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       Volume I - January 18, 2008

Are YOU Prepared?
by Alice Osborne

January is a great time to get organized for the rest of the year, and dealing with the idea of the unexpected is always a smart component of any organization plan. After a major disaster the usual services we take for granted, such as running water, refrigeration, and telephones, may be unavailable.

Experts recommend that you should be prepared to be self-sufficient for at least 3 days. Store your household disaster kit in an easily accessible location. Put contents in a large, watertight container (e.g. a large plastic garbage can with a lid and wheels) that you can move easily.

Your basic emergency kit should include:

  • Water one gallon per person per day
  • Food ready to eat or requiring minimal water
  • Manual can opener and other cooking supplies
  • Plates, utensils and other feeding supplies
  • First Aid kit & instructions
  • A copy of important documents & phone numbers
  • Warm clothes and rain gear for each family member
  • Heavy work gloves
  • Disposable camera
  • Unscented liquid household bleach and an eyedropper for water purification
  • Personal hygiene items including toilet paper, feminine supplies, hand sanitizer and soap
  • Plastic sheeting, duct tape and utility knife for covering broken windows
  • Tools such as a crowbar, hammer & nails, staple gun, adjustable wrench and bungee cords
  • Blanket or sleeping bag
  • Large heavy duty plastic bags and a plastic bucket for waste and sanitation
  • Any special-needs items for children, seniors or people with disabilities. Dont forget water and supplies for your pets.

    A component of your disaster kit is your GO-Bag. Put the following items together in a backpack or another easy to carry container in case you must evacuate quickly. Prepare one GO-Bag for each family member and make sure each has an I.D. tag. You may not be at home when an emergency strikes so keep some additional supplies in your car and at work, considering what you would need for your immediate safety.

  • Flashlight
  • Radio battery operated
  • Batteries
  • Whistle
  • Dust mask
  • Pocket knife
  • Emergency cash in small denominations and quarters for phone calls
  • Sturdy shoes, a change of clothes, and a warm hat
  • Local map
  • Water and food for at least 6 meals (canned sausages, granola bars, trail mix, etc.)
  • Permanent marker, paper and tape
  • Photos of family members and pets for re-identification purposes
  • List of emergency point-of -contact phone numbers
  • List of allergies to any drug (especially antibiotics) or food
  • Copy of health insurance and identification cards
  • Extra prescription eye glasses, hearing aid or other vital personal items
  • Prescription medications and first aid supplies
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Toilet paper and feminine hygiene products (if applicable)
  • Small package sanitary wipes
  • Extra keys to your house and vehicle
  • Travel games, deck of cards; book to read
  • Lightweight sleeping bag attached to bottom of backpack
  • One or two mylar solar blankets
  • Hand and toe warmers
  • Any special-needs items for children, seniors or people with disabilities. Dont forget to make a GO-Bag for your pets.

    A good thing to have in the freezer are some extra granola bars that you can grab and go. Heres a recipe for a good, yet inexpensive one that we found in Mother Earth News:

    Granola Bars

    3 cups rolled oats (old-fashioned or instant)
    1 cup shredded coconut (optional)
    1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
    1/4 cup sesame seeds
    1/2 cup chopped walnuts
    4 tablespoons butter or margarine
    1/4 cup dark brown sugar
    1/2 cup honey
    1 cup raisins
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract

    While your oven is preheating to 300F, spread the oats, coconut, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, and walnuts evenly on a 9" x 12" baking sheet. Bake these dry ingredients for 20 minutes, stirring them occasionally.

    Meanwhile, heat the butter (or margarine), brown sugar and honey in a small saucepan, allowing the brew to simmer until the oat mixture is ready to come out of the oven. As soon as the oat mixture is out, add the raisins, stirring them into the other ingredients. Now remove the honey from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract, then pour the hot liquid over the oat mixture and stir until all the dry ingredients are coated.

    Next, press the granola firmly into the bottom of a greased 8" x 8" pan and place it in the still-warm oven to bake (at the same 300F as before) for 20 minutes. (An 8" x 8" pan makes bars about an inch thick; if you want thinner bars, use a slightly larger pan.) When you remove the granola from the oven, allow it to cool only slightly before cutting it into squares, but wait until it's completely cool before removing the bars from the pan.
      Download this recipe.

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