Emergencies often come with little to no warning. Not being prepared for an emergency can be disastrous, but by the end of this three-part guide, you’ll have the tools and insights you need to start preparing for the worst. If you’re interested in learning how to take practical steps in getting prepared for emergencies, then this guide is for you.
Since emergency preparedness is such a broad topic, this is just one part of our “Are You Emergency Ready” series. Each guide will contain practical tips on how to make sure you and your family are prepared for emergencies.
So without further ado, let’s get started on part one.
Our first tip: Start small.
You shouldn’t feel like you need to start preparing for emergencies by preparing for the end of the world. First, be prepared to go without power for 24 hours. When you’ve done that, start moving to prepare to go without power for 72 hours, then going without power for an entire week, or month. If you don’t know what you and your family would do for the first 24 hours of an emergency, then the zombie apocalypse shouldn’t be on the top of your mind.
Food & Water
It’s a fact that Mahatma Gandhi survived 21 days of complete starvation. We hope that if you’re in an emergency, you won’t have to push yourself to this limit. When your body goes without food, especially for the first two days, you will feel a reduction in your energy levels, negative mood, and irritability. During an emergency, you want to be awake, alert, and at your best. Having a good supply of food is essential. Here are some tips.
- Remember to start small: Building long-term food storage can be intimidating. You can start by buying 1-2 food storage items every time you go to the grocery store. Within a couple of months, you’ll have a surprising amount of food storage.
- How much: Know how much you and your family typically eat on a daily basis and how much you might need for about 2-3 weeks. This is the minimum recommended size for a working pantry. Then, of course, you can work towards preparing for longer periods of time.
- Storage: You will want food that is easy to store and that is shelf stable. Typically, you will store food in a cool dry place. If you live in an area prone to flooding, you’ll want to use waterproof storage containers.
- Rotate: Buy what you eat, rotate, and repeat. Find food that you eat, will store well, and can easily be rotated out by you and your family eating it. Many of the foods you enjoy on a weekly basis can be stored for long periods of time.
- Try things out: Consider convenience foods, like protein bars and other easy to grab and pack items. Try food out before you buy it in bulk.
- Keep a list: Keep a list of what you have in your food storage and how much. Keep a pen and paper in your storage room to write down when you need to purchase more of any given item.
- Cooking: We will cover this in the following section, but it’s important to note that you will need ways to prepare your food and have utensils to eat it with.
Rotational Storage vs. Meals Ready to Eat (MRE’s)
Many companies offer bulk food storage options or MRE’s. These are meals that you just add water and eat. They can be lightweight and last for up to 25 years. Some things to note about these products are that they don’t cater to food allergies, are generally loaded with salt preservatives and artificial colors, and are typically more expensive. Start with getting your own rotating food storage with 2-3 weeks of food stored and then start looking at these longer-term options.
Basic Shopping List
Don’t treat this list as the end all be all list. It is simply basic suggestions for you to get started. Think about what your family uses, how much they use, and how long you are preparing for when purchasing your food storage.
- WATER! (See the next section)
- Canned Black Beans
- Canned Chicken or Tuna
- Canned Vegetables
- Canned Soup
- Peanut Butter
- Pancake Mix
- Honey or Jam
- Pasta Sauce
- Cooking Oil
- Spices and Condiments
- Granola Bars and Nuts
- Mac and Cheese
Remember, if you are going to use canned food, make sure that you have a hand crank can opener. It makes accessing your food much easier.
Most people underestimate the amount of water needed during emergencies. It is one of the most important things you should be concerned about and should focus on when you start preparing for an emergency. It’s also the place most people fall short in emergency preparedness.
You’ll need water to survive, you’ll need water to cook with, and you’ll want more than enough for each individual in your family. We recommend having one gallon per person per day at a minimum. That’s just a minimum, more is better.
Where to Store Water
One of the common questions when it comes to preparing water is where to store it. You have a variety of options and should choose the best one for you. Store all of your water in a cool dry place away from sunlight. Remember, start small. Start with 24 hours and work your way up to weeks and months.
Cases of Water Bottles
One of the simplest ways to store water is to just buy water bottles from the store and stack them. This is beneficial because it can be easy to take a water bottle and pack it in a backpack or day bag. It’s also easy to build up this type of storage if you just buy a case everytime you go shopping. In just a few months you’d have water for the family.
5 Gallon & 7 Gallon Storage Containers
When using plastic storage containers, make sure they are PET or PETE, which means they are safe to store drinking water in. You can buy these types of storage containers and stack them. These are ideal because they are still small enough to take with you in case you need to leave your home. We recommend getting ones that are new, not used.
55 Gallon Storage Container
The benefit of having a large water container is simply the amount of water you can store. One of these would last two people about three weeks. We recommend getting ones that are new and not used for your drinking water. Some things to note when using this type of container:
- Put something underneath them and make sure they are on a flat surface. Don’t store them on concrete.
- You will need a bung wrench and a water pump to get the water out.
- Put a date on them when you fill them up.
- Consider adding water preservative.
Ability to Purify Water
If you are in a situation where you don’t have access to pure water, what would you do? There are many ways to filter water. The two that you might consider are having the ability to boil water or filter it through a filterable water bottle or straw.
Other things you might need water for in an emergency.
- Washing your hands
- Washing the dishes
- Flushing the toilet
- Cleaning cuts
- Basic sanitation
The bottom line is you need water, you need more than you think you do, and it’s the first place you should start when preparing for an emergency.
We hope you have found part one of this guide helpful. If you did, we would love for you to come check out what we have to offer at https://lionenergy.com/. Part two of our emergency preparedness guide is next!