Sunday, January 30, 2011

Be Prepared - Home Preps & a Go Bag

Still in Week 2 of the Be Prepared challenge - this week has focussed on Acquire.

Home Preps
We have done a lot of the preps suggested over at Bec's, mainly because we live in a high bushfire zone. Our old house was in what is known locally as "the indefensible zone", so we have always taken the notion of being prepared very seriously. Whilst where we live currently is marginally better (the CFA will actually come to this area *bonus*) we still take it to heart.

The other problem with living in such an area is we often live with power outages during hot weather. In fact our electricity provider often sends out letters saying they cant guarantee power during summer (we also lose power in winter but that's from trees coming down).

So we have to make sure that we can cook, be warm / cool, hear important messages - and that's where preps come in.

Some key home preps we have are:
* wind up lanterns
* battery operated lanterns
* solar charger for our mobile phones
* a wind up radio which can also run on batteries
* a portable gas hot plate
* a bbq and gas bottles
* wool blankets (good in summer and winter)
* our stockpile
* well stocked first aid kit

** and obviously all the trappings for fire readying your home

Another key thing we have is water tanks. And water purifying tablets. I would not hesitate to drink the water from our rain water tanks should we need to do so. Mind you that's probably because I come from South Australia originally and drinking rain water is normal over there.

Go Bag
Again an obvious necessity in a bushfire zone. And one unfortunately that we have fine tuned due to evacuating a few years back around Black Saturday. Make sure you check at Bec's post at Eat at Dixibelle's for a really comprehensive look at Go Bags.

We have a couple of dedicated bags for this. One is a bigger duffel type bag that stays in the boot of car during fire season. It contains mainly change of clothes, a few precious things and sits with our sleeping preps (sheets, pillows, a couple blankets). We also always have a car first aid kit.

Then we have another backpack that stays inside the house by the front door. This has a copy of our important docs (i.e. rates notice to prove you own your house, ID docs, insurance docs), a mobile hard drive plus USB's (photos, backups of work docs for Mr B), some snacks, some money, and most importantly Little B's bedtime lovey. Everyone knows they grab this if nothing else!! LOL

Now money may seem like a strange thing but in times past I always assumed I would grab my hand bag. But we evacuated for a fire and had smoke whipping around the house a few years back (though we found out later fire wasnt that close) but in the panic, I left it behind. Mr B was in another car,ten minutes behind me and we were going to our safety meeting point. BUT I was alone with a 2 year old dressed only in a cloth nappy (it was 46 degrees) and I had no ID and no money. Now nothing bad happened but still it was not a good idea!! Not making that mistake again!!

Another thing we did was buy an exact replica of Little B's bedtime lovey and keep it at a safe house. Which makes me feel better as he couldnt sleep without this and its a little well of security when you cant be at home and are camping / sleeping somewhere different / unusual.

Snacks are also a key thing for our go bag as we cant whizz out and buy Little B something to eat due to his allergies. In high summer, I always have a little kit of things I can snatch and go. Plus the few things we can buy and store easily.

Both these preparations are really important - even if it's just having copies of important docs. And it always helps to be prepared for a power outage in winter or summer. Once you can get the mind set it just becomes a common part of your thinking. For example, it's going to be 40 degrees here today and we already organised a meal for dinner tonight in case there is no power.

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