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Essential Items For Your 2017 Emergency Preparedness Planning

If you haven’t noticed, natural disaster, political turmoil, and unrest are occurring with greater frequency. Whether it’s global warming, El Nino, politics, access to disasters through social media sharing, or people’s desire to explore and live in areas that many consider dangerous, being prepared has become an increasingly important requirement.

As you plan your 2017 Emergency Preparedness purchases, consider these areas of focus: Food, Water, Shelter, and Subsistence. Let’s take a few minutes and explore each area.

Most people start their preparations by purchasing FOOD. This is a great place to start as food is critical for survival. It’s good to have grains, dehydrated food, canned goods, and frozen items on hand. It’s also important that you know how to prepare these items, especially if traditional means of preparation are limited.

What would you do if you didn’t have access to a stove, oven or microwave? Would you be at a total loss? Consider you may have to cook over a fire, in a dutch oven stove, or in a solar oven. We suggest practicing cooking with these options now so that you gain confidence, learn the tricks, and discover the secrets that make for a great meal. Don’t wait until it’s too late is a common mantra regarding preparation.

Let’s say you have 100 pounds of wheat on hand. Have you ever ground wheat? Do you have a grinder on hand? Do you have recipes that your family has tested and tried? Do you even like wheat? Does it sit well with you or your family? What about dehydrated food? Pop open a few cans, or packets, and let the family give it a try. Do they gag or enjoy it? Try eating it for a few days and see how you react. Can you combine different elements of your food storage to create elegant solutions that you and your family will enjoy?

Remember that most families have 10-15 Key Meals they eat on a regular basis. They simply rotate through those meals on a monthly basis. Maybe it would be a good idea to stockpile those items that your family is already familiar with, and keep 6 months of those supplies on hand where possible. Rotate the inventory so that you are keeping your food fresh. In this scenario, you know how to prepare it, you know it is liked, and you know it won’t create any additional challenges during times of disaster and crisis.

Everyone knows that WATER is as important as food, but what’s the best way to store it? How much should you have on hand? Does it matter how many people you will be providing for? Does water go bad? How do you get water out of storage drums? What if it tastes bad? Should I worry about dangerous chemicals leaking out of plastic bottles or storage containers? Is it OK to store it on a concrete floor or will chemicals from the concrete leach into the water? Does temperature impact the quality of water storage? What kind of chemicals should I put in water to keep it safe? Is boiling water best, or should I use a filtration system? Can I use water from a swimming pool or pond if it’s filtered properly?

Because water is critical for your survival needs, we encourage you to research some of these questions we have posed. You may also want to consider all the ways you use water. Drinking, washing dishes, bathing, brushing your teeth, watering plants, or personal sanitation. After you have taken an inventory of all these items, put a plan in place that will meet your needs.

Shelter is another essential resource in your Emergency Preparedness planning. Fire, earthquakes, flooding, and civil unrest drive people from their homes. Research your area. Are you in a flood plane? Do you live near a river, lake, an ocean or an area prone to flooding? Are you near a fault line? Are you near fields, plains or forests that are a fire risk? Are you located in a region given to civil unrest? If you are, what is your plan? How will you create shelter if your residence is no longer available?

Some people are purchasing land in remote locations and building “bug out shelters” or “bunker housing”, but for most of us, that’s not practical. So, what is practical? What would work for you and your family? What elements and conditions would you need to endure? For the people of Haiti, devastated by an earthquake, tents were the perfect solution. The buildings were unstable, and tent cities popped up across Port Au Prince. Tents are sturdy, portable, and can accommodate an entire family.

Will your shelter need heat or cooling? Will it need to endure rains, wind, snow or ice? Will you need to cook in your shelter, store your food, or sleep multiple people? Once you analyze and evaluate your reality, find a solution that will work for you. Remember that portability matters, and remember to practice living in a tent. What works, what would you add, what would you change? Get comfortable with you shelter solution before you need to use it in a crisis.

The subsistence category is broad, but it includes those things necessary to make survival enjoyable. In this area, we include tools, materials, and supplies that are difference makers. For example, most situations will require heat to keep your family warm. What should you have in your Emergency Preparedness kit that would help? Fire starter, matches and a fuel source are essential. Fire starter and matches are easy to pack, but fuel is tough. How quickly could you load a cord of wood when you have to get out fast?

Instead, consider an axe or saw that could be used to cut and split wood. Where will you put your fire? You will need a shovel to dig a hole, clear the surrounding ground, and make a mound to block the wind. You may use the shovel to dig a trench around your tent to channel rain away, or dig a hole in the ground where you “do your business”. A broom is critical for sweeping out a tent, and cleaning the living areas. Rope, tarps, stakes, garbage bags, candles, lanterns, flashlights, extra batteries, utensils, cooking supplies and cash are other essential subsistence items.

Prepare now so that you and your family can survive, and be independent, when emergencies, disasters, and crises hit. The reality is most of us WILL experience one of these challenges during our life. With a little thought and preparation, you can find peace. Start the process now. Acquire the essential items first, and make a goal to add to your Emergency Preparedness resources monthly. Look for companies that have durable, portable and reliable solutions specific to your needs. When it comes to portable tools that are lightweight and compact, but incredibly well built, we recommend RedHed Tools. Be prepared to pay a little more for the right solution recognizing it may be the difference in survival scenarios.