Being prepared for a disaster is the best thing you can do for yourself and for your family. Natural disasters such as earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, blizzards, tsunamis, and fires can leave you stranded in your home for days, sometimes weeks. Preppers know all too well that food and water are some of the main items to have in their arsenal. Do you know how much food you’ll need should an emergency arise?
The Red Cross has issued guidelines advising you to maintain a storage of non-perishable food to last three days per person, along with enough water supply for the same number of people.Some say that number should be higher, and that a week’s worth of food and water makes more sense. Remember that a person can only survive three days without water, and 3 weeks without food, but who wants to be that hungry and weak?
In light of the latest emergency situations that included power outages and water supplies that were contaminated, you are encouraged to store at least 7 days worth of food and water per family member. Also, store about a month’s worth of dry food for your pets.
Ready to eat freeze dried meals are the best option for variety. They are easy to prepare and give you better options than peanut butter and jelly, tuna, or soup in a can. The shelf life is long, so you can store it today and have it for years, should a disaster strike.
If Hurricane Katrina taught us anything it’s that we may be on our own for a week or more before emergency responders can get to us. Your local grocery store may not be up and running for a month. You never know what type of a disaster will strike and how long it will last, but if you live in high risk zones, it is advised that you increase your food and water storage to three months. High risk zones would be those who live on earthquake fault lines like California, those who live in hurricane zones such as Florida and up the east coast, as well any of the gulf states, the mid-westerners who live in tornado zones, coastal cities who could be at risk of tsunamis, and mountain states that are prone to blizzards. Of course any state can become victim to any of these disasters, so everyone should be prepared. And, with the threat a nuclear attack or viral attack, always loomng in the background, those in major cities, should heed the same warning.
Aside from natural disasters, war, and terrorism, there are also pandemics that could render a city helpless. Author John Barry outlines our most deadly flu virus that killed 100 million people around the world in under six weeks, in his book The Great Influenza. While we live in times of advanced technology and medicine, a quick spreading virus that mutates can overwhelm emergency responders and hospitals. The safest place might be your home. Could you survive there for weeks, even a month?
More and more people are becoming preppers, while others put it off. Some even think it can never happen to them, but it can, and it might in your lifetime. As the saying goes, it is better to be safe than sorry. All it would take is purchasing extra food each week, along with your groceries, making sure the food items are non-perishable. Stock pile water when you can. Purchase safety items like flashlights, emergency generators, a first aid kit, books to read, games to play, and get extra supplies of prescription medications.
The best way to prep is to imagine yourself locked inside with no electricity and no cell phone service or internet service. That means no television, no smart phones, no computers. All you will have to entertain yourselves is your family, books, magazines, and games.
A disaster can bring us all back to the basics when we fended for ourselves, hunted for food and water, and took care of each other in times of need. That being said, make sure to check on your neighbors during an emergency situation, especially the elderly, or those with small children. It might be a good idea to store some extra food for one other person in case a neighbor needs help. By nature, we all want to help our fellow man, but you want to make sure to take care of yourself first.
None of this is meant to scare anyone. It is meant to inspire you to be prepared for anything in life. It may never happen, but if it does, you don’t want to be scrambling for a morsel of food or be without your medication. Knowing what to do in an emergency, where to go, and having supplies on hand to survive will give you peace of mind. Instead of living in fear, you will be living with power.