Monday, May 17, 2010

What's in Your Disaster Survival Kit?

When we moved to the Pacific Northwest a zillion years ago, we adapted to a gazillion different changes. One in particular was swapping out one potential natural disaster for another.

When we lived in the Midwest, like most good Midwesterners, every summer we kept a watchful eye to the southwest. Because like most native Midwesterners, we knew that if a bank of soaring, dark, and greenish clouds began amassing, we knew that it was time to round up the kids, tune in a local radio station, and be ready to head for the basement if the tornado sirens began blaring. I kept an emergency bag in our basement which contained a set of shoes for all of us, a first aid kit, flashlights, a battery radio, rain ponchos, blankets, water, and granola bars. When the kids were really little, I'd throw in a few inexpensive kiddie books.

The year John and I were married, our area suffered the effects of three tornadoes that summer, one which sent a tree through my parent's living room window. Ever since that summer, we've had an emergency bag at the ready.

That coincidentally was the same year that Mount St. Helens erupted. John has always said that floods, tornados, volcanic eruptions and our wedding must have been omens of some sort for the year 1980 and beyond. I smack him whenever he brings this up.

So when we became Pacific Northwesterners, I quickly learned that folks here don't worry much about tornadoes, thank goodness. But they always are aware of the possibility of an earthquake.

Oh, goodie.

This freaked me out considerably at first. The only earthquake that I have ever personally experienced was a non-event. I was driving around in my car and didn't feel or notice a thing until the radio announcement. I ripped home, expecting to see my dogs all nervous - aren't dogs supposed to be especially in tune to these kind of things? Not mine. I walked in the door and they were all sprawled out on the sofas.  Didn't even open an eyelid when I came home.

We put together an earthquake kit as soon as we moved into our new house. You can read FEMA's suggestions for disaster preparations here and here. Funny how lots of these items are the same as the things that I had jammed in my tornado duffle bag. Although there are a few differences. We decided to include two weeks worth of food and water to our emergency stash.

John does a great job in checking expiration dates and restocking supplies. He makes sure to donate items that may be expiring within the upcoming three months to a local food bank. Last weekend was one of those check the expiration date sessions and we ended up with a lot of stuff to donate. We consider sending lots of this stuff to our kids' pantries also as contributing to a food bank of sorts. I guess there's all kinds of charities.

So as we were going through stuff this weekend, I have to admit that this was the first time that I considered what I should add to our kit specific to my autoimmune disease needs.

I thought of the obvious stuff like extra water, eyedrops, sunscreen, and moisturizers, but I wonder if I should keep a couple weeks worth of medications in that kit too? I'd have to be really careful to cycle those meds through frequently so that they don't outdate, and keep them in a childproof and clearly labeled medication container. I would think that as long as I'm on prednisone, which cannot safely be abruptly discontinued, that I should at least have enough on hand to get me through a taper cycle.

Hm. Anyone have other suggestions for a Sjoggie survival kit?

Too bad it would be really hard to stock up on frozen mango margaritas.

1 comment:

Diana Lee said...

I've been giving some thought to this, too, with the return of tornado season. I'm especially concerned about wanting to have access to my diabetic supplies. I really need to address this. Thanks for making me think about it in greater detail.