Emergency Preparedness-How Prepared Are You

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If I talk about emergency preparedness-how prepared are you is the logical question? I have asked a few people how they feel about preparedness. Some of my questions to friends were like “do you store water?” Other questions have been “how do you feel about food storage” or “how long could your family survive on the food you have stored?”

Well, as you may imagine, the answers were all over the board. Here’s the deal, I really try not to be on a soapbox screaming from the rooftops to tell everyone to get prepared. We have to be realistic and recognize the government can’t take care of all of us after a minor or major disaster, at least not right away.

The local American Red Cross may help in a week or two, possibly a month. We must be self-reliant, that’s it. Period.

I’m not a doomsday prepper and I don’t believe in zombies. I know a lot of people do, I don’t. My life has always been prepared for whatever comes my way. I have been lucky, my husband has never lost his job. We have never had to live on government help.

Mark worked three jobs so we didn’t have to take out student loans to get him through college. I ironed clothes (I doubt my daughters even own an iron). I’m thinking about this as I write this statement. I babysat kids and cleaned homes to help with income with four daughters undertow. Mark and I never thought anything about it.

We just worked hard, and we still do to this day. It’s a way of life for us. I understand people need occasional help from the government. I get it. As long as it’s short term and doesn’t become a way of life or lifestyle, as I call it, I understand.

It’s when I hear about families who have been living off the government for ten or more years when they could have tried to do it on their own that I get ticked off.

As you know, Facebook sometimes tells us more than we want to hear. Some people almost boast about the fact they are living off the government going on 12-15 years now.

Wow, my mom could have used some help as a young single mom with three daughters. She was too proud, she worked and we worked to help her. This is why it’s so critical to have food storage stored. If you or someone in your family loses a job or becomes ill such that they can’t work, are you prepared to feed your family?

Being prepared is a way of life for me and for my daughters. I can boast about my daughters because they are all hard workers and survivors. They are also self-reliant. Of course, all families have a few hiccups, and I have had a few as well.

I love the saying from Texas, “I put my boots on and got back in the saddle.” I don’t know where I heard that quote, I believe it was a movie. I use it all the time because I know I have had to put my boots on and get back in the saddle a few times.

It’s life, but I know I can survive anything. My daughters can survive anything because they are strong women.

I swear, it was from other’s example to us, but also we grew a garden and we “canned” every food we could get our hands on that was free or cheap. I know work teaches kids how to be self-reliant.

Please note: a few years ago I “pressure canned” chicken for the first time while earning my Master Preserver Canning Certificate. It was a really fun class!!

If you have a disaster or unforeseen emergency in your neighborhood is anyone prepared with water, food, gardens, first aid kits, cooking devices, fuel or general preparedness skills? I am extremely worried about where I live. I can’t take care of everyone, it’s not going to happen.

I will be willing to cook meals with help and share food and water. My fear is the lack of both on my street. I know possibly seven families out of 1200 families that are prepared for a disaster in my subdivision. I would love to move where there are like-minded people, but economically it’s not going to happen.

I’m concerned for the truckers and their safety if the roads are shut down and the people are trying to loot the trucks because the grocery store shelves are empty. People get mean and crazy when they are hungry and their kids are crying for a drink and something to eat. For the survival of your family, please get prepared for the unexpected.

Preparedness:

I quote from the Merriam-Webster Dictionary: Preparedness is “A state of adequate preparation.” The key word here is “adequate,” meaning enough supplies stored to keep your family hydrated with water, fed with food, kept warm with blankets, and fuel sources to not only help keep them warm but also to cook or just heat up food. Also, having first aid supplies at the very minimum so your family can be prepared for the unexpected.

Please start today if you haven’t already to follow some of the suggestions/guidelines below:

  1. Water, one to four gallons per person per day minimum WaterBrick 3.5 gallon with Water Preserver.
  2. Food
  3. First Aid supplies
  4. Blankets
  5. Cooking devices with fuel stored
  6. Emergency binder holding your important documents
  7. 72 hour-kits, at the very least
  8. Pictures of family members so you can post pictures if you get separated after a disaster.
  9. Make a plan with your family today so all members know where to meet if you are not home when a disaster hits.
  10. Buy 90-day prescriptions, if possible (they are usually cheaper if you pay cash, ask your doctors for refills).
  11. Communication, talk with your neighbors to have a walkie talkie on the same channel. I only have three families linked with my channel. No one else sees the need or has the desire to get walkie talkies (think Pandemic, I will not leave my house) Motorola MR350R 35-Mile Range 22-Channel FRS/GMRS Two-Way Radio (Pair)
  12. Flashlights, please get one for every family member. Trust me, you will need them.

Final Word

As I’m writing this I’m thinking about the people in Seattle in the early months of 2019. Seattle can be cool temperature wise, but they seldom have heavy snow storms. This time there were areas around Seattle where they received 24 inches of snow over just a few days.

The city wasn’t prepared to clear all the main streets and highways, let alone the thousands of side streets in residential neighborhoods. Not only were families unable to get out of driveways and streets, but the trucking companies couldn’t get to the local stores with all the supplies we take for granted when we go shopping.

Sometimes you have to see, read or hear articles before it really hits you that these needs are real and may save lives. This is the article I hope helps just one family do what they should be doing. Make a preparedness plan, today, not tomorrow and make sure all your family knows and understands what needs to be done, don’t take it all on yourself.

May God bless those who have prepared for the unexpected. If you can move where there are like-minded people, seriously consider it. Do it now!

Food Storage

25 thoughts on “Emergency Preparedness-How Prepared Are You

  • February 18, 2019 at 8:51 am
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    MORNING TO EVERONE FROM SEATTLE,WA. ARE power went out for some time GO believe I got a “C” had HEAT, FOOD, LIGHTS >BUT< my downfall is making "COFFEE" THAT was real bad

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    • February 18, 2019 at 11:08 am
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      Hi Sarah, oh my gosh, I hope all is well now in Seattle!! Making coffee makes me giggle, great comment! We all need practice when the power goes out! Linda

      Reply
  • February 18, 2019 at 8:57 am
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    You left out security. You won’t keep what you have long without it.
    How prepared am I? Better than some, worse than others but I’ll make due and won’t go down that easily.
    Just like the Army it’s “Always Forward” in preparation.

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    • February 18, 2019 at 11:09 am
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      Hi Matt, great reminder about the security! I have no worries about you Matt, you will do better than most! Love your comment! Linda

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  • February 18, 2019 at 9:20 am
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    I do OK on most of the categories but I’m lagging a bit on the binders. So far I’m using my blue camping jugs for water and change them when we do our time changes. Really came in handy when our building’s water was shut off for repairs a couple of times. Head lamps and a way to recharge them off grid are a big part of my preparations. Flashlights are OK but with a headlamp you can see what you’re doing while having hands free to do things.

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    • February 18, 2019 at 11:10 am
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      Hi Alice, I love having headlamps! We used them a lot in our CERT training! Great reminder! Linda

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  • February 18, 2019 at 10:15 am
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    Linda, thank you for sharing your memories of the income-producing jobs you did when first starting out. I remember my mom ironing biz men’s shirts for 10 cents each, 15 cents each for the jacket and pants. Mom also did house-cleaning jobs, where she could bring me along. And I remember her doing babysitting/child care for many couples where both parents had jobs. And, sometimes, it was sort of wierd times as one had a vendor food stand at auctions and the other had to go to English language classes as she’d married a GI, fresh from Vietnam. I also remember her bartering her housecleaning/babysitting with a neighbor for us to get their mare, already heavy in pregnancy. I also remember the humiliation our family felt when mom asked for a county food basket. These were published in the local newspaper. Wow, what different times we live in, where some people almost brag about the assistance they get. Anyway, this checklist reminded me stuff can and will happen: I need to get stuff we’ve used in the last 10 yrs while in electrical outages, during my cancer and heart stuff when I couldn’t work…but, I thank God I had preps when we most needed them.

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    • February 18, 2019 at 11:15 am
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      Hi Wendy, I’m so sorry to hear you had cancer and heart issues. We just put our boots back on and get up, right? I had no idea they published names in the newspaper who got food assistance. It is sad that people sometimes boast about getting low rent and food from the government or I should say our tax dollars. I realize people may need it in their lifetime if they have hit rock bottom. In my area they post it all over Facebook and how to get more assistance and how to hide income. It’s a different world. It’s actually quite shocking to me. Linda

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      • February 20, 2019 at 3:24 pm
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        I agree that some people suck the assistance vine. Many others truly do need a web of help, as they start life on their own with very little, and often with no network of help for anything. And I’m not talking about money, necessarily. Sometimes it’s about having someone to encourage, give ideas, help with one small thing. I consider myself to be a rich woman in what my folks taught me. My dad was in the hospital for long periods of time when I was young, (due to blood poisoning from concrete). We sure could have used some help, but here we say ” ya pull yourself up by your bootstraps”. My mom agreed with this philosophy, but also said “sometimes a person needs new bootstraps. Sure helps if somebody can help with that.” And, I can only hope that others get this, in case of a bad situation (lol, Shtf). There is No Way my family and I can have all the skills, supplies, tools, etc to survive/thrive in a lot of worst case scenarios. But, we have a better chance than most, because I’ve made it my biz to know my rural neighbors, learn about them and their skills. I think emergency preparedness should have it’s own chapter on neighbors!

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        • February 20, 2019 at 3:31 pm
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          Hi Wendy, oh my gosh, you are so right!! Emergency preparedness should have its own chapter on neighbors! I love your comment! It’s so true sometimes we do need some new bootstraps to pull ourselves up. Love it! Linda

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          • February 20, 2019 at 4:19 pm
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            I do know you did an article on this, but sometimes it’s not if people have preps, it’s about what they can do, hobbies, skills…

          • February 20, 2019 at 5:12 pm
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            Hi Wendy, you are so right on the things people can do! We all need to help one another and share hobbies and skills with each other. Great comment! Linda

  • February 18, 2019 at 10:38 am
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    Linda – I believe that I am prepared a lot better than most and have skills that most do not have in this day/age. Part of this is due to the way I was raised and part is due to my interest in preparing.

    As for the Seattle/greater Puget Sound region – we rarely see as much snow as we had this February!! One of the reasons that I live on this side of the mountains is that I much prefer clear water falling from the sky rather than white water falling!! We were forewarned of the coming snow storm and yet, many in my senior community did not prepare! I did! I had to have my popcorn stocked up!! LOL. My daughter and SIL in Seattle subscribe to Imperfect Produce and the day before the snow started their order was delivered! She remarked that now they didn’t have to worry about scurvy or the hoards of people at the grocery stores! LOL. It took a few years of their marriage (11 years married) but I finally convinced them to get at least a bit prepared. Once the kids started coming into the world, they started thinking about what ifs and started preparing. They are a far cry from actually being prepared like I am but that is something that they are working towards within their income.

    So, I live south of Seattle and the sun is currently shining! Yay!

    Love your posts.

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    • February 18, 2019 at 11:18 am
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      Hi Leanne, I’m so glad to hear you are okay, the snow has been crazy there! It’s funny how you start to realize when you start a family you are responsible for their well being. I’m glad your daughter and SIL get it about preparedness. I love your popcorn statement! Linda

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    • February 18, 2019 at 12:36 pm
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      Hay and no rain and the snow is melting toooo ! Yahoo the next time I should be a “B “ in being prepared my stove well have a coffee pot with it not in the other box ! I even got my kids into prepping because the “ zombies “ comming ( lol) I am 74 and I like to think I well make it ! When I go to the store I get a case of water ! What’s hard the most is my “ Bengal” cat he has health problem No’s in Saturday’s the vet said he has. Asthma It hard to prep for your pets too !

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  • February 18, 2019 at 12:37 pm
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    My brother that lives in Alaska says he’s had over 3 foot of snow in the past week. His electric coffee pot went out and he has no way to get to the nearest town which is 15 miles away. So he was boiling water and pouring it over the grounds. I asked if he has a percolator pot, he said no.He didn’t have any instant coffee either. I have 2 of the percolator pots,both are new. I will send him one from amazon. (I can’t live without coffee). I prefer ground, but have plenty of instant. I found it hard to believe he didn’t have a non electric way to make coffee. I have backups for my backups, LOL We live in a time when anything can happen. From natural disasters to all out war. I am not as prepared as I would like, but I am working on it a little at a time. I have many electric appliances, but I also have the manual version as well. I bake, can,and dehydrate. Having lost a freezer full of foods in the past, I don’t rely on the freezer for long term. I bought headlamps for my mom and myself a couple years ago. ( my brother said he had some). I have several ways to cook if need be. I got my mom a 2 burner camp chef cook top. We all have oil lamps and candles for light. And most importantly, water storage. We try to keep 4 gallons per person. Plastic cutlery we get from eating out, goes into a plastic tote.The plastic take out containers are also reusable. There are many ways to get prepared. Thank you for another great post. God Bless

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    • February 18, 2019 at 2:59 pm
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      Hi Judy, oh my gosh over 3 feet of snow!! This has been a crazy year or two of extreme weather! I love hearing you have two percolators! You rock!! We sure do live in a time that anything can happen! Your comment brings me so much joy knowing you are so prepared not with preps and skills! I love it! It only takes one small disaster to make us realize how important food and water are to our family. Keep on prepping! Linda

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  • February 18, 2019 at 4:46 pm
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    Linda: There is so much propaganda (from Russia and others) contributed to Facebook and other sources now: you cannot tell what’s true and what isn’t. Now, the people talking about having lived off the government 12-15 years who you mention: this is very likely not true. It’s very likely planted by a Russian “troll” or even a domestic one. Why? Well, it generally results in people being disgusted with “welfare queens”, which do not in reality exist. Those people are very apt to vote in a particular fashion. Voila – aim achieved!
    Pat

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    • February 18, 2019 at 5:41 pm
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      I beg to differ with you, Pat. I personally know a few women who have been on the system for years. One woman I know had a daughter who is my daughter’s age. We lived near her when these two girls were toddlers. When that daughter got to kindergarten age, this woman got pregnant again. So, at that point, she was on welfare/food stamps/low income housing, etc. She had a little boy. When this little boy was about to start school, she had another baby. And this went on for several years. When our girls (the oldest of her children) were graduating from high school, she had 6 kids spaced out about 3-6 years apart and was on welfare, etc., at that point for 18 years. I think she was 16 when she had the first child and I imagine she continued to have kids even after I lost contact with her. None of the children had the same father either!

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      • February 18, 2019 at 8:07 pm
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        Hi Leanne, this is so true. I wish it wasn’t. I have been to church functions and the women brag about how much money they get from the government. It’s sad but true. And disgusting. I can see if someone needs government assistance for a short time but longer than a year, it becomes a way of life. Where I live the whole community knows the people who get assistance, you can tell by what they can purchase at the grocery store. People line up for pizza at a place called Papa Murphys because you have to cook the pizzas. Its tax dollars feeding these people. I will get off my soapbox. Linda

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        • February 18, 2019 at 10:19 pm
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          I guess I am still standing on my soapbox. I agree that short term assistance is necessary. But…

          When I was a single parent – well, guess I still am, just she is 33 and has a family now – I was working full time. My ex-husband was what is called a dead beat dad. He paid child support up until the day the divorce papers were signed. I couldn’t afford the money for an attorney nor the time off work to fight it out in court. Of course, he also had the excuse of not working – I think he worked under the table because he sure wasn’t hurting for cash – Don’t get me started on this one! I applied for reduced lunches for my daughter but I made $50 a month too much to get that. And the place I was working was a vocational school for adults. One day, a student came in sporting braces and bragging about how she didn’t have to pay a dime. Well, I knew my students pretty well and knew she was on government assistance and this just burned me up. I could not afford to put braces on my daughter who needed them. There were times that I thought I should just quit my job and go on welfare myself just for the medical benefits. I didn’t and the only thing I really wanted was my child support and possible some assistance in the form of reduced lunches for my daughter at school. As it was, when she was 9 years old, I couldn’t even afford day care during the summers. That was pretty frightening but I did have a reliable neighbor who checked in on her and my she was to check in with the neighbor as well. It worked out OK. Fortunately.

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          • February 19, 2019 at 9:50 am
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            Hi Leanne, oh my gosh, you really could have used some government assistance. It’s so sad that someone fathers a child and doesn’t own up to the responsibility. I had a daughter who had an ex-husband that did the same thing. Urggh! Thank goodness, you got through the storm, but it was rough I can tell. God bless you, my friend!! Linda

    • February 18, 2019 at 8:02 pm
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      Hi Pat, they live in my neighborhood. They belong to my husband’s church group. They boast at tables I sit at in church functions. It’s for sure true. I wish it wasn’t Pat.

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  • March 1, 2019 at 8:51 am
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    I’m sorry, Pat,
    My DH spent 30+ years in Social Services tracking AND getting prosecuted welfare rats. He and his co workers saw 6,7,8 (and a 9) generation families that had been on assistance and most of them were NOT minorities. It was easier than getting a job for them. SO yeah there are those that take advantage of the system but a great majority are, were, like my family, trying to keep body and soul together. IF the states and Feds would revamp the system, Most people would not be on welfare but as Leanne stated if you make just a little too much but not enough to feed the family, you are SOL. So I wouldn’t be so quick to dismiss some of the information out there.
    When I was growing up, my dad lost his job, he became the neighborhood “fix-it” guy and my poor mother was the neighborhood hairdresser even though she was allergic (doctor proven) to human dander. She had been a hairdresser before she got married. My dad eventually got a job but I will never forget what they went thru. I remember my mom crying (late at night) because we were on what Dad called the “Army Dole” and worrying about losing the house and splitting up the family. I remember when I was about 6-7, I got called welfare scum by a teenager down the block one day. By the way her mother paddled her butt for that and made her apologize to my parents and me and got grounded from the Spring dance mom was doing her hair for. She still had to pay my mom though.

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    • March 1, 2019 at 11:09 am
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      Hi Mamacando, great comment. I grew up with a single mom and it was so hard. What is “Army Dole”? Your comment is great, we have all had hard times but it makes us realize we can get through anything. It’s so hard to see our mom and dad suffer and we don’t totally get it until we are older. May God bless you, Linda

      Reply

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