Flood ready? Are you prepared for a disaster?
While this LA Times article talks about preparing your home for an earthquake, there’s some good advice on preparing for any disaster – something many people don’t do!
Growing up on a farm, preparing for many contingencies was part of daily life. I was also a Boy Scout and both those things taught me to be prepared. Not long ago those lessons came in handy.
We were faced with a sudden financial disaster. One of our disaster preparedness plans was stocking several months of food. We lived off that stockpile of food till we were able to readjust our finances. Things would have been a lot worse otherwise. As a result, I’m a big proponent of being prepared – more than before!
The problem is, most people don’t know where to begin. There’s plenty of information on the Internet to be sure. But that too can be overwhelming. That’s why I like to keep it simple – at least till you get more knowledgeable..
First, remember the rule of threes; you can survive three minutes without air; three days without water and three weeks without food. Assuming your still breathing because you’re reading this, it’s obvious your next priority is water.
But how much water?
Well that depends on several factors – how many people in your family, how long do you need to prepare for and how much room you have? I’ve read estimates of from two liters a day per person to two gallons. If you take the low estimate of two liters per person per day, a family of five would need ten liters a day. Multiply that by the number of days you want to store for – say seven – and you get seventy liters of water. I’d start with that and see how you feel; both in amount of water and storage space.
But where do I get the water from, you ask? You can buy bottled water in small packs of a few at a time if budget is a concern. A cheaper way is to buy food grade plastic containers and use tap water – if your tap water is chlorinated that is. I do a bit of both.
Next priority is food.
Again how much should you store and what kind? To start, I’d recommend canned foods. Their cheap and you can buy a few extra every time you shop. Buy what you normally eat and try to buy a meal for each person in your home. If your budget won’t allow that much at once, buy some tinned meat to start and add vegetables and fruit to start with. Try and build up a weeks worth for the whole family and then extend it to one month. You might not need that much for the type of disasters in your area, but don’t forget about financial disasters.
As you can see, being prepared can get involved but it could save yours or a loved ones life – or at least make surviving the disaster a bit more bearable. I could write a lot more on the subject as I’m passionate about it, but that should be the bare minimum you should have – that and what’s in the Times article. I plan on writing more articles on surviving in the future – stay tuned!
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