Emergency preparation, disaster preparedness, bug out kits . . . what does all that mean? And more importantly, what’s the big deal?
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What is Emergency Preparation?
The definition of emergency preparation is simple – having enough supplies and know-how on hand to safely live through an emergency situation aka a disaster. Disasters take many forms – severe weather, a sudden lack of income and no savings, or a criminal on the loose, for example.
(We once had a murderer and kidnapper fleeing from police in our town. Obviously we wanted to stay home with the door locked until they captured him! They ended up arresting him about five miles from our house near the local Wal-Mart. I was so glad we didn’t need to leave the house that day.)
Your family’s emergency preparation may consist of a 24-hour kit, a 72-hour kit, personal “bug out bags,” or a whole host of other options. It’s a good idea to start small and build on your supplies as you go along.
Why Should We Bother Preparing For a Disaster?
Look around your house, your kitchen in particular. If the power goes out for the next 12 hours, are you going to be able to eat? What if the roads are closed and you can’t run out to the grocery store?
Face it – things happen. No matter where you live, weather can wreck havoc sometimes without warning. Around here, we sometimes have major snowstorms in the winter and severe thunderstorms or high winds in the summer. Other areas experience earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, flooding, wildfires.
At almost any time, we may find ourselves without access to stores, electricity, or even running water because of severe weather.
On a few occasions, we’ve gotten a notice from the water company that our city water was not safe to drink for one reason or another. They may put out a “boil water advisory” or they may say not to drink it at all until further notice. I can’t remember why, but several years ago, our tap water came out a brownish color for a few hours. Yikes!
If that happens in your neighborhood, do you have water to drink? Enough to cook with? How about flushing the toilet?
Of course, we can’t overlook the recent situation in Boston where residents were “locked down” in their homes for about 24 hours. God forbid anything like that should happen again, but it’s not something anyone can predict.
These are all situations that we should think about and be ready for. Not in fear but in a rational “I’ve got this” sort of way.
How Do You Build an Emergency Preparedness Kit?
Some things that you’ll need in a disaster preparedness kit are obvious: food, water, a flashlight. But there are plenty of things that you may not think of right away, and there’s always the question of “How much of this stuff do I need?”
In our opinion, the most important kit that every family should have is a 72-hour emergency kit for times when the electricity goes out and/or it’s impossible or inadvisable to go to the store.
We want to help you build this kit and others for your family, so we’ll be doing a series of posts on emergency preparation kits over the next several months. Because we’re always working with a limited budget, we’ll help you build your kits in a budget-friendly manner too.
Please come back next week for information on getting started with your 72-hour emergency kit. Be sure not to miss a single post – subscribe to our monthly newsletter and join us on, Facebook, Twitter, or Google+.
Does your family already have an emergency kit? Tell us about it!