I love rain. Especially how everything seems clean and bright after. When I see rain clouds coming, I get excited, because I love to stay home when it’s raining.
I don’t usually think about hurricanes or other emergencies. I remember when a few days of heavy rain put Houston under water a few years ago. The floods in the Midwest. And of course all the news coverage from Katrina.
I’ve been procrastinating doing any real planning for emergencies. I had lots of reasons to wait. Then I decided this month I would make it my goal to better prepare my home for emergencies. I couldn’t settle for my excuses anymore.
So here they were:
- No Time – This is my favorite reason for most of the things I don’t do. Even though I considered preparing for emergencies to be important, it didn’t feel urgent, so I never got around to it. I needed to make time for this, and not wait for it to be urgent.
- No Money – I didn’t feel like spending a lot of money shopping for supplies, and I thought it would be expensive to buy a bunch of things to store. It turns out I’ve spent less than $30 for bottled water and extra food. A few days’ worth of canned food is not expensive after all.
- No Room - I had in my mind that storing food was what people did only if they had a basement or a tornado shelter. In our apartment, we don’t have a lot of room for storing our regular groceries, not to mention an emergency supply. We made some space at the bottom of a closet for canned goods and water. More water is stored up above the cabinets in the kitchen. If we really didn’t have room, maybe it was time to get rid of something less important to make the space.
- No Need – My plan was that if there really was an emergency, I would have enough notice that I could go buy the things we needed. Then I realized thousands of people in my neighborhood have the same idea too. I don’t even like to shop at after-Christmas sales, so I don’t know why I’d want to struggle through the last-minute crowds.
- No Risk – I’ve never had to live through a real emergency, so the risk doesn’t seem as real. I guess most people don’t perceive a risk, but let’s prepare anyway.
I’ve found a helpful resource for emergency preparedness. I looked through the list of recommended supplies, and it had good ideas. Fortunately, I already had some things on the list, so I just needed to find and organize them.
It could be easy to get overwhelmed by all the suggestions, but doing a few is better than none at all. So let’s just start with the basics:
- bottled water, food, first aid, prescriptions, blankets
- useful tools like a can opener, flash light, and matches
- gas in your car (Our gas stations ran out of gas during Hurricane Rita even though our area wasn’t hit by the storm. With so many oil refineries in the Gulf of Mexico, a hurricane could easily disrupt the supply of gas.)
What do you think? Does this seem hard, or worth it? Does seeing news events make you want to be more prepared? Do you have ideas for being better prepared?