Now not all disasters are kind enough to give us a warning. But many do. And thanks to technology and communication we can be fortunate to have several days or even more notice of many things such as an approaching cyclone, hurricane etc. So we would be crazy not to use this time to our advantage!
Having a plan means we can achieve such a lot in a short space of time. Our plan will come in handy for many times but we need to think about what is the most likely crisis in our area.
At the farm this is really a bushfire. A lot of planning and actions go into that.
Here, for us, it is either a heatwave where the power goes out or a storm and power loss.
I am going to share my plan and aim to improve it and hope that you will develop a good plan for your household.
(Throughout this post I am sharing some preparedness pictures that have come in, thank you everyone who has written and sent photos!)
This is Jane's beautiful old cabinet full of her preserves. Lovely!
My plan is written so that I have several days of actions, assuming we have a warning that gives us this kind of time.
I also have highlighted parts of it that I can do quickly in the event that we do not have a warning and just have to do what we can as fast as we can.
Also my plan takes into account what we already have... we have batteries, gas, fuel, food and many other things in place already. This in itself is a big time saver. If you don't have any of these they will need to be on your action plan. Honestly, the more we have in place the easier it will be.
Make a list and grocery shop.
Get my laundry washed and dry.
If summer: turn the temperature of my fridge down a bit lower.
Fill every gap in the freezer with bottles of water.
Fill every gap in Mums freezers with containers of water.
(this keeps them frozen solid for a lot longer if the power goes out. If the worst happens and the power is out several days or longer at least you have cold drinking water for quite a few days and it may be the only cold drink you have)
Fill cars with fuel.
Check gas cylinders and fill.
Fill prescriptions if needed.
Warn family so they can be preparing.
If a storm is coming clean gutters, secure things, put things away.
Fully charge everything... phones, iPad, fan etc.
If winter: Fill thermo's with hot water for hot drinks.
Get out torches/flashlights etc.
Set up generator so it's on standby.
Cook what I am intending to make for dinner.
Get radio out and ready.
I would also have a bath, wash and dry my hair if time permits.
Again many things are already done. We have emergency phone numbers at hand. We have small appliances that runoff the generator such as an electric frypan.
This is Rachel's Eco Billy. You have a little fire burning sticks and leaves inside and it heats up your water! Being able to boil water is so important. In my world a cup of tea also improves everything!
Last week preparedness was in our news and this is a seldom mentioned topic here. There was a report released into our state wide blackout that occurred last year.
An X Police Commissioner reported the findings. He said too many South Australian's have "unrealistic expectations" about what emergency services can do for them in crisis.
He said both governments and individuals are responsible for looking after things in a crisis and that households should consider buying a generator.
Also that in a crisis people need to realise it could be some time before help arrives due to the sheer volume of calls.
There was a lot of outrage from the suggestion that we should prepare ourselves in any way I noticed. Yet if we don't the writing is on the wall, pretty much!
Mind you, they offered no advice as to how people should prepare and no links as to where to find information. Nothing.
To those listening it was a bit of a warning though and I wonder how many will actually do anything to help their households be better prepared?
In QLD I know they are used to big storms and cyclones and the government has a web site and a programme you can join to week by week prepare your home. To my knowledge SA has nothing like it. But maybe this will become a subject of interest as some decide that really we are responsible to be prepared as far as we can.
I see in the US there are excellent sites that advice it is each families responsibility to be prepared and list what should be the minimum things you should do, things you should have on hand. I think that is excellent. What percentage of the population follow this I don't know.
Rachel has a stash of cans out in their shed. Whole trays of them!
Rachel's husband set up a fan that operated from a car battery! Clever!
Jane uses this gorgeous old sewing machine for storage... the beautiful little drawers are medical supplies.
Rachel can cook olive oil chips on her gas flame.
What crisis isn't better with chips!?
My written plan is inside my kitchen cupboard door and on my iPad. There are things for both of us to do and think about that... have everyone helping.
What are the main things you need to be prepared for where you live?
Do you have an action plan for when you have a warning?
Taking some time to work out your courses of action could really make a difference!