Let’s face it. Families are busy. Kids. Work. Home. Church. We all have more priorities to attend to than we naturally have time for. After a destructive tornado touched down 6 miles from my home, being prepared for an emergency has moved up my priority list. Below are five basic things that I think are necessary for being prepared in an emergency situation.
First, never leave your vehicle’s gas tank empty. I am the queen of pulling into my driveway with the van’s fuel gauge reading EMPTY. It is my intention to ask my husband to go fill my van up later in the evening when the gas station isn’t so crowded, but that rarely happens. By the time the kids and I arrive home and get the van unloaded, I have usually forgotten that the van’s gas tank needed to be filled.
Second, keep a case of bottled water on hand. Bottled water usually gets a bad rap, but in this situation it’s necessary. If basic utilities were temporarily down (power and water), having drinkable water at home is a necessity. If it was the kind of emergency that necessitated loading my family up and hustling out the door, grabbing that stored-away-case-of-bottled-water would be a cinch!
Third, keep some cash on hand. Cash ALWAYS has a voice.
Fourth, keep your cell phone charged. Depending on the emergency, this could be useless because of the potential for cell towers to be down. However, in the case of the tornado yesterday, we were able to use our cell phones to keep up with the latest weather reports. If my phone had been dead (like it usually is) and the power was out, that wouldn’t have been possible.
Fifth, have a disaster response plan in mind and rehearse it with your family. What is your plan if the urgent need arises to load up the family and leave your home? What will you take? Where will you go? We have already covered the most basic necessities: gas in the van, water, cash, and a charged cell phone. To ensure that no one gets left behind in the chaos, we have assigned each of the bigger kids in our family a younger buddy. I plan to do drills with the kids next week to reinforce how the plan will work.
What do you think? What else is essential to your family in case of an emergency?