Having an Emergency Preparedness Plan

​Hurricane season has started and living along the Gulf Coast puts a lot of us in fear. The last major hurricane to hit the Houston area was Hurricane Ike in 2008 which left the city and surrounding counties devastated with flooding, wind damage,  and days and weeks with power outages. There was billions of damage to property and if you drive to certain parts of Southeast Texas, you can find businesses that have labeled the water level where it once was.

Usually, local agencies will compile a list of storm necessities. So I’ve decided to compile a list of things that you should be doing now for emergency and disaster preparedness. Not to sound all conspiracy theory like , but we should always be prepared for catastrophic  unexpected events that may happen. Not walking around expecting them to happen,  but being ready if they do occur. 

I think there has been a major track record for us to embrace emergency preparedness. North Korea is constantly testing failed missiles, New York City had the famous blackout in 1977 that left the city in a state of panic, and of course natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina. All of these things should get us in the mindset of being equipped for disasters.
By taking the necessary steps now, you can avoid trouble and mental anguish later.

1.Fill jugs with water

From experience,  when a tropical storm or hurricane is projected to come our way, the local store always runs out of water. A key thing that my wife and I have been doing over the last year is whenever a jug of juice or milk is gone, we clean it out and fill it with water. We don’t recycle each jug but have managed to keep enough of them. Because we have taken this precaution for emergency preparedness,  we have plenty of jugs of water to keep us hydrated during potential natural disasters. Maybe there is a water contamination such as Flint, Michigan , we have clean water to take care of our hygiene.

2. Load up on discount or clearance items that haven’t expired

I sometimes buy clearance or discount items that are more than 60% the regular price.  I make the investment with hopes that these items will have use in the long run for snacking or sides for lunch, which they mostly are for. But thinking about emergency preparedness, who knows what might happen, so stocking up on the occasional item won’t hurt. Also, going to the local 99. Cent Only Store provides amazing deals on items that you would see at Whole Foods Market or Wal-Mart for $1. Good non-perishable items that have longevity could be used for the short and long-term like peanut butter, nuts, canned goods can’t go wrong.

Also If you like to plant things , buy some seeds and grow your own produce to ensure your family is self-sufficient instead of depending on stores for your livelihood.

3. Get a CD player and CDs 
Music helps make us feel good, so why not invest in a cheap music device like a CD player and cheap CDs to listen to while you’re in the process of waiting for your life to resume normalcy. Thrift stores and resale shops have tons of CDs for less than a dollar or about $2. By some long lasting batteries too.

4. Pick a hobby that you can do without electricity 

This may sound absurd in a emergency event,  but at least consider it.

When the power goes out, this can be very stressful and people become impatient waiting for their daily life to resume. No matter if you’re in a shelter or recovery center, you need to keep your mind sane by not allowing the external stressors of recovery, FEMA, or insurance claims to influence your spiritual, emotional, and physical well-being.
When I was younger and the light bill wasn’t paid,  I remember reading my history book next to the candle learning about Kwame Nkrumah. While I could’ve been stressed about lights being off, I was more consumed by learning about an influential person in modern African history.

Some of the many hobbies my wife and I enjoy doing are reading, painting, and writing different things in our notebooks. We can do these things anywhere without electricity. I recommend going to your local thrift store to buy some books that cater to your interest and get swept away in literacy. 

Have kids? Go to the dollar store and by them coloring books and crayons. Also, many adults love crossword puzzles, and they have a book of those at dollar stores as well. 
Normally schools are canceled during the aftermath of an event, which means learning stops. So depending on the duration of the recovery, schools could be canceled for weeks at a time. Invest in your children’s education by buying them books that keep them occupied with literacy or math.

Most importantly , your emergency kit should ALWAYS!!! contain: personal identifying information (social security cards,  birth certificates and photos), deeds, wills, radio, candles, matches, money, and a full tank of gas in your vehicles. Music and hobby material are secondary things to keep in mind, but are helpful to ease the burden of the aftermath.

Be smart in emergency preparedness and plan accordingly! 

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