Living in Southeast Missouri we are faced with several types of natural disasters. Tornado, earthquake and ice storms are the top three we are prepared for in our area. With some planning and basic survival skills you can also be prepared. There are many agencies that have useful information to help you prepare your family for any disaster. The basic things you need to have on hand at all times in your house is water, food and shelter.
Water is the most important. You need to have a minimum of one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days. Since we live in a rural area, my family has one gallon of water per person per day and a ten day supply. I built up this supply by buying one and five-gallon jugs of water when they were on sale. I also have five cases of bottled water. This will get my family through any disaster. Other items I have are chlorine bleach and water purification pills. They are inexpensive and have a very long shelf life.
Food is a must. You need a minimum of a three-day supply of dry goods that can be eaten directly from the package or can be cooked over an open flame. Also, you can go with MRE meals, they are fantastic self-heating meals. Again, I have a ten day supply. Tuna, crackers, cereals, protein bars, canned meats, canned vegetables, boxed potatoes and a large variety of other dry goods fill my emergency closet. Including XMRE Blue Line, just in case if anything else failed. A can opener and basic cooking equipment are located with our food. I have taken a basic outdoor cooking class and can cook many things over a fire. I learned how to bake using a cardboard box as an oven. We keep a supply of charcoal available with our grill in case we need to cook using it. When they are calling for ice storms, we buy kerosene because we can cook on top of our kerosene heater. A fire extinguisher and waterproof matches are handy to have also.
Shelter is the third basic thing we need. We have two camping tents with our emergency supplies. We keep these in a location with sleeping bags and pillows. Also a change of clothing for each person along with a sturdy pair of shoes. We do change these out as the seasons change and the kids keep growing.
Other items in our emergency closet are flashlights, batteries, a NOAA weather radio along with a well stocked first aid kit. A whistle, dust masks, trash bags, baby wipes are in the closet. To accommodate sanitary needs, we keep a supply of plastic grocery bags and moist towelettes and toilet paper in a small tote by itself. We keep a wrench to shut off the gas and water. Everyone in my household knows how to turn off the gas, water and electric. A few other items that are not thought about are an extra pair of glasses, hygiene items, a list of phone numbers, copy of insurance policies and a cell phone charger. I keep a notebook along with a few ink pens in my supplies along with a variety of books, games, cards and other activities to occupy my children.
Our family does not have pets, young children or elderly. We do not have anyone on any types of medications. Those situations would call for more items to care for those people.
Our family goes over our disaster plan every few months. Find the plan that works for you and your family. Go over it regularly no matter how many times your kids roll their eyes at you. Should you ever find yourself in a natural disaster, your kids will thank you because they knew what to do.