Family Preparedness Friday

Plan now, reduce stress later

Are you a planner? Are you an “organized” (that is such a relative word) person? I like to think that I am both.

For example, this is my office.

Pardon the dark picture, in my area we choose to work without the overhead lights turned on.

 

I would say that my desk looks organized. Remember how I said that was a relative term? Here is what I compare my office against; the boss-man, Steve’s desk.

Please note those bookshelves! Oh my!!

 

Now, I am not saying Steve isn’t organized or a planner, because he really is. I’m just saying we work in the disaster realm; therefore, our offices tend to look like disasters. And maybe after two years of working in our new offices and publishing this on a very public forum Steve might be motivated to fix those bookshelves.

Now we may have two very different ways of organizing our offices, but we do agree on one thing and that is how to organize a family disaster plan.

A family disaster plan tells everyone in the household what they will do during an emergency. It helps everyone get organized. Having a plan reduces the stress of coping with a disaster in the aftermath.

EDEN delegates from the University of Missouri Extension system have created a disaster plan template to guide you and your family through the process of developing your family’s disaster plan. Creating this plan should be a whole family collaboration, that way everyone knows their role and responsibility in times of emergency.

Click here to go to the University of Missouri’s Family Disaster Plan electronic template. The template allots for two adult family members, two child family members, and six pet family members. If you need templates for additional family members don’t worry; click here for adults, here for children, and here for pets.

While we know this is an electronic document, remember to have a hard copy of this document as well.

Organize your family disaster plan now, to help reduce the effects of disasters later. Now I’m off to see if I can get Steve motivated to organize his office.

Family Preparedness Friday

Don’t Forget the Doggie!

This week’s post comes to you from my remote location in beautiful New Orleans, Louisiana. I’ve had meetings here all week; which means I have been away from my family all week. I sadly had to leave my husband and children at home. Not let me clarify, the children in our household are fur-babies.

Holden, the chocolate lab, and Arie, the pug

Please meet, Holden the slightly chubby overly-lovable, chocolate lab and Arie the often completely wild and insane rambunctious, pug. I know that I am the same as many other animal owners when I say that my pets are part of my family.

The likelihood that you and your animals will survive emergencies or disasters such as a fire, earthquake, flood, tornado or terrorist attack depends largely on emergency planning.

If possible, if an emergencies or disasters force you to evacuate your home, take your pets with you. However, if you are going to a public shelter, understand that animals may not be allowed inside. For example, Red Cross disaster shelters cannot accept pets due to health and safety regulations. Service animals that assist people with disabilities are the only exception. Make plans for shelter alternatives that will work for both you and your pets.

Be prepared for an emergency or disaster. Assemble animal emergency supply kits and develop a pet-care plan that will work whether you decide to stay put in an emergency or evacuate to a safer location. Keep in mind that what is best for you is typically best for your animals. Create kits for each pet for at least three days, and store the supplies in a pet carrier that’s ready to go.

Kits should include:

  • Pet identification securely attached and current photos of your pets in case they get lost
  • Medications, first-aid kit and veterinary records (stored in a waterproof container)
  • Sturdy leashes, harnesses, and/or carriers to transport pets safely and ensure that your animals cannot escape
  • Three days’ food supply (one ounce/per pound each day), potable water, bowls, can opener if canned food
  • Pet towel or blanket; pet beds and toys if easily transportable
  • Plastic bags for waste
  • Cat litter/pan
  • Information on feeding schedules, medical conditions, behavior problems, and the name and number of your veterinarian in case you have to foster or board your pets

In the event of evacuation, do not leave pets behind. However, if it’s impossible to take them, make sure plenty of dry food and water are available.

For more information look at the EDEN Family Preparedness Course or FEMA’s Information for Pet Owners page.

Family Preparedness Friday

A Recipe for Disaster?

If you were to lose power in your home for three days, what would you eat? Food from the refrigerator? No longer good. Food from the freezer? Not an option either. Microwave something? No power, remember.

Maybe you should start thinking now about what you could cook from the ingredients you have in your disaster readiness kit or your kitchen pantry right this moment.

Take a look around, what do you have? You can heat that can of ravioli up of a fire, same for the baked beans and cans of soup. But don’t stop there, think harder. What can you create from these items?

Well, I’ll be honest; my go-to comfort food is chicken pot pie, it’s perfect for sad days, cold days, and really ANY day. And yes, I know there are no two people that make it exactly alike, but I have to say my mother’s recipe is pretty fantastic. However, if my power is knocked out for several days on end I’m not going to be able to use those chicken breasts in the fridge or make pie crust from scratch like the recipe says. I will  be able to make my disaster ready chicken pot pie though. Check out how using canned ingredients can create relatively the same meal.

Disaster Ready Chicken Pot Pie

1 can – Cream of Chicken Soup
1 can – Mixed Vegetables
1 can – Chicken Meat
1 Pie Crust Mix from a box
Water
Salt
Pepper

Mix the pie crust according to instructions. Heat over an open flame. Break canned chicken up with a fork. Mix with vegetables (don’t drain) and soup. Season to taste. Fill pie crust with mixture and heat until warm.

Now that sounds more like a family meal. Be creative, but plan ahead. When making your disaster readiness kit plan meals ahead that will feed your whole family. Canned ingredients may seem simple, but they can make some of the best meals.

What did you find when you looked in your fridge? Share with us some of your disaster ready meal ideas.