There are several things that you’ll want to have on hand in large quantities during and after a disaster. Many of these don’t neatly fit into specific categories so I’m lumping them together in today’s lesson.
Sewing materials — things like needles, thread, and patches. Depending upon the nature of the disaster, it might be some time before you’ll be able to buy new clothes. Get the necessary supplies and learn the skills for repairing clothing now. Remember too that you might not have the luxury of an electric sewing machine.
N95 masks — if there is a pandemic, these masks when properly worn will dramatically decrease the chances of infection. They are also great when dealing with dust and debris.
Duct tape — so many uses, make sure you have several rolls.
Tarps — these are very good to have in the event of storm damage to the home. Get the larger sizes as while it is easy enough to fold them into smaller sizes, it is impossible to make small ones larger.
Bungee cords — to use in conjunction with the tarps.
Plywood and dimensional lumber — if tarps won’t quite to the trick, plywood and 2x4s usually will when it comes to expedient repairs for storm damage. Don’t forget nails, screws, and tools.
Paracord — vastly superior to clothesline, paracord is very strong, yet small in size. You can use it for everything from replacement shoe laces to lashing items to the car during an evacuation.
Manual can openers — a pantry filled floor to ceiling with canned goods won’t help you much if you can’t open the cans. Have several manual can openers set aside in case of loss or breakage.
Boredom relievers — if you and your family are forced to shelter in place for the duration, you might find it an easier time if you think ahead and have a few decks of cards, some board games, and other fun things to do together. Keep in mind that if it is an extended power outage during the winter, it is best to have everyone stay in one room for warmth. Giving them all something to do together will help keep the stress level down.
Trash bags — several uses including lining the toilet when the plumbing isn’t working, bagging up trash, expedient rain ponchos. If possible, pay a little extra to get contractor grade as the plastic is much more durable in them than in typical kitchen garbage bags.
Work gloves — a bad cut or even an infected splinter wound can seriously impact your disaster recovery plans. Have at least one good pair of work gloves for each member of the family, preferably two pair, just in case. Same goes for protective eye wear.
Coolers — in the event of a power outage, having a few coolers will give you the ability to preserve at least some of your food before it goes bad. Picking them up at rummage sales will save you a few bucks.
Your assignments this week:
1) Begin stockpiling as many items from the above list as possible. If you think you have enough, get a few more of each just to be safe. Better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.
2) Continue filling gaps in your preps you found during your recent inventory.