September is almost over, which means National Preparedness Month is coming to a close.
All this month, we have been talking about emergency preparedness and emergency plans you can make to prepare your family for these stressful times.
You won’t always leave your home in an emergency.
We have discussed in the last 2 lessons ways to prepare to evacuate your home in the event of disasters or fire.
But there are many reasons why you might stay at home during an emergency.
Examples of a stay at home emergency may be power outage, blizzard, tornado, severe storms and flooding.
Again, if you are asked to evacuate your home, please do so.
But this lesson is about what to do when you stay home during an emergency without outside help for an extended period of time.
6 Things You Need To Prepare For An At Home Emergency
Stay at home emergencies can seem like an easier way to go at first. You have more resources at your fingertips and you can stay comfortable in a place that is well equipped for your family.
But there are some major challenges with stay at home emergencies, especially if there is cold weather and/or power outages involved.
Providing these 6 things for your family will make the situation much easier.
1. Food Storage
Food will be key to staying happy during a stay at home emergency.
Storing food that your family likes and knows how to prepare is key.
If you don’t have a weeks worth of food storage in your house now, you need to plan to get it as soon as possible.
You will also need supplies to prepare the food that you store.
For more information on food storage, check out this blog post —> Food Storage Tips to Get You Prepared for Emergencies.
2. Water Storage
Clean, drinkable water will be important in a stay at home situation.
The normal recommendation is 1 gallon of water per person, per day.
In some disaster situations, the water from the tap can become compromised. In that case, it is a good idea to have some kind of water purification system to use.
You will also need water to wash dishes, bath and cook.
For more information on water storage, check out this blog post —> Why Every Family Needs Emergency Water Storage.
Depending on your climate and what time of year it is, heat could be a big factor in making your family comfortable during this stressful time.
Do you have a heat source that doesn’t require electricity?
If you live in a cold climate, do you have a wood stove to keep your family warm in the winter?
Do you have blankets, sleeping bags and other ways to stay warm?
For more information on storing fuel for heat, check out this blog post —> 7 Types of Fuel You Should Store For Emergency Preparedness.
There are several different types of light sources you can store to be prepared and stay safe during an emergency.
Do you have several different light sources you can use if you don’t have electricity?
Candles, flashlights, oil lamps, etc. can help dispel fear during a power outage.
For more information on what to do in a power outage, check out this blog post —> 10 Tips for What To Do When The Power Goes Out.
How will you communicate with the outside world if you don’t have electricity?
Do you have a radio (with batteries) that you can use to listen to the local news and emergency stations?
Do you have a way to charge a cell phone without electricity? There are wind up, battery and solar devices that can do this for you.
As discussed before, you can also use text, email and social media if phone lines are jammed.
Make sure you know of alternate ways to communicate if your primary communication is down.
This is not a topic we really want to think about, but if an emergency extends for any amount of time it could be a reality.
You need to be able to keep your family, house and animals safe.
There may be people that will try to steal your supplies to provide for their families.
You might want to have a firearm in the house for security.
You might also want to bring your animals in closer to the house and be aware when you go outside.
People will start to panic (because they aren’t prepared) and may come after you, so be ready.
4 Alternative Electricity Sources
In a power outage, a generator will keep your household running smoothly, at least for a while. Make sure you have gasoline to run it.
Store extra batteries for flashlights or other devices you might need in an emergency. Rotate them out with new ones as needed.
Solar options are great for electricity (if you have a backup system to be off grid) and cooking.
You can store propane gas to run a heater or to cook with a camp stove or grill.
A stay at home emergency plan can help you think thru what you might need if you have to stay at home (maybe without electricity and water) for several days.
To help you make your plan, we have provided a checklist to make sure you don’t forget anything. Click on the box below to get your FREE PDF that goes with this post.
Once you have it written out, plan a family activity where you can go over the plan and what needs to be done before and during and emergency.
This may seem time consuming, but believe me, if you need it you will be glad you were prepared! It provides peace of mind and security in a stressful time.
Here are the links to the other posts in this series for further reading:
Have you had a stay at home emergency in your family? Let us know in the comments below. And if you found this post helpful, please share. Thanks!