Last month I blogged about why now is the perfect time to start preparing for winter. Since September is National Preparedness Month, I thought I’d talk about preparing for emergencies with you today.
When I was a kid, my family had plans for what we’d do if there was a house fire, if a tornado touched down in our neighbourhood, if a severe thunderstorm knocked out our electricity for a few days, or if the Y2K bug ended up destroying modern civilization as we knew it by permanently confusing all of our computers.
We never had a fire, but we knew what to do when tornadoes touched down nearby or the electricity went out. As for Y2K, it was easily the least climactic apocalypse in recorded history. I slept through it all and woke up to a completely ordinary day in the futuristic year of 2000.
This tendency to plan ahead for possible emergencies stayed with me when I became an adult. One of the first conversations I had with my then-finance when we moved in together was how we should respond if a tornado touched down near the apartment building we lived in back then.
My spouse and I currently have enough supplies to look after ourselves for a few days if something bad happened in our neighbourhood and the grid was temporarily disrupted. I would like to add extra bottled water, nutritious food that doesn’t need to be cooked, and less common first aid supplies to our stash, but I’m mostly happy with what we have right now.
Emergency supplies are personal things, though. While everyone needs water and food, there are a lot of things that are highly dependent on your health, age, family size, and where you live.
Depending on your situation, you might need diapers, baby food, pet food, gasoline, enough prescription medication to last a few extra days, spare batteries for medical devices, or other necessary things that can be tough to find in an emergency. I know a few people whose medication needs to be kept at a specific temperature or whose medical devices need to be charged up or plugged into a wall in order to work. In these cases, it is even more important to plan ahead and know how you’ll meet those needs until help arrives.
You don’t have to buy everything at once either. I’ve slowly been accumulating needed items like flashlights that don’t need batteries to work and a fire extinguisher. There have also been occassions when I’ve ended up with certain items thanks to relatives who shared stuff with us.
I hope this post has inspired you to start thinking about preparing for the unexpected. The links I shared above have a lot more information about what to look for and how to make sure that you’ll have what you need if something dangerous happens. I’d love to know what kinds of things you have in your emergency kit as well as what you’re planning to add to it in the future!