Snow storms, grid-down situations, extreme temperatures and social unrest, there are plenty of reasons you could be forced to stay inside your home for a few days, maybe even a week. Emergencies happen all the time and there’s no reason to assume they won’t affect you at some point, even though, until now, they were things that happened to “other people”. It’s time to get ready for short-term emergencies.
If you have a pantry full of delicious foods, that’s great… but also not enough to cover your basic needs. In what follows, I want to give you a few suggestions of things to have on hand in case you cannot get out of your home for whatever reason.
#1. Extra Trash Bags
If you’re unable to take the trash to the dumpster, you’re going to have to keep it somewhere, and minimize the odds of it becoming a hygiene problem. If you live on a homestead and you’re able to go outside the house, you could try burning it… but if you’re not, then have a few dozen dirt-cheap trash bags on hand.
Trash can be used for far more than their intended use, by the way. You can’t have too many of them on a good day, but it definitely holds true for most short-term emergency situations.
Believe it or not, water is more important to our bodies than food. Without food, our body can dig into its own fat reserves, but water? Without it, you’ll soon feel dizzy, lack energy and be unable to focus. More importantly, if you deprive your body from the liquid of life or a few days, it will start to break down.
#3. An Emergency Radio
There are plenty of emergency radios available online and in your local stores. Many have solar panels, flashlights and some even offer hand-crank functionality, meaning you don’t need batteries in order to work. If the Internet, cable or even the entire grid is down, you’ll want to hear news of what’s happening around you.
#4. Lanterns and Flashlights
Speaking of grid down scenarios, you’ll need to light your way so you can cook, read, read prescription medication labels and so on. The more flashlights the better, but don’t forget to add at least one lantern to also have ambient light. You should also store extra batteries as well as a solar charger. You can get a lantern from Pantry Paratus that charges through your woodstove!
Tip: be sure to inspect all your gear at least twice a year, to replace defective units.
#5. Alternative Means to Stay Warm
If it’s cold outside, it’ll be freezing on the inside as well if your main heating source stops functioning.
One surefire way (pun not intended) to keep your loved ones warm is for all of you to sleep in the same room. Your bodies’ heat will accumulate and raise the room temperature, but that may not be enough.
Consider These for Short Term Emergencies:
- …a clay pot heater. This won’t help keep an entire room warm when it’s cold outside but it’s better than nothing. It’s particularly easy to use, you’ll need a couple of clay pots, candles, a brick and a few nuts and bolts.
- …a propane or kerosene heater. Most of them are safe for indoor use but do make sure you get one that’s advertised to work in this manner. You’ll also need propane or kerosene reserves.
- …and, of course, hand warmers.
Look back at the medical issues you’ve had over the years; find old prescriptions and see which ones have OTC meds that you could get.
Tip: avoid keeping your meds in the bathroom. Humidity and heat will decrease shelf life and, although there’s strong evidence meds still work after the expiration date, the goal should be to increase shelf life. Keep them in a cool, dry, dark place such as your pantry.
#7. Board Games and Playing Cards
With no Internet, you’re likely to get bored and, although this could be a great way to bond with your family members, a game of chess or Settlers of Catan will make time fly faster.
I don’t know about you but if I were to spend 3 or 4 days without the Internet or even electricity, I would lose it. This is where few comfort foods help: chocolate, popcorn, honey, hard candy – all of these have good shelf life, and will keep your spirits up when there’s nothing else to do.
If you’re looking to learn more about the things you’ll need in case of emergency, you’ll find plenty of stories online of people who had to deal with blackouts, hurricanes, tornadoes and grid down scenarios. Keep in mind having the right supplies is only half the story. Knowing how to stay out of trouble in these short-term emergencies is tougher.
Dan F. Sullivan
Dan Sullivan is not your ordinary prepper blogger. He understood the need for accurate and concise survival information in a field whefastest-growing survival site on the Internet, http://www.survivalsullivan.com/