Emergency Preparedness – Why 72 Hours is Not Enough!

Preparedness - Why 72 Hours is Not Enough!

Emergency kit items

After the COVID-19 crisis hit, many of us realized just how unprepared we were for any kind of disaster. Preparedness is everything! Within days, the supermarket shelves emptied as shoppers rushed to hoard all the basics, like toilet paper, cleaning products, dairy and meat. 

We are stuck at home, with rapidly emptying shelves and thinking just how we wished that we had listened to that crazy prepper friend that had the foresight to buy three months worth of rations back in January. Well, now we're in the thick of it and although there appears to be some hope that we are pulling out, experts warn of a second wave that will hit in the Fall of 2020. So now there is no excuse for us to be prepared. Preparedness is everything!

HOW MUCH IS ENOUGH?

Do we really need three months worth of rations? Well, according to much of the research I was able to find on the internet, most people felt having an emergency supply for 72 hours was adequate and in fact the US The Department of Homeland Security suggests that “being ready” for an emergency means having your own food, water, and other supplies to last for at least 72 hours. This might be okay for a short storm or brief flood but is it really enough? Preparedness is everything!

Well, if there is one thing that we have learned from the COVID-19 pandemic is that 72 hours is not enough, especially when the public is being asked (or required) to self-isolate or quarantine for 14 days. Thus, the new standard of having at least 2-week supply of emergency provisions is important and necessary given the likelihood (which we have now seen) that community supplies can be quickly depleted as panic sets in and people begin to hoard. 

Personally, I think that is just the bare minimum. At this point, we all agree that stocking up is a good idea, especially on the basic, non-perishable items we'll use anyway.

WHAT DO WE NEED? Preparedness is everything!

Water – Depending on the number of persons in the household, you will need about one gallon of water per person per day. So, if you have four people living in your home, you’ll need about 56 gallons of potable water. If this is impossible/impractical try to find a way to filter the water and or treat with purification tablets.

 Food – The average person will need at least 1500-2000 calories per day. The food needs to be freeze-dried, canned, dry and ready to eat or easily prepared by boiling in water.

Fire – A windproof lighter or waterproof matches.

Light – Camper’s headlamps, LED flashlights (with extra batteries), candles, lanterns.

Heating and coolingIndoor-safe heaters (do not use propane BBQs)  extra blankets, USB-powered fan.

Shelter – A cheap tarp can be used for an improvised shelter, to close holes in the house.

Medical – A well-stocked first aid kit, a spare supply  of prescription medication.

Hygiene – Hand sanitizer, baby wipes. Extra diapers if you have infants.

Power – Spare batteries and rechargers, a generator if you can afford one. Solar power is an option in some areas.

Tools – Basic hand tools as well as an axe, shovel, work gloves, wrench for your gas lines, zip ties, duct tape, etc.

Self defense – Depending on where you live and what your perceived threat level is, this could include firearms. Make sure you have enough ammunition and check to ensure that your weapons are clean and well-oiled.

Cash – As much as you can reasonably afford to stash.

Distractions – Board games, favorite books, headphones, movies downloaded to a tablet, etc.

Documents – Keep a copy of deeds/titles, insurance policies, birth certificates, maps, pictures of family members, etc. in both physical and USB thumb drive forms.

Local & emergency info – On an index card, write down important contact numbers, as well, have the location of the nearest hospitals, etc.

These tips are just some basic suggestions. For more ideas please feel free to explore this site. I have taken the time to source various vendors that offer good products and offers to help you prepare you and your family for any emergency situation. Preparedness is everything!