A 12-month community emergency preparedness journey
“Emergency preparedness” gets a bit of a bad rap; society thinks “preppers” are people who are “doomsday” ready – stacking food behind walls, building bunkers, and focusing on doom and gloom. But, while preparedness is necessary for dramatic scenarios and severe disasters, it is also super important for more common human experiences and life changes. A job loss, move, illness, power outage, or even having a new baby can be events when having a back-stock of household supplies can make the difference between an uncomfortable situation or crisis and less stressful transition.
So, how do you start? Most people want to have an emergency kit ready, but it can seem intimidating and expensive – the supplies lists appear endless, and the process sounds exhausting. To be honest, it is if you bite off too much all at once. This year, I will show you how to take small steps each month to assemble a stocked and functional 72-hour emergency kit for your family, all without panic-buying, wasteful spending, hoarding, or fear-mongering, and with tips to fit almost any budget.
Month 1: Get a container for your kit
To get started, get a storage container or bag to serve as your main kit. Depending on your family size, you may want to add a few extras, but we will tackle that later. While many emergency preparedness consultants recommend backpacks, I recommend a large, heavy-duty plastic bin with a handle and wheels. You can find great options at local or online retailers. If funds are tight, look around your house to see if you can use a container you already own (you may need to consolidate or purge some stored items). The most important parts of the container are the wheels and handle to allow you to pull, rather than carry, some heavy items if doing so becomes necessary.
I look forward to sharing my knowledge and experience with all my neighbors. Together, we can become an even more prepared community, ready for anything that might come our way.
Johnna Masterson is owner of Inspired and Organized, and a Central Park resident.