Family Emergency Preparedness

Last Updated on September 5, 2020 by Ellen Christian

Family emergency preparedness is something my husband and I have been working on for quite a while.  Living in Vermont, we have severe winter storms regularly that make it impossible or hazardous to drive to the store, pick up prescriptions, or take care of other regular errands.  If we didn’t practice family emergency preparedness, we would regularly find ourselves without food, water, necessary medical supplies, batteries, pet food and a host of other things that we need only a daily basis.

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Whether you need to set up a family emergency preparedness plan because you get snowstorms, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, or some other type of emergency, there are a few simple things that you can do to be prepared when they hit.  The most important thing to remember is that you need to prepare now… when you don’t need a family emergency preparedness plan. Waiting until the emergency is announced on the radio is the wrong time to start preparing.

Family Emergency preparedness

Family Emergency Preparedness

  • Stock up on basic food supplies so if you can’t get to the store, you won’t go hungry. While you want the basics like bread, milk, and meat.  You also want to make sure that you have food that can be eaten without cooking in case you lose power.  Non perishable foods like canned fruit, tuna, beef jerky, powdered milk, shelf stable juices, energy bars, and canned pasta meals work well for your family emergency preparedness pantry. Check out my chicken salad recipe – emergency prepardness style.
  • Make sure you have water not only for you and your family to drink but also for your pets to drink. If you have livestock, remember that they need fresh water too.   If you have a well, no power means no water which means flushing is not going to work.  When you are expecting a storm, remember to fill up the bathtub with extra water and keep a bucket on hand to flush.
  • Basic medical supplies. Midnight in the middle of a blizzard is not the time you want to realize you are out of Tylenol and one of the kids has a fever.  Make sure you have the basics on hand like Tylenol, ibuprofen, bandaids, cough syrup, cough drops, wrist/ankle wraps in case of sprain, antihistamine, etc.  If you feel comfortable, you can keep other types of medical supplies as well.  I recommend a disaster and emergency first aid kit.
  • Make sure your car has a full tank of gas at all times. When it hits half a tank, fill it up again. If the gas stations run out of gas in an emergency, you do not want to be stranded because you let it get down to 1/8 of a tank of gas the night before.
  • Lights! Sitting in the dark when you lose power is not fun. It gets dark early when it’s storming.  Make sure that you have extra flashlights, candles, matches, batteries, oil lamps, oil, wind up lanterns, etc. at all times.
  • Keep the kids busy.  Bored kids who cannot watch TV, play their game systems, go outside or visit their friends are not fun to be stuck inside with.  Keep a busy box full of new things for them to use in case of an emergency.  A few suggestions are a deck of cards, books, art supplies, drawing paper, play dough, etc.  Just be certain they are different than what they normally play with for maximum entertainment value.

Have you started a family emergency preparedness plan yet? What do you make sure you have on hand at all times?

8 thoughts on “Family Emergency Preparedness”

  1. great tips! We have been inundated with bad weather over the last few years (usually rain and flooding, ice, etc) and I am always happy to have a full pantry and back up flashlights!
  2. I am such a stock piler that I joke with my kids,I could take care of the neighbors. Here in the desert of New mexico we dont have to worry about snow,we have to worry about wild fires. 
  3. What a great post, Ellen! It's so easy to forget to prepare, especially when you live where the weather is almost always your friend. The tip about water is fantastic, it's one of the easiest things to keep on hand these days, but is still often overlooked when we are preparing!

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