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Preparing Your Home for an Emergency

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We never know when a disaster may strike in our neighborhood, and it's important to have the essentials and a plan ready just in case. This guide is about preparing your home for an emergency.
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By 43 found this helpful
March 14, 2011

I teach in an international school in Tokyo. At 2:45 p.m. on Mar. 10, 2011 we had an earthquake and evacuation drill. At 2:46 p.m. on Mar. 11, we had the 8.9 earthquake. Because we had just "rehearsed" the same thing the day before, all 470 students and all staff knew exactly what to do and there was no panic. Most of the time we feel "ho hum, not another drill interrupting my class," but yesterday proved to us that they are very important.

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We evacuated to the playground where we waited for parents to pick up their students. Many students live on train lines which were not running. Cell phones and land lines were not working, but we discovered we could use the Internet and Skype. Make sure your children know how to contact you in an emergency! Think through what you would do if you were at work and they were at school. Designate a neighbor or friend to take care of your child if you are unable to get there, and let the school know who it is.

Those who could not return home because of the trains, stayed in the houses of those of us who live near enough to walk. I was scrambling to find an extra toothbrush, but otherwise we had no trouble housing people. Simple living aside, it might be a good idea to keep a few extra toothbrushes around.

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Kindness was seen in all directions, from the moment we evacuated to the playground: Children comforted each other; High school students prayed together in huddles; The librarian sat on the ground and read a book to a group of kindergartners and first graders; Staff members and visiting parents who just happened to be there sat near enough to the building to get Wi-Fi on their computers and helped children contact parents.

I think the clincher for me was when the parents of a first grader, who stayed at our neighbor's, picked him up. The mother said, "I had two strangers in my home last night, because we nearly got stuck on the subway together. We were just going to get on the train when the earthquake happened. I couldn't help but invite them to sleep at our house."

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This is not a thrifty tip, but it is on my heart today - practice for disaster, be prepared, and most of all, practice kindness every day and it will stay with you in a disaster.

Source: my experience during and after the earthquake

By Denise from Tokyo, Japan

Editor's Note: This is a stock photo, not from the recent damage in Japan.

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By 26 found this helpful
November 30, 2009

Since you never know when an emergency is going to happen, I stay stocked up and prepared year round. I have a specific cabinet set up with canned foods, cereals, powdered milk, water, pet foods and other necessities. Anything that doesn't come in a water proof container gets put in one and labeled before going in the cabinet. Everything in there is arranged by month/year. Every 3 months I rotate everything out and restock.

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Instead of buying bottled water, which can get awfully expensive when you're buying a lot, when I finish with a 2 liter soda bottle, I wash it out good, then bleach the inside good to sanitize it. After it's been rinsed good, I fill it with water and label it. I can stock a lot more water this way without spending a fortune on buying it. I keep a minimum of 50 two liter bottles of water. This way I don't have to worry about not having enough to cook with, drink, or wash and clean with if we lose water.

As I rotate the water, I put some on a separate shelf for use for cleaning with. That gets rotated only once a year. The rest all gets rotated every 3 months. Everything in the cabinet is dated with the rotation date so there's no mistake about when to do it.

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In a spare bedroom (since I don't have a basement or garage), I keep a kerosene heater (kerosene is kept in the shed outside), spare batteries of all sizes, flashlights of all sizes, battery powered lanterns, blankets, battery powered radio TV, and DVD player, books, pens, cat box and litter for my cat.

I also have a 12v stove and coffee maker that I can plug into the cigarette lighter in my car to cook with. This way we are all set in case of loss of power for an extended amount of time.

By Cricket from Parkton, NC

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By 15 found this helpful
September 12, 2011

I live in southeastern NC and although we don't get the full force of hurricanes like you do in FL, we do get the damaging winds, rains, and tornadoes spun off from the storms. So keeping disaster bins is important here too. I am always amazed at how many people here don't have them.

I keep 4 bins here. Two to be used in warm weather, and two for cold weather. There are a lot of duplicates in all 4, such as non perishable foods, pet foods, rawhides, and treats, water, flashlights, batteries, radio, pet supplies, including leashes and collars, a blow-up air mattress that will fit in the back of my car with a 12V inflator, sheets, pillows, and blankets suitable for the season. I also keep in each, a list of what clothing to grab for that season, and a list of all prescription and non-prescription meds, along with any other medical supplies (in my case I'd have to grab my TENS machine and the supplies to go with it).

I also keep copies of all items in my wallet. All of these are laminated to prevent damage to the lists. And there is one copy in each one of the 2 seasonal bins. Another list I put in there is a list of everything in my house, along with all the pertinent information for each and, if possible, a picture of each. And last but by no means least, a close-up and current picture of myself, my husband, and each of my pets.

For the pets, I include all their veterinary history and shot records, most importantly their rabies shot dates and when they are due again, and the rabies tag numbers, and all the information on the chips I had implanted in them.

Also, in an envelope I keep 5 money orders in each season's bin in the amount of $100.00 each. Yes it's a lot, and yes it took me a while to save it up, but if the situation arises, I won't be broke. Once every 5 years, I cash the money orders in and buy new ones in the same amounts. This way I know they are current. By having $100.00 increments instead of one $500.00, it makes it easier to cash them. And money orders do not expire. I also keep a credit card in each of these envelopes. I keep a credit card with a $500.00 balance on each. Four times a year, I take each credit card and buy one tank of gas for the car, and pay it off immediately. This keeps the cards from expiring from lack of use.

Something else I do is when I buy a car, I make sure it's one that would be at least fairly comfortable to live in for a few days. My pets are among the most important parts of my life, right up there with my husband. So I refuse to be separated from them. If I ever have to evacuate (it has happened here), many times I can't find a hotel or motel that will accept pets. Or if I do they want an arm and a leg for it. So we find a good rest area, or sometimes I've simply pulled into a motel parking lot, but change every night, and sleep in the car. The best places I've found to park like that, are major truck stops, such as Flying J, Petro, TA, etc. I park the car as close to the truck parking area as I can, and also no more than 2 rows back from the building. As a former trucker myself, and the wife of one now, I learned that truck stops can be the safest place to stop overnight.

In these bins, anything that is paper is laminated and put into a plastic folder. Anything else (pet foods, snacks, meds, etc) gets put into doubled plastic Ziploc bags.

And one last thing; I also grab one or two books, crossword puzzle books, and my portable DVD player with some DVDs. This will keep the boredom at bay for me.

Oh, since I have a bird too and his cage would take up most of my car, I keep a small "travel" cage for emergencies. He'd be quite confined, but he'd be safe and with me. When I had a hamster I did the same thing. I'm actually using the same travel cage that I used for the hamster.

By Cricket from Parkton, NC

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By 18 found this helpful
March 5, 2011

Are you prepared for an emergency? Be prepared for almost every emergency with lots of canned food items. You should also store water and a hand can opener with the food. Make sure you have meats that are canned as they give you energy.

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March 21, 2011

Ever since my kids were small, we have designated my mother, who lives in another state, as the family emergency contact. All school forms had her name and phone number in the emergency contact section, as did any of the wallet emergency cards we all carried.

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By 12 found this helpful
September 1, 2011

What everyone recommends is 3 days worth of everything such as WATER; drinking water and water for cleaning yourself up. In a case where we know it's going to hit, have everyone take showers or bathe and be clean. Fill tub up with water.

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By 10 found this helpful
September 15, 2011

Add a few "booklights" to your emergency kits. Mine came in very handy during the recent blackout. I just clipped it to the front of my shirt and as it is adjustable I just pointed it where I wanted it and had a hands free flashlight!

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October 30, 2012

With the storm bearing down on the Eastern seaboard, I thought I'd share some things I learned while living on the Gulf Coast.

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February 13, 2014

Growing up, even though our family was low income, my mother always made sure she had extra food for storms, power outage, etc. When we would hear the bread and milk rush, when snow was mentioned, she would always say, "Do people wait until their cupboards are bare before going to the grocery store?"

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By 2 found this helpful
March 6, 2012

When dangerous weather strikes, be prepared in advance by having a couple of very easy things in place beforehand.

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August 26, 2009

This is an excellent suggestion that was printed recently in our local paper as a tip for power failures during storms: make freezer packs by placing water filled water jugs, plastic pop bottles, or gallon ice cream containers in the deep freeze.

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By 3 found this helpful
September 6, 2011

Know what you have before a disaster strikes by putting down on paper everything you have with serial numbers, make, and manufacturer. You can also take pictures of your items so they can be referred to if something should happen.

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Kelly Ann Butterbaugh0 found this helpful
June 22, 2011

Many of us are wondering if there's something we can do to better protect our homes from devastating storms. The first step is to listen to authorities and evacuate dangerous areas before the storms arrive. Homes can be replaced; families cannot.

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May 14, 2012

Save some dry wood cut into small pieces in old recycled jars. Pat down to pack it or carefully pack it from the top, using a hammer to further break pieces so more will fit. You could also place small bits of paper to ensure your fire will start.

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October 19, 20111 found this helpful

This is a guide about preparing for a power outage. Power outages are a periodic problem that we all need to deal with. Being prepared when it happens is the best way to make it easier to get through until the power comes back on.

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November 23, 20050 found this helpful

Tips for organizing emergency numbers.

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September 12, 20051 found this helpful

Here's a great .pdf file with information about emergency preparedness, preparing your house, surviving during and after an emergency and a check list of things you will need. It is from the Seattle Times.

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December 19, 20070 found this helpful

Last year, at least 65 people died from generator-related CO poisoning. Many of the deaths occurred after winter storms knocked out power.

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By 0 found this helpful
February 16, 2005

This is for all my Caribbean friends or anyone who is everyone living on this earth to at least prepare your home family in case stuff happens or an event of a hurricane or disaster.

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September 29, 20040 found this helpful

The best way is to prepare before winter (or bad weather). Stock up on things that disappear literally in hours from stores: batteries, water, flashlights.

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August 10, 20170 found this helpful

When evacuating because of an impending hurricane or flooding you can protect your important items by stashing them in the dishwasher. This is a guide about store important items in your dishwasher in an emergency.

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Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 0 found this helpful
September 1, 2009

I was just wanting to know if any of you have anything prepared just in case of an emergency, if so what? I was thinking of doing this and I wanted some ideas. Thanks for any ideas you may share with me.

By Teresa from VA

Answers

September 1, 20090 found this helpful

I have some aluminum blankets, candles, lighter and matches, flashlight. Put the batteries in this way, one normal position and one backwards, it will preserve the batteries for when they are needed, water, powdered soup mix, cocoa, coffee, milk, small pkgs of fruit such as raisins, military MRE's and heaters, scissors, band aids, kotex or panty liners, individually wrapped. They work as bandages as well as the obvious use! Don't forget pet food if you have a pet.

Coffee can, old fashioned "church key" and charcoal wrapped in a little newspaper. You can make an emergency "stove" with these items; just punch a few holes in the SIDES of the bottom of the can with the church key to let air flow in & keep fire going, use a wire coat hanger across the top to hold a small pot or use foil to cook things on.

Bisquik is also good to have. I could go on forever but it really depends on where you live and what you are "preparing" for. I have lived through some bad earthquakes and I can tell you one of the most important things I learned is to have toilet paper!

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September 2, 20090 found this helpful

We also have a tent, and something to sleep on, whether sleeping bags, or just old bed linens and pillows. And I keep the 'good' old towels in a plastic bag with the tent to use for washing up. We have a 'coleman' stove and several jars of propane as well. It is all in plastic heavy duty tubs in the outside storage shed.

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September 2, 20090 found this helpful

What kind of emergency are you thinking about?

A couple years ago, my husband started getting worried about the economy (back when all the "experts" said everything was GREAT). So we talked about it at length, and started gathering things just in case. We have a pretty good stash of non-perishables split between the garage and a closet in the house. We have a bunch of sealed 3 liter bottles of water. We keep a stash of cash at the house. And I let him get a gun, and we both took a class on how to use it (I *really* didn't want a gun, but finally agreed if we'd take a safety class and get a proper safe for it). We also got a thing from the camping dept. for cooking (two burners, fueled by propane), along with a few tanks. We have extra food for our cats.

We got those things in case we have a collapse of our society. Sounds crazy, doesn't it? But if the banking system fails, there will be chaos and looting. We didn't want to have to deal with empty grocery stores, and we wanted to be prepared in case things like water and electricity go out. I don't know how long we'd last on our supplies, but it's better than nothing, and it gives my husband some peace of mind.

When we bought our house, my dad showed my how to turn the water off outside by the street. He showed me in case we ever had to do water repairs. But it could also be useful if your local water supply is compromised. You could cut the supply off before it gets to your house, and you have whatever is left in your water heater.

We had to deal with massive power outages a couple winters ago (huge ice storm). We now have batteries, batteries, and more batteries. Plus we make sure we always have something for the fireplace. We were lucky that our power came on in a couple days, but some places went weeks without power.

And just for general safety, we have a smoke detector in each room (other than bathrooms) and a few fire extinguishers. We put night lights in our bathrooms that convert into flashlights if the power goes out. THOSE are very handy! If you require certain meds, it'd be good to have a little extra in your safe place, but remember to replace it with a fresh supply every now and then.

Hope this gives you some good ideas. Good luck!

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September 2, 20090 found this helpful

I, too, prefer to be proactive about these situations. I get some funny looks from some friends and family but I don't care. I would rather them think I am being paranoid then be unprepared.
Go to www.ready.gov/america/getakit/index.html it gives you a basic supply list that you can work off of. Such as 1 gallon of water per person per day for three days. I also typed in "disaster preparedness" and looked at kits for sale to see what was in them to give me some more ideas to personalize my own supply. Also,make copies of your important papers and put them in a ziploc bag. I also have instructions on how to purify water in my kit so I remember how - just in case the water supply runs out. (You can also buy purification tablets at the camping supply stores) I have also been thinking of gathering some camp recipes to put in there, such as how to make an easy flat bread with minimal ingredients. And most of all - Don't forget to put in the can opener!

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By 0 found this helpful
July 21, 2008

I live alone and I want to be prepared. I am in the process of cleaning up my very disorganized condo. I have many friends cheering me on because well this is very hard for me. Anyway I have cleaned out a walk in closet that is in the interior of the building. I am thinking it will be a nice reading nook in the winter as it is right near the dryer so it will be warm in there.

I am also thinking I have no place really to go in case of a storm. We can get pretty bad thunderstorms and hurricanes here. There is no door on this closet and no window. What do you think I should have in the closet with me? I don't want to go crazy, just be prepared. Thanks.

Sandy from Baltimore

Answers

July 21, 20080 found this helpful

Bottled water, toilet paper, handi wipes (in case they turn the water off), first aid kit, radio and lots of batteries), canned food and long lasting snacks, plenty to read, can opene, plastic eating utensils.

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July 21, 20080 found this helpful

Don't forget that most storms don't last long; and you can always share with neighbors; and hurricanes usually come with adequate warning to move food from you pantry to the closet. You're in a condo in Baltimore, not a soddie on the prairie, or a cottage on a coastal island.

Bottled water is a good idea, as is a first aid kit, a flashlight with extra batteries, and a radio. If you have a cell phone, you might want to go in there and see if you still have reception--otherwise you may want to invest in a long cord so you can take a phone in there if you had to. (You could just keep the spare cord in there--again, you would have warning and time enough to get ready.) Land lines may or may not go down in a storm; but usually are restored fairly quickly. Don't forget a list of phone numbers.

Be aware that if tornados are forcasted, you should find out where the safest place in your building is to go. Your fire dept. could tell you this.

I think it is much more valuable that you are cleaning out--one of the hardest things EVER to do; and the idea of a reading nook for yourself is a wonderful idea!

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July 22, 20080 found this helpful

In many parts of the country, people use the mattress from their bed. They crawl UNDER the mattress, and hold on to it, preventing it from blowing away.

A Futon mattress would be really good to hide under. You could lie on part of it, and wrap the other part above/around you.

Some people get in the bathtub, and place the mattress on top sort of like a "lid.", and hold it down. Guess this must work, 'cuz you never see a bathtub flying in the wind.

If you could fix yourself a "duffle-bag" full of things JUST for a storm, leaving it in that walk-in-closet. Put one of those lanterns that uses batteries, with extra batteries. And one of those flashlights that you shake to activate the battery, and a battery powered radio, again with extra batteries.

Some bottled water, a blanket, reading material, some snack items such as peanut butter crackers, canned tuna, canned pastas, or breakfast bars. Be sure to take a can opener if your canned items don't have that handy pull-tab opener. And a spoon or fork.

Baby wipes, Trash bags, small plastic trashcan, (to use as a potty if necessary) kleenex, t.tissue, a handful of bandaids, neosporin (just in case.) If it is cold weather, pack extra socks, mittens, sweater, Flannel shirts, and those pocket hand warmers. They will keep warm for several hours.

Then when the storm warnings DO happen, you can grab a few pillows, drag the house phone close to you, keep the cellphone, and its charger with you, your purse, your medications, eyeglasses, the cat and you are good to go.

Then if they update the storm, then you can drag the mattress to your closet, and crawl underneath.

You could have someone install those wooden Bi-fold doors on your closet. They would look good, and hide the things you are leaving in there for the storms.

In most condos, apartments, and so on there is usually a designated place for people to go in a storm.

In Florida, even the Campgrounds have designated places to go when the weather gets bad. Usually it is in the bath houses, or the Laundry Rooms, or a large enclosed area at the main building. Most places are prepared. So just ask.

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By JODI (Guest Post)
July 22, 20080 found this helpful

You might want to pack some of your food items in a picnic basket so they will all be in one place.

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July 23, 20080 found this helpful

Good for you for being brave enough to get the necessary help and tackling the clutter. I have learned that clutter gets out of control when a major life event happened, not from being slack. Yes, make yourself a lovely storm hideout, and it could be a place to do your nails, eat ice cream, or hug your dog!

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August 11, 20080 found this helpful

I was in a natural disaster once, and I learned quickly that there are some things people just don't think of till it's too late. Keep some cash on hand for buying things, because if the power's out. Chances are you won't be able to use your debit/charge card.

Keep your important papers (birth certificate, etc.) with you! The only thing worse than being in a natural disaster is to be bureaucratically "dead" because your life's documentation is gone!

Finally, you should have a NOAA radio (also called a weather alert radio). You can get these at Wal-Mart or Radio Shack, etc. These have built-in sirens that go off when the Natl. Weather Service issues a storm watch or warning. You can also just turn it on and listen to the Natl. Weather Service's broadcast. Hope this info helps!

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November 30, 20090 found this helpful

It's been recommended that American's have a few weeks worth of food on hand in case of disruption of services. Let's work on a stocking up list? What things were you glad you had when a trip to the store was difficult due to storms or power outages?

Answers:

Stocking Up

I always stock up when items I know I will need to buy are on sale. That way I quite often have the ingredients I need either in the cupboard or the pantry rather than having to run to the store when I need a quick meal or add to one for company. Also it is good to have extra for emergencies. Things I have found it essential to stock up on are: flour, sugar, pasta , tomato sauce, tomato paste, olive oil , canned tuna, chicken and corned beef , canned soup - tomato, cream of mushroom, canned broth, catsup and mayonnaise, toilet paper , paper towels, laundry soap, canned fruits and vegetables , dried beans, rice - Susan (09/27/2001)

Stocking Up

Susan's list had most of the items we stock up on, one thing I would stock up on for sure would be bottled water. We are on a well, so I don't think we would have to worry too much about contaminants in the system, but if the power were to go out, our pump wouldn't work. - Cindy Mace (09/27/2001)

Stocking Up

Things I like to keep on hand out here in the country for power outages, too much snow, etc. Tuna, Mayonnaise , Bread, Canned Chili , Canned Chicken , Soup Makings (vegetables, broth, etc.) , Sausages. We have a wood stove for heat and can heat up chili, bake potatoes in the coals and roast sausages. On top we can also boil water, make soup, cook cereal. It's also easy for us to heat things up outside on the propane fueled barbecue. Necessity is the mother of invention. - Lynn (09/27/2001)

Stocking Up

From experience, forget anything that has to be mixed, soaked, boiled or 'prepared'. 1 - For an emergency pantry, stick to canned foods that can be eaten without heating if necessary or already prepared foods that keep without refrigeration and come cry-o-vac'd. If you don't have gas for cooking a small Sterno stove can be a very big help and they fold down for storage. 2 - Matches, preferably wooden ones if you can find them anymore. 3 - LARGE plastic garbage bags, besides holding the garbage, they can be used as ground cover under bedding, as raincoats, (cut holes for head and arms) and for warmth if necessary under clothing. 4 - Bath tissue and paper towels That's my list of absolute necessities. - Rose B. (09/27/2001)

Stocking Up

Daisy just reminded me to make sure to add animal supplies and water to stocking up list. Our pump is electric and we have power outages so I have jugs of water on hand. If it gets funky, my plants don't care and besides lots of times the stores run out of what my beasties like so I have to stock up.Now if I just knew where to put all of it... Oh yeah, don't forget batteries and bulbs for flashlights A wind up or battery clock 2 hand operated can openers (one for people and one for pets) Medications and first aid and other health supplies. Also keep a spray bottle of water and baby wipes in bathrooms for no power personal cleansing. It's also good to have cereal that's good dry out of the box or bag Powdered and canned milk Living my entire life in hurricane zone I know how to gather just not where. Clear plastic sheeting ,a well stocked heavy duty stapler and duct tape are needed too. - Linne (09/28/2001)

Stocking Up

We live in the middle of the blizzard belt and have gone a week without electricity. We have a kerosene heater that we used. The top of it served as a cooker with a big pan. In between times it warmed water for my tropical fish! They loved their 'hot' showers and we never lost a one!! In the "cold climate" have plenty of blankets, candles, or kerosene lamps, flashlight and good batteries, a battery radio, and also prescription medicine. Water is also a good idea. The food list has pretty well been covered. - Jela (09/28/2001)

Stocking Up

There have been a lot of useful items listed already. The following is my 2 cents worth. To be self-sufficient we have oil lamps, candles and flashlights, kerosene heaters, propane gas fireplace and wood fireplace, propane BBQ with two tanks, a supply of water for flushing toilets. We have a lot of canned goods that can be eaten without heating and a manual can opener. We generally keep a couple of milk jugs frozen with water so they could be used in an ice chest for a short term fix; when melted can drink it. A battery operated radio incase of a national disaster. Syd Barr (09/28/2001)

By Syd Barr

Stocking Up

I just think this is great for people to start thinking of what they need to do ahead of time. We have a special place in a closet just for hurricanes, etc. I grew up, up north and learned to have extras in the pantry for blizzards. Even if you don't have room cases of extra food, how about under the beds. I really think there have been some great ideas in this site. Yes, we have been through some storms where the heat was gone. You learn to put on more clothes and don't forget little sweaters/coats for your little animals too. Make sure that if you take any medicine daily have your medicine refilled to get you by, don't wait till you are almost out. You could be in trouble. One thing to keep on hand is rice. This is very filling and I always keep extra in my freezer, jars of cheese to make mac and cheese and cans of fruit juice. I go to the dollar stores for stocking up on batteries, paper plates, plastic silverware and powdered cream. I've found they are a lot cheaper. If you drink coffee you might want to stock up. It may go up in price as it is not grown in this country and it may be hard to get. How about a coffee pot that is not electric, one like we use to use on top of the stoves. I want to thank all who have listed different things. I have been doing this for years but have now listed new things on my stock up list. - Joann (10/01/2001)

By JSRS443

Stocking Up

I have begun on collecting things that are particularly well-suited to disasters, and are also of value for every-day use. - Radio with solar/battery/hand-crank power. - Flashlight -- same options. - Extra manual can opener -- I always did hate the electrics, and when I wore one out in just over a year, I decided I'd never own another. - Batteries that can be recharged either by AC or solar collector. - A big organizer for all those batteries. - Additional storage space for canned foods. - Dry foods -- there ARE ways to collect water. - Water purification products. I prefer iodine to bleach -- tastes better. But it has to be REAL iodine, not mercurochrome, which you should NEVER put in food or water. - Five gallon buckets. To save water in, including recycling gray waste. - Solar power calculators. When the batteries in the game boy die, we'll play with the calculators! Board games more family fun without power. Wood and kindling for my fireplace. - A dandy device for warming food with just a tea-light candle. - Candles. Extra wicks to reuse wax from larger candles. - Books. I can't imagine life without them. They are my grip on sanity. Naturally, a few are about surviving -- like Robinson Crusoe, and the Foxfire books. And books of jokes. - Red Cross First Aid guidebook. - Seeds. For planting, and for sprouting. If a distribution system disruption lasted awhile, I could at least grow peas and lettuce. ~Rose B, mother of three, in NC (10/02/2001)

What food should we stock up on?

*Wonderful ideas submitted! My Mom, a farm girl, insisted that wooden matches be wrapped in aluminum foil (which can be used for other needs) and a coil of fishing string. I suggest clear containers so you can see your position on everything dry, like cereal/dog food, etc. If I had time to live life over again, I'd get a down comforter/down filled coat. I choose vitamins and minerals then put them in the blender to make powder - add just a trace to dishes where it won't interfere with the taste. Don't like the idea of paper/disposable plates - a set of lightweight transparent set from a Dollar Store could be considered. Also, there is campers' tp available - however, a friend tried different toilet papers for discentigration and found that Albertson's house brand disentigrates as fast and a lot cheaper.
Grab yourself a pan that can be put into the oven/on a grill.

*Soapstone woodburning stoves (household) are not only beautiful, but self cleaning. They come in several colors; the glass doors self clean; with a catalytic converter they can be used even on 'no burn days' because they consume their own smoke; children will not burn themselves by touching these stoves and they radiate heat wonderfully. We'd get discarded wooden pallets, break them to where they fit (not anything fancy - nails and all. Just scoop out the ashes and nails at the same time - FREE HEAT!

*Being a rockhounder, we found that pineapple-grapefruit juice was the only thing that would quench our thirst (water didn't work) when we were in arid lands looking for fossils.

*Living on Monument Hill near Colorado Springs, we learned to keep a small supply of things in the car - not the trunk which you may not be able to reach if there was an accident: crackers, hard candy, flashlight, jug of water, small blanket, COINS for pay phone, LIST of important phone numbers such as family, friends, medical personnel, employer addresses; insurance policy numbers, RX numbers for medicine, map, etc.. Be sure to (1) have a copy off-site in the care of a trusted person and/or safe deposit box and to disguise the information stored in the vehicle to look unimportant such as a package with a few stamps as though it is ready to be mailed to prevent opportunists from stealing your identity.

Also ensure that everyone named in your will, living will, power of attorney, medical power of attorney, etc. has a copy of your original document - prevents identity theft and relatives turned opportunists from grabbing your stuff and running; and tell those involved where the originals are kept. In order to save space, could put in a CLEAR plastic bag and suck out the air by using a vacuum cleaner .

Also, buy at least one 'space blanket'. If trapped in the vehicle, use one to line the inside of windshields and the other for yourself (learned that from land surveyors).

May it never come to this, but in the meantime, enjoy life, have fun while also being prepared.(04/09/2004)

By susan_a362

What food should we stock up on?

Someone said about wooden matches, "if you can find them anymore". Check out WalMart unless you live in the wilderness...grin. They carry a two or three pack of boxed matches that are about 4" long, and a four pack of boxed small wooden matches.

In lieu of powdered or canned milk, I would strongly suggest finding "Parmala". I know the ACME grocery store and WalMart carries it. The milk comes in all types, i.e. Skim, Whole, 1%. It's the real deal in a waxed carton about the size of a short brick. The shelf life is marked as being usually 3 months unrefrigerated, but I just used one that was marked best if used by or expires (can't remember which) May 5, 2004. It's now August and it tasted just fine. Chilled is best if you can manage it.

(08/14/2004)

By B.J. Peters

What food should we stock up on?

Having lived in the woods for 7 years and experienced everything form hurricanes to tornadoes, power outages and contaminated water, I have learned a few things along the way.

Our reserves contain the following:

The Garden

We always grow radishes, it only takes a few weeks for them to grow. We plant some weekly and we eat the radishes, our guinea pigs eat the tops, we also grow ginger, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and greens on a year round basis. In pots we grow herbs which are used for medicinal and culinary purposes.

In the house, we recycle free publishings, and keep shredded papers in an old laundry hamper. the shredded paper is used for bedding for our guinea pigs but can be used for a quick start for BBQ grill fires( line the bottom of the grill with the papers, then place charcoal on top). Living in Florida, we also use seashells in the fire because they hold heat for long periods of time and that reduces the amount of charcoal that is needed. (learned that form a homeless man, thanks pete). Then we use the ashes, you guessed it, in the garden.

In the kitchen, we store empty water, juice and milk jugs. just before a storm hits we fill them up and add 2 drops of collodial silver to the water (obtainable from any good healthfood store) it purifies the water and when consumed, helps maintain your digestive system. We keep dozens of cans of tuna packed in water, oysters packed in veggie and olive oil, canned hams, chickens and potted meat. we also keep matches and several fire lighters first in plastic bags, then put them in plastic containers with lids. flash lights and the batteries are kept in the freezer. We also keep some charged up. (Family Dollar sells chargers for 10 bucks, that's the cheapest I've seen and it really works or I would have taken it back). We keep candles in a drawer in a gallon baggie then wrapped in a plastic shopping bag. paper plates are kept in plastic as well, they go on top of the cabinets with something decorative in front of them to keep them out of view. Disposable cups are kept under the sink along with a sharpie to write our initials on them and when we use them, keep the cups for seedlings for our garden. Plastic silverware ( which are kept from out dining out or delivery orders for free) are kept rolled up with a napkin, then placed in plastic bags and baggies in with the pots and pans in the back out of the way.

We keep on hand enough food ( now this is only in the kitchen) to last 10 people 10 days. all non perishable. now this contains, noodles ( the 3 min ones) soups/ low salt, the canned meats, peanut butter and jelly, crackers, Velveeta cheese, mayo, mustard, relish, pickles, condiments, spices, tons of sale for many uses, vinegar, jerky, and we dehydrate foods such as carrots, peas, bananas, onions, celery, parsley the list goes on and on. The dried foods are kept in canning jars and lined up on the top of cabinets. tie pretty string around them and they become decorations along with your reserves.

In the book case, we keep a few candles, games, books, and other things to entertain ourselves, behind the books we keep a battery operated clock, a flash light and lamp oil. we also keep a first aide kit., under the book case we keep, in a one gallon baggie, important papers: birth certificates, ss cards, id's etc., just in case we have to leave. Behind the book case we keep a suitcase with 3 changes of clothes each, along with a first aide kit and a 2 man tent. beside the book case, in 2 large vases that we use for artificial plants, we keep empty journals except for phone numbers and e-mail addresses. and a bible. In the suitcase is also the family bible.

Spread throughout the house is canned food, blankets, first aide kits, personal hygien supplies, pet food is kept in one cabinet, flash lights,and tp.

We have a carpet sweeper ( on electric) because things still have to be cleaned and empty jugs for water and plastic totes ( just in case we have to collect rain water, it's happened before)

We prepare inside and out top to bottom. we even have things stored under the house and in the attic.
My mother always said prepare for the worst and the best will happen. and prepared from the outside in makes you prepared from the inside out.
(09/04/2005)

By veda roberson

What food should we stock up on?

I feel that due to the change in our times, stocking up with food to last a few weeks is insufficient.

Instead stock up with food to last months, then have a means to plant a survival garden. In this way you will have a renewable food source in the event of a disaster that will result in loss of commercially available food.

I have created an urban survival website that aids people who are unfamiliar with how to survive when the local Walmart's shelves go bare.

http://www.SurvivalTime.org (09/15/2009)

By Troy Billington

Comment Was this helpful? Yes

March 5, 20110 found this helpful

Food storage is the key to being prepared for emergencies as well as saving a great deal on groceries. Consult weekly sale fliers and shop for things you normally use in quantity when they are on sale.

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January 28, 20100 found this helpful

I have been thinking about stocking up on pantry staples in case the power goes out.

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