Are you ready to go back to school? September is the perfect time to start focusing on getting prepared for emergencies and worst case scenarios, but most people have trouble staying focused and on track and many aren’t sure where to start. My answer for that: Step-by-Step with The Survival Mom, a preparedness curriculum!
In a previous career, well two previous careers actually, I was a classroom teacher and a trainer. I spent a lot of time developing lessons and curriculum. A few weeks ago when I was thinking about how to help Survival Moms really get the job done preparing their homes and families, I decided to develop curriculum based on my book, Survival Mom: How to prepare your family for everyday disasters and worst-case scenarios.
The book is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble online, as well as in many bookstores across the country. I highly recommend owning a hard copy versus the ebook version because the book contains worksheets and many checklists.
Ready to get started? Here’s Lesson 1, Take action now!
Click HERE to download the complete lesson and study sheet.
At 4 p.m. on any given day, only 30% of us know what’s for dinner! That’s right. Dinner arrives at about the same time night after night, but few of us plan far enough ahead to be able to tell our families in the morning, “Hey! We’re having BBQ beef sandwiches tonight!”
Admittedly, I fall into this category all too often.
Is it any wonder, then, that most Americans aren’t even sure whether or not they have a flashlight in the house with charged batteries? A vehicle emergency kit?
“Well….I’ve been meaning to buy one of those….”
We live in a safe and secure country, for the most part, and people rest easy in the knowledge that the police, fire department, Red Cross, and FEMA are standing by at the ready. Those well-trained experts are just waiting to gently lift each of our family members into a waiting row boat or helicopter, right? And a hot meal and coffee wait on the other side.
I wish this were true, but over and over again, from Hurricane Katrina to Superstorm Sandy to wildfires in California we see that emergency experts are quickly overwhelmed and their priorities probably don’t include your family and home.
So what’s a Survival Mom to do?
Put supplies, equipment and plans in place now and be ready for whatever comes, that’s what! If your desire is to keep your family safe and healthy, you’re a Survival Mom!
This first lesson is one of action. There will be plenty of time later for discussions and philosophizing, but for now, let’s get ‘er done by putting together one emergency kit within the next 7 days. If you can pull together additional kits, you get extra credit!
The following kits are the most useful and most likely to be used. Select one of them for your first project.
- Vehicle emergency kit. See pp. 248-252 for complete checklists.
- A get-home bag if you spend time at work or school. This will be an individual kit but with extra supplies for either a long walk home and personal security items as a priority. You might also want to include detailed maps with multiple marked routes from your place of work/school to home.
- A Family Evacuation Kit. Details on pp. 256-259.
- A Power’s Out Emergency Kit. See pp. 149-150.
- An emergency kit for an individual family member. Details on pp. 253-256.
One size doesn’t fit all
Even though the various lists in my book are extensive, they weren’t specifically designed for you, your family, or your circumstances.
Review the lists, as well as any other lists you find online or in other books, and go through each item before buying it. If you don’t know how to use a wire saw, for example, and your hands are arthritic, that won’t be helpful to you at all — unless you happen to have a handsome, muscular guy in tow!
The items in your kit will fall into 5 categories: sanitation, survival, sanity, sustenance, and security. If you find that one or more of these categories isn’t well-stocked, then review pages 250-265 for additional suggestions.
The “sanity” category is not one to overlook. In a crisis, distractions will be welcome, so be sure to include things like playing cards, a really long book (Tolkien comes to mind!), coloring books and colored pencils, and the like.
Additionally, consider health, emotional, and physical issues of each person you are preparing for. If you have a special needs person in the family, read my suggestions on pp. 264-265.
Please don’t spend a fortune!
As you venture into preparedness, establish 3 lists (see pp. 2-4) that you will carry with you always:
- To Do
- To Learn
- To Buy
Before buying anything, make sure you don’t already have it shoved in a back cupboard somewhere. Ask friends and relatives if they have any of the items you’re looking for that they don’t want or need. Scour garage and estate sales. Refuse to pay full retail unless that is your only choice!
Select one type of kit to prepare. Decide on the type of container that will work best and begin compiling all the supplies.
Spread out everything you’ve accumulated and make decisions for how you will actually pack the kit, with heavier items at the bottom. Combine smaller items in Zip-Loc bags or other small containers. Label them to make it even easier to find what you want when the pressure is on.
List everything in the kit and print it out. Keep a list in your Grab-and-Go Binder or another safe place and a second copy on top of all the contents in your kit.
Finally, on at least one calendar, write this on a date 6 months from now: “Re-pack emergency kits”. That will help make sure that any clothes and shoes included still fit, that food and/or water hasn’t leaked, and that everything you’re depending on in a crisis is still in good condition.
Click HERE to download a copy of this lesson and the study sheet.
Define your disasters and set priorities.
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