These are some troubling times we live in. The news seems worse and worse every day, and it’s to the point that many of us Mamas don’t even want to listen to it anymore. It hurts your heart to hear about innocent families being torn apart.
But I do think it’s important to keep things in perspective. We aren’t the first generation to have terrible tragedies to strike our country. It probably does seems closer to home for us due to social media and television being so readily available.
Remember, our grandparents lived in a world where Hitler had a stronghold over a good chunk of the population. They never knew when bombs from Axis forces might be dropped on them.
That said, it is never ever a bad idea to be prepared for the worst while you pray for the best. I pray terrorism never hits any of us. But whose to say we won’t face a tornado or blizzard or any number of natural disasters? What if there is a massive power outage? We really can’t know what tomorrow will hold.
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You don’t have to be a paranoid person to have a plan in place for the worst. That’s why it’s a great idea to be prepared now with a safety plan.
Make a Family Security Plan
Personally, I think education is the best thing any of us can do. Thanks to the internet, most education these days is very cheap or free.
Does your family know where your meeting place is in the event of a house fire? Decide on a place that every member of the family can get to easily. But be sure your spot isn’t in a place where kids are in danger of being run over by the fire trucks. A neighbor’s house might be a good option, or a spot in the back yard far from any flames.
In the event of a natural disaster, it may be difficult to get into contact with loved ones. Choose a friend or loved one that does not live in your area. This is the person everyone should contact in case your own phones are not working and you can find another way to communicate.
I shared this post over on my Facebook page, and I think it is an important read. It’s an article called What To Do in an Active Shooter Situation. I try to keep myself from imagining too much about this type of situation, particularly since I always have kids with me. Having a plan makes me feel better.
As Moms we tend to worry about the big “what ifs”. Lets take a little bit of worry away by having a mental plan in place, just as we wear seat belts in the car and know how to exit the house in case of a fire.
Gather Together Necessities
Do you or your hubby work outside the home? If there were an emergency and you couldn’t drive yourself home as usual, what would you do?
If you live close to your job, this might not be a problem for you. But if you have a commute, it’s time to pull together some important items so you can get yourself home or to another safe location.
Here is a great article about putting together a “Get Home Bag”. I was able to find a sturdy backpack at a yard sale for $2. Look around your home for a bag you might already have or try a thrift shop.
There’s no need for a military style bag, but do be sure it’s sturdier than the $9 My Little Pony backpack you got while back to school shopping. You might be surprised to find that you already own many items to put into this bag, and a quick shopping trip should finish it off.
Some items in our Get Home Bag include:
- duct tape
- small first aid kit
- trash bag
- extra socks
- flashlight (this one is small and has great reviews)
- matches or lighter
- power bars
Keep this bag in your office or work space if possible. If there is a true emergency, you might not be able to get to your car at all.
It’s a good idea to also keep extra supplies in your car in case of a different type of emergency. Remember the freak snow storm that hit Atlanta a few years ago? People were stuck in their vehicles overnight. Keep extra water, food with a long shelf life, matches and a candle, and extra blankets or clothes in your car for such an emergency.
You can also take your Get Home Bag with you if you sense you may have trouble getting home in rough weather.
Do you have what you need if you are stuck at home for a week or longer? Be sure you don’t empty your food supplies to the point that you would have nothing to eat in an emergency. Easy items to keep on hand are rice and noodles (assuming you have enough water to cook these) and extra canned goods.
If you have a generator, store extra containers of gasoline to use. Every few months, pour the tanks into your car engine and refill them to keep supplies fresh. If you own a grill, extra propane isn’t a bad idea.
Two of these handy lanterns live on our fireplace mantel. I love them because of the cozy Little House on the Prairie look they give. Plus, any time the power is out, it’s a simple matter of lighting these lanterns. They give off plenty of light for our purposes.
You will want to store extra lantern oil if you plan to use these in an emergency.
Another cheaper option is long lasting emergency candles.
Of course, you’ll want to have fresh batteries for your flashlights, as well.
Other things to consider include heat. If you have a wood or pellet burning stove, keep plenty of those supplies on hand. If you don’t have a readily available alternate heat source, check out this article for more ideas. Alternately, if you live in a hot and humid climate you need to consider ways to keep cool.
Keep a few gallons of water on hand. You really should store away as much water as you can find space to hide it.
If your family relies on medication, be sure you have enough on hand to last an extra 7 days. If you have a strict prescription, talk to your doctor and see if they have extra samples or if they have any ideas for getting you through a one week emergency.
You will also want to have enough feed and supplies on hand to take care of pets and livestock.
Whatever safety plan you put into place for your family, it’s important to keep your cool. Remember that while we rarely experience a car wreck, we still buy proper car seats and wear safety belts whenever we go for a ride.
This family security plan will give you more confidence as you live your life, so you don’t have to worry as much. And I would personally encourage you to spend more time in prayer if you find yourself worrying about current events. That’s the best way to prepare yourself and your family for any event!
How has your family planned for an emergency? Share your best tips so we can all keep our family a little safer and a lot more prepared!