Stock Up on Family Supplies for Disaster Preparedness

Often when we think of stocking up on supplies it’s food that comes to mind. There are many other things that may be needed to make uncertain times much more comfortable. These items can increase comfort, which can boost spirits more than you can imagine during stressful times.

Vitamins are something to always have on hand. Extra boosts of immunity and staying healthy may call for increased supplementation. It’s an inexpensive price to pay when they’re available, but they may not be in a crisis situation.

Hygiene supplies make a world of difference. Toothpaste, toothbrushes, mouthwash and floss, nail clippers, soap and other basic supplies are often overlooked but add up. Men’s and women’s hygiene supplies are another basic comforts – skin creams, razors, aftershave, shaving cream, talc, antibacterial and waterless soaps, baby wipes and ointments are all important.

Remember there may not be items available in stores, and it may be days before someone can get to you. A county in Tennessee was cut off from communication for days, with no awareness of the devastating floods elsewhere. Travel to get to you may be interrupted, so be sure to have enough on hand.

Baby supplies if needed are often overlooked – diapers and formula are essential. Aspirin and other mild health care items can make a difference and allow prioritizing for those seriously injured when help does arrive.

Don’t forget clothes. Thermal underwear, both shirts and pants, and woolen clothing can be a lifesaver if blizzards take out electricity or other issues expose you to cold weather. Don’t forget scarves, ear muffs, hats, cotton neckerchiefs, gloves and mittens for all members of the family. Clean socks, underwear and shirts that allows for extras can mean a much more comfortable time.

Ideally, these items will be easy to transport and safely stored. Remember this is for survival. Blankets, sleeping bags and other items should be easy to grab. Also, keep on hand cots or inflatable mattress with a way to inflate it.

These are all items we often don’t think of when minutes count. All can easily be stored in “go bags” for fast evacuations. When minutes count and your life is on the line you’ll be happy to be alive, but you’ll be much more comfortable with items that ensure being able to complete basic tasks.

Several years ago in California a mudslide across the highway meant I couldn’t get home. I had a cot and sleeping bag with me, crates in the back of the truck for the dogs and basic supplies. The shelter didn’t have any more room or cots available but because I had my own I was able to be warm and dry, as were my dogs. They couldn’t come into the shelter but were much more comfortable in familiar crates in the vehicle than with strangers or abandoned. Ideal circumstances usually aren’t fitting for such situations, but the best available choices are increased if you have basics for yourself. Work towards this goal every week!

Hope you don’t ever need it, but if you do you’ll be glad to have it!