Emergency Preparedness…with Kids

My post this week is a more serious one.

Emergency preparedness. Most people aren’t prepared for a power outage of a few hours, let alone a few weeks. As hurricane Sandy made her way up the east coast I decided to get better prepared.

My list was as follows:

    1. Propane for the BBQ. I hounded my husband by text all afternoon. “Pick up propane!” If we weren’t going to have power, at least I could cook on the BBQ. (Last time the power was out for three days. We had no propane and relied on the fast food joint that miraculously had power. An expensive lesson.)
    2. Food that could be BBQ, and pizza. Yes… you read that correctly, pizza.I cooked a few party sized pizzas when I got home the night the storm was supposed to hit. Pizza can be eaten cold, and odds are no one will complain. Cereal (oatmeal), bagels, peanut butter, bread, various fruits such as apples and bananas. They don’t need refrigeration and have little garbage. I also bought the essentials, candy and chips.pizza
    3.  Water. The most important supply. For some strange reason, the grocery store managers in my fine city didn’t seem to think this would be a major purchase this week. Therefore, every last bottle, including the most expensive brands were gone. However, after visiting two different grocery stores I found some, one large container. Yes, I bought the last one.
    4. Other beverages such as juice, beer, wine and pop. All to be put in a cooler with ice. Might as well have a little fun. Strategically I am saving the water.
    5. A kettle that can be placed on BBQ. For the record, my husband can be darn right grumpy without his coffee. The kettle was a must.
    6. Batteries.  Every shape and size, and a lot of them. Kids can be downright unreasonable if their toys don’t work. To avoid headaches this was mandatory. The batteries were also back up for flashlights and the fake battery operated candles.
    7. Deck of cards, board games and puzzles. No batteries required, and can provide hours of fun for the kids.board games

So now the tricky part…

Keeping the kids calm. Not to mention myself. So my idea was to make it a party. (Hence the pop, chips and candy.) If you tell the kids it’s a party, especially if they are younger, they are excited, as opposed to scared.

When I told my daughter Nicole it was a party. She jumped around excitedly in our kitchen.

“Party! Party! Party!” she stopped in her tracks and looked up at me.

“Birfday Party?”

“No Nicole. Just a party.” She raised her hands in the air.

“Yaaaaay!” and continued jumping around our kitchen and into the living room.

This time

The storm didn’t really affect us. The high winds left some people without power for a few hours. The storm also left some people with tree limbs around their property. A relatively small clean up job. We know most of the east coast wasn’t so lucky. So I trumped this up to a good practice run. We know there will be a next time, so it gave me some ideas.

Purchase Suggestions For the Next Storm

      1. A crank/solar radio. Most now come adapted with a plug for your cell phone. An excellent way to get up-to-date information.
      2. solar lamp. The lamp can charge in overcast conditions, and some have cranks if the charge isn’t enough. The best part about the crank option is the kids can feel they are doing something useful. You can also make it a game. One person can crank against another, and you can time them.
      3. A Crank flashlight. Same idea as the solar lamp but they also come as waterproof and may also float.
      4. Glow sticks. This way the kids relate this item to Halloween. A party atmosphere a.k.a fun.

Really it’s for your piece of mind so you can locate them in the dark.

Additional Suggestions

One of my last suggestions is something that many people don’t do. Check your first aid kit regularly, and by that, I mean every six month. Many people don’t realize that everything in the kit including Band-Aids go off. (They lose their stickiness.)first aid kit

My last suggestion is to practice. The perfect time to practice your emergency preparedness, other than an impending storm, I decided, was Earth Hour. You can hold Earth Hour Party, and practice all your emergency preparedness ideas and build on them.

Do you have suggestions on how to prepare for an emergency with kids?



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