I have recently become more intentional about preparing my family for an emergency. No, I don't expect a zombie apocalypse, but we all need to accept the possibility of a job loss, fire, or other disaster.
Here are three areas that I'm working on and the best lists that I've found for helpful practical advise.
1. Building a 3 month food supply
I have always had a love for pantries and full refrigerators. I think I've mentioned before that I loved staring at the full pantry after my mom went grocery shopping. And, no, I have never been in a position in life where food was scarce, so I don't really know where the obsession comes from. I just know that I feel very safe and secure with a full pantry.
Part of that obsession is what fuels my desire to stock up plenty of food for my family. I also feel that it is good stewardship, a way of providing safety and security in a time when there is lots of uncertainty in our world. I have had an experience in life where my husband was suddenly unemployed. At the time I was working, but what if he called right now and said he lost his job? We don't have my income to fall back on and things would be very tight.
I have become very interested in the idea of food storage, or stocking the pantry with enough shelf-stable food to last a month or more. I am not LDS and do not agree with most of their theology, but I do believe that they have a lot of good ideas for practical living, specifically their 4 Step Approach to Preparedness.
I recently discovered the blog PreparedLDSFamily. I love it because she breaks down each week, and tells you what food item to focus on that week. She suggests amounts to buy to stock a 3 month supply of food. Being the nerd that I am, I went through the list and wrote down the price of every item. For my family, I would need to designate about $25 a week to purchase enough of the suggested weekly item to last my family 3 month. Easy. Even more if you pay attention to sales and use coupons.
2. Putting together a 72 hour kit
Here in Arizona we are very blessed that we do not, as a general rule, experience many natural disasters. We don't have earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, or blizzards. However, any place has the potential for power outages, fires, gas leaks, and, don't forget things that happen in "diverse places". Being ready to leave the house at a moment's notice and able to take along items to make your evacuation a little more comfortable is a must, especially with children.
A Bowl Full of Lemons has the absolute best breakdown of how to create a 72 hour kit. I spent time today making my list and plan to pull stuff together here in a bit. Things I don't have will be purchased a little every payday.
I also like the way this site puts together her backpacks.
3. Auto Emergency Kit
What if you're not home and something happens and you're stuck in your car? The Survival Mom has an excellent guide to creating a practical kit for your car, especially with children in mind.
I like these sites because they are not conspiracy theorists who are going overboard. Each of them offer practical, sensible advice for being prepared "just in case". Because things happen to everyone.