Last fall, while attending a homeschool retreat, I went to a workshop about emergency preparedness. I know the couple who taught the class. He has Cerebral Palsy, she is a diabetic, and they have a young child. They must take those things into consideration when they build their emergency preparedness plan and supplies.
You must “know your audience” when it comes to emergency preparedness.
If you are hunkered down at home during an emergency, WHO is likely to be there? Do those people (and pets?) have any health issues to consider? What are their nutritional needs on a normal day?
What if the emergency forces you out of your home? What supplies will you take with you? How will you carry those supplies?
Seriously, if you had to hike through the woods with emergency supplies and 3 days worth of food, HOW would you determine what to put in your “go” bag?
The couple I mentioned above has a unique situation: He can’t carry a heavy backpack, nor can he carry their young daughter. That means, she is the one who must transport most of the supplies and carry a small child. Their emergency kit MUST be fine-tuned for their needs. The size and weight of the items in their kit will matter!
They talked about the emergency supplies they have in their home, their vehicle, and their “go” bags. Each kit’s contents is adjusted based on the location and most likely usage.
So, that’s a key consideration: How and where will the supplies be stored?
At home, it is possible that you can dedicate a specific place to store your emergency preparedness kit. Perhaps it will be in a closet or basement. Maybe you’ll have to stack a few totes in the garage. Or, if space is limited, you will have to use items already in your home as part of your kit. While the items may not be set aside, you’ll know what and where they are when you need them.
Your emergency food supply may need to come out of your pantry. In that case, you will need to know which types of food to rotate in and out on a regular basis so that, if an emergency does happen, you will have enough “fresh” supplies to survive.
Your storage will need to be suitable for the type of emergency you are likely to experience.
It won’t do any good to store supplies in cardboard boxes in the basement, if you’re emergency is a flood. Those items will be damaged and/or destroyed. You will want them to be off the floor and water-tight. Likewise, it won’t help to stack your supplies from floor-to-ceiling in plastic totes, if your emergency is an earthquake that will cause them to fall over and possibly pop open or get crushed. You will want them to be low and easy to access.
In your vehicle, you will have even more limited space. In which part of the vehicle will you store your supplies? Will you store them in a bag or bin? Can the container you put them in be easily transported (like a backpack or diaper bag)?
Emergencies are not the time to be picky about food choices and calorie count. You must choose items that will most likely sustain your life! One of the key points I remember from the workshop is this: Most people make the mistake of thinking they can survive on a “starvation diet” during an emergency. Yes, many people who are caught unaware, do survive with little or no food. However, this is not optimal.
During an emergency, people need more calories than they think they’ll need just to stay-in-place, much less move about and/or hike out of a bad situation.
Think about it! The average recommended calories-per-day for an adult is 2,000. What if that person is hiking through miles of snow in hopes of rescue? Optimally, he or she will need more calories, not less. On the other hand, what if the person is 5 months old versus 50 years old? How will his calorie needs differ?
Generally, even if you do not normally purchase small amounts of food that are packed with fat and calories, you will want to consider doing so for your emergency food supply. On the other hand, if your supply is meant to last 6 months at home (as opposed to 3 days in the woods), you will want to consider variety, both for nutritional value and personal preference.
Your budget is important! Most families cannot afford to just go and buy all the supplies they’ll need.
You may need to spend $5 a week, or month, until your kit is complete. Or, you may need to save the funds aside for a larger purchase. Everyone has to start somewhere. If you can buy a ready-made kit that costs $1500, go for it! If you can’t, you need to figure out what you will buy and when. You will also need to decide how far you’re going to go down this “trail”. Are you determined to have the biggest and best kit money can buy, or will you be satisfied with a more economical option? Are you planning for survival during a large-scale disaster, or a local, short-term emergency?
If you are interested in starting or adding to an emergency preparedness kit, consider My Patriot Supply’s 72-Hour Food Supply Kit. Founded by Matt Redhawk, My Patriot Supply sells much more than food. I found storage containers, fire-starter kits, emergency blankets, clothing, survival books, first aid kits, and much more. They even have heirloom seeds. So, if your emergency preparedness plan is about long-term survival, such as growing your own non-GMO food, they’ve got you covered there, too.