being prepared …in general

Jeanne here.

I don’t know about you, but reading Abby’s post yesterday about being prepared to have a cold got me thinking.  When I lived in California, my uber-organized-super sister (who lives in San Diego) gave my parents and I an earthquake preparedness kit that was skillfully packaged in a bright red and green plastic bin.  Inside, there were basic emergency supplies … like a crank radio and crank light … a can opener … some water … a bag for me to pack clothes and underwear (which I never packed) … matches … so many things, I can only remember a few.  It also had a contact sheet and “escape plan” in case “the big one” hit while we were there.

And I carefully packed and moved that bin around from apartment to apartment, from house to house, as I moved around the city.  And I moved a lot.  In 16 years, I lived in 18 homes.  It was a lot of packing, especially because it was just me that I had to worry about.

But now I’ve got some important reasons to be prepared in case of emergency.

camping 4

camping 3

And even though I’m out of earthquake country (not really … Yellowstone, which is 90 miles away has some of the biggest and most dangerous faults in the country, and apparently there’s seismic activity every day.  We just don’t feel it), that carefully packed and unpacked box has made it’s way to a dark corner of our storage unit.

Which just seems silly.

Because Montana isn’t natural disaster free.

We’ve got the potential for crazy amounts of snow and long periods of Arctic temperatures (thankfully, not this year … so far).

There’s the occasional tornado.

We have a “fire season” every year.

During my first summer here I encountered a hail storm that knocked out all of the east facing windows of our home, shredded the siding, and caused about $5,000 worth of damage to my car (a shattered windshield and hail battered roof, hood and three sides of the vehicle).

And two summers ago, the Spring floods were so severe that I know a few people who lost their homes.


It’s not that we’re not totally unprepared.

We’ve got food and water set aside (in three places:  the basement, the laundry room and the stand-up freezer in the garage ).

(Our food supply is made up primarily of big sacks of flour, canned foods from our friends’ gardens, a few bags of organic pasta, some long-shelf-life rice milk that we  rotate out, frozen bone broth, which we rotate out, frozen tomato sauce, which rotates out, and about a month’s worth of frozen elk, antelope, chicken and beef).

And one of the horse trailers is packed with our camping gear, so there’s cooking supplies and warm blankets, a first-aid kit, and the like.

camping 2
This is the ONLY picture I could find of our trailer …

It may sound like we’re set.  But we’ve got a ways to go … we’ve got more canning to do, more water to store, a more complete first-aid kit to develop, batteries to buy … In fact, I find that every trip to Costco gets us one item closer to achieving the “be prepared” motto touted by the boy scouts.

The reality is, a small emergency kit (blanket, water, shovel, food, a flashlight) in the vehicle in winter is a smart idea for anyone who lives in snow country.

Today, in addition to the staples of Nutiva Coconut Oil (which is on a major sale at our Costco), dried mangos, organic quinoa, rice and sugar, organic olive oil and bananas, we’re picking up batteries.

We’ve yet to reach survivalist status.

But I think I’m going to have to make a storage run this weekend. 🙂

Q: How do you prepare for emergencies?

2 thoughts on “being prepared …in general

  1. Wow, very impressive! We are prepared for essentially nothing at my house…except that we have a generator and always keep gas should we lose power. Unfortunately, that only helps us if my house and garage are still standing. 🙁 Will have to put some thought into what we can do to be more prepared.

    Funny story…we were having a wicked storm last year with tornado warnings. Jess and her friend (both approx. 10 yrs old) decided we needed emergency rations in the basement and began carting stuff down. Their rations included 5 water bottles, chocolate chip cookies and some twizzlers! LOL!

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