3 Things That Will Happen After A Disaster

3 Things That Will Happen After A Disaster

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I have 3 things that will happen after a disaster that we need to talk about today, my friends. My brain is always working overtime when I think about what will happen after a disaster. I believe in God and I don’t live in fear because I feel I am prepared in many ways for any disaster. Now if the disaster takes my house in an earthquake I have a plan B in place if I am still alive after the earthquake.

But there are some things we should all be doing to be prepared for anything that might happen after a disaster. Being prepared before a disaster is critical. I have some tips below with suggestions of how to be prepared before a disaster. I wrote this post back in 2018, but I feel strongly that some people need to read it again or my new readers can learn from it, hopefully. I’m updating it with even more information today.

I highly recommend my friend Ray White’s book, Bugging In

3 Things That Will Happen After A Disaster

What Will Happen After A Disaster:

1. The First 24-Hour Period

We will check with neighbors to see who is okay and if hurt, how we can help them. If the disaster is big enough, we’ll have limited county or city agencies to provide assistance for the entire area in the short term. It’s not going to happen. Period. We need to be ready to take care of ourselves in most areas of concern that we’ll face.

I am talking about water, food, shelter, first aid supplies, tools, cooking devices, etc. We most likely will lose electricity. If we use gas to heat our homes, that will probably not be available. If you think you’ll be able to turn on the water faucet, think again, the water supply we have may be cut off or contaminated and the pumps to bring that water to you may not have the power available to run them.

The sewer lines could very well not work either. If you don’t have a portable toilet, you better get one this week. Not next week. In an emergency, I don’t plan to share my portable toilet with anyone. I know it sounds selfish, but I want my neighbors to know that right now. It’s a sanitation thing.

I hope they have a good shovel to dig a hole for their own toilet, just saying. Here is a post I wrote: Emergency Toilet by Food Storage Moms. These are cheap and everyone should have their own emergency toilet, or some black garbage bags, kitty litter, and duct tape to use inside their home toilets. If making one is too much, I get it. You may want to consider one like this, Giantex Portable Travel Toilet

2. The Second 24-Hour Period

Some people have gone through their bottles of water and their pantry or freezer to eat whatever they have in their house right now. Remember, every family member needs at least one gallon of water per person each day just to drink, according to the American Red Cross.

I disagree, I suggest four gallons of water per person per day. That’s really not enough for cooking, washing clothes or bathing, etc., but can provide some water for hygiene and to keep you properly hydrated. You will want some baby wipes for what I call spit baths. This is the day you hope you were caught up on the laundry. If not, you will at least want clean underwear.

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Here is my post about an emergency washing machine: Emergency Washing Machine by Food Storage Moms. Of course, you can use a sink or washtub, if you have some water stored for that purpose. You shouldn’t just plan on using the bathtub because first of all the water lines might be cut. Second, the sewer lines might back up into your house if you try to drain the water.

My favorite washing machine suggestion is a Lavario Portable Washing Machine

3. The Third 24-Hour Period

It won’t be fun! Do you know those BLACK FRIDAY sales that happen after Thanksgiving? Well, after a disaster if the roads are driveable the grocery stores will have lines out the door due to rationing the water and food.

Trust me, I will NOT be in any grocery store after a disaster. I don’t do Black Friday sales either. I don’t like the pushing and shoving at the stores. Man, just think how the crowds will be looking for water and food. YIKES!

Utah, where I live, is ranked #4 for states with personal gun ownership. People get mean when they are really hungry or thirsty and they need to feed their families. Just something to think about.

The grocery store shelves will be empty or a bottle of water could cost $20.00 and the store will not have change. Exact dollar amounts will be needed. PLEASE keep your gas tank at least 1/2 full, preferably 3/4 full, and have several small bills, like ones, fives, tens, and twenties.

Pictures make me remember:

Before A Disaster Some People May Think:

1. Why do I keep hearing the phrases get prepared, be prepared, and are you prepared?

2. Sometimes people may think nothing will happen to them.

3. The government will have to step in and help us.

4. God, or whoever you pray to, will take care of you.

5. I can’t afford to buy extra water or food.

6. I can’t afford other preparedness items.

7. I don’t have time to learn skills I may need to take care of myself and others.

8. My neighbor is prepared, I’ll just go over there.

9. My house is too small to store anything extra.

My Favorite Bartering Items For Use After A Disaster

1. Cigars (don’t store cigarettes-they can go bad)

2. After a disaster, coffee drinkers will barter for instant coffee (Starbuck’s might not be open)

3. The food you grow in your garden (get non-GMO seeds-you can keep planting year after year, if you save the seeds)

4. Basic staples you have stored like flour, sugar, honey, and spices

5. Skills like bread making

6. Other Skills-handyman stuff

7. Sewing Skills-quilting

8. First-aid supplies

9. Chickens and eggs (as long as you have the food to feed them)

10. Meat (grass-fed animals will be a premium)

11. The skill of hunting for animals to eat (learn how to preserve them)

12. Trading your canned food items (you need to know how to can and preserve your garden)

13. Water and food

14. Fuel-for car and cooking for others

15. Learn to make soap and Laundry Detergent Recipe

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16. Lemonade mix, hot chocolate mix, or good old sugary Tang, if they still sell it (these will make water taste better)

17. Cooking oil, of any kind, will be sought after

18. Cooking devices for outside cooking with fuel

19. Mechanical skills like working on a car, house repair, plumbing, electrical work

20. Technical skills like computer repair (if you have electricity)

I’m not saying run out and buy everything on this list. We’ll all need the combined skills to help each other. We must all be able to bring something to the table in order to help one another. We are responsible for ourselves, no one else is going to take care of us.

You may have the best plans to make your home safe and secure, but your neighbor may have a fire disaster just waiting to happen by storing dangerous fuels in the garage or on the side of the house. If their home goes up in smoke yours maybe next based on wind and ashes.

I read an article this week about a drunk driver who drove through the front of a home, nearly killing the occupants. They were lucky the car didn’t burst into flame. You may think that disasters only come in the form of a flood, tornado, hurricane, earthquake, and other causes we call Mother Nature.

Sure, we need to think of these and be prepared, but more often than not it’s the surprise events we read about and see on the news that bring the most heartache and challenges to families.

Final Word

Do your homework and be as prepared as your time and finances can allow. You’ll be glad you did, and so will those living with and near you. The next time you see a disaster, you may start thinking about the first 24-hour period, then the second 24-hour period, and then the third 24-hour period, and how you’ve taken the steps to be prepared, whether it directly affects you this time or not. If you’re not ready it’s time to start, today. May God bless this world, Linda

Copyright Images: Flooded Streets AdobeStock_442416575 by MIKHAIL

Comments from readers:

Tami: True story. I lived in Virginia and after hurricane Isabel, in 2003 the majority of our state lost power. Some places were just hours, but most were up to a week, and some longer. We were out for 6 days. We had a boil order on our water for 3 days. (Our water plant had no power either to clean the water, although we did have water). We were advised to not let any water drain as the pumping stations also did not have power. Sewage was backing up into the streets- those had flooded as well. So toilets were flushed once or twice a day only and dishwater got thrown outside. Lines at the few stores open(some with power and some without) were wrapped around the buildings with people searching for ice, food, generators, etc.

Carin:  Having lived through a Hurricane, the run on the stores happened just beforehand, and although people wanted to exhibit southern grace, it was difficult. We were without power for a week. We had water and shared it with anyone with a container. We lived like kings compared to our neighbors. We shared a lot of what we had. We lost the contents of our freezer…which was an expensive lesson. Although tragic, it was overall positive for our family….because we were prepared.

Tedd: It is better to be prepared and safe. Always check and listen to the radio and communicate with your friends and community, always be alert.

Communication by Linda

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  1. Good stuff
    “The government will step in and help us” yeah how’s that been working out?
    And along those lines with things the way they are 3/4 tank is empty right now. Yeah it’s a pain to stop everyday when you work but it’ll be a bigger pain if something happens.
    Also if you do have to fuel, get food or medicine after a disaster don’t do it it alone. One watches while one gets the stuff. We even did that pre covid as things started ramping up. Your security starts with you thinking and acting different.

    1. Hi Matt, you are so right about gas for our vehicles right now. It really is scary now to even buy groceries, we must be observant of our surroundings. Great comment, my friend, as always. Linda

    2. I take my mom early every Sunday morning. It started with uncertainty about how far down the rabbit hole covid would take us but it’s also a good way to spend time with her weekly.

  2. Matt is right on as usual. My husband goes shopping with me all the time now. Nobody wants to mess with him! And that’s all I have to say about that…

    1. Paula,
      I do virtually all the shopping. If Pat does the cooking, I can do the shopping. And, of course, here in Texas, I never shop alone. I always have Bill Ruger or Mister Smith or Mister Wesson alongside. If you have that option in Kansas, I highly recommend it.

  3. Linda,
    Great post as usual, I finally see more folks waking up to being prepared. Still too many of them sleepwalking but you can’t save them all. I have several folks in my distribution list that I suspect have awakened by some comments they have made. They just are not ready to admit that I was right. LOL! And, today there was an article about how food prices will rise even faster as the thing in Ukraine plays out. Wheat especially will become much shorter in supply. Fortunately, we buy very little wheat since Pat is gluten intolerant. Keep up the good work. And, for the other folks on here, I doubt that I need to say it, but stay prepared. Things are only going to get more expensive.

    1. Hi Harry, thank you, my friend! It’s so crazy when you know you are right and they will not say a word! LOL! BUT, you were a good example, they picked up on tidbits if nothing else. I sure hope people are teaching their kids and grandkids how to cook from scratch because the price of food is way too high for so many people. Great reminder to be prepared, we must all be prepared and pray for the world right now. Linda

  4. Great article, Linda. I didn’t know about Ray’s book so I went straight onto Amazon and ordered it. Can’t wait to read it. There are several regular posters here whom I definitely pay attention to!

    I filled up my gas tank day before yesterday-$3.999 at Costco. Last night? $4.099! In one day! And it’s going to get worse, too. I’ve been trying to figure out something fun to do with our 13 yr old grandson who lives with us for spring break. He’ll have 2 weeks of being totally bored with no school. However, with the price of gas as it is (and getting worse by the day) I doubt we can afford any trips. Darn, Linda, I doubt we’ll be coming to Utah in 2 weeks now!

    Several items in this article have me worried, the first being worst case scenario and the sewer backs up INTO my house! Ugh! How do you stop that from happened? What do you do to the fixtures to prevent that? I grew up on a ranch. I can deal with “watering a bush” etc. But not that kind of mess. Oh the horrors of it all!

    Guess I need to stop stockpiling fabric (no electricity, no sewing machine!) and switch gears for a few more specific items. I need that Lavario washer and a decent oven.

    Have a great weekend!

    1. Hi Robbie, we will meet in person the next time, my friend! I know we should never put eggshells, potato skins, melon rinds, orange peels, tampons, maxi pads, wipes, etc. They are not meant to be disposed of in the kitchen disposal or toilets. Please keep in mind I am not a plumber, but I have learned this from the best plumber I know! An awesome friend. I know we had a backup when the city was “blowing the lines” or something. Another time a new home was being built and they cut the lines or something. Our friends brought over a “plumbers snake” and cleared ours out. You can buy one, I would inquire at a plumbing store to be safe. Linda

    2. I “found ” you on August 20, 2020, and I have saved every post since then. I have stared rereading everything I can, to insure we are doing everything within our powers to be ready for whatever the good Lord sends our way.
      We do laundry every four days to stay caught up, and I got both of us an extra two weeks of underwear, just in case. We need more water, but I am still working on my husband for that. I worked around it a little with 12 cases of ginger ale and 6 cases of orange juice.
      My husband did agree to picking up an extra case of heavy duty bags to line the toilet He is coming around slowly. We are a work in progress.

      1. HI Chris, I often wonder what my husband would do if I wasn’t into preparedness. I’m in charge of all of it. He does help load and will unload the car though with items I feel we need! I keep up on the laundry as well, we can wash our clothes by hand but, let’s be real, we need clean underwear! I love the idea of two weeks’ worth! great tip! Linda

    3. I have heard there is an item that can be put in the line to stop the backup but it has to be done by a plumber. If I didn’t have septic I sure would look into it.

  5. IF anyone uses 2 liter bottles, they are safe to store tap water for 6 months. I wash mine, rinse with diluted bleach water, rinse again and fill them. They are more durable than milk jugs. 2 2liter bottles equal 1 gal. I keep some stored in my refrigerator and some stored in my pantry. When we store water, we also need to think about our animals.

  6. Great info. Must add salt to your staples. Very important!! Along with spices so you don’t get tired od eating the same thing. Kids may not eat it if you don’t.

  7. Great article, Linda! And I always read the comments! Y’all share so many good ideas & practical information! Thank you! Y’all are superstars!
    Here in NW Florida gas jumped over 50 cents a gallon overnight. I fully expect to see gas over $4 by morning. We’re already limiting trips to just my work days, church & trips to the base to get my husband’s prescriptions.
    My daughter in law & I are spending 1 day a week vacuum sealing dry goods & organizing the canned goods we are accumulating. I’m helping her fill in any gaps in their preparations. We are putting together some pantry boxes with some simple meals& a few canned goods for our friends.
    I have 3 friends interested in vacuum sealing their own supplies & storing more canned goods. Hopefully the others I’ve offered to help will get more interested!

    I also just learned about Evolve Bleach tablets for water purification. Walmart carries them in bottles of 32 tablets or they can be ordered online. I ordered some off Ebay as our local Walmarts were out of these bleach tablets. Be sure to get the Original, not the Blue Linen scented tablets. If I read the directions correctly, each tablet could purify & disinfect about 20 gallons of water.

    I’d use these bleach tablets if we had to purify water from my rainbarrels. I’ll let you know how they work out.

    1. Hi BDN, good job! We always hope our example rubs off on others, and it sure worked for your family and friends! Love it! I think I have those evolve bleach tablets! Thanks for the tip to get the original! Linda

  8. Great article.
    I would like to add for those of us who are on a very tight budget, please go to your local thrift stores to find survival items. For area’s that are cold in the winter, store extra blankets, coat’s for everyone, socks like crazy. Yes these will be used, but wash them first, make sure the items are very dry and store them in containers with moth balls. There is a special down insulation item that can be added to the washer to increase loft and help dry the down faster. Don’t know how much it cost’s, but when a person has down, oh it is so nice to be warm.
    I love the Salvation Army’s store. I have found a lot of items I needed for a fraction of the cost.
    Remember in a survival situation, power will be gone. Plan accordingly. Lot’s of water.
    Know when the special sales come out, especially the 2 for 1 sales. And buy as many of those items you need as you can afford. If it’s just two cans, well you can eat one can and store the other.
    Beans and rice go a long way toward having a full pantry.
    Please, do NOT use your freezer as a food storage item. Freezers are convenient, but remember, when the power goes out, if you do not have a solar or wind power back up, you will loose your food. Store your food in a freezer so that you can long term process your food.
    Dry, can or loose store in a cool place carrots, potatoes, cabbage etc.

    1. Hi Mae, great comment, a lot of wisdom in your thoughts! I LOVE LOVE LOVE what you shared! Thrift stores are great. One thing that stuck out was the socks, sometimes we remember underwear but socks not so much. We donate socks, gloves, and hats to the homeless every year. You can never have too many socks. Linda

  9. Thrift store…. plaid flannel shirts make soft cozy quilts…even a lap quilt will warm you right up.
    It gives you something to do on cold days too 🙂

  10. This morning I had a light bulb moment. I can’t prepare for every event. I can’t keep bad things from happening to my precious children and grandchildren. I have decided I will live for today while preparing for tomorrow and whatever God has planned for us. I hold you all in my prayers.

  11. Talking about non-natural disasters, a house near our neighborhood blew up this week when a company laying internet lines hit a gas line. No one was home luckily, but the family only had whatever they had with them that day. You just never know when something will happen.

    1. Hi Tracy, oh I’m so sorry to hear about this. It’s good for all of us to be aware of non-natural disasters. Wow, thankfully, no one was home. Thank you for sharing, Linda

  12. While in our 70+ years we have never had to evacuate our home, yesterday my husband and I did a “dry run”. The first thing my husband did was put down the back seats in our car to allow for storage, because my electric scooter takes up most of the back space. Cases of water and ginger ale are stored in the garage, so they are convenient to load. I decided to store the our extra two weeks of underwear and socks in a suitcase, along with toiletries, so suitable season clothes can be quickly added. We have 4 milk crate on the floor of our pantries for food stuff. One thing I added, that might seem like total luxury to some but not to me, is a self inflating full size raised air mattress. I managed to fit in the same bag a set of sheets and 4 bath towels. When I asked my husband what he would grab first…(thinking he would say say important paper file or cash) he said ME!!! It took about 45 minutes, but now that we have a system, I think we can cut the time.

  13. Great article, and comments.

    Quick and easy toilet–a 5-gallon bucket with a piece of pool noodle, sliced lengthwise and pressed onto the edge to make a “seat.” (I still recommend “The Humanure Handbook” and the toilet shown there–just a fancier version.) Shavings, sawdust, shredded leaves or paper, will all work for cover material with these bucket toilets, and yes, it can be composted, although that’s a 3-year cycle before you have usable compost–still worth remembering if, like me, you prefer not using chemical fertilizers; or if, as now, chemical fertilizers are getting scarce and expensive.

    A most enlightening book (fiction, first of a trilogy) is “One Second After.” If that doesn’t persuade anyone into some degree of prepping, I don’t know what would!

  14. I understand what you mean by disasters not caused by mother nature. I had a nasty car wreck, due to a teenager and his cell phone. I was out of work and my health insurance was connected, so no coverage. I had 6 months of funds for my bills, but it wasn’t enough. I’m grateful for my preps!

    1. Hi Charlotte, oh I’m so sorry to hear about the nasty car wreck. I’m glad you’re okay now. I wish people would put down their phones. I know so many people who have died or lost loved ones because someone was texting and driving. I have no patience for that. No message is that important. I’m glad you had your preps, but I’m sad you had to deal with all of this. Linda

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