I've been thinking a lot lately about making sure that I am prepared for a major disaster. With a report recently from the USGS saying that a large scale earthquake along the California coast is imminent, as well as continued council from the First Presidency, I think now is a great time to make sure I'm self-sustained in the event of a crisis.
I'll be writing a few posts about the different things that I am doing to prepare for an emergency. I hope that everyone that reads these posts will think about their emergency preparedness (or lack thereof) and come up with a plan that works for you.
Food & Water
Food and water are the most important things needed in an emergency. During a disaster, you might not be able to rely on a grocery store to have the life sustaining items that you can't live without. Thinking back to the Katrina disaster, I realized that I can't rely on the government either. So you need to store all the food and water that you can in order to be ready.
My Church councils that we should keep 2 weeks worth of water and 3 months worth of food on hand at all times. That's figuring that water is so important that the civic services will be restored within two weeks. I personally think that isn't enough, if earthquakes break water mains in critical areas, it could take a long time to repair.
- 1 Gallon of water, per person, per day = 14 gallons of water
- 25 lbs of grain, and 5 lbs of beans, per person, per day = 75 lbs of grains, and 15 lbs of beans
- See providentliving.org
That's the minimum needed to sustain life. But that will be extremely boring, I couldn't eat bread and beans alone for three months! Also, I think it's good to eat food that you are comfortable with and is similar to what you normally eat. In the event of a disaster, changing your food supply could result in some serious consequences that will only add to your problems. For example, changing your diet significantly can lead to constipation or diarrhea. The latter will make you dehydrated, wasting precious water.
Also be sure to think about the items that you need in order to use the food storage you have. For example, you may need to use sugar, yeasts, shortening, and other ingredients to make bread and cakes. A good tip might be to buy an extra of everything you normally buy at the store. Over time, you will slowly build up your storage supplies.