As a bicoastal resident (California and Florida), I live with the reality that a fire, earthquake, mudslide or hurricane could wipe me out at any time. It’s not a pleasant thought, but it was our reality in 2017. California was ravaged by unrelenting fires during the extended Santa Ana season, and my house in Florida got pounded by hurricane Irma. There is also always talk of the ‘Big One’ about to rock California off its tectonic plate.
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Being prepared (at each location) gives me peace of mind, and although I don’t have a doomsday bunker, nor do I think I think one, I do keep enough supplies to get my family through for at least two weeks should we lose our city services. Here are the most commons problems during a natural disaster, and how we plan for it.
Power is often first to go, and it doesn’t take much for it to go down. An extended windstorm is enough to take down aging power lines that can disrupt service for days. Having a generator is key for keeping appliances and light on, which helps ease any disruption. During hurricane Irma, we had friends who moved key food items that needed to be kept cold into a smaller mini-fridge. Why waste power fueling a giant refrigerator when you only may need a few items? Mini-fridges are handy to keep in the garage for emergency situations like this.
If you don’t have room for a generator, keeping extra propane BBQ gas tanks around is suggested. Cooking food, or boiling water on a BBQ is always a good backup if faced with an extended power outage. Of course, never use a generator or propane gas grill INSIDE or in an enclosed area – keep it well ventilated!
Solar powered battery packs are really handy for charging phones or getting a radio signal. Some have a wind-up option as well which can be used at night to ‘crank power’ in case access to sunlight is not an option. We always keep a few at each property to be safe.
During Hurricane Irma, the water supply in the City and County was compromised and residents were urged to boil their water. Water filtration systems in place is a good way to ensure that emergency water sources are safe. My Patriot Supply offers an Alexapure Pro system that is designed for off-the-grid use, which means that the system is capable of removing impurities without the need to boil water during an extended power outage such as the one caused by Hurricane Irma. We also always have a good supply of bottled water as well that we keep fresh and up to date.
Dry goods that are easy to prepare are essential in an extended disaster situation. After Hurricane Irma, my neighbors did not have power for over two weeks, in extremely high heat. Any food that had been in a refrigerator had to be quickly consumed or tossed. Having a stash of emergency food that is stored properly in heavy duty plastic tubs gives me peace of mind. There’s nothing worse that digging out dry goods in boxes only to find that they are stale or expired. Self-sufficiency food suppliers, like My Patriot Supply, specialize in food with packaging that is meant to last for YEARS without worry.
Have a family meet-up plan.
Talking with family members (including kids) is a healthy way to discuss natural disasters and create realistic plans.
Some starter topics:
- Do you always have access to battery packs to charge phones? If cell service is down, talk about meeting places should you be separated during an emergency.
- How will you get home, or to your meeting place if you have to flee?
- Do you have important papers and documents all in one place ready to go should you have to leave at a moment’s notice?
- Are you prepared to deal with extreme heat, or extreme cold?
Creating a disaster plan is a way to gain some control in a situation that often feels uncontrollable to many. By doing these simple preparations, your family will be safer and more comfortable in case of emergencies.