Merriam Webster defines preparedness as the quality or state of being prepared; especially: a state of adequate preparation in case of war.
According to Wikipedia, “Preparedness refers to the state of being prepared for specific or unpredictable events or situations. Preparedness is an important quality in achieving goals and in avoiding and mitigating negative outcomes.”
According to Emergency Preparedness Educational Institute, 2 million American families suffer from a disaster or emergency each year! Two-thirds of Americans are not prepared. 51% do not have an evacuation plan and 60% do not have emergency supplies.
Is your family prepared for an unpredictable event like a natural disaster, pandemic, government disruption or something as simple as a black out or being snowed in?
The US Government and Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) are encouraging families to get prepared in September during National Preparedness Month.
This month, I’ll be focusing on simple steps families can take to become more prepared for a potential disaster or emergency. In preparation for my series, I asked some of my fellow bloggers from the Green Moms Network to share what they are doing to be prepared, or their experiences with disasters.
“We have an EcoZoom cookstove, a first aid kit, and a supply of water stored all together in the lower level of our house.”
– Charise @ I Thought I Knew Mama
“A few years ago the power grid went down in parts of Michigan for 4+ days. Complete & utter chaos ensued. My parents an hour south had no issues. But we saw first hand how fast things go south when the electric is out. Stores ran out of food. Water was a bought out first. Gas lines were hours long & limited to 5 gallons. Traffic lights didn't work. ATM's didn't either. We just got paid but the banks closed since they couldn't work without a computer system. We had no cash on hand, we had only 1/4 tank of gas. All our food was frozen. We did not have bottled water. It was August and 90+ degrees. NOW…we buy powered foods; Bottled water; Cash stashed; and always try to have at least 1/2 tank of gas in our cars at all times.”
– Rachel Hull @ Roasted Beanz
“I too am in Michigan and it was complete and utter chaos. I remember people climbing on top of each other to get to water in the stores. Thankfully, at that time I was without a family and was only concerned with getting beer and having an in the dark party with friends. But in all honesty, We have an emergency radio, we have discussed with the children what they should do (even if they are with friends) and between our home and my parents who live less than a mile away we will all be meeting at their house (if possible of course) with supplies from my couponing and their supplies since they have a basement. We always have bags of ice on hand in my parents freezer and our drop in freezer to at least get us through a short period of time with coolers in their basement along with all the non perishables and clothing already prepared down there.”
– Randi @ A Lucky Ladybug
“There's a lot of peace in knowing we are prepared for most kinds of emergencies. Our family has about a 1-year supply of food stored. 6 months worth in the form of bins of wheat berries, legumes, rice, oats, sugar, etc and 6 months in the form of canned or frozen foods. We have a large 50-gallon drum of water in the garage. We also keep 2 large backpacks filled with everything we'd need for 36 hours close by. Including thins such as changes of clothes, copies of all of our passports, drivers’ licenses, birth certificates, flashlights, food, water, treats etc. In addition to food, we have a large store of seeds. Some frozen, some sealed up in the pantry. Besides physical preparedness – we are always in the process of educating ourselves on how to handle emergencies when they arise. We make sure to keep up to date with our first aid, and CPR. I plan to take our cities CERT program (community emergency response team). Every City has one and I highly recommend it. The last thing we do is to try to keep our kids prepared. When we lived in WI, we would do tornado drills with our kids. Now that we live on the west coast we'll do a fire safety run through about once a year with the kids. What is still on the To Do list is to purchase some solar generators. It'll take some savings, but having a generator will be a great source of self- reliance. Typing this all out makes me feel a bit neurotic about it all, but emergencies come in all different forms. I feel good knowing, I don't have to worry.”
– Tamara Smith @ Silent Springs
“We live in a city, with limited storage space and take public transit a lot. We have emergency contact cards in our wallets (because when you typically rely on your cell phone, you really don't memorize all the phone numbers you need if phones go out!). We have a designated meeting place in the city if something was to happen in our neighborhood and we couldn't meet at home. At home, we have several battery-operated lantern-style flashlights and a small supply (several days worth) of bottled water and food. Of course we also have first aid supplies, but frankly that should be in everyone's home anyway!”
– Audrey @ BumpToBabyGear.com
“We have assorted cans of food (yes we have an opener down there to) in the basement and bottled water. We have a genarator too. We keep all of our camping gear in the basement to, just in case we would ever have to stay down there. Even equipped with a mini porta potty, lol. We should do more, but we haven't.”
– Tiffany @ My Sippy Runneth Over
“I live in Colorado Springs, CO. This summer showed me how important emergency preparedness is. Thousands of people in our community were evacuated due to large and fast moving wildfires, and many of them lost their homes. A couple weeks later, just north of us in Aurora, CO residents of the apartment complex where the Aurora theater shooting suspect lived, and several buildings around there were evacuated in the middle of the night and had to stay out of their homes for, I think, a week. We were making lists of things we need to do and buy before this, but these instances showed us we need to make it more of a priority. We need to not only be able to leave at a moment's notice, but we also need to know what to take when we do, what we own and where to find it and we need to think about what we will do with our pets. We are now focused not only on preparedness, but also on simplifying our lives and getting rid of all the unnecessary stuff.”
– Danika @ Your Organic Life