With Hurricane Sandy rocking the east coast of the United States recently, we have seen the devastation of this storm and the unpreparedness of people to cope with that. I have for years been a semi-stockpiler. I am not over board with 6 months of non-perishables or MREs stocked up in my basement. Though what I keep in my basement is my business. Why are you so nosy? Anyway, I just pick up a few things here and there over time to build up a pantry that can sustain my family of 6 for at least a week to 2 weeks. If we were to be without power for an extended length of time(anyone remember Ivan or the ice storm?), we could survive without having to worry about starving to death. So here are some hints:
- Pick up a few “extra” things every week…like rice, gallons of water, pasta, canned goods, cereal, dry boxed milk.
- Keep them organized in your pantry so that you are keeping your eyes on the expiration dates.
- Buy salt. It is cheap($0.49 ) and can be used to preserve meat that might spoil from the freezer. Check out this website for more Info http://www.mademan.com/mm/how-preserve-meat.html
- Keep wood or gas for stoves stocked so that you can use your grill or a wood stove for heat and cooking.
- Keep containers of gasoline for your car in the garage. Try to label and date it because gas does “expire”.
- Many of us don’t have family near by so find another family that you can partner with and get through the tough times together.
- Buy candles. They are cheap and can be found at the dollar store. They will go farther than batteries. Oh and matches or lighters. I am not a Boy Scout so getting a fire started is not 1 of my strengths.
- Games games games….fun can be had with your family around a board or card game and can keep the whining to a minimum.
- Talk to your family about what you can do when the lights go out. Can they cope without their DS or computer or music?
- Buy car chargers for all your devices or buy one that can have things plugged into it to charge things like your phone. Keep these things in a centralized, convenient location along with any important paper work if you should have to evacuate.
- Have a “go bag” under your bed or somewhere where you know the location. Keep in it a change of clothes for each family member according to season. Prescriptions for medications, ibuprofen/aspirin, Benadryl, bandages, Neosporin, a crow bar, important phone numbers, extra Epi-pens, etc according to your family’s needs.
- Ammunition. If you own a gun, buy a box of ammo once a month or so and keep it stocked away. You want to be able to protect your family from looters and such.
- When you bring home a package of toilet paper, take 2 rolls and stock them away in a closet. Do that with paper towels as well. I have enough to roll the White House lawn and plan to keep on going. I don’t want to be caught with my pants down, if you know what I mean. Sorry that was too easy not to say.
- Keep some cash with your important papers. For now, cash still buys things so having some on hand can help, if you have to travel. We know that WalMart will be up and running but can they take credit cards? Who knows? But cash will go a long way.
This won’t save you from the zombie apocalypse or from the ocean washing your home away(neither of which will actually happen here in the mountains) but they can help ease your time in the dark!