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Here be dragons (Are you prepared?)

“It does not do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations if you live near him.” J.R.R. Tolkien from The Hobbit.

September is Emergency Preparedness Month. What sorts of dragons do you live near? If we knew what kind of emergency we might face, we could plan it all out, and pack all the supplies we would need, but alas, emergencies come in many forms. Today we will talk about creating both a plan and a supply kit for emergencies.

Make a plan - “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” – Abraham Lincoln

Several years ago we were roused in the middle of the night with a small earth quake. Since I was not fully awake, I couldn't for the life of me, think what to do in that situation. Thankfully, my husband reminded me that we should go outside (where we found other just-as-confused neighbors.) Think through various scenarios. Where would you shelter from a tornado? What are the various escape routes in case of fire? Where would you meet other family members outside in a fire? Are you near a fault line or volcano? Does your area suffer from hurricanes or wild fires or frequent flooding? It is important to think through where you will meet family members in case you are in separate locations during an emergency. Have the contact information for out of town family handy so you can communicate effectively.

How would you be notified that an emergency exists? TV and radio are obvious sources, as are severe weather sirens, if you live in town. Emergency alert apps on your phone often give ample warning of severe weather. There are also First Aid apps that provide health emergency information.

This might seem too obvious, but having insurance is also part of your emergency plan. Investigate whether flood or earthquake insurance would be good to add to a policy. (No, I do not get a kickback from insurance companies for this blog.)

Pack your emergency supply kit: “The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining.” John F. Kennedy.

The idea of an emergency kit comes in many shapes and sizes. The internet is all over the place on what this means. In some cases it can mean more of a survival kit. (Think zombie apocalypse.) In most cases, an emergency kit is something that will get you through three to five days of living on your own without electricity and other modern conveniences. There is room for discussion in both scenarios, but for the purpose of this blog, we are only going to be talking about an emergency kit, not a survival kit.

After the toilet paper hoarding affair of 2020, it’s good to simply have a few items on hand and the peace of mind of knowing you have everything you truly need for a few days.

Water - You will need one gallon per person per day for several days. In a Star Trek: The Next Generation episode, an alien describes the crew as an “ugly bag of mostly water”. While “ugly” is in the eye of the beholder, we cannot deny that we are indeed, “mostly water”. You can survive without food for several weeks, but only three days without water. If you want to go “survival mode” get a rain barrel and a water purification system. Otherwise, a case or two of bottled water should get you through that crucial 72 hour window.

Food- obviously non-perishable items are in order, but try to stock up on foods rich in protein. Crackers, granola bars, cereals, nuts, peanut butter, seeds, dried fruit, canned meats and fruits, and hard candies are all good options. Don’t forget a manual can opener.

What else, besides food and water, might you need? My top ten list is as follows:

  1. Flash light/lantern

  2. Battery operated radio

  3. Extra batteries for flash light and radio

  4. Matches/fire starter

  5. Cell phone charger and extra battery charger

  6. First Aid kit (including medications)

  7. Baby wipes

  8. Hand sanitizer

  9. Whistle (to call for help)

  10. Pocket knife (with a variety of tools)

Each season re-evaluate your supplies and update any medications or foods that are near expiration. We could continue the conversation and include thoughts of generators and thermal blankets, but we have to stop somewhere. I would encourage you to investigate all the options out there and choose what is best for your situation. I have included a few websites below to get you started.

We may live near "dragons" but ultimately our hope and peace is in Jesus alone. I often think in hymns, so I will leave you with verse 2 of one of my favorites hymns, When Peace Like a River.

“Though Satan should buffet though trials should come; Let this blest assurance control,

That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate and hath shed His own blood for my soul.

It is well, it is well with my soul.”

In His peace, Laura ~ your organizing girlfriend

Helpful websites:

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