While looking back at Hurricanes Sandy and Katrina, we became fully aware of the level of disaster that occurred from the destruction of many utilities we take for granted. The countless number of people who were left without power, communications, sewage and assistance from the police.
These and many more inabilities were piled up one on top of the other, leaving people feeling totally isolated from things we all take for granted. Many lost loved ones who needlessly perished due to poor planning and poor community operations and shelters.
Everyone thinks of stocking up on food and possibly medical supplies if a crisis were to occur. It’s really important that everyone understand, when faced with major disasters, you could be without many other important things that we are accustomed with having and will not be available anytime soon.
Places of total disaster reach out to other parts of the country for help. In many instances, local electrical crews, communication providers and police cannot handle these situations alone.
Without the help from other states or counties, situations during a time of need could be a great deal worse then they already are. Many people will be without power for two weeks or more, leaving other utilities unavailable until power is restored.
What If We Had An EMP Attack?
If this country were to experience an EMP Attack (Electromagnetic Pulse Attack), It is believed it would take this country over eight months to restore power. As we depend completely on electrical power, this could be the most devastating disaster this country would face.
You would need many different supplies, as well as food, in order to get you and your family through such a major crises. How would you deal with this, when some supplies would be out of the question to have?
All needed supplies should be equal, in other words if you have a year’s worth of food, you should have a year’s worth of other supplies. Unfortunately, some of these supplies would be impossible to maintain and manage. With that said, what other options should people look into in order to survive a major crisis?
Are There Alternative Plans?
Unfortunately, a year’s worth of some supplies would be impossible to have. It would be financially impossible to have battery backups for a complete year. You couldn’t have a backup generator because you wouldn’t have the gasoline to run it. One: gasoline does not have a very good shelf life and Two: if you tried to get gasoline when power is down, you couldn’t, because gasoline pumps run on electricity.
So, now that it has been decided that you cannot have enough gasoline or generators and will not have electrical power, what else is available to get you through?
These seeds are seeds that were popularly used before Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) were in use. There are farmers who live in isolated areas that still grow and use these seeds. Heirlooms are extremely adaptable in any climate and soil they are placed in.
They are resistant to pests, extreme weather and diseases. As they are also a great source of nutrition and can withstand so much, this is a great alternative to stock up on and plant regularly in your garden.
Also be sure you have the gardening tools and equipment needed to keep your garden going during difficult times. Also, read up on these seeds and how to turn them into food once they are ready for harvesting.
You can have some fuel available to run your car and possibly other devices. You cannot store gasoline for a long period of time, but you can rotate your supply, making it last longer.
If you live in colder climates, heating your home is going to be a major concern. If your heat runs on electricity, you won’t have it. You can heat your home with a fireplace, if you have one, or use a kerosene heater. Just make sure you have a good supply of wood and or kerosene to make this happen. Lack of sufficient heat is a leading cause of death among the very young and the very old.
Almost all stoves in this country run on either electricity or gas. If you have a propane stove, do you have the propane supply to keep it going for any great lengths of time? Another alternative would be camp stoves that are gas powered. Other great choices are barbecue grilles, they run on coals and you should be able to start stocking up on coals now. Whatever alternative you choose, make sure you have a sufficient supply if that item is going to heat your home as well as for cooking.
There are battery manufacturers who are now producing standard batteries that have a shelf life of ten years. This is definitely an item worth looking into and purchasing.
Speaking of food, there are staple foods that should be stocked up on that do not need refrigeration, can be consumed without cooking and offer protein and nutrients. Canned foods are an excellent source for periods of time without power.
They will not spoil and many do not need to be cooked. Baked beans, though most prefer to heat them, can be eaten from the can and are loaded with protein and iron. Canned fruits are another great source of good value foods.
You might also want to stock up on paper products such as plates and paper towels and plastic utensils. You cannot afford to use water for washing dishes when throw outs are a better option.
You would need 2 gallons of water per day if you live in warmer climates and 1 gallon for cooler climates. That’s for drinking and cooking and does not include washing. You would need easily 5 times more that for washing! You can purchase water purification systems such as filters that drain into pitchers, they are quick, simple, inexpensive and work really well.
As so many “how to’s” are found online, this is the ideal time to start reading up. You will not have the use of a computer once your power is down so don’t put it off. There is such a treasure trove of valuable information on the internet, that starting your education now is a must!
There are various ways for you to keep light on in your home. Oil lamps and candles are both easy to store and provide perfect lighting. Always show caution with candles and lamps because if they are knocked over they can start a fire.
There are also various lighting fixtures that run on their own built-in batteries that offer extraordinary hours of life. These are a great alternative of lighting because they are also completely safe.
Keeping clean is important for your overall health but can also prove to be a challenge during these times of need. With a shortage of water, you probably are not going to get quite the level of cleanliness you are used to, but you can cleanup. Stock up on anti-bacterial hand cleansers that are referred to as “waterless soaps”. Stock up on sanitary wipes as well, they fight bacteria and can serve as a quick wash when in a pinch.
First Aid Kits:
Visiting doctors or getting assistance from medical services will not be an easy task. During times of disaster these services are over stretched if even available at all. Having first aid kits on hand will help you deal with injuries and minor illnesses.
Every home should have a first aid kit, period. In times of severe situations, it is a must. Keeping a few on hand will also give you added supplies such as gauzes, ointments, iodine, etc. If you already have a first aid kit, you should check it regularly to be sure you have adequate medicinal supplies and if not, get it restocked.
The Ability to Barter:
Having a supply of items that could come in handy when needing to barter with someone else is always a good idea! You’d be amazed what someone else might need and what they might be willing to give you in return.
Buy a good radio that runs on its own battery. Look for a manufacturer that offers long life for the radio’s batteries. Pickup a surplus of batteries for that specific radio. Even though power is down, radio stations have huge generators and are able to stay operational. They are the best resource for what is going on and any valuable information you need to know regarding the situation for your area will come from radio stations.
There you go! None of this is going to happen right this minute, but you should start planning. Make a list of things you have and things you are going to need.
Some items might take some time to build up, starting now could put you in a good position should something come down the pike.
Now would be a good time to start learning how to operate various equipment, how to store foods or even make foods from various garden plants. It’s never too soon to start getting educated.
Word of Warning: Any supplies that you store that are categorized as explosives, can catch on fire or considered toxic, keep stored in a dry, safe place and out of the reach of your children and pets!
Whether you are talking about a country-wide situation or possibly a hurricane coming through your town, you should always have a good backup plan and enough supplies to ride the storm.
The editor of Resounding Earth, and pursuer of relatively interesting information, Simon has a Masters Degree in Creative Writing and Journalism from the University of Wales, and is a photo-journalist and writer whose written and photographic work has been represented by the AFP news agency and appeared in newspapers across Europe and Asia.