September is here once again, and once again it is National Preparedness Month.
This year, the theme is:
Don’t Wait. Communicate. Make Your Emergency Plan Today.
Ready.gov has a lot of great resources available for your use.
Do you have an emergency plan in place? Do you have an emergency kit?
My plan is pretty basic. I live alone, so I haven’t needed to setup a household meeting place. Should there be an emergency while I’m at work and I can’t drive home or use public transportation, I work close enough (under 10 miles) to walk, and I have a pair of good walking shoes stored under my desk. I also have an emergency kit in my desk with water, food, a poncho, a whistle, and a flashlight/radio. In the winter, I’m careful to always bring a good coat with me, even though I may just be walking a short distance between my car and the door. I want to be ready in case I’m forced outside for any reason.
If I get stuck in my house, I have plenty of food and water and a good amount of firewood in the backyard. I’m always careful to have extra medications on hand and plenty of cat food.
I also have an emergency backpack, in case I have to leave. It has all sorts of supplies inside – nutrition, hydration, warmth, etc. But it’s a pretty generic kit. I haven’t done much to it. And it’s stored in a basement closet that isn’t easily accessible. What I need to do is flesh out that kit, add medications, add food for the cats, figure out what else is missing. If the bag were more accessible, I could easily switch items in and out – store spare medication in the bag and replace it when I get a refill. I could replace the cat food on the same schedule so it doesn’t go bad. It would all be very easy, but I’ve just never done it.
I should also have more cash on hand. I don’t expect our banking network to go down or anything, but if my wallet were lost and the bank were closed, I would struggle to pay for anything until I got replacement credit/ATM cards. Along those lines, I should probably have an emergency credit card account, something I use just enough to keep it open, maybe for a recurring monthly bill.
People who are extreme emergency preppers get a bad name, and I’ll never be that type, but it’s always good to be prepared for an emergency, be it weather or another issue.
How is your emergency plan? Do you have a place to meet up with your family?