After having our clocks cleaned by Mother Nature when Hurricane Katrina hit in the Gulf of Mexico, natural disasters around the world tend to hit us all closer to the heart. We now know that no one is immune from Mother Nature’s deadly effects. But disaster preparedness needs to be more than just a few bottles of water put aside; disaster preparedness needs to be a lifestyle. Mother Nature and her devastating effects are included in all my decisions.
Where I live
I live in Southern California about a mile from the beach where earthquakes and tsunamis are a definite possibility. So rather than live on the beach, I chose to live near the top of a gently rising hill of bedrock.
Few people in the Developed World realize, that in the Developing World beach front property is reserved for the poor and unfortunate. I discovered this while traveling through Mexico, Central America, and South America.
I inquired why this was in each country I found this to be true. In each country I got the same answer; it’s too dangerous. The wealthy in these countries choose to live inland or if they do live close to the shore they live on high secure ground. Bluffs are reserved for the truly destitute who rarely have title to the land.
Clean Drinkable Water
Clean drinkable water is probably the most important item to have on hand in a disaster or emergency.
I have found that ten, five-gallon bottles, of water is enough water for a family of four to drink comfortably for a week. So I keep twenty of these bottles that I rotate through for everyday use.
Twenty of these bottles, in a disaster, if rationed should provide clean drinking water up to a month for a family of four.
We keep two hundred pounds of each: rice, beans, and flour. As we rotate through these food items, I have found they keep very well for many years. You must keep them dry. A store of firewood should also be kept on hand to cook this food.
We also have a few boxes of MRE meals or meals ready to go. Our favorite brand is XMRE, prices are a bit above the average but the taste and menu selection is incredible.
Emergency Electrical Power
Having an emergency source of electrical power can be a life saver. I have designed a solar power supply that can be used to recharge my cell phone, laptop, and give us light at night. This solar power supply will charge our devices that will help us communicate with and get news from the outside world if disaster should hit.
Apart from having a first aid kit (which should be triple sized), there are a few other things we should all have on hand.
An ample supply of iodine solution should be on hand to clean wounds and cuts to prevent infection.
Full strength iodine should be kept for purifying water in case your clean water should be destroyed or run out.
A surgical suture for dealing with gaping cuts is also advisable, along with education on how to perform such a procedure.
And lots and lots of ibuprofen should definitely be part of your survival stores. Pain from broken or cracked bones, sprains, and hits can be debilitating. If you are burdened with intense pain, clear thinking becomes very difficult. Clear thinking in a disaster may mean the difference between life and death.
You should always be trying to get as much medical training as possible. In a disaster you must be all things to all people. In a disaster the more medical training you have the better, because the life you save could be your own. I attend any medical training class that are available.
Clothing and Bedding
Store a few changes of clothes along with bedding in waterproof plastic bags or containers. Hypothermia is a major cause of death in any emergency or disaster. Staying warm also aids in the process of clear thinking.
Interweaving disaster preparedness into your lifestyle and everyday decision making will help ensure your readiness next time Mother Nature swings her mighty fist.