I grew up in sunny Central California, and I now live in Southern Oregon. Weather emergencies aren’t something I’m terribly familiar with. We don’t get hurricanes or tornadoes. No blizzards or electrical storms that take the power out for days.
I’ve experienced a few earthquakes in my time, but I’ve never been near the epicenter. Once my parents lived through a flood, but I was married and living safely 100 miles down the road.
But even though I live in a low risk area, it’s important to be prepared for an emergency. Since our area isn’t used to lots of snow, on the rare occasion that we get several inches, life pretty much shuts down around here.
I first learned that lesson when my daughter was about one year old. It snowed. There were a few inches on the ground, and the police pretty much encouraged residents of our county to stay off the road. Those of you who live in the Midwest, don’t laugh. People around here don’t know how to drive in the snow really well. We don’t have enough snow to practice!
Anyway, back to the story. There was snow on the ground, we were supposed to stay off the roads, and we ran out of diapers. Not good. We piled into the car and slipped and slid down to the store, just to buy a package of diapers. It was a scary ride, let me tell you!
But what I learned is that no matter where you live, you need to be prepared for an emergency. Keep extra food on hand. Canned food is great. Even if you don’t normally eat it, by keeping canned food on hand, you will have something to eat if the power goes out. It might not be the tastiest food, but it will allow you to get by.
Keep bottled water on hand. Pipes freeze. Water sources are compromised. You need to make sure your family can survive, if you can’t get water from your tap. Be sure to also keep extra medication and personal hygiene products.
Since that snowstorm 10 years ago, there have been many times I’ve been glad for an extra food supply. I still haven’t lived through a major disaster (and hopefully I never will). But when it’s snowy or the kids are sick, it’s nice to be able to put off a planned trip to the grocery store, because I know I have the basics covered.
For a full list of recommended emergency supplies, please visit the Red Cross website.
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I'm just an average mom, trying to live a frugal life and get out of debt. I write about things that have (and haven't) worked to improve my family's financial situation. What works for me may or may not work for you, and you should always consult a financial advisor before making important financial decisions.
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