Some things we can do this month to be prepared
September is National Preparedness Month here in the U.S. I really like the Ready.gov (FEMA) logo for 2019! Because it's true...the more prepared we are for an emergency or disaster, the less scared we will be when something happens! On their website, Ready.gov (FEMA) provides a schedule of things we can do to prepare during each week of the month of September. In this blog article I will cover those four suggestions as well as add a few of my own. (Note: If you are a prepper, I'm sure you are already aware of all that this article will entail. However, I would ask that you go ahead and read it because it may be something that you can share with your non-prepper family or friends.)
According to Ready.gov
Week 1: September 1-7
Save Early for Disaster Costs
While this may sound like they are saying to merely save money in case of an upcoming emergency or disaster, they do take it further than that. It is suggested that we gather together our financial and critical documents, consider setting up an emergency savings account, have cash on hand (in case ATMs and credit cards are not working), and making sure you have the proper insurances for your property (including flood insurance if applicable), health, and life. You can read their recommendations in its entirety by clicking here.
Week 2: September 8-14
Make a Plan to Prepare for Disasters
Here, they suggest that you make an emergency plan, sign up for alerts and warnings, learn your (local) evacuation zone, and have your own evacuation plan as well as practicing it (with your family, if applicable). They also mention that you should be prepared for a power outage by having enough food, water, & meds to last for at least 72 hours. Find out more about making a plan by clicking here.
Week 3: September 15-21
Teach Youth to Prepare for Disasters
The suggestion for this week is to teach children what to do in an emergency if they are at home or away from home. This section also includes such things as communication, updating school records and emergency numbers, including your child's medication or supplies in your family’s emergency kit, including games, toys etc. in the kids' emergency kits, and many more suggestions. You can find a plan for planning with kids here.
Week 3: September 22-30
Get Involved in Your Community's Preparedness
This week it is suggested that you get involved with your Community Emergency Response Teams (CERTs), learn what hazards are most likely to affect your community, find support from friends, family, and community organizations, take classes in lifesaving skills, such as CPR/AED and first aid, and to plan ahead for accessible transportation that you may need for evacuation or getting to a medical clinic if you or a family member have a disability. You can look up CERT programs available in your community by clicking here to do a search.
I did not expound greatly upon the above suggestions because I merely want to give you an idea of what they are. For a more in depth look at their recommendations you can go to Ready.gov. The link will take you to the page I gleaned the above information from. I do recommend that you take a few minutes of your time to go to their site. It's worth the time it will take to browse their page and recommendations to make sure that you and your family have a readiness plan.
According to Christian Prepper Gal
I believe the recommendations that Ready.gov provides is a very good place to start. However, there are some very important things that are not touched upon that I think need to be included. I am not going to list these by specific dates to work at them, but merely suggest that these are things that we need to do to prepare in addition to what is mentioned above.
Food and Water
FEMA, via Ready.gov did mention (Week 2) food and water in their suggestions. However, they recommend that we "be prepared for a power outage by having enough food, water, & meds to last for at least 72 hours". And, they kind of left it at that. However, history tells us that we may need to be prepared for a power outage lasting longer then 72 hours (3 days). Remember Katrina? And Peurto Rico?
It is this Gal's suggestion that we keep a minimum of 30 days supply of food and water stocked. That's right...a minimum. After all, if you and your family are trying to survive after a disaster or emergency and you're sitting there hoping that the power will be turned on before those three days are up and your food and water runs out, aren't you being scared? What if it takes a week, and you only had enough food and water for three, maybe four (if you're lucky) days? To me, it's just common sense to stock up for more than three days.
As a Heating or Cooking Source
If you're planning on evacuating to a FEMA emergency shelter you can skip this one. However, if you are planning to shelter in place in your home, you might want to read this.
So, you've got your food and water stocked. Don't forget about procuring a way of cooking said food. You will need something to cook it on. There are a variety of choices of portable cookstoves specifically for doing so. If you will be using it indoors, make sure that it is safe to do so. The same goes for non-electric heaters...make sure they are safe to use indoors.
Now, having said that...I would like to suggest that you learn how to build and light a fire. You know, like a camp fire. Why would you need to do that?!? Well, there are a couple of reasons. One being the possibility of running out of fuel for the portable indoor stove you are using for your cooking or heating. Two being what if disaster strikes and you didn't have a chance to purchase a portable indoor cooking stove or heater? Three being it's just a good safety skill to have. Four being what if something happens and you have to bug out of your home? Okay, I know I said a couple, but the other two were just added bonuses, lol.
Seriously though, if you know how to build and start a fire you will always be assured of being able to cook your food, boil your water for drinking, and keep relatively warm. It doesn't cost anything to learn, other than your time. And maybe a couple of lighters or some matches. You can find all kinds of videos on YouTube to help you get a general idea of how to start a fire.
Again, if you are planning on evacuating to a FEMA emergency shelter you can skip this one.
So, you've either decided to shelter in place in your home or to go (bug out) somewhere else that you feel is safer. If you are evacuating the area there's a good chance others are also. There's also a chance that if you didn't leave early enough the roads/highways may be backed up for miles. There are so many things that could happen that could delay you reaching your destination point. If you are stranded in your vehicle, it may be a good idea if you have some sort of external shelter availabe. Like a tent or tarp. Especially if you have a car full of children and/or pets. You could be stranded for hours, and you may need to find somewhere other than your vehicle to sleep. Or, you may find that you didn't plan on the extra time in traffic and you run out of gas and there aren't any gas stations that might have fuel available within walking distance. If you're heading out on foot there's a pretty good chance that you're already aware of this need. But, we never know what could happen along our evacuation journey; unless, of course, you are a bonefied fortune teller 😉. For that reason, it would be wise to have some type of shelter available. Something, if needed, to protect you and yours from the elements.
If you've never really thought about the need to be prepared for a disaster or emergency, I pray that you will see the need to do so now. If you've been thinking about getting prepared and haven't taken that first step yet, I do pray that this article will encourage you to do so. If you are a prepper and at a stall, I pray that this article will encourage you to get back on track with your prepping. Now days being a prepper isn't so much about hoarding guns and ammo as it is about being wise and being prepared for a disaster or emergency situation. And, if you've paid any attention to the news in 2019, you know it could happen any time, any where.
Until next time...happy prepping, and God bless!
P.S. Noah may have been moved with fear to prepare, but when the time came he was prepared and he had no fear. He was ready.
Hebrews 11:7, By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith. (KJV)