Sep 27, 2013

Excuses, Excuses

I just finished reading The Cost of Not Prepping blog post from The Apartment Prepper and had to share some thoughts.  I have had people tell me "I know I need to be prepared."  They list several things they know they need to do, and intend to do, including "I'm going to order some Thrive." And yet they haven't taken any of those steps so far.

I know many of the excuses.  I'm not perfect and use some of them myself.  Some excuses are legitimate but many are the little things distracting us, especially the immediate needs taking importance over what we don't KNOW will happen.  Trust me, I'm familiar with distractions.  In our move this summer we emptied much of our water storage (for ease in moving - and several of the ones we didn't empty, well let's just say there were some very water moving boxes when we unloaded the truck).  We've now been in the house 2 months yesterday.  I've been a bit distracted by ripping out carpeting and helping to install new flooring throughout the house.  I've also been distracted by school starting, homework due tomorrow, and soccer/volleyball seasons starting.  So guess what I realized this week?  I haven't refilled my water!  We would have very little water storage if a disaster happened today that either cut off or contaminated my local water supply.

I heard a radio ad the other day that went through a person's day, then asked "if you knew today was the day BEFORE the F5 tornado, the flash flooding, the..." how would your day have been different?  Sometimes we do know ahead of time that an emergency is coming.  The weather forecasters tell us of a major winter storm coming, the tornado threat is elevated, a hurricane is in the Atlantic heading to the US coastline, and they tell us to prepare.  But because those predictions don't always come true, many of us put off even basic preparations on the probability that we'll be fine.  Someone else's house is going to be hit by a tornado, or be without power.  The hurricane is going to turn back out to sea.  That ice storm is not going to form until AFTER our part of the state.

Most of us know that we should be prepared.  So you're not reading this to be convinced that you need to do something.  You're most likely reading this for ideas or motivation to get started.  September is National Preparedness Month so we still have a few days to make some steps toward preparedness.  Take a few moments now to identify ONE thing you will do this weekend to become better prepared.  With it being Friday already, you may be thinking "Our weekend is packed.  I don't have time to add one more thing to it."  What will you be thinking if Monday is your emergency?  I'm a realistic person so here a few ideas of actions you can take that should only take a couple minutes.

Water Storage
  • Fill one container with water.  You could use an empty soda or juice bottle (wash it out first).
  • Order a water barrel, or water bricks.  (Links are to my online store for discounted prices.)

Build Your Home Store/Food Storage
  • Pick a family favorite recipe and buy the ingredients to make it.  I love that because of the long shelf life of Thrive Foods, I can always have the ingredients on hand to make them without worrying about them spoiling, or the power going out and the ingredients defrosting in my freezer.
  • Create a Q.  The Q is a great way to make a list of the Thrive Foods you want to have in your home.  Creating a Q takes a few minutes and you can create it without starting the shipments.
  • Start your Q.  I have a large percentage of my customer's Qs are inactive.  This means they were created but shipments were never started.  Go back to your Q and click Begin Shipments.  Grocery stores do not keep an endless supply of food and often shelves become empty when the weather looks grim.  And as much as I love Thrive, one negative about it is that I can't decide today that I need a can of Freeze Dried Chicken and have it by the end of the day.  The time to order is now, not the day before or of the emergency
  • Place an order.  Not ready to do a Q, but know a couple items you want?  Just call or email me and we'll get your order placed.  I've had so many orders lately be shipped the day after they're placed so I get what I need quickly.

Prepare for everyday emergencies
  • Put together a basic car kit.  For me, this means a pen that works with a pad of paper, some bandaids, granola or protein bars, a roll of paper towels and some bottled water in my van.  This would solve problems of kids declaring they need a snack right AFTER we leave the house to run errands (I am NOT stopping at a fast food place - sorry girls!).  I have a very active 6 y/o and I really should have a large supply of bandaids with me at all times.  And now I'm going to add another VITAL item to the list for my family - several ponytail holders.  Too often we arrive at soccer practice, gymnastics, or volleyball, without a ponytail holder and all of these do activities are much better without hair in your face.
  • Put together a hospital bag.  I have a 95 y/o grandmother with congestive heart failure.  Anytime she experiences chest pain, she thinks she needs to go to the ER.  You know you go a lot when the ER doc looks at you and asks how things have been since your last visit (and I don't know her from outside the ER - but if we did, I do think we'd be best buds).  I've gotten pretty good about having a book and project that are easily transportable (cross-stitch is not a good travel project, but a simple knit scarf is).  The bag also needs to include some more of the granola/protein bars from above and a water bottle.  It never ceases to amaze me that if I leave to go get a snack, THAT's when the test results come back and the doctor comes to update us.
  • Charge your electronics.  WAY too often my cell phone and my Kindle get down to a single bar of power.  That is NOT what I want as I'm facing an emergency.  I have been known to grab chargers on my way out the door to the hospital (see hospital bag above).  But what if it's a car accident on the corner that knocks out power to my house?
  • Fill your vehicles with gas.  I shared on Facebook this summer about my active 6 y/o playing in our yard and stepping on a roofing nail.  For the past several errands, I had noticed I needed gas but either didn't have time to stop or didn't have my debit card with me so I didn't fill up.  When I tried to rush my daughter to the ER, with a nail protruding from the bottom of her foot, it was not with joy that when I climbed into the van to go, my gas light reminded me that it had been on.  I knew that of all times to run out of gas this was not the time.  So on the way to the ER, I had to stop to fill up with gas, with a screaming child in the back seat.
  • Buy and connect a non-cordless house phone.  This is only for those of you with a house phone.  Years ago, we got a new set of cordless phones.  It wasn't until a car accident a mile away knocked out the power to our house that it occurred to us that the cordless phones wouldn't work during a power outage.  This was also at a time we had given up our cell phones to save money (we went back to cell phones after my grandmother's stroke).  There have been several times since that the only way we could call people was using that old fashioned phone because the power was out and cellular service was unavailable.
  • Pick up your house.  Do the dishes.  Do the laundry.  We are grateful that before my grandmother starting having health concerns, we moved her from Florida to leave just a few minutes from us.  But not all our family does, and some are facing major medical issues right now that could create a family emergency trip out of town.  IF I needed to pack bags quickly, it's much easier if clothes are washed AND put away.  It's also easier if I'm not tripping over things scattered across the floors of the house.  And what if the family emergency means I have last minute guests in my home?  Definitely easier to feed them if my sink is not stacked with dirty dishes from the past 3 days.
  • Replace the batteries in your smoke detectors and weather alert radios.  I noticed just this week that our weather radio is flashing a message to replace the battery.

Now it's time to pick your to do item from my list above or one of your own ideas.  Today could be the day before your emergency.  Get prepared!