September is National Preparedness Month

September 20, 2007 at 8:43 pm | Posted in frugal, Health, Personal, simplicity | 2 Comments

As we visited with friends and family who were affected by Katrina recently, I remembered the lessons I had learned from all the bad that happened there as we worked for two weeks in the garage as a staging center for the 28 family members we had displaced (Sister’s In-Laws)and listening to their stories. Of course, here in my area of the South, we get more tornados than anything. We also get to enjoy ice in the winter. Some of ya’ll get snow storms, we get ice. And is case you didn’t already know, it can be a real pain in the a$$ to deal with ice on everything. Power lines snap and roads are undriveable. So, I have done what every one should try and do, I have emergence kits built into my everyday life. The problem with having a regular kit as recommended by FEMA is that the kit can blown away or float away with the house.

The biggest lesson we learned through Katrina and through tornadoes, is to have a safety box at a bank. Passports, copies of IDs, birth certificates, and any other valuable information (credit card numbers and insurance papers) should be in there. If your house disappears in a fire, tornado, flood, hurricane the chances are that your bank vault might still be there. Also prescriptions kept at a national chain can be accessed from anywhere else there is that same chain, so if your local drug store is under water, you can still get your meds. Just make sure that all the stores are connected because just because they share the same name, doesn’t mean they can access your prescription if you wind up re-located to another state. This also helps if you loose your prescription, or find yourself needing one (like antibiotics) while on vacation.

There are also the little things that work well all the time. We are now in the process of acquiring all hand crank flashlights. This works on frugality and environmentalism too since we are not having to replace batteries all the time! This also is a help since the kids love playing with the flashlights (torches for my British readers!) during non storm time. By being frugal, we have hand cranked can openers, and plenty of blankets.

We also use part of our kit as our “hospital” bag. We have one bag that is packed with just about everything we could need for a hospital stay. If you find yourself suddenly needing to stay at the hospital, especially as a patient, it helps if you can send someone to grab that one bag and maybe nightclothes. This is especially useful if you are taking a child to the hospital ER and you know they are going to be admitted overnight. Just grab the bag on your way out of the door and you are set .

You can access more complete lists at http://www.ready.gov/.You can also check out http://www.fema.gov/and http://www.redcross.org/. How about you all, any tips you want to share with others on being truly prepared for anything?

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2 Comments »

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  1. Great suggestions! The only other one that comes immediately to mind is one that really made people’s hearts sink and caused so many to be stranded: Banking. Many family and others could not access their money because all the local banks were affected by the storm. I’d recommend at least setting up a good savings account at a bank with branches in the state or location that you would most likely seek shelter in.

    Thanks for getting my mind spinning right before bed. 😉

  2. Excellent point on the banks!
    Glad I could set you to spinnin’!


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