Manning Emergency Preparedness

Focusing on all-hazard emergency preparedness & response

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Family and Self-Preparedness: How Ready Are you?

No, you don’t need to run to the store and buy all the toilet paper. No, now is not the time to hide in your bunker. However, you should take preparedness seriously, and if you haven’t considered it, there’s no better time than now.

The current coronavirus (CoViD-19) outbreak may have you thinking about your own preparedness, contingency, and evacuation plans. Seeing schools close, countries in quarantine, travel restricted should have us all wondering, how quickly can I pack the essentials and evacuate? What supplies do I have to shelter-in-place at home? What plans do I have for my kids if schools close?

Therefore, I want to share some basic considerations for home and family preparedness, no matter the hazard or crisis. First is evacuation, getting out quickly without time to consider packing. Second is shelter-in-place, staying home for an extended period of time without leaving for provisions or having things delivered (no more Uber Eats).


Evacuation preparedness means having essential items packed and ready to grab at a moment’s notice. This could be because of natural disaster or civil unrest and you can no longer stay at home. Whatever the situation, there’s no time to think, “what should I pack to leave for an indeterminate amount of time?” 

I admit, my family doesn’t have our complete “go bags” packed at all times, but we do have some necessities packed and ready to roll immediately. We also have a list of items to grab before heading out the door. During a crisis there isn’t time to think about what you need, but there may be time to quickly grab items from a list. 


How much food do you have on hand? How long will it last? What happens if municipal water is shut off? Electricity?

While many of us may have stockpiles of consumables and dry goods, it is a good idea to take an inventory and determine if those items can sustain your family for an extended period. I personally keep a case of dehydrated meals and 10 gallons of potable water in case of emergency. Additionally, I have a LifeStraw water filtration straw, iodine tablets, and portable water filter.

It’s not too late to start your own preparedness plans and emergency stockpiles. If you can’t pack an evacuation kit in advance, put together a list of what you will need to grab and post it somewhere visible, like the refrigerator. If you can’t put all the shelter-in-place supplies together today, start slowly acquiring items. Every time you go shopping, get 1-2 extra cans of shelf-stable food. Make it your mission this week to get a large 5-gallon jugs of water to keep in your store room. Next Amazon order, consider purchasing MREs or high calorie food bars such as S.O.S. Rations.

Some people may see preparedness as daunting or expensive, and the likelihood of these events happening is low, we should always have a backup plan for whatever the world will throw at us.

If you’re interested in seeing what is on my Bug-Out/Evacuation or Shelter-in-Place list, check out the link above.

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