Superstom Sandy just blasted through the eastern seaboard with a vengeance. I am extraordinarily blessed that all of my family in New York and New Jersey weathered the storm, minus electricity, but still intact and safe. I am also thankful for the numerous friends and family in the east who were bypassed by the worst of the storm and did not see the destruction that they saw following Hurricane Irene.
This storm made me realize something: my family and I are woefully ill-prepared for an emergency situation. We live in Southern California, where we don't have hurricanes or tornadoes or blizzards like other parts of the US. And we sort of rest on our weather laurels as a result, forgetting that there is always a chance that we will have "the big one." An earthquake could easily knock out power and water for days.
And we would be screwed.
For example, FEMA recommends a 3 day supply of water for each person in the household at the tune of 1 gallon a person. That is 12 gallons of water for my family (15 gallons if we include the dog). Right now, I have one 16 oz bottle of water in our entire house. That is right folks, 16 ounces of water. Screwed.
Because of this realization, I went looking for some sites to help us prepare our emergency supplies. One I particularly liked is on Org Junkie. It not only talks about what to have in your home, but in your car and for your pets. Very smart.
I also liked this article from Parents Magazine's website, because it includes things like creating an emergency communication plan for your family and writing your kids a letter for in an emergency when they are at school (and if the author's letter to her child doesn't make you get a little choked up, I am now worried that you have no soul-- or no kids, but even then... ).
When I told Diesel about our need to prepare, he said "I've been watching Revolution. What we need is guns. Lots of guns." So, I guess there is that too... But, firearms aside, he is definitely on board with us getting our act together. Funny thing is, we have a lot of the "stuff" we need, but just not in one place. In some ways, it is just a matter of us being more organized.
So, my challenge for my family, and yours if you aren't already prepared, is that by December 31st we will have amassed enough food and water for us and the dog for 3 days, created an emergency plan, and have gathered up items such as clothing, blankets, flashlights and batteries, and put them all together in our garage.
My question for you today is, are you prepared? Or will you be joining me on this challenge? What would you add to your emergency supplies that isn't on either of these lists?