Monday, December 2, 2013

Good Prepper Habits

Having gone through another power outage, I have identified some habits I would like to cultivate to support my emergency prepping goals. Without further ado, here they are. Any thoughts you have on the subject are welcome as well.

1. Shop for the long haul
Now that my nearest grocery store isn't very near at all, and we've gone down to one car in order to better afford our little bit of paradise, I am trying to minimize my shopping trips as much as possible. I do this by making a menu for the month and a shopping list to match. This isn't easy. It takes more than one cart and way too long. I hate shopping. But when I shop for a month at a time, guess what! I have a month of supplies in my house. And it makes it easier to budget too.

2. Do Your Chores
Nothing's more frustrating than putting off doing the dishes till tomorrow only to discover that you have no power (and therefore no water) the next morning. Just do it. Yea, I have a heck of a time with this one.

3. Get Ready for Tomorrow Today
When you wake up in the morning and there's no power, it's nice to know that your pitcher is already full of filtered water, your clothes are laid out in the usual spot, the diaper bag is already ready to go, your lunch is packed and you've already had your shower. There's enough to panic about without worrying about the stuff you could've handled last night.

4. A Place for Everything
Put everything away as soon as you're done with it. That way, when the power goes out, you at least know what direction to grope blindly in.

5. Keep Your Tank Full
I learned during the great East Coast blackout a few years ago that you can't get gas when there's no power. When the rest of my family hightailed it up North to Grandma's house, I was stranded with an empty gas tank. Now that we live far away from the nearest gas station it's even more important. If I could just get my husband on this bandwagon.

In a power outage, your fully fueled car is your transportation if you need to evacuate. It has a radio so you can get news. And you can use it to charge your cellphone and other devices.

6. Keep it Charged
Keeping your cellphone and other devices fully charged makes it so much easier to use them when charging is no longer an option. Plugging them into the charger every night is a good habit to get into.

7. Be Redundant
So this last power outage I had to call 411 to get the number of the electric company because I had the number stored on my computer. I get electronic billing, so the invoice with the phone numbers was, yes, also stored on the computer. Which doesn't work when the power's out. I also couldn't call my clients to reschedule for the same reason. I like to keep my contacts on the cloud, though. That way I can access them anywhere that has WiFi. Keeping your important information in more than one place can be helpful. So is having more than one first aid kit, in more than one place. Lots of flashlights, in multiple locations. Lots of smoke alarms & carbon monoxide detectors and fire extinguishers throughout the house and lots of different ways to escape.