How to Prepare for a Large Scale Disaster

With the winter season right around the corner, the time has come to make sure you and your family are ready for any emergencies that may occur. The tips below were things I did or wish I had done during Hurricane Katrina in 2005, although this can work for any storm or emergency situation. Certain services will be shut off and certain supplies will be taken over and a bit of before hand knowledge may come in handy.

GAS

Gas is one of the first supplies that will be either depleted and/or commandeered. After Katrina, what little gas was left, was taking over completely by the government and in select areas you could be a ration of 5 gallons a day. This is after a wait in a gas line of literally a mile long. Hopefully you never have to live in that extreme, however generators and cars are worthless without this commodity and it will come in short supply. Best way to combat this issue is to fill up your vehicles and stock up a few extra containers. This may be necessary to get out of a bad situation or run a generator for many things.

WATER

In many emergency situations such as a major storm, some utilities are turned off to lower property damage. If you do not have your own well, you may want to stock up on water. Go a step further and fill up your bath tubs as well. You don’t realize how much you use until you have to. With in a day the water should be boiled before consumption because of bacteria that can occur if it sits.

BLEACH

Which brings me to my next topic, disinfectant. It doesn’t have to be bleach, anything that kills bacteria. This is one thing I wish I would have had. 2 months without clean running water and nothing felt clean. I ended up getting an infection from a scratch in my ear and had to have surgery in an army tent because there was no hospitals. Don’t go down that road, keep everything clean and disinfected the best you can. Boil clothes and utensils in a fire and bleach all surfaces.

FIRE

You need to have some kind of alternative cooking source. Fire is a great option because the fuel is easy to come by and it can also do double duty as bug repellant. Propane is another option and if so, have an extra bottle of propane. If the electricity goes there may be a limited amount of time to cook food before it spoils.

ICE

To prevent spoiling or at least prolong your groceries, make as much ice as you can the day and night before. With a hurricane you know it is coming for several days. Where exactly it will hit is always up in the air, however usually time is given. This is inexpensive and easy to do, but could ensure your food is not wasted.

FOOD

Food is another category you would like to have a bit of a stock. Minimum of a weeks worth to get your family fed until you could get out or get more. It took more than that to get some of the roads cut out from all the trees laying across the road. Try to find easy things to cook or prepare with limited resources. Note I would like to make; it is almost impossible to cook noodles on a fire, made the worst macaroni one time. Beans, rice, canned meat and other non-perishables will come in handy if emergency strikes.

RADIO

Preferably a hand crank, they have some handy combos cheap with a light. Television can go out for long periods of time after major storms, even cell phones. A radio was the only way to communicate to police and emergency officials for help right after the storm. This also became a network for people trying to reconnect with loved ones.

LIGHT

Unless you can afford a generator, and well even if you do have one, you may want to have some light sources. Battery operated flashlights and candles will help the nights go by quicker and save your toes from being stubbed. Although please blow out candles when going to sleep, I know of countless people that lost their houses this way and were unable to call anyone and wre made to watch their house burn.

CLEAN UP

Doesn’t sound like fun but big necessity. Not so much the inside, but definitely the outside. Debris from your yard is more likely to kill you than any other aspect of a major storm. Boarding up windows is also advised.

ENTERTAINMENT

With kids especially, rent some books from the library, pull out the board games. Be ready for the long haul. Keeping them and yourself entertained may help keep your sanity.

PROTECTION

This one is for obvious reasons. If something happens, there will be no police to call, heck there may not even be a phone. You will have to defend yourself and family, as well as your supplies if someone gets an aim to do those things. You will be your only line of defense, so you should have one.

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