GETTING PREPARED MONTH 11: STOCK UP ON DISPOSABLES & BUILD A NEIGHBORHOOD CONTACT LIST
Gaye Levy, Contributor Activist Post
In North America, we are enjoying the final months of summer. This is a time for family activities, picnics, BBQs with friends and perhaps a weekend camping trip. There is also the usual rash of summer chores: mowing the lawn, washing the car, weeding the garden and the more mundane tasks of laundry and housecleaning.
I don’t know about you, but I would much rather be enjoying the fun in the sun than serious prepping this month. For that reason, this month we are going to do things that are a natural outtake from our summer activities. That said, we are not going to slough off and disregard the tasks at hand as frivolous. For even though they seem rather menial, they are as important and as necessary as the prepping tasks in each of the previous months – and in some ways even more.
And for those of you that are just joining us? Last September, I laid out a calendar of preparedness tasks entitled “12 Months of Prepping, One Month at a Time”. Each month since then, I have outlined a reasonable and doable number of tasks to accomplish during the monthly period with the intent of gradually building up to a point of self-reliance in the event of a major disaster or crisis.
Even though we are now at month 11, you can still use this month as a starting point or, if you prefer, you can go back to the beginning and start with the first month in the series “Getting Prepared Month 1: Supplies, Gear and Tasks to Get You Started”.
Whatever you decide, I hope you will follow along and do what you can be prepared. Are you ready to get started? Let’s go to work on getting prepared in month #11.
SUPPLIES & GEAR:
- Package of paper plates
- Package of napkins
- Package of eating utensils
- Package of paper cups
- Garbage bags and ties for disposal of used items
As much as I hate to use disposables, the there is a strong likelihood that water for cleaning will become quite precious following a disaster. Even if you normally shun paper goods, it is prudent – in fact necessary – to put aside a supply of paper plates, napkins, cups an plastic eating utensils for emergency purposes. And what better time to do so than during the summer months when these items are likely to be on sale?
You are also going to want to purchase a supply of garbage bags so that you have someplace to store the garbage and the used and dirtied items until things get back to normal. Personally, I prefer tall, kitchen type bags but others may prefer the large, garbage can sized bags. Whatever you decide, be sure to take the time now to look around your home and property and to identify a location where you can store excess garbage if normal collection methods are shut down for awhile.
But there is more. For extra credit, think about what you would need if you had to cook outdoors. Perhaps a rocket stove or grill that burns wood or biomass? How about some waterproof matches or a zippo lighter? We will get in to these in greater detail down the road, but if you have the budget, think about these things now, and perhaps add them to your month 11 purchases.
Shall we move on to tasks?
MONTH 11 TASKS:
Exchange work, home and emergency contact phone numbers and email addresses with neighbors for use during an emergency
Neighbors helping neighbors is an important part emergency and disaster preparedness. This is not to say that you are going to have to provide for your neighbors – after all, they need to provide for their own basics such a food, water and first aid supplies. On the other hand, when something bad happens – you will want to get in touch with your neighbors and of course, you would want them to get in touch with you as well.
Think about this: You are at work and you receive a news alert indicating that there is a fire in what appears to be your neighborhood. Who do you call? Is it your house? Is it the house next door? What about your pets? Are they safe?
Although this is a simplistic (yet still dreadful) example, having neighbors that are able to contact you directly or that can pass your contact information on to first responders will go a long way toward keeping panic and fear at bay.
Your only task this month is to contact your neighbors so that you can exchange emergency contact information for use in an emergency. Telephone numbers, cell phone numbers and email addresses should be gathered and stored in a safe place in both printed and electronic format on a hard disk, smart phone (if you have one) or flash drive.
Now I know that these days, with OPSEC and all, the idea of neighbors helping neighbors is becoming unpopular. I challenge you, though, this month, to look at this from the standpoint of YOU being the one in need. Wouldn’t you want someone to contact you?
The Final Word
Although the purchases and tasks this month seem like no-brainers, they are critical to putting together a complete preparedness plan for you and your loved ones. Disasters can and do happen to ordinary folks. They happen to anyone and everyone, rich or poor, young or old.
The best we can do is take steps now to prepared for the unexpected. Remember: You are responsible for your own preparedness. No one else will do it for you.
Read other articles by Gaye Levy here.
In case you missed any of the articles in this series:
Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!
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Gaye Levy, the SurvivalWoman, grew up and attended school in the Greater Seattle area. After spending many years as an executive in the software industry, she started a specialized accounting practice offering contract CFO work to emerging high tech and service industries. She has now abandoned city life and moved to a serenely beautiful rural area on an island in NW Washington State. She lives and teaches the principles of a sustainable, self-reliant and stylish lifestyle through emergency preparation and disaster planning through her website at BackdoorSurvival.com. SurvivalWoman speaks her mind and delivers her message with optimism and grace, regardless of mayhem swirling around us. Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!