Emergency Preparedness That Won’t Break The Bank
I live in California, and besides the notoriety for great weather and celebrity sightings, we are known for one big thing, EARTHQUAKES. Really, we have them all the time, true Californians aren’t phased by a little shake and wiggle during their morning coffee. It’s almost funny how non-chalant we are about noticing we just had one. “Hey, we just had an earthquake, i think it was a 3.2” (yes, we even go as far as guessing the richter scale measurement). They are generally small, last 3-5 seconds and mildly amuse us, while frightening Cali newbies and tourists, which amuses us even more.
All laughs aside, we are due for a big one. It’s been 22 years since the infamous Northridge earthquake and statistically, we are overdue. Which leads to the topic, would you be prepared if it happened tomorrow?
For people outside of California, would you be ready for a hurricane, tornado, snow storm, or whatever natural disaster plagues your area? For most people the answer is a big ass no! So why doesn’t everyone have an emergency kit ready? There are tons of reasons including denial, procrastination, and just plain forgetting. But a major factor is also the cost. It can really add up to buy a full kit or even put one together. As for me, I actually did put together kits when I was pregnant with my first child (it was my version of nesting). I prepared a small pack for work and one for home. Since then however, my supplies have either expired or are starting to deplete (we would grab from random stuff like the first aid kit as needed). Aside from that, our family needs have changed a lot since I made the kits 4 years ago. As a mom of young kids it’s always in the back of my mind that I should update ours. So this year, new goals. I’m done putting it off and I am in the process up updating and completing our kits.
So while updating my family’s current pathetic excuse for an emergency kit, I will go over a few things you can do yourself to get your home and family ready. In true nature to my own frugal self, I will also try to maintain a low budget.
First thing first. Different types of Emergency Kits:
FEMA recommends the bare minimum to be a 3 day kit for each person and pet in your household that includes water, non-perishable food, first aid, clothing and medications needed. With a longer supply if you have the space/budget. You should also try to have a basic kit in your vehicle and if possible, at work. Children can have small 1 day kits that are the size of a lunchbox stored in their classroom a school (some schools require them). All of these can be purchased pre-packaged online or at places like sporting good, emergency supplies, and army surplus stores. A website I like because of their full inventory and low prices is SOSPRODUCTS.com. This particular business happens to have a store in my city. Not an ad, I honestly bought some of my stuff there.
Each family or household should also have a full first aid kit. I got a full kit at CVS two years ago, but have been using some of the bandages, ointments and wraps as we have needed them for minor injuries at home. If something were to happen today, my supply would be very depleted. So first priority will be to fill that back up.
MONEY SAVING TIP: Hit a dollar store first, grab the things your can find there, and then go to a pharmacy or store afterwards to fill what the dollar store didn’t carry.
Things you can find at a Dollar store include, bandages, peroxide, alcohol bottles/pads, eyeglass repair kits, triple antibiotic ointment, disposable gloves, washcloths, non-perishable foods (list of ideas coming up soon), rope, gardening gloves, candles, can openers, battery radios, batteries, hygiene products in small travel sizes.
The last time I fully updated our kit was over 4 years ago, since then we have expanded our family and our needs have changed a lot. Our previous one fit in an old gym bag that I threw in a closet, plus a few jugs of water in the garage. This time I want to put everything together in one large container, and have it accessible in case of a quick exit. I found a few good tips and ideas on pinterest, as well as added a couple of my own, to help prepare your home for “The BIG One” as well.
I want to make this a series of posts to really go over each part in more detail, as well as provide resources to help you prepare your family for a major emergency.
Here is where you can find the following information posts: