Sunday, March 13, 2011
Certainly Japan's situation is severe but being that it is a natural disaster, it proves that anything can happen anywhere.
Take a look at your geographical region. There is some kind of natural disaster that can happen at any time...earthquakes, tornadoes, volcanoes, tsunamis, hurricanes and unfortunately, as we've seen in Japan with the natural disasters, they can also lead to man-made disasters such as the nuclear plant threatening to melt down.
Being an herbalist, I lean towards the medical side of preparedness and tend to have all sorts of medical equipment available. Sutures, dental tools, gauze pads, tape, hot water bottles, ice pack containers, blood pressure cuffs, syringes, etc. are all available in my home. I use some of them every day for small emergencies and some are put away for severe emergencies but knowing I have them available if need be is comforting. If something were to happen, I hope I would be able to provide my community with medical care if needed.
At the very minimum, you should store 2 weeks worth of water for each member of your family and pets too. The recommendation is 2 gallons per person. It may seem silly now but consider this statement:
"By Monday, officials were clearly overwhelmed by the scale of the crisis, with millions of people having spent three nights without water, food or heat in near-freezing temperatures. At least 1.4 million households had gone without water since the quake struck and some 1.9 million households were without electricity." - http://www.ketv.com/r/27184574/detail.html
It would be good to store a minimum of 2 weeks worth of food as well. Mormons are required to store 1 year's worth of food for their family. Again, this may seem extreme but wouldn't be comforting to know if you lost your job you'd still know how you were going to feed your kids? The rule of thumb for storing food is "Store What You Eat and Eat What You Store." The Mormons have great guides available to help you get started with food storage, including food calculators to determine how much you need to store and local Canneries to help you can your bulk foods.
I have been perusing youtube prepper videos to refresh my mind on preparedness tactics. While I feel they are a bit fanatical, I enjoy learning about others point of views in regards to storage and preparing.
All my kids have throwing knives. Under supervision, they practice their throwing skills. I believe everyone should know how to protect themselves and learning to throw knives can help with that skill as well as killing wild animals if the need should arise.
My kids also know wild plants, edible plants and practice survival days to work on their skills. They view it as fun, I view it as security.
I introduce weeds into our diet on a regular basis and teach my kids what is edible. This is invaluable information. Knowing we can eat the plants that grow around us and thrive is helpful if we have to leave our homestead.
Another item we focus on is heating. Our home is strictly heated with wood now and we have 3 kerosene back-up heaters. We store bulk kerosene and have easy access to free wood. Our heating bills are minimal and if the electricity goes off, it will not affect our warmth. Being warm is comforting in times of distress and if something happened, knowing we were warm would help us deal with the other problems at hand.
We have plenty of back up lighting too. I love my Aladdin lamp and hope to get another one. This runs off of kerosene or lamp oil. We also have a few other oil lamps though they are not nearly as nice as the Aladdin. A lot of people are wary about using oil lamps, especially with kids but ours have learned to respect the lamps and stay clear of them. We also use candles a lot and have many stored away. I think part of preparing for an emergency is to not only to store away these things and eat the food you store but to also be comfortable and familiar with using alternate lighting sources. Things tend to be more shadowed in candle light and if children, especially small children are used to it, it will not make the lack of electricity more traumatizing. They are used to seeing the rooms lit with candles and oil lamps so they are comfortable with the flickering shadows.
I have back packs for each kid, also known as bug-out-bags in case we have to get out of here. I am working on re-packing them as it's been awhile and they are outdated (don't need diapers anymore!).
My kids love to ride bikes and I encourage it. Bikes can be an alternate form of transportation if need be and the more they ride, the better their stamina will be. I hope to encourage them to ride with back packs on so they can get used to the weight. Even my 4 year old is good on a bike which pleases me because even the littlest needs to be strong.
What scares me most about TEOTWAWKI, WTSHTF and/or WROL is not that life as we know it is ending but the the people who are NOT prepared, mainly our neighbors in the subdivision. Their life is SO different than ours and I've tried to friend them in the past but we are so different, they treat us coldly. IF something happens, I know whos animals are going to be in jeopardy, who they are going to look to for security, food, life and that worries me. I don't mind teaching them skills, but I don't want to be taken advantage of or robbed after my hard work of balancing my every day life with preparing while they live a carefree life. It's not fair and I won't stand for it, if the time comes, to give up my hard work to lazy, unforseeing people who are more interested in stocking their homes with the latest WII, tvs, gadgets, etc.
Sharon Astyk writes about being prepared all the time. She started Independence Days a few years back as a way to encourage people to prepare and learn. While I don't have time to actively participate anymore, I am continually preparing and stocking away as much as possible.
Today I made soil blocks to start seeds in. This will eventually become our garden that will give us food for the spring, summer and fall. I hope to also put away food to get us through the winter. We are spoiled and will not be 100% self sustained unless TSHTF and we have no other choice and I'm OK with that. I like my chocolate and my Kahlua and other privileges I can pick up from the grocery store. At the same time, I know if something happens, whether it lasts a week, month or the rest of our lives, I will be prepared and ready to provide for my children the best I can because I've been working on it all these years. (And yes, I have directions on how to make our own whiskey, wine and brandy in case we can't buy it from the store anymore....in fact, I make my own wine now...).
I have many topics I could cover on this subject. What are you doing to prepare? What do you need to know, what do you need to do to furture prepare? It's never too late to get started, it's better to start preparing now than to never be prepared at all, Japan has proved that over the past few days...