We live on the direct opposite side of the country from the epicenter of Sandy, so we mostly saw the devastation it caused on the news. And it's terrifying! I really hope and pray that everyone is safe!
I noticed that lots of people on the blogosphere talk about God today. When we face a disaster like that, we come to the realization of how small and powerless we really are. Whether you believe in the Almighty Lord or not, at times like this you realize that it's more then you can comprehend and it's stronger than you think.
It's almost impossible to prepare for a calamity of this size but we still can take a few steps to be prepared. On Pinterest I follow an amazing, very self-efficient gal. She constantly pins (and applies) different ideas on how to be prepared for anything life can send her way. She is so inspiring! While some of the things can be complicated (like building your own bunker ...doubt that will ever happen!), others are fairly simple. Today I was thinking about a few things anybody can do to be prepared. And I want to be honest: I'm guilty. A lot of these I need to work on myself. So I think it's a good reminder for all of us:
1. Learn some basic skills. And by basic skills I don't mean the knowledge you gain while at the Elementary school. I'm talking about simple tasks that we can perform without looking for help from others. I remember how weird it was to see one of my 30-something year old acquaintances using duck tape to fix her dress (it's the same girl who threw lighters into the gas stove to turn it on...). It's important to know basic skills but especially in the time of a disaster. We need to be able to cook very simple meals, clean, mend. One other very important skill to obtain is basic first aid knowledge (including performing CPR). You never know when you might need it!
2. Have a fully stocked First Aid kit. It's extremely important! I try to have our little Red Cross box always ready and also keep a little kit in a car all the time. Injuries can happen anywhere, and it's important to be prepared. For more info read a great article on first aid kits HERE.
3. Have a basic food and water supply. My Church teaches us to be self-efficient and have one year worth of food storage and supplies. I can honestly say that I'm far from having a whole year worth but we have enough for at least six months. I still need to increase our water supply though.
You might say: "I don't have space to keep all this! I live in a tiny apartment!!" Don't let it discourage you! There are so many solutions to increase your place's storage capacity. For example, our pantry is really small. So a couple of years ago we bought this shelf that goes on the door:
It works great, it's fairly stable (I do not put my canned stuff on it though) and it significantly increased the room for my stockpile. One of my friends created some space under their bed by getting leg risers. They keep all their food storage there right now. The bottom line is: be creative. You might surprise yourself :)
One last thing to mention about your food storage is be careful what you store. Don't just rotate it according to the expiration dates but don't buy things you don't know or don't like! There are so many companies out there offering even full year supplies of dried foods but if you CAN'T STAND oatmeal, I don't think you'll fall in love with it later. Stick to the things you know. Especially if you have younger kids!
4. Get your papers in order. Organize all your important documents and keep them together. Even better: buy a small safe, make a copy of each important paper and store it in this safe. These are great, for example, in time of fire or some other calamities. Be sure to add a list of important phone numbers there too.
That's one thing I need to work on...(insert big sigh here). But it's one of my goals for November. I tend to keep all the papers I get:) I really need to de-clutter our filing cabinet.
5. Obtain at least a 24-hour kit (or better 72-hour one). Keep all the necessities in case of an emergency there. There are so many great websites with ideas of what should be included in the kit (just Google it) or you can even get a pre-assembled one.
6. Plan, plan, plan. Get yourself prepared when the water is quiet. Plan with your family what you will do in case of fire, earthquake, flood etc etc. Get a phone number of somebody (family member, friend) in another state. Often times during a disaster you can call or text people out of state and let your loved ones know that you are OK.
7. Don't be stupid! It seems like a simple task but it's surprising how often people do stupid things instead of trying to stay safe. Just yesterday I saw a picture on Yahoo of an empty subway in NY with one guy there. Why is he there, I don't know! But unless it's a life and death thing, I think you should stay where it's safe...
The bottom line is prepare and be safe out there! May the Lord bless you!