All of us at TodaysMama are upset by the devastation that Hurricane Sandy left on the East Coast this week. We were all in New York in August, and for most of us it was a return trip to The City. We love New York and New Jersey; their people have only ever been gracious and welcoming to us. We couldn't help but think of what we would do if faced with the same displacement (we could only hope that we'd be as resilient as their residents.)
If you'd like to donate to the relief efforts, please give to the Red Cross here.
If you, like me, have been taking stock of your own family emergency planning supplies and found them lacking, I've assembled a few resources for you to get your stores in order.
Some basics: if you're new to preparedness and emergency planning supplies, it's not difficult, but it does take a little forethought. Instead of buying two cans at the grocery store, buy five. When you see a great essential on sale (like peanut butter, or toilet paper,) stock up. You know those people who can't ever let gas get below 1/4 of a tank? Be that way with your food and supplies. Buy more than you currently need, and replace them regularly. If you live in a small house or apartment, think about any unused space you have that could work to store extra supplies (under beds, or raising beds with risers to make more room.)
Emily, who lived through the Japanese earthquake and Tsunami in 2011, wrote a fantastic piece about the Six Emergency Essentials you need to survive.
Hildie tells us at Beehive and Bird's Nest to get 30 bottles of water per person in your family, plus a list of equipment you shouldn't be without (a lighter, flashlight, silverware, candles, a tarp, ponchos, etc.)
We put together a list of emergency plan printables for you. Simply print and check to make sure you've got all you'll need from one list.
Make 72-hour-kits for your family that contain instant meals, granola, dried fruits and jerky, a few games, emergency contact info, and a cell phone bracelet. When you're getting rid of clothes for your kids, make sure you're checking and replacing clothes in their 72-hour-kits. Even though 72-hour-kits can get complicated and huge, kits mostly need the basics: water, food, clothing, shelter, and blankets. A few games, crayons, or coloring books isn't a bad idea.
A few things I'm adding to our emergency planning supplies over the next couple months:
A hand crank radio that runs on batteries or you, yes, actually cranking it. I have my eye on this model from Ambient Weather, it even has a USB in/out so you can charge your phones, but there are many to choose from.
A two burner propane stove, because even if you have the best food storage in the world, being able to cook it is even better.
A propane lantern, because candles are great for immediate emergencies, but a lantern is more stable and weatherproof. If you're buying a stove and a lantern, don't forget to actually buy and store the propane to power them.
It should go without saying that you should have an easily accessible first aid kit, extra blankets, some cash in various bills, batteries and a flashlight.
Good luck with your family emergency planning!