After watching post-apocalyptic movies, my husband and I like to plot how we’d survive the end of the world. Would we have the supplies and wits to make it through a zombie apocalypse, a catastrophic flood, or disease outbreak? Where would we wait out the end of the contagion? How would we avoid (or fight off) undead hordes?
It’s unlikely that we’ll face a Hollywood-style end-of-days scenario, but I do try to prepare for more mundane natural disasters. Would we have enough drinking water if we had a water main break and needed to avoid our tap water for a day or two? Do we have enough flashlights or candles if our power goes out for a few hours? Could we listen to an emergency weather radio in those situations? Could we quickly assemble a “go bag” in case we had to evacuate our house for some reason?
I’m a big fan of ready.gov, the federal government’s website to help Americans prepare for emergencies. The site offers preparation advice for a variety of scenarios, from power outages and tornadoes (which are likely in my Midwestern town) to nuclear blasts and cyber attacks.
While I typically have canned food, granola bars, and band-aids, here are a few things that I try to keep replenished in our emergency supplies:
- Pet food: We chronically run out of cat or dog food, so I *try* hard to remember that in an emergency, we’d want our dog and cats to have food too! Keep a few cans or Ziploc baggies of extra food (enough for a couple days at least!) stashed somewhere for your pets.
- Food that your kids will eat: Sure, in an emergency, you’d tell your kids to eat whatever you had on hand. But wouldn’t it be easier if you had their favorite granola bars, some fruit snacks, or easy-to-make mac-and-cheese cups? (Yes.) So I over-buy snacks and try to rotate the selection based on what my kid is into lately.
- Lots of water: I’m enough of a crunchy-granola-type that I try not to buy bottled water. But what if our tap water was tainted? I bought a giant (empty) jug that will be great for camping or road trips, so we could fill up with fresh water; I also stocked up on a few gallons of bottled water in case of emergency.
- Cash money: What if the power was out in your town, but you needed to buy gas, food, or water? Would you be able to pay with the cash in your wallet? I am terrible about keeping cash on me, but a lot of preparation advice suggests you should have at least a few hundred dollars stashed away for emergency scenarios.
- Miscellaneous supplies that make me feel more prepared: An emergency weather radio; a battery-free flashlight (and other lighting options); a waterproof tarp; a pocket knife; mylar blankets; nylon cord; water-purification tablets… I’m not sure what I’ll do with most of this stuff, but at least I’m fairly prepared to go camping.
Do you have an emergency kit in your home? What would you recommend everyone stash away in case of natural disaster, power outage, or zombie apocalypse?