3 Things That Will Happen After A Disaster

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My brain is always working overtime when I think about what will happen after a disaster. I believe in God and I am not afraid 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.

What Will Happen After A Disaster:

1. The First 24-Hour Period

We will check with neighbors to see who is okay or hurt. If the disaster is big enough we will have limited county or city agencies to help 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 many areas of concern.

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 will 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 most likely will not work either. If you don’t have a portable toilet you better get one this week. Not next week. I will not share my portable toilet with anyone. I know it sounds selfish, but I want my neighbors to know that right now.

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.

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 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.

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 as well. 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.

3. The Third 24-Hour Period

It will not be fun. 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 do not 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, preferably 3/4 full and have several small bills, like ones, and fives.

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 preparedness items.

7. I don’t have time to learn skills.

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

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

My Favorite Bartering Items For After A Disaster:

1. Ammunition

2. Hard liquor

3. Cigars (do not store cigarettes-they go bad)

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

5. The food you grow in your garden (get organic seeds-you can keep planting year after year if you save the seeds)

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

7. Skills like bread making

8. Other Skills-handyman stuff

9. Skills-quilting

10. First aid supplies

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

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

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

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

15. Water and food

16. Fuel-for car and cooking

17. Learn to make soap and laundry detergent Laundry Detergent Recipe

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

19. Cooking oil, any kind will be sought after

20. Cooking devices for outside cooking with fuel

I am not saying run out and buy everything on this list. We will all need the 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 may be next based on wind and ashes.

I read an article this week about a drunk driver that 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 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 outlined above 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. If you’re not ready it’s time to start, today. May God bless this world.

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 just hours, but most 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 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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Copyright Picture: AdobeStock_70578898by JFerguson Photos

18 thoughts on “3 Things That Will Happen After A Disaster

  • April 8, 2015 at 11:24 am
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    We have a Berkey filter just for this scenario. It will make ditch water safe to drink. We have extra filters, too.

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    • April 8, 2015 at 11:28 am
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      Hi Emily, I have a Berkey as well. They are my favorite water purifiers, I am so glad you have one. I am glad to hear when people are prepared before a disaster strikes. You rock, Linda

      Reply
  • December 28, 2015 at 9:36 pm
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    These is a very interesting topic. I love your tips that will really help us a lot.

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    • December 29, 2015 at 10:20 am
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      Hi Tedd, thank you so much! We need to get our community and neighbors on board to be prepared and life will be must easier after a disaster if we work as a team. Linda

      Reply
  • December 28, 2015 at 10:18 pm
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    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.

    Reply
  • December 11, 2018 at 6:25 am
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    If you take cigarettes out out of the carton (not out of the pack) and vacuum seal them they keep for at least 2 years. I prep for my dad, so we rotate stored cigarettes, the oldest we’ve ever tried was 2 years. Also in a shtf situation even stale cigarettes will be gold. Even as valuable as booze would be, I’m not sure I’d advise it. And you damn sure don’t want to barter ammo and booze to the same person or group. People are going to be stupid enough, you don’t want them getting all driggity drunk and thinking they can come back and take the rest of what you have.

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    • December 11, 2018 at 8:31 pm
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      Hi Sleepydog, I have heard this about cigarettes, great reminder! Thanks for commenting! I’m with you, booze, ammo with be big barter items! Stay safe and keep on prepping! Linda

      Reply
  • December 11, 2018 at 7:40 am
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    Lots of folks have their own septic tank (good! No electricity needed) and driven water well with an electric pump (bad! No electricity, no water). Think about buying and installing a hand pump on top of your well head. I did, and one hour of pumping every day gives me 30 gallons of water under pressure in my basement – to drink, shower and flush the toilets. Think about it! SimplePump.com

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    • December 11, 2018 at 8:33 pm
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      Hi Wiseman, I LOVE your tips about the pump, my sister needs one in Texas. The septic tanks are awesome for those that have them. I love hearing one hour of pumping gives you 30 gallons of water! Woohoo!!! I LOVE this! Linda

      Reply
  • December 12, 2018 at 11:47 am
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    I found a crank flashlight/spotlight/am FM/alarm CRANK-operated – no batteries or electricity needed. It works great and I like knowing that I can still hear radio in the event of an emergency even with no other power source. It was inexpensive, too. Bought from Lehman’s Hardware catalog.

    Reply
    • December 12, 2018 at 12:32 pm
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      Hi Gwen, thanks for the tip, I’m going to look for it! I love that store! Linda

      Reply
  • December 12, 2018 at 8:26 pm
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    I’m certain that the last thing I would ever use for trade would be ammunition. I would be scared to death that someone would use it on us. We have 6 neighbors that own guns and they all have serious stockpiles of their required ammo. I’m going to assume (because I love you!) that you didn’t mean to just trade with any shmoo that wanders up to you.
    Also we wouldn’t do too much trading with anyone except our very closest neighbors. We have three streets that would have to be blockaded to people didn’t just wander through. Most neighbors have, at the very least, 6′ fences around their back yards so we/they could keep an eye on anyone trying to enter unwanted. There is a nice mix of working and retired families so we usually have someone keeping an eye (being nosey!) most of each day. We all keep an eye out for “strangers” in the neighborhood. We have had issues in the last 10 years with 4 empty houses within 1/4 mile of our home – not good! We are fortunate to have 3 families in the area who are law enforcement.
    Thank you again for more good information. Everyone remember Christmas is coming and if you need a last minute gift for friends and family you can usually find Linda’s excellent book at Barnes& Noble or Amazon if you are internet inclined!

    Reply
    • December 13, 2018 at 11:04 am
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      Cheryl, you are so kind for recommending my book! I LOVE you for that and more!! I love hearing you live in a very safe secure neighborhood. We must work together to watch out for one another. I will not give out ammo to someone I do not know. LOL! They may use it one me. Happy holidays, girlfriend! May God bless this world. Linda

      Reply
  • December 14, 2018 at 6:16 am
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    Another great article. I love reading your articles and passing them along to family and friends. (By the way, I want to thank you for the book). I have relatives in Alaska that survived and thrived through the worst earthquake to hit the area. (They are still having smaller quakes everyday). Some roads were repaired quickly, but ,snow has now covered the area and some roads are still not passable. I know my family is safe. They have their preps and water storage. Unlike a lot of others there that have not taken heed of the ‘signs of the times’. My brother’s well water has cleared up quite a bit, (the water was black after the big quake). A few years ago, (over many phone conversations) I helped my sister in law(who lives in the Anchorage area) start her food and water storage. She has a ways to go still, but at least she has a good start. And I feel better knowing they are able to take care of themselves. God bless you for all you do.

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    • December 14, 2018 at 5:31 pm
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      Hi Judy, I’m glad to hear things are slowly improving in Anchorage. That was interesting about the black water, yikes! I bet your sister in law is glad you suggested some food and water storage. I’m glad you received the book, I wrote it from my heart and years of experience. Thank you my friend, Linda

      Reply
  • December 20, 2018 at 5:29 pm
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    On making the toilet hole: An old fashioned, rotary 8 inch fence post auger makes a very neat and clean hole. It allows you to easily rotate down to 4 1/2 feet, we have used this system for our Deer Camps for forty years. Much better than using a shovel. Also, a discarded Shop Vac base can be turned into a great, weather proof toilet. Turn it upside down, cut a proper size hole and mount an
    old toilet seat . Note. porcupines will chew on wood toilet seats and wood bases.
    BLESSINGS TO YOU.

    Reply
    • December 20, 2018 at 8:40 pm
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      Hi Paladin, oh this is a great option! I love tips on making different toilets, this one is awesome! Thank you, Linda

      Reply

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