2017 was a rough year for many people across the nation. We saw flooding, earthquakes, and hurricanes leave many without power and the basic necessities of life.
Though we in Cedar Rapids are much more likely to experience a blizzard or rising flood waters than an earthquake, there are many circumstances in life where being prepared for the worst will pay off in dividends. It’s time to get serious about our own personal and family preparedness.
Why be prepared for a crisis?
In my not so distant past, both of my parents were laid off from their jobs and my brother went from two jobs to one, all within the same two year time frame. At the same time, my brother changed jobs, he needed brain surgery to removed a tumor. All three situations resulted in great financial difficulty for my family. I have seen firsthand how my they lived off of savings, ate only from food storage, tightened their budget to the smallest penny possible, and in my brother’s case, had to turn to our church finally for assistance. Should my family encounter the same or worse, I know we need to be ready.
We must do our part to be self-reliant and independent. If a major crisis does come, government aid may be slow to arrive. If you lose a job, it may take longer than expected to find a new one. We can help ourselves and even our neighbors by being prepared.
The home must be the heart of any welfare program. Every family should have an “executive committee” of sorts, comprised of the husband and wife, or in a single, or single-parent household, there should still be time set aside to organize and establish goals for meeting your family’s needs.
January is a great time to take stock of what you have and make a plan for how to get what you don’t have.
Parents, I encourage you to take stock of your family’s preparedness plan.
- Do you have adequate food and water if grocery stores are inaccessible?
- What will you do if the power goes out for an extended period of time?
- Do you have a second heat source in the winter?
- Do you have warm clothing and blankets?
- What about emergency funds?
- What if your car breaks down and help is slow to come?
- Do you have food, water, and blankets to keep you alive and safe until help arrives?
How about a “go bag”?
What would you grab if you had to evacuate with little or no warning? Would you have a change of clothes? Food? Important documents? Consider putting together backpacks for each of your family members filled with supplies to get you through 72 hours in case of an emergency. It’s something I’ve done over the years but have failed to keep current, so this is as much for me as for all of you.
Each family has unique circumstances, so there is no one-fits-all plan.
Families in different stages of life have different needs. If you made a plan as newlyweds, it may need adjusting now that you have small children. Similarly, if you made preparations with small children, now that you are empty nesters, your needs are different. If you don’t have a plan and goals to be prepared for life’s challenges and difficulties, make that your goal for the next little while. If you do have a plan, review it, check your progress, and if necessary, update it.
We can involve our children in this work too. Not only does it provide us with helping hands, but we are teaching them valuable skills for adulthood. Children can help you store and rotate cans, learn to prepare and can food storage items, learn how to garden, budget, work through family chores, etc.
We can also help each other in our neighborhoods and communities. One lady I know is an expert at canning and storing food, and will teach anyone who wants to learn. Another is a great seamstress and helps mend what people might otherwise throw away. What skills do you have that you can teach others? Some examples are sewing, canning, gardening, food storage, auto maintenance, carpentry, nutrition, financial management, and physical fitness.
I’m not a doomsday prophet or a prepper. But I do believe in preparing for a crisis, just in case.
Now, who wants to teach me how to grow vegetables without killing them?
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