It is early in the evening. The sun is shining and you are in the kitchen making dinner. Your children are doing their homework. The sky becomes dark and the wind picks up. Emergency warnings flash across your TV screen. You hear a low roaring sound. A tornado is heading directly for your neighborhood. What do you do?
Recently, our area has had more tornado warnings than most years. I don’t ever remember the weather being this threatening in this area. The last one was a little too close for comfort. As I sat nervously watching the TV broadcast of warnings flash across my screen, my mind raced as to what I should be gathering if we needed to head to the basement, or worst scenario, evacuate.
A little over a year ago, I wrote an article on Would You Be Ready? Part 1 and Would You Be Ready? Part 2. Both of these articles covered emergencies involving losing power in your home, the decline of economy, and the possible short and long-term evacuation from your home.
In listening to the news, my mind began to wonder what I would need for our daughter, and what other personal items would we need for ourselves if we had to head to the basement. I quickly realized that if we made it through the night untouched, that this was an area of concern that needed to be focused on. I realized that a list needed to be comprised, and items needed to be gathered for this particular type of emergency.
As far as food ingredients, I began to plunder. I have quite a bit of preserved foods in our basement, but not the everyday, commonly used items. This is where I need to formulate a plan. Possibly have a bin to store duplicate necessities in the basement, rotating every 6 months or so. Items to consider are items that people use everyday without second thought, such as tooth paste, deodorant, soaps, dish soap, shampoo etc. And Lord knows; let’s not forget clothes, shoes, jackets/coats, towels, etc. When it comes to kitchen items, I have to closely assess our personal situation. I already try to keep most of my food stored in the basement, only bringing up what I need to use. We have numerous freezers so that is a bonus. I have an extra set of dishes, drinking cups, utensils, and pots/pans stored and ready for use if ever need be. Where I would be lacking seems to be in items such as salt and pepper, additional spices, gluten-free flour blends, cooking oil, recipes, etc. Water is an important item that one cannot live without. Store it wherever you can fit an extra container or jug.
What about medicines? I keep all of my daughter’s medicine in a portable container, but I have never given much thought to OTC medicines or prescriptions that the rest of the family uses; Tylenol, cough syrup, Motrin, etc.
Most people keep anything of importance in our lives on the same level that we live on. Not many people store their important papers (life insurance, health insurance, etc.) and such in their basement. So, it is wise to have everything in one place, available to ‘grab and run’. In our case, I have all documents in a briefcase, at hand and readily available. Then I began to think of other things that I wouldn’t want to lose such as the jewelry I inherited from my mother, special photographs, and letters from my children. I know that sounds tedious, but these were very real thoughts to me and I shivered at the thought of losing those items. Cell phones are usually on our body so that wouldn’t be a concern, but I thought about the lap top and how much information I save on it. That would be a definite must to have.
What is your situation? Do you have a loved one that is on a diet restriction? If a tornado should pop up in your area, how have you prepared yourself and family? Do you have a basement available in your home, or would you have to go to a shelter? What items are most important to you?