You’d better have a disaster plan for emergencies. Spokespersons from a number of government agencies, including the Federal Emergency Management Agency, continue to warn people, that they are limited in resources and supplies, and that it’s impossible to rescue everyone in your area if there’s an emergency.
It’s your responsibility to prepare yourself and your family, and even be a little extra prepared to help other relatives and neighbors. Here’s what you need:
Clean Drinking Water
You cannot survive long without it, which makes it the number one priority in your disaster plan. You’re limited in what you can store when you’re living in an apartment, but you can still prepare to have the water you need. Begin by buying a portable water filter and water bottle system, such as a Berkey sport portable water filter, for every member of your household.
You can also buy a small bottle of grapefruit seed extract to purify water, which is better than using chlorine bleach or water purification tablets. Many health food stores carry it, or you can find it online.
Emergency water pouches are compact and lightweight, and you should buy a case load to stock in your apartment and in emergency kits. Fill empty containers with water and keep them on hand, such as large peanut butter cans and juice containers. Know where your closest creek, spring or lake is, and how to get to it on foot and by car. If you hear of a pending disaster, plan to fill your tub with water, and additional containers that you have on hand.
The recommended amount of water to store is one gallon per person per day for seven days. However, that might be tough to do in an apartment, and the water filter and pouches will help extend your water supply. At least store two quarts, which is eight cups, for drinking and other needs.
After you’ve figured out your water situation, you’ll need to determine what you’ll do for food. Your goals should be to have enough for three months, then six months and then one year. That recommendation may make you laugh out loud, especially when if you have a tiny apartment, a tight budget or both, but do the best you can.
The first step in any disaster plan is to have lightweight foods that you can carry in an emergency kit, to last for three days. Ready to eat meals, also referred to as “MREs”, often contain toxic ingredients that will make you sick in the long run. A few companies manufacture organic MREs, or gluten free MREs for those who have food sensitivities or want a healthy alternative. Buy MREs with healthy ingredients if you plan to use them.
Another option is to stock healthy canned goods. Buy two of everything when you go to the grocery store, so that you can store foods. Buy case lots on Amazon and other online stores. You can store foods in closets, under the bed, under couches and in cabinets. Be creative.
Evacuation and Escape
You have to be ready to leave your apartment on foot, as well as by a car, in an emergency. Staying at your apartment may not be an option. Know at least two different routes to a safe location, especially back roads where you won’t get stuck in traffic. Make a plan where your family will meet when there’s an emergency, if you’ll be in different locations. Make sure everyone has the phone number at that location, and at least one other person you’ll call to check in with to confirm that you’re safe.
If you don’t have a disaster plan, come up with one this week, using these suggestions.