1. Keep shoes under your bed. Several years ago my friend had a terrible fire consume her home on Christmas Eve. They discovered the flames from the Christmas tree in the middle of the night. The fire caused the windows to break. They quickly left the home barefooted, cutting their feet on the glass covered floor. Keep an old pair of shoes under each bed to put on in an emergency.
2. Teach adults and older children in your family how to turn off electricity, gas, and water to your home if needed and have the necessary tools available to do it. (Great activity for family night!)
When should you turn off the gas?
- If there is structural damage to your home.
- If you smell natural gas.
- If you hear natural gas leaking.
- If there is a fire.
Caution: Do not shut off the gas if doing so jeopardizes your safety.
It may not be necessary to turn off your natural gas meter following an earthquake.
When the San Francisco Bay area was rattled by an earthquake in 1989, for example, 156,000 natural gas customers turned off their meters. According to the local natural gas utility, this action was necessary in only about 2 percent of the cases. Since natural gas meters should be turned back on only by qualified persons, many of these customers waited extended periods — five to seven days or longer — for their gas to be restored.
3. Develop a food storage program. Plan to build your food supply just as you would a savings account. Save a little for food storage from each paycheck.
Begin by taking inventory of what you already have. One Monday night we told our kids we were going to play “store.” I assigned each of them a food category (vegetables, fruits, meats, baking supplies, rice, spaghetti, potato pearls/flakes etc.) and gave them index cards to record the totals. For example: green beans – 12 cans. The kids really had fun doing it! Then I put the index cards in a small recipe box that I could refer to before going out shopping for the week.
Once you know what you have, you can buy items you need to round out your storage plan. Remember the two R’s: Rotate and Replenish.
Some people say they cannot afford food storage. Find little ways to save and give up something now for peace of mind later. Food storage isn’t just for natural disasters. I have friends who have lived off their food storage when they lost their job, and were so thankful they had it.
Here’s a great video and additional information.