There’s no way to predict with 100% certainty where you will be when an emergency happens. You could be at home (depending on how much of your time you’re at home – but most of us are home at least 1/3 of the time, while we sleep). You could be at work (that could be another 1/3 of our time). You could be in your car or another random place with your car easily accessible. Let’s look at each of these.
“Home” Away From Home
Many of us spend a lot of time in our car, whether commuting to work, the store, or on long road trips, especially in the summer. If you happen to be close to home, it is relatively easy to get back home where the majority of your supplies will be. But however far you are from your “base,” it is still important to have some things in your car and easily accessible.
Some things I keep in my car for an emergency are: extra shoes I can walk in, water (for my car or for me), some food storage (including snacks – especially important if you have children), a blanket and jacket, first aid kit, and other car-related emergency items like jumper cables, flares, and a spare tire. Did you know eFoods Direct has a car emergency kit that makes it easy to putting most of these items in your car? They do! I have one, and I recommend everyone have one. About twice a year I reevaluate the items I keep in my car for emergencies and make any needed changes. I rotate the food and water, and I verify that the clothes and shoes still fit everyone.
“Home” At the Office
If you have a work environment where you can leave things from day to day, it’s a good idea to have a small emergency kit. This should include shoes you could walk over rubble in (and perhaps even home, if you needed to), a first aid kit, a flashlight, some food, a jacket or blanket, bottled water, and the workplace emergency response manual. You will want to check through this stuff periodically to be sure you have everything you need and can rotate food, batteries, etc. as needed. Also be sure you understand your workplace emergency procedures and encourage others at your work to be prepared.
Home Sweet Home
When you’re storing emergency supplies at your own home, there are a couple of things to consider. First, you should have some type of “go bag” ready to take if you need to bug out. Many people have one backpack per person living in the home, with the idea that each person would carry one. These should be checked periodically so that you know they are up-to-date and have fresh batteries, food, etc. Our eFoods Direct blog has articles about what to put in a “bug out bag” or “go bag”. EFoods Direct also offers a Personal Blackout Backpack, which you can see pictured at the top of this page.
You will need to store your main food storage supply somewhere. For some people, they have a basement or space under a bed. Take a look at your options. You want to store it where there aren’t great fluctuations in temperature, so the garage or a backyard shed is not your best bet. Some of your food will be stored in the kitchen – remember, rotating food storage is important. But the rest can be elsewhere, and you can replenish the kitchen from there.
Take a look at your preparations in each of these areas and set goals for improvement as needed.