Okay, I don’t really believe there will be a zombie apocalypse, although that guy in Florida who ate a man’s face was definitely suspicious. I don’t really think one day we will be living in a world gone wild like in a Mad Max movie. However, I have been caught unprepared more than once, and I won’t ever let that happen again!
July 2, 1997 a tornado decided to pass through my town. Only one person died, and that was because he had a heart attack while trying to remove a tree from his lawn. I remember huddling in the basement with my two cats and my dog. I just about jumped out of my skin when the neighbor’s chimney blew off and smacked the side of my house. Christ that was loud, and scary. But what was worse was what happened after the storm.
My house was intact except for some ripped off siding thanks to being hit buy a chimney. But I had no electricity, hardly any food, no batteries for the two dead flashlights we had, no batteries for the small radio we had, and no candles. I was up the creek with no paddle.
I grabbed my keys and got in my car. After I pulled out of the driveway I realized the street was blocked by fallen trees. I literally drove over people’s lawns to try to get to the drug store! Once I got to Rite Aid I went in, grabbed items I thought I would need only to get to the register and have the cashier tell me that the power was down so they couldn’t ring up my stuff. I showed them what I had and handed over a $30, above the amount it cost but whatever, I needed the batteries and food. I was glad I had gotten there so quickly because suddenly it seemed like everyone in town was making a run on Rite Aid for the exact same stuff I had just grabbed.
Back home I parked the car and heard a lovely hissing sound coming from my car. I watched as my tire quickly went flat as a pancake! I had picked up a nail. Great! Just great! We were without power for four miserable and hot as hell days!
The next kick in the pants came when AJ was just a toddler. It was the Great Blackout of August, 2003. Being a mom had made me more cautious, as did the events of September 11th. So I was good on important stuff like food, batteries, diapers, wipes, etc., then came the big “GOTCHA” moment. No water! WTF! No power to the pumping stations meant no water to the houses.
Once I learned on my radio that we were not under attack by terrorists I once again headed to the store, with a toddler in tow, to buy lots and lots of bottled water. At least this time there were no trees or four inch nails. Three days later when the power returned we rejoiced, but I was wiser. I had been caught short twice, and it sucked.
So now I have a stockpile. I buy in bulk at Costco and also when I have some awesome coupons. I have had relatives laugh at me and call me a hoarder, but a year and a half ago I spent 4 months in a wheelchair because of multiple foot surgeries all at once. My stockpile saw my family through that predicament. My hubby only had to run to the store on his way home from work to pick up fresh dairy, meats and produce.
I am sure there are doomsday preppers out there who would look at my stockpile and laugh, but I am NOT preparing for the end of the world as we know it. I am preparing for the next blackout, the next Hurricane Sandy, or the next Swine Flu virus. I want to know that in the event of a real honest to god emergency my family is covered for a couple of weeks if not even a little longer.
I am not going to list everything I have on hand. You can get all the lists you want from a quick Google search. A great starting point is here http://www.ready.gov/build-a-kit. Plus, you need to have what your family actually needs. We don’t need diapers anymore, but I do have a month supply of all my RA medications put to the side. Each time my drugs are refilled I use the old bottle and put the new bottle in storage so the ones in storage are always fresh.
If you haven’t put together a small stockpile or a plan for emergencies you might want to start thinking about it. Also, I didn’t acquire all this crap over night. My stockpile took months to put together using a lot of coupons so don’t freak out thinking, “OMG! I can’t afford to buy all that crap.” Each week at the market try to buy three items for your stockpile. It will grow faster than you think.
PS- The best place to buy bottled water is Costco if you didn’t already know. You get twice the bottles for the same price of every where else. In fact I need to pick up a couple more cases now that I am looking at this picture!