purchase it. Remember, in a power outage, the gas stations will be inoperable because they don’t use generators. No gasoline will be available unless someone has an old style gas pump that works without electricity.
5. Flashlights, you can never have enough of them. If you have the battery type, how many batteries do you have stored? If you have a crank flashlight, that’s even better. This is my favorite flashlight from Goal Zero. No batteries needed. Crank, solar and plug in to charge even in the car. Goal Zero Torch 250 Flashlight with Integrated Solar Panel and this one: Goal Zero 90109 Solo V2 Solar Flashlight
6. Water, how much water do you have stored? You need a lot more than you might think. Count the number of people in your home and multiply that by one gallon per day minimum. I mean at the very minimum. See below how much is really needed. If the roads are shut down will the stores even have what you may need? No, they will not, water will be the first to fly off the shelves.
It is vital to have water storage to sustain life. Many times in natural disasters the electricity goes down and we are unable to access water via our hoses, taps, etc. Sometimes the water is contaminated from flooding and cross-contamination from sewage. You will need water for a minimum of three days. If we don’t have water, we will not be able to use many of the freeze dried or dehydrated food we need to eat every day. Some garden hoses have lead in them; use a lead-free hose to fill containers. There are numerous containers available in which to store water; use a container that works for you and your family.
Minimum water needed per day per person:
1 gallon per day, per person to stay hydrated. If you live in a HOT area you may need more.
4 gallons per day, per person, allows for personal hygiene, washing of dishes, etc.
5 to12 gallons per day would be needed for a conventional toilet
1/2 to two gallons for a pour flush latrine
My favorite water containers: Water Storage Containers – Water Storage Containers – WaterBrick – 8 Pack Blue and this is my favorite water preserver: 55 Gallon Water Preserver Concentrate 5 Year Emergency Disaster Preparedness, Survival Kits, Emergency Water Storage, Earthquake, Hurricane, Safety
7. Food, check out your pantry or food storage area and think about how much food you have, and then you can estimate how long you can feed your family. Let’s assume the grocery stores are 10 miles away and the roads are broken from a slight earthquake, or maybe a tornado or an ice storm. Next, picture walking there and finding out the store shelves are empty. I have heard some church organizations are no longer telling/reminding their members to stock up on food. They have told them for many many years to do so. If they don’t have it now they probably never will.
8. One temporary cooking device is critical. I realize we can eat peanut butter and jam sandwiches, or even tuna if you have bread or crackers. Okay, we can eat them out of the jars with a spoon if we have to. After a few days, we just might want some hot soup. We may need to boil our water to kill the bacteria. I have seen inexpensive little butane stoves for about $25.00 to more expensive items. Camp Chef Butane 1 Burner Stove with Camping Case and be sure and get some fuel: 12 Butane Fuel GasOne Canisters for Portable Camping Stoves
9. Medical supplies, first aid kit. If your children have a fever, cough or very deep cut….are you prepared to handle the situation? I love essential oils, but sometimes I need more than that. I might need antibiotics or my prescriptions. Oh, the pharmacy is closed because their computers don’t work without power. Yes, they might have a generator until the gasoline runs out that powers it. My first aid list: First-Aid-Kit-Checklist-Printable
10. Do you have extra blankets, jackets, or sweaters to protect you and your family from the cold?
11. Do you have fuel to power your cooking device(s) to prepare meals, if this becomes a two-month situation? We can’t depend or expect the government to take care of everything. It’s not going to happen, at least not right away. The government agencies have so many issues and people to deal with. You may be on your own for a very long time.
12. How well do you know your neighbors? If a tree falls on your house is there someone in your neighborhood that could help you cut it down? I’m thinking a chainsaw would come in handy right now. Where I live we don’t have large trees, but if you live somewhere with large trees you need fuel to power the chainsaws.
13. If you have babies in your home, do you have cloth diapers in case you run out of disposable ones? Do you have young girls that need monthly supplies for that time of the month? What about toilet paper for any extended period? What about some extra toothpaste, toothbrushes, or deodorant?
14. Do you have a generator or solar power source to power your computers if you have a home based company? Can they power your computers, printers, cell phones, etc.? Emails or texting might be our only way to communicate, let alone run a small business.
15. Communication, we need walkie-talkies or ham radios. This is a good reason to get to know your neighbors. You can set your walkie-talkies to the same channels. This way you can check on those neighbors, family members nearby to make sure they are okay.
So now you know my 15 ways to be prepared for the unexpected that are just the beginning of all the things we need. You just start somewhere. You don’t have to do the whole list all at once. Please start with the basics, you will be glad you did. May God bless you, your family, and our country.