Wednesday, January 26, 2011

72-hour kit Wednesday – Medications

This week for our 72-hour kits we are gathering a 72 hour supply of medication for any member of the family who has special dietary or medical needs. In the event of a serious emergency, it would be a disaster to leave without medication. This includes any inhalers, pills, diabetic supplies or anything that any member of your family could not be without for a few days. This will of course be rotated in and out of your kit every 6 months (more often if you feel it is necessary). Especially think of special needs of babies and toddlers; whether it be thinking ahead on an extra size of diaper (they grow pretty fast and it would be a shame to have the wrong size diapers in your kits), or just what you would want to have for them in an emergency. Include anything that you wouldn’t want to be without for several days.

We had an earthquake here last night. Every time something like that happens, especially in the middle of the winter, not to mention in the middle of the night, I feel so unprepared. My mind races, thinking about what all I would grab if I had to leave my home for any reason. I have found that when something like this happens, that gives me just a little scare, I think better. I have a tendency to go thru certain scenarios and ask, “What if?”

This is certainly the best way to plan. Imagine what you would take if you had to leave. Is everything you need accessible? Would you have everything you would need for 3 days or more? What things could you not get along without? Does anyone in your family have special needs that only you can prepare for? Would you be able to keep warm? Do you have food prepared that you could take with you? Have you made an emergency plan as a family? Do you have some money put away just in case? Lots of things to think about.

This week’s 72-hour kit challenge has a three parts to it:

#1: Gather those medicines or special needs items and put them in your kit.

#2: Start saving a few dollars a week and putting it in your kit for an emergency. The amount is up to you although a minimum of $100 is one amount that has been suggested. If we save a few dollars each week, in small bills,(and you do need to have small bills)then at least we’ll have some cash just in case there is an emergency that takes us from our homes and we can’t get to a bank or don’t have any cash on hand. We may need gas, a place to stay, or other emergency items and if we were without electricity, your credit card may be useless. We will talk about this more in the upcoming weeks.

#3: Grab some Ziploc bags to have on hand as we put our kits together. I mostly use the gallon size but some quart or sandwich size bags are helpful to. They are not a must but they are one of the best tools for making your kits.

I’ve mentioned before that we lost our home in a flood several years ago. It has been a long time since then but I still occasionally think of things I could have done. We didn’t have a very long notice to evacuate and I kept telling myself, everything would be okay and we’d come home, the next day at the latest, and find everything as we left it. It was the next day before the water receded and anyone was allowed back in to the city. Even then there was still a lot of water and the roads were full of debris. Meanwhile, I had my baby during the flood, 3 weeks early, and was in the hospital, totally helpless. All communication was out, there was no gas available, no stores selling food and to buy gas or food you had to drive at least 75 miles around the flooded area to get supplies. Our home was destroyed and very little was salvageable.

Even to this day I think about things I could have grabbed and taken with me. Yes, they are just things, but some were pretty precious to me. The point I want to make is not that things are so important, but that being prepared is essential. We all want to believe the time will never come when something happens but if we are prepared and nothing happens, that’s great. If we aren’t prepared and it does, we sure will feel bad thinking that we could have done so much to prepare.

If you have not started your 72-hour kit yet, get on it. It’s a little thing but it could save your life until help comes. If you don’t do it for yourself, do it for those you love.