I’ve avoided writing about the disaster in Japan because I get teary eyed every time I see, read, or think about the devastation. It is difficult to go very long without thinking about them. I know there is great strength among the people and I have great hope for their future. Yes, it will be a long, long road to recovery, but I have confidence that we will be pleasantly surprised in their resiliency.
A family on Base made a list of helpful tips that they will use to prepare in the future. And yes, fortunately, they were well prepared.
- Get an old school, corded phone – If the power goes out, your cordless won’t work. We were lucky to have a corded phone upstairs which helped coordinate with the Branch President to get accountability of church members.
- Leave a Note – Speaking of accountability, in an emergency, if you’re going to leave your house–leave a note on the door saying where you are going so when guys from church or work coming looking, they’ll know where you are.
- Know how to manually open your garage – When the power went out, people off base couldn’t get their cars out of their garage. Turns out there is a special crank to use but most of our friends didn’t have it or know what it was.
- Get some propane – We’ve been cooking with our camping equipment. Note to self: Buy a 20 pack of small propane tanks. We’ve also used our outdoor BBQ (in the cold) and I’m wishing I had a spare tank of Propane for that. (We still don’t have power and don’t know when it will come back on On Base. Estimates have said 24 hours (we’re way past that) to 1 week, to indefinite.)
- Extra perscriptions/remedies – Do you have an extra refill of your prescriptions in your 72 hour kit? It’s terrifying to imagine running out of the things you take every day. Also, the thought of my kids getting sick and not having enough Children’s Advil and/or Tylenol made me pretty nervous until I verified we had some of each.
- Hide some cash – For ONCE I was glad to be doing Dave Ramsey yesterday when we had plenty of cash on hand to shop at the commissary. But we also have a cash and yen emergency fund hidden in the house for back-up which was very comforting.
- Buy a hand crank wheat grinder and blender –We have a freezer full of frozen fruit to make smoothies but no way to blend anything.
- Get a lantern – All of our batteries that I had stored for an emergency, LEAKED! So the flashlights are all slowly dying, being over used by the children, and being misplaced. The best source of light the last two nights has been the pillar candles I’ve had in the cupboard for fancy table settings. They seem to burn pretty slow and shed a lot of light. I’ve gone through 3 and have 1 left. Wish I had a 20 pack of those in my 72 hour pack. It would be nice not to worry about running out. Small, light weight, energy efficient lanterns would be nice too.
- Wood burning fireplace – My next house will have a wood burning fire place. This all would have been much easier if we could have been warm.
- Are your blankets warm enough? – I’m buying all my kids a down comforter. We have one on our bed and we’ve been fine at night, but the kids need 20 blankets piled up to stay warm. (Actually, the older boys each have a two layer fleece blanket which is pretty warm, but unfortunately, they’re not very big.)
- Water – We were very blessed on base to have running (freezing cold) water. Off base, sewer lines broke and contaminated the water supply they weren’t even supposed to touch it.
When I was 15 we had a fire in our home. We were given 5 minutes to gather what we absolutely needed. I filled my backpack (nostly with school supplies, journal and scriptures) and that was it. Perhaps it’s one reason why I don’t feel like we need so much “stuff”. And yet, are we really ready for anything? I found several things on this list that were helpful to our lil’ emergency preparations.
Love and prayers to all the survivors, let us be more mindful and prepared that their struggles be not in vain.