I recently received an email from a friend who had lived through Sandy. I have always considered myself very prepared for a natural disaster, especially with my food storage. As I read through this list of 46 things you will want to know, I realized not only am I not prepared, I am sure most of my friends and family are not prepared either. I encourage you to read these ideas so that you can be prepared for your family in the wake of a natural disaster. What better source than from someone who has lived through it.
1. The excitement and coolness wears off around day 3
2. You are never really prepared to go weeks without power, heat, water etc. Never!
3. Yes it can happen to you.
4. Just because your generator runs like a top, does not mean its producing electricity.
5. If you do not have water stored up you are in trouble.
a. A couple of cases of bottled water is “NOT” water storage
6. Should have as much fuel as water
e. Fire starter, (kindling, paper, etc)
7. Even the smallest little thing that you get from the store should be stocked up.. (spark plug for the generator, BBQ lighter, etc)
8. If you are not working, chances are nobody else is either.
9. I was surprised how quickly normal social behavior goes out the window. I am not talking about someone cutting in line at the grocery store.
a. 3 people were killed at gas stations within 50 miles of my home.
b. I did not say 3 fights broke out, 3 people were killed.
10. Cash is king (all the money in your savings means nothing)
11. Stored water can taste nasty.
12. You eat a lot more food when you are cold
13. You need more food than you think if your kids are out of school for 2 weeks
14. Kids do not like washing their face in cold water.
15. Your 1972 Honda Civic gets to the grocery store as well as your 2012 Escalade… but the Honda allows money left over for heat, food, water, a generator, fire wood, a backup water pump, you get the idea..
16. The electrical grid is way more fragile than I thought.
17. Think of the things that are your comfort, your escape, a cup of hot chocolate, a glass of milk and a ding dong before bed, tequila, etc. Stock up on those too. You will need that comfort after day 3.
18. You quickly become the guy in the neighborhood who knows how to wire a generator to the electrical panel, directly wire the furnace to a small generator, or get the well pump up and running on inverter power or you are the guy whose Master’s degree in Accounting suddenly means nothing.
19. A woman who can cook a fine meal by candle light over the BBQ or open fire is worth her weight in gold. And women, whose weight in gold, would not add up to much, usually die off first. Sorry skinny women.
20. It takes a lot of firewood to keep a fire going all day and into the evening for heat.
21. All the food storage in the world means nothing if your kids won’t eat it.
22. You might be prepared to take care of your children and their needs, but what about when the neighborhood children start to show up at your door?
23. Some people shut down in an emergency. There is nothing that you can do about that.
24. Your town, no matter how small is entirely dependent on outside sources of everything.
a. If supply trucks stop rolling in due to road damage, gas shortages or anything else you could be without for a long time.
25. In an emergency Men stock up on food, Women stock up on toilet paper.
26. I was surprised how many things run on electricity!
27. You can never have enough matches.
28. Although neighbors can be a great resource, they can also be a huge drain on your emergency storage. You need to know how you are going to handle that. It is really easy to be Bob the guy who shares on Day 3, not so easy on Day 11. Just reality.
29. Give a man a fish he eats for that day, teach a man to fish and he will never be hungry again.. Now I get it.
30. All of the expensive clothes in the closet mean nothing if they don’t keep you warm.
31. Same goes for shoes…
32. You cannot believe the utility companies. They are run by politicians!! Or so it seems.
33. Anything that you depend on someone else for is not avail anymore.
34. Quote “A man with a chainsaw that knows how to use it is a thing of beauty”
35. Most folks don’t have any emergency storage. They run to Wal-Mart and get water and batteries and then fill their tubs with water. That is it. A lucky few will get a case of Ramen and a box of Poptarts. That will be your neighbors supply.
36. Fathers, all the money you have ever made means nothing if you can’t keep your kids warm.
37. Mothers, everything you have ever done for your kids is forgotten if your kids are hungry.
38. You really do not want to be the “Unprepared Parents” The kids turn on you pretty quick.
39. Small solar charging gadgets will keep you in touch. Most work pretty well it seems.
40. Most things don’t take much power to operate.
41. Some things take a ton of power to operate.
d. Hot plate
42. When it gets dark at 4:30pm the nights are really long without power.
43. Getting out of the house is very important. Even if it is cold. Make you home the semi warm place to come home to.. not the cold prison that you are stuck in.
44. Someone in your family must play or learn to play guitar.
45. Things that disappeared never to be seen again for a very long time.
a. Fuel, of all kinds
b. Matches, lighters of any kind etc.
c. Toilet paper
d. Paper plates, plastic forks and knives
e. Batteries, didn’t really see a need for them. (flashlights!)
h. Spark plugs (generators)
i. 2 stroke motor oil, (chainsaws)
j. Anything that could be used to wire a generator to the house.
k. Extension cords
l. Medicines (Tylenol, Advil, cold medicine etc.)
46. There was a strange peace to knowing all I had to do each day was keep my family safe, warm, and fed, but my peace was someone else’s panic.
This list should give you plenty of ideas for Christmas shopping. What peace you will feel when you know you will have all you need to provide for your family during a natural disaster. Happy Holidays!