Today I am talking about 15 ways to stay organized but in a different way. Yes, I love my kitchen cabinets organized. Oh, and the closets all tidy. You might laugh but I love a clean organized garage. It’s who I am. But today I want you to visualize if in one hour you lost power. You know what I am saying. We look across the street if Mary has her lights on. Hmmm, I don’t see any lights. Then I can see I am going to miss my favorite TV show. Dang! Oh goodness, now it is really hot or really cold. Am I prepared to withstand the temperatures without any power available….hmmm?
Now it’s the next day and still no power. No internet. No lights. No running water because the power system cannot pump the water to our homes. Let’s take a moment and see how we really need to be organized. You know, are we prepared for the unexpected?
Here are my 15 Ways To Stay Organized:
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? Laundry Detergent Recipe . Here is a dish detergent recipe from my friend, Tiffany at Imperfectly Happy
2. Budgets-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. My budget/filing system
3. Gas tank-keep at least half full or more. 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-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 unless they have a generator or some backup power source.
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. No batteries needed. Crank, solar and plug in to charge even in the car.
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 minimum. See below how much is really needed. If the roads are shut down will the stores even have what you may need as far as water?
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 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:
- 1 gallon per day per person to stay hydrated. If you live in a HOT area you might 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.
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. Now what? I have heard some organizations are no longer telling their members to stock up on food. They have told them for many many years. If they do not have it now they probably never will.
8. Temporary cooking device. 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. I have seen inexpensive little butane stoves for about $20.00 to more expensive items.
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 do not work without power. Yes, they might have a generator until the gasoline runs out that powers it.
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 cannot depend or expect the government to take care of everything. It’s not going to happen, at least right away. The government agencies have so many issues and people to deal with. You may be on your own for a while.
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 am thinking a chainsaw would come in handy right now. Where I live we do not have large trees. But if you live somewhere with large trees you need fuel to power those gems.
13. Do 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 extra tooth paste, 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-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 near by to make sure they are okay.
So now you know my 15 ways to stay organized…these are just the beginning. How to be prepared and organized for the unexpected. You 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.