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Making an Emergency Station

11.26.2011

Today’s guest post is by Heather Lorimer.  Heather writes the blog Cooking with My Food Storage.  Heather is a Shelf Reliance Consultant and offers her customers up to a 45% discount on high quality emergency preparedness supplies and freeze dried food storage.   Heather is the mother of 3 wonderful children and resides with amazing husband in Smithfield Utah. 

Do you have an Emergency Station?

 Photo courtesy of:  Endless Crafting

What is an Emergency Station? 

This is a designated  area where you have all your Emergency items making it easy to find in an emergency.
A mini emergency station for you car.

Why have an emergency station? 

In an emergency you don’t have time to sort through all your camping gear in order to find thing.   When preparing for an emergency you need to assume the worst. (and then hope it never happens).  When I set up my emergency station I thought about what would be the worst situation I could find myself in? 

Emergency kit in an bucket by www.survivalcentral.net

For me the worst would be:
  • I’m home with the kids and my husband is at work or out of town.  I’ll be dealing with the emergency on my own.
  •   There will be no access to communication.  No cell phone reception, no Google maps, no texting. 
  •  There would be an immediate and pressing need to evacuate.  (I’ve got to say that I’ve decided I’m going to be the first to evacuate.  No waiting around for the disaster to get really really bad.  If things are looking bad I’m out of here.)
The second reason to have an emergency station is that when a disaster strikes if you don’t have a plan you don’t know what to do.  
Super Delux Emergency Station by www.nwcprtraining.com

A few years ago my family experienced a mini disaster of our own.  We had never planned for such a thing and we did not make the best decisions.  By making a plan and getting your supplies organized in advance you already know what to do when a disaster happens.

Let’s take a look at my Emergency Station

My emergency station
 It is located just inside the door between our garage and our house (in the garage).  The area we had to work with is very small and narrow so instead of a shelf we opted to hang our 72 hour kits on the wall and stack our water below. 
I also hung up all of the Emergency Documents so it would be easy to grab.
  • Extended Family Emergency Plan, (this is a printable blank form).  If you are getting together with your family over the holidays print this out and have them each fill out their emergency plan.  In a disaster you want to know what everyone is doing and how to find them.
  • Evacuation routes, I use my phone with google maps for navigation.  In many disasters cell and data services get interrupted.  I have printed off maps and directions for multiple evacuation routes and leave these by the door.  If you have a GPS with built in maps, it will work is nearly every disaster.  Make sure you have a map and the routes you plan on taking printed and/or pre-programmed into your  GPS.  
  • Medication,  My son has asthma.  We have to have his inhaler.  And depending on the time of year we might need a whole slew of drugs for him.  Medication is something to make sure you have.  In an emergency it is difficult to contact your doctor, or pharmacy to get replacements.
  • Grab list, this is short list of things to grab if we have a few minutes. Often when an evacuation is ordered residents are given a time frame.  Evacuate now, in half an hour, in 2 hours.   On the news whenever there is a disaster and people are evacuating I always think it is odd when you see people carrying their TV.  Is your TV really the most important thing you have?  Probably not.  The thing you want on your grab list are things that cannot be replaced that you will need and things that will make the next few days bearable.
I find it very nice to have thought through the things I want to grab so when I’m in that situation I am ready to go.    

Do you know what you would take if you had to evacuate right now? 
Take a look at my list and see if you can get your thoughts going about what is really important.
    • Financial Paper Work Binder--  This is the MOST important thing you can add to you 72 hour kits.  After hurricane Katrina the extension service interview victims of the flood asking a variety of questions. One of the question was concerning what items they wished they had saved from the devastation.  The interviewers were thinking people would say things like, family photos, wedding dresses, grandma's quilt. But overwhelmingly people said they wished that they had saved their financial paperwork. You can not do anything to rebuild your life unless you have your social security card, the address to your 401k, the password to your bank account, and your insurance policy.  But usually these things are filed in separate files and are hard to track down.
o     Extra Water--you need more water than you think.  A LOT more.  1 water bottle per persons is NOT enough.  I have a case of water for each person, and I still worry that it is not enough.
o    My kids comfort objects
o    Our emergency cash (in a lot of emergency the area reverts to a cash only economy)
o    Extra clothes and Shoes—we have some clothes in our 72 hour kits but not enough to last very long. 
o    Address book
o    Lap top  (only because as part of my husband's job, he is responsible for disaster recovery for the computer systems he works on, and if we are evacuating I am sure he will need to work on the disaster recovery computer systems)
o    Camera--I never have all of my photos backed up.  I have most of them but there are always some new ones I haven't gotten to yet.  If I have the camera I have those photos.


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