Recently on the Weather Channel website, they featured an article entitled, "10 Things You're Not Doing to Prepare for Natural Disasters."** These articles can be especially valuable and in most cases, should be seriously considered.
Somewhere in history, we got the idea that the Government, Churches, or neighbors would take care of us if something disastrous occurred. Have we not proven this wrong by now? Did we not learn during Hurricane Katrina that this country can not take on a multitude of people quickly and efficiently? Therefore, what will you do for yourself?
Most people do not have a disaster plan,
I can not afford one.
I will do it later.
They're too expensive.
Yes, you can and no, they're not. Though there are tons of articles on what you may need in a long term disaster, short term is quite simple.
This is survival; not vacation at the beach.
Two cans of protein per person per day and personally, I'd choose at least 5 days. The easiest protein consists of meat, beans, or lentils. Stews can be a good meal. This week, go through your pantry and pull out all those protein cans you never use - the ones stuck behind everything else and you wish would go away.
"But it doesn't really look that good."
In a disaster, you'll be happy to have them. They're already paid for. Stick them in a cardboard box and place them in a closet. You've already started!
Begin this week to supply 10 cans per person and feel free to use a little creativity. Change the type of beans you eat, or flavor of sauce. Don't worry about the Nutrition Chart and how many cups of this, that, and the other you need - this is purely survival.
As soon as possible, supply 1 gallon of water per person. Water weighs 8 pounds per gallon and if you're on foot, you're already exceeding what you can carry (see cans above). If there is water supplied, use it before you break out your own and be sure to replenish all used water at every opportunity. Remember: everyone will have to pitch in. No one person can carry all of this.
And with cans, you'll need a can opener. Very valuable!
Add a small fire kit so that you can build fire.
You may want a few niceties, such as:
- 1 bar of soap. Everyone can use it.
- 1 tube of toothpaste. Everyone can use it.
- A comb. Yes, everyone can use it.
- Toilet paper is optional as rags washed out can also do the trick.
Have a baby? Use the basics. There are many of us who never wore a disposable diaper and all of our mothers did not have washing machines. You may wish to add a large, lightweight old pot to your cardboard box. Inside, place a dozen cloth diapers. If you can find water, you can boil them and you'll be washing everyday.
In the pot, also throw in 1 tube of diaper rash ointment and some cans of formula. Our mothers also used diluted canned evaporated milk. Whatever your baby needs (not wants) should be able to fit in the pot.
Remember! This is survival, not convenience.
**The Weather Channel, "10 Things You're Not Doing to Prepare for Natural Disasters.", January 16, 2015, http://www.weather.com/safety/news/10-disaster-preps#/1, January 24, 2015.