Ten Minute Evacuation

My friend told me about her family’s emergency drill.  It was awesome to hear.  I want to share some of their ideas and hopefully get a picture to post as well.

They created a card for each family member that listed the things each person was responsible for taking in case of an emergency.  Since several of their kids are quite young – they drew pictures. Then they laminated the cards so they will last.  What a super idea!

Another great tip – they have one gallon containers of water in their laundry room – so if they had to evacuate each family member just grabs a gallon of water.  Mom and Dad grab two.

Their plan was so simple and so effective. I am so glad she shared it with me.  To practice their plan they had their grandparents knock on the door and tell the family that there was a wild fire coming and they had 10 minutes to leave.  Their two year old was a little freaked out but what great practice.  Not only does it give the younger children a idea of what to expect but it also allows the older siblings and parents to anticipate the kind of reactions that are possible and help them prepare to pick up any slack.

One of the biggest challenges they faced was food.  So the Mom is thinking of a better system to make sure she could quickly grab food.  In her haste, she grabbed a loaf of bread and some peanut butter.  One suggestion was maybe having a box of food in the bottom of the pantry – that way it is very accessible but it is also handy to rotate the food items as well.  In fact, I think I am going to try that for our emergency kits.  We want to stick crackers in the emergency kits but they get crushed so easily. If we just have one box then it becomes one person’s job.

Thank you so much for sharing your experience with me.  I hope it will inspire others to get prepared AND practice!!


Power Outages

As I researched power outages I came across some great sites to share.  Please comment as I learn so much from everyone.  Experience is the best teacher and it is great to share that knowledge with others.

The first site is from the Center for Disease Control.  I cannot help but think they must be an authority on the subject.

Here is the summary for food safety:

Food Safety

If the power is out for less than 2 hours, then the food in your refrigerator and freezer will be safe to consume. While the power is out, keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible to keep food cold for longer.

If the power is out for longer than 2 hours, follow the guidelines below:

  • For the Freezer section: A freezer that is half full will hold food safely for up to 24 hours. A full freezer will hold food safely for 48 hours. Do not open the freezer door if you can avoid it.
  • For the Refrigerated section: Pack milk, other dairy products, meat, fish, eggs, gravy, and spoilable leftovers into a cooler surrounded by ice. Inexpensive Styrofoam coolers are fine for this purpose.
  • Use a food thermometer to check the temperature of your food right before you cook or eat it. Throw away any food that has a temperature of more than 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

So a helpful tool to have on hand is a food thermometer.  The old adage is “If in doubt, throw it out.”  But maybe the new adage should read “Is it good? Use your thermometer for food!”  Okay, that wasn’t my best work.

Our class went great!!  First we discussed general tips – such as the food thing, lighting, generators, etc.

Lights and Power

Once upon a time a worker from an electric company told me that you MUST be very careful when hooking up a generator.  In fact, if you hook it back into your electric system you can actually shock any worker out working on the power lines.  So be sure to look that up BEFORE using a generator.

A fun tip for light is to use solar powered garden lights.  Bring them in at night and put them back out the next morning.

Be sure to have flashlights, lanterns, candles, glow sticks and any other source of light you can think of.  Be careful when using open flames – especially with children around.  Remember that any item powered by propane is ONLY to be used OUTSIDE.  There are some great lanterns to choose from – even crank lanterns.

I must get my hands on one of those.  I do however, have a shakeable flashlight though – that is pretty cool.

We even have a neat little thing my sister bought me for Christmas one year – a crank flashlight with adapters so we can charge cell phones!  Hopefully I will never need it but what a neat thing to have!

Additional things to think about:

— if you have small children think things through. Yes, it is a good idea to fill your tub with water but make sure the door is closed or that your young child has no access to the room to avoid drowning.

— be aware of open flames – this applies to people with and without children.  It is okay to use items with open flames but never leave them unattended.  If you have to leave the room blow it out – better safe than sorry.