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© 2015 Shanna Lea
No one wants to think about possible disasters happening in their hometown. But you know it can happen. And when it does, you will either wish you had prepared for it, OR you will be prepared for it.
You already carry homeowners insurance and automobile insurance, so why not have the assurance of having some supplies stocked back in case a natural disaster does happen?
Make a Plan
A Plan is the first thing you need. This will help you avoid stocking up on the wrong things or not enough of those items.
1. Water—water is the first thing you need to acquire, and it will be the bulkiest to store. There are many ways to store water, but one way is in rectangular containers that are stackable. Stock enough water for each person to have ½ to 1 gallon a day. Plan for at least 3 days worth, in case you are unable to get out. Recent disasters have shown people needing supplies for even longer. So a better plan is to stock up for 6-9 days. A good rule of thumb is to double or triple the amount of days that the government says to prepare for.
2. Where are you going to store it? The next thing to do is decide where you will store your supplies and how much space you have. A basement is one of the best places to stockpile supplies, plus you can also use it as a living area if needed during the disaster.
The next best area is in a garage or storage shed. Or a closet within your house or apartment. Or, if you have two bathrooms, and don’t use the tub or shower in one of them, make it into a storage area for your supplies. Just pull a shower curtain in front of it to hide it.
3. Storage containers—plastic totes, like these from Rubbermaid, are the best containers to store your supplies in. Be sure to put the supplies in air tight bags before placing in the container. You must protect them from moisture, insects and the environment or they will be useless when the time comes that you need them.
4. Determine how many supplies you can store in each tote, and then how many totes you can store. Stackable totes will take up less space in your storage area. For 1-2 people, try to put two day’s supplies per tote. For more people, store one day’s supplies in each tote.
5. Organize and stock your containers by categories: food, supplies, blankets, clothing, etc
6. Basic supplies to include: paper towels, toilet paper, plastic utensils, can opener and batteries. For the food supply container: canned goods, canned meats, crackers, etc. Be sure to label your totes if you use this plan, and you will avoid digging through all of them when you need to find certain items.
7. Once you know how much space you have and where you will store your supplies, then purchase the totes and stock back your water. Then you will know how much space you have left over for the rest of the supplies.
8. Next, make a list of essential items you will need to live off of during a power outage or disaster. You will want food items that do not have to be heated and could possible be eaten out of a can. A pre-stocked earthquake kit has survival items and food to last up to 72 hours for short term power outages.
9. Once you have your list, make a budget and stock up on a few items each week. An extra can or two of soup and a jug of water once a week can get you stocked up and be easy on your budget. There are pre-stocked food buckets available, if you don’t have time to hunt for individual items.
Planning ahead for natural disasters and emergency survival is something we need to keep in mind on a daily basis. We have become so used to conveniences that we forget that things can happen at a moment’s notice that will interrupt our lives. So make a plan, and follow up each week, and soon you will have a good emergency supply that will keep you at ease. Learn more about preparing for short and long term survival situations from my book Short and Long Term Survival Preparation.
For more information check out Short and Long Term Survival Preparation