Sarah Anne Carter is a contributing writer for The Survival Mom. This is the third in a series of articles on disaster preparedness for AllMomDoes; read her previous posts on A Beginner’s Guide to Disaster Prep and Food Storage!
Now that you’ve thought about food storage and water, it’s time to think about what other supplies you might want to have on hand for scenarios you might face where you live. Remember you want to be prepared for traffic jams, power outages, earthquakes and tsunamis, among any other situations you’ve come up with for your area. Although, one of the most used situations I’ve based my supplies on is when a child or myself gets sick and I don’t want to have to run out to the store.
A basic first-aid kit is a must for any family to have. Some people make extensive kits by using a tackle box. Another important thing to have on hand is important prescriptions. Work with your doctor to let him know that you would like to keep a month’s worth of your prescription on hand for emergencies. It would also be good to research other options for treating conditions without medication, such as with essential oils or herbs and plants (there are some options for diabetes).
Cleaning and Hygiene
Along with food, it’s good to have a few months of toiletry supplies on hand, like soap, shampoo, toothpaste, deodorant and razors. Feminine hygiene products are also important to consider. For a long-term solution to that problem, a product like the Diva Cup might come in handy. Cleaning products like bleach, vinegar and household cleaning supplies can be handy to have on hand, especially for times of sickness. Can you picture a time when the flu hits the entire house and you’re out of disinfectant?
Consider baby supplies if you have one. Diapers, wipes and formula are things that could make a household miserable if they ran out.
If there is a power outage, you might want to have some paper plates and plastic utensils on hand so you don’t have to wash the dishes. Don’t forget cups and bowls, too. A hand can opener is vital if you have any cans of food to eat. A method of cooking, such as a camp stove, gas grill or charcoal grill is something to think about as well.
Do you have a way to protect yourself and your family? Having a firearm, along with training, is a very good idea. Not everyone feels comfortable with a firearm, and in that case, knives, pocketknives and even baseball bats can help provide protection. There are alarm systems now that are self-monitoring if you can’t afford a monitored system, such as Fortress.
We try to always to keep our gas tanks at least half full. We want to be able to get out of town if we need to, or even just get out of an hours-long traffic jam without running out of gas. It’s also a good idea to keep a few cans full of gas at home. You can cycle through it with your mower or use it to fill up gas tanks when money is tight or gas prices go back up.
There are times when it would be a good idea to have cash on hand. In a power outage, stores won’t be able to accept credit cards. In tough times, cash can be used to help supplement a budget. Have you ever had a time where you couldn’t buy something because you didn’t have cash – only a credit card? Consider always having some cash with you or in your car, too.
Most people have important documents scattered through their house, on their computer or in files. Having them all in one place, or at least copies of them, is a good idea. It’s usually called an emergency or grab-and-go binder. One way to think about what to put in an emergency binder is any paperwork you would want if you had to leave your home and never come back.
If you have pets, you won’t want to forget having supplies on hand for them. Keep records up-to-date, along with tags. Think about their food, medicines and cleaning supplies, too.
Remember, being prepared is not about worrying, it’s about facing the future with confidence. The next article in the series will cover evacuation followed by worst-case scenarios. If you have any specific questions or topics you want covered, leave me a message in the comments below.
One book that is a great resource if you want more detailed information on being prepared is Survival Mom by Lisa Bedford.
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