Are you prepared for a natural disaster?

I know we have talked about this before, I think it needs repeating. 

I live in an area that we will typically get hurricanes or blizzards. With those, you have plenty of warning and have time to prepare. Lately, we have had lots of thunderstorms that have been producing tornadoes! And that is uncommon in our area. We have a few a year, a little further south typically, but this year we have had more and closer to home. 

When I stopped to think about if I was prepared, I had to be honest with myself and say no. 

I have Bekah's medical supplies ready to go, but no shelf-stable food (for Josh, he is allergic to all nuts) or extra water. This will be remedied this weekend. And where is everyone's asthma meds?  I know where Bekah's are kept, but what about everyone else's? It is hard when they get older and want to take care of things themselves. 

If a natural disaster would strike today, would you be ready? What things have you done to be prepared?


Comments 11

  • StephM

    I'm good about meds.  And we always have some core canned food and seltzer. But– I happened to be checking the basic gallons of water last week, and they need replaced.  The plastic gets brittle and the slightest bump cracks them, as they are stored in an unheated garage.

    Some of my core foods:

    • canned tuna
    • canned beans
    • peanut butter/almond butter
    • nuts
    • dried fruit
    • canned pineapple and/or applesauce
    • "ramen" style rice noodles
    • protein bars
    • GF pancake mix/baking mix where you can just add oil and water
    • canned pumpkin (see baking mix)
    • canned vegetable soup– but this tends to get eaten whenever anyone is sick, so it might not be there!

    My list is a little weird because it's non-perishables that we eat regularly.  Some of the generically recommended stuff we just don't eat often enough to have any turnover… I cleaned some canned vegetables out of pantry with a use by date of 2017 this spring. Whoops.


    • matches!!
    • candles/flashlights/lantern
    • manual can opener
    • paper plates/bowls/cups
    • foil
    • frozen ice packs in the freezer for a cooler
    • Propane for the grill

    We always keep dog food (especially the rx food) and (mostly) dog meds on hand as well. I generally review the first aid supplies twice a year and keep a few basics in each car.

    I've often found it frustrating that insurance makes it difficult to have extra meds on hand.  The pharmacies also don't keep good supplies on hand any more either, so they have to get shipments in…


  • Melissa G

    That is a great list Steph! You are very prepared! 

    I agree it is hard to keep medicines on hand. 

  • Shea

    I just recharged my "portable power source" since we have been having thunderstorms. It is enough to charge a nebulizer and a phone and run my toaster oven or my small portable burner if I needed it. It is one of my newest editions to my hurricane supplies– I bought it last year. 

    If it is a long-term power outage this power source can be plugged into a solar panel to recharge instead of wall outlet. I had to buy a small solar panel seperately from it that works for it. 

    Last hurricane season some places nearby were knocked out of power for a week, and areas further from us that got hit harder were out even longer than that. 

    I also have a small gas generator that can run a small portable ac unit and a minifridge, and I have a safe way to run it outside far enough from the house. 

    I have extra boxes of crackers, sunbutter and jelly, canned soups and ravioli, packs of mandarin oranges, 14 gallons of water. 

    I have one refill backup of some medicines that are especially important to me– like prednisone– constantly swap and refresh as I pick up a new refill. Also have Tommy's medicibes like childrens Tylenol, benadryl, pepcid ac– all refreshed and not expired. And my OTC meds like tylenol and benadryl and tums.

    Speaking of the devil it just started downpouring outside. 

  • LK

    Steph and Shea,  Those are super lists!  I used to be better about keeping the emergency food supply updated but have not done that in the near past.  Thanks for the reminder to check all of it.  Will do that this week and replenish what needs it. 

    One other item that I keep in our emergency kit in the basement is a spare change of clothes including shoes.  Many of our severe weather times are at night and we would not take the time to get dressed when tornado is coming so need clothes just in case.  

  • Amber Says Shine

    I was just thinking of this the other day, after taking an office safety course. We live in earthquake country, so we have a 3-day kit with first aid supplies, water packets, food bars, tent, flashlight, etc. But I realized during the safety course that we don't have our medications stocked in that kit. So I'm going to make a plan for us to set aside meds to put in there. I also realized the kit is not in an easily accessible place, so I want to find a better spot for it. If we need it, I don't want to be crawling over our couch to get to the cabinet it's currently in!

  • Melissa G

    Amber, that is a great point! We need to make sure our emergency supplies are in an accessible spot.

  • Vickie314

    A good way to have backup meds on hand is every month request your refill 7 days in advance of the day you refilled the previous month. Most insurance companies will allow that leeway. Before you know it you'll have an extra month worth of meds stashed. Or if you've been in the hospital, refill your meds on time, this will also help you build up your stock. Then when taking your meds use the older script first which will help keep your meds from expiring before you use them.  A lot of this info came from my pharmacist and doctor.  Hope this information helps you to build up back up meds


  • K8sMom2002

    Vickie, this is a great tip to discuss with our doctors and our pharmacists and our insurance companies! Good to be reminded to check with our insurance companies about how far in advance we can order meds.

    Another possibility is if your insurance allows three-month supplies — sometimes insurance companies will allow you to fill a 90-day prescription. That means you usually have plenty of meds on hand — but you do have to store them properly.

    Amber, did you ever get a spot picked out for your kit? Don't a lot of folks in earthquake-prone areas keep some supplies in the trunk of their cars? (Of course, meds and other perishables couldn't stay there …)

  • Pljohns

    That's exactly what I do with meds.  Stuff I don't use all the time-like levabuterol and ipatripium, I get refilled twice when the ins allows it-that way, I always have extra on hand.  I never get without levabuterol, ipatripium, budesonide and prednisone.  DH does the same with his meds.  he keeps 2-3 days worth of his meds with him (he only takes pills) in a small pill container key chain (he learned that trick from a cop who keeps his  BP meds with him the same way).  We pretty much have everything else we would need-and a generator for the freezer.  My neb has a car adapter so I can always use it there if I need to.

    Great thinking on the clothes Lisa-I did that for the kids when they were little-I kept a bag packed with sippy cups, clothes, diapers/underware, shoes and a few books and toys for them as well as a soft blanket and stuffed animal.  Once they got older, I changed things out.

  • Amber Says Shine

    So many great ideas here!

    Cynthia – I have an *idea* for a new home for our emergency kit, but I haven't moved it yet. This will require moving several things around, so I need a chunk of time to tackle it!  I used to keep a gallon jug of water in my car trunk, until I left one there too long and it cracked and leaked 😶  We have 90 day prescriptions, so I can set aside meds easily, just gotta set a time and do it!