Food and Water SupplyUnless you can get ready for a long-lasting event, a basic food and water supply normally should be stocked for two weeks in the warmer seasons, and from three to six months at least during the winter.
Bits of AdviceCanned goods, preserve jars and dehydrated and/or freeze-dried food are good options. Make certain it's nutritious food and not junk food. Make allowance for nutritious family favorites such as nuts and chocolate bars. Don’t forget baby food, pet food and any special food for the elderly or for those with special health issues such as diabetes. Don’t forget a manual can opener.
Over the Counter, Prescription MedicationsAny preparation plan needs a supply of vital, prescriptions or over-the-counter (OTC) medications. An improvised first aid kit, supplies for possible use of life-support equipment and an emergency back-up plan to the nearest health facility can be crucial in any emergency. Likewise, keep on hand the phone numbers of nearby clinics, hospitals, 911 and ambulance dispatchers.
Gas-Powered or Propane Gas Generators/Fireplace/Cooking FuelDuring winter or summer storm seasons, is when power outages primarily are most likely to occur. Preparing for these seasons by having gas-powered or propane gas-run generators up and ready, becomes not only necessary, but a matter of common sense as well. Remembering that even propane gas tanks need to have their pressure and efficiency maintained, make certain to have propane tank heating blankets, like those available from Powerblanket, on hand for frigid weather. They'll also eliminate having to go out for unnecessary cylinder refills once the cold weather hits. An easy way to keep the tanks warm, they're also UL rated, easily washable and produce even heat displacement. They’re flexible, so they fold up and store easily almost anywhere.
Moreover, the outdoor barbecue grill, solar-powered rechargeable batteries for electronic devices, and even the old, reliable Sterno fuel cans are great for providing not only light, but also for heating up food. By all means, always think in terms of being without power and making provision for it ahead of time--while you can do so. That being said, there's nothing like having a supply of fuel and wood piling for that beautiful but unused fireplace.
No matter what season of the year you find yourself in, it's good sense to prepare for the unexpected--as much as possible. Taking precautions may help lessen the impact of events from affecting both you and your loved ones during an emergency.
Written by Rachelle Wilber