Wednesday, April 4, 2012

How Prepared are You?

How many times have we heard about being prepared for an emergency?  Most of us listen to advice about having a few supplies on hand for an emergency with our eyes glazed over.  We think we personally won't have any reason to be concerned, or we think we ARE prepared to handle what ever comes our way.

We had a little wake up call here at Bountiful Acres, recently.  We live in the flood plain and we get flooded every year.  We know when it is coming and we buy supplies and get ready to ride it out.  We have never lost power during the floods or lost our water supply.  Well this year has been something different for sure!  First off we didn't get the flood during November/December like usual.  We thought we had been spared a flood.  We did get a big flood in late January.  Then we thought okay that is it for this season......  Wrong!  In March we had two more floods!  We had one day to drive out to re-supply between them.  We also had our water get mirky.  We had to use bottled water for drinking and cooking, of which we didn't have nearly enough.  During this last flood, (which we are still trapped by as I type,) we also lost power.  We ran out of chicken feed because of the length of this flood. As a result the chickens are eating my wheat and corn from the pantry.  Thank heavens I had those stocked up!

So why am I sharing all of this for?  So that you might think about being ready for some unexpected event in your life concerning you and your family.

Here are our notes from this experience. 

We are more humble now, we found out we weren't so prepared as we thought.  We had become so sure that things would always continue the way they had in the past.  We were a bit arrogant you could say.....

This is a list of things we learned:

1. We need a water purifier/filter.
2. We need some sort of alternate power for small appliances.
3. More animal feed stocked up.
4. A way to get our water without the electric pump if needed.  We do have one gravity flow spigot that we can use.
5. More firewood!
6. Buy more solar lights for night lights.
7. Keep the laundry always done up and the dishes done before bed.
8. Keep bread baked ahead.

When we lose power, we don't have water to the house as we have an electric pump. We can't use the oven on the propane cookstove.  I can use the burners by lighting them, but the oven has an electric digital control to run it. Of course we won't have power to run any appliances like my flour grinder or bread mixer. The girls won't have a night light without power. Obviously without power we can't wash clothes either. Using the machine anyway.  :) 

That is the reasoning behind our plans to get better prepared.  With the crazy weather patterns these days and everything else going on in our world it makes sense to be sure you can take care of your family and yourself for an extended period of time.  We are told to have at least 72 hours worth of food and water in case of emergency. 

 I would say at least a month would be best!  We are going into day 8 of being flooded in. We were prepared for a few days, but not for this long. 

What would you do if you lost power for a period of time, or your water supply was cut off or you couldn't get out to go to the store?  How would you and your family fare?  Something to think about.

We also are going to put a kit in our vehicles in case we get trapped by a disaster that prevented us from getting back home.  Things like water, a way to make fire, flashlights, food and blankets.  It is much better to be safe than sorry in that situation.

If you need some ideas for being more prepared click on the Emergency Essentials link at the right.  I don't usually go for advertising on my blog unless it is a personal friend, but after our recent experiences I thought this one would be a good idea.