At some stages of our lives, many of us have encountered different home crises ranging from water to electricity shortages. Self-preparedness is key in managing these kinds of situations. Self-preparedness comes in different forms, from knowing what type of home crisis to expect and being able to prepare yourself when such a situation takes place without putting a lot of pressure on yourself.
Sufficient water, food, emergency bag, and alternative lighting options are some of the things you need to ensure are in plentiful supply in your house to prepare for a crisis. They should always be placed in a spot that is easy to find and which is free of any interference.
Depending on the place you reside in, some of these crises can last up to days or weeks. Since each type of crisis requires a different approach, this article will help you keep informed on what to do when you find yourself in such scenarios. So read on to find out more.
How Do I Prevent a Crisis?
The majority of people do not always want to be drawn into this topic. However, your priority in preparing for a crisis should always be to ensure you have all the basic needs of food, water, and clothing. Besides that, it’s also recommended that you should have an emergency kit and supplies on hand. Self-preparedness is the key!
- Knowing what type of crisis to expect
You can’t always prepare for something that you are not aware of. Getting ahead of this home crisis will leave you in a better situation. For instance, knowing about your surroundings like the history of the town will help you to know what kind of home crisis to expect. Some towns have water shortage and electricity outage problems.
When moving with your family to a new town, it’s important to keep regular contact with the people in the area and the relevant water and electricity authorities. You will be surprised as to how much information you could gather on some of the shortages that often occur in people’s homes.
If you live in an arid or semi-arid town then you know that at some point in life your family will have water shortage problems. Some towns even have water rationing schemes. Some days are allocated before you get running water in your area. This information helps you prepare by purchasing and installing water storage systems in your home. Water is life. With water, your family can cook and carry out the necessary household activities with ease.
Some areas are quite known for their power outages. You may live in the darkness for some days before the relevant authorities fix the problem. No electricity means that you won’t be able to keep your foods refrigerated nor will your family be able to charge their electric appliances like phones and tablets. Your home may experience electrical surges, overloading, switch lights not working; these may go unattended for several days. Using alternative sources like solar panels will help you be ahead of such a home crisis.
- Sign up for emergency alerts
Getting messages sent to your phone will help you deal with some of these home crises.
Some towns and states do regular maintenance and upgrades on some of the services they provide like electricity. Getting a notification from your electricity provider informing you of the number of days they plan to do a power grid maintenance in your area will help you prepare better for the days ahead.
Some areas are not easy to access due to poor road networks. Getting a notification from your grocery supplier will help you plan and motivate you to stock up food for future use until the next days when more food supplies will be brought in.
- Identification of responsibilities for each member of the family how to work together as a team
Setting responsibilities define each member’s roles. If everyone fulfills his role perfectly, you won’t have to worry about the home crisis like water, food, and electricity shortage.
- Pack and go bag
Sometimes these home crises can be extremely stressful that you may want to move your family to another area before you get the problems fixed. If you find yourself in such a scenario, you will want to have some essentials packed and ready to move.
You may also require extra cash to fix the water, food, and electricity problems in your home should they arise.
- Making an action plan
As said earlier, these home crises can get stressful, especially when they last for several days than you had anticipated. We suggest making a plan on what your family can do when you are having these issues.
For instance, letting your family know that they should water sparingly for the next number of days may help averse the water crisis. In the case of electricity problems at home, you won’t be able to charge your cell phones. So having important contacts written down will pay off.
You could make an action to-do list that you feel will help the family manage the home crisis even when you are away.
- Practicing as many elements of the plan as possible
As the famous saying goes “practice makes perfect”. Rehearsing the elements will increase your awareness levels about these crises. This will in turn help you deal with them effectively.
- Prepping your home
Some home crises may do a lot more damage than you had expected. If power is an issue at home, then unplugging your electronic appliances is important. When electricity is restored, you will be able to prevent more damage.
If water is the problem, filling your storage units before the water system is cut off will help you avoid future water shortages.
- Storing everything properly
Being organized helps you prevent some of these home crises. Imagine being unable to fix your electricity since you cannot remember where you placed a gadget needed to fix the situation. Now you will have to go for some days without electricity simply because you can’t afford the gadget at the moment.
Grouping food together in a freezer will help you averse some food shortage problems that were to arise due to the looming power outage. If you have an advanced warning, you may want to store foods that you don’t need at the moment like meat and milk. Some food experts even recommend keeping an appliance thermometer in the freezer which will help you determine if the food is safe to eat.
What Should Be in Your Emergency Bag?
If you find yourself in a food, water, and electricity crisis for several days, then going for your emergency bag should be your last resort. However, you will require some things in your emergency bag that will help you at least survive the crisis.
The emergency bag is important to prepare and protect your family for unforeseen events. Putting the emergency bag in an accessible area to all your family members will help you cope up for some time.
- Ready to eat food and water
Most people recommend having food and water that will last you and your family for at least three days. Food will keep you energetic while the water keeps you hydrated.
- Battery-powered flashlights and radio
In case of an electricity crisis, the flashlights will keep you illuminated and help you avoid some minor accidents. The radio helps you keep updated on the developments that are taking place.
- First aid kit
Sometimes these home crises bring a lot of damage. In case of accidents, a first aid kit will come in handy. Your first aid kit should at least have; bandages, gauze, alcohol prep pads, cotton, and burn-cream ointment.
- Prescription drugs and medication
If you have a pre-existing condition for which you are taking drugs, then these drugs should be in your emergency bag. They should be enough to last you at least five days. Consider having antibiotics and painkillers in the emergency bag too.
- Local maps
In case you get lost, these will help you find your way.
- Water disinfectant
Water is an important commodity for humans. So consider having enough water disinfectant in your emergency bag.
- Cell phone and a solar charger
Cell phones are necessary for communication. What could be a simple home crisis can turn out to be a larger crisis you can’t control. A cell phone will help you send and receive information or even seek help.
The solar charger helps to charge your phone and keep it on throughout.
Putting some money aside for some emergencies wouldn’t hurt. Instead, it will help you be on a stronger foot to deal with any unplanned occurrences.
- Copies of personal documents
Loss of personal documents is quite possible in case of crises. So to be prepared, consider having copies of them in your emergency bag.
- Moist towels and personal sanitation items
These will help keep you clean and sanitary in case the crises prolongs.
- Extra personal items like an extra pair of glasses, clothes, etc.
Having an emergency personal bag is essential. However, some crises will require quick responses and you will not be able to carry all items listed above. We suggest that you think carefully about what you need for a quick getaway in the event where your home crisis has turned out to be harsher than perceived.
What Type of Foods Should You Have at Home in Case of a Home Crisis?
Being stuck at home with no food is not an ideal situation that any of you will wish to find yourself in. Emergencies do happen during extreme conditions and the best way to avert a food shortage crisis is by being aware of the food safety precautions.
During these crises, the quantity and quality of food that you should store depends on several factors like; age and special needs, the size of the family (number), food preferences, ability and equipment for preparation, and the storage space.
When in these situations, you should think of meeting your basic needs rather than preferences and flavors. Planning right helps your family have access to a great variety of foods and nutrients.
The types of food you need to stock up in case of a home crisis are nonperishable foods. Nonperishable foods are types of food that can sustain you for a long period without them going bad. They include;
- Peanut Butter
Peanut butter is a great source of proteins. To get the most out of these, you should consider purchasing a two-pack. Some brands of peanut butter have low sodium and are gluten-free which is ideal for members of your family with different needs.
- Whole-Wheat Crackers
Their extra fibers are important especially when you are hungry. In the case where you did not get time to rush to the store to get bread, then wheat crackers will make a good replacement. They are available in family pack sizes.
Cereal contains a lot of fiber and nutrition which is essential to our bodies. Besides, it doesn’t require one to cook.
- Granola bars and power bars
They can stay for at least 6 months before going bad. Being excellent sources of carbohydrates they should be on your priority list.
- Dried foods
Sometimes home crises will prevent you from rushing to the grocery store to get some fresh fruits. Dried fruits will enrich you with a lot of nutrients and calories during such times.
- Canned foods
Canned soups, canned vegetables such as beans, carrots, and pineapples. They will provide you with the necessary nutrients while at home.
- Dry pasta and pasta sauces
They can stay for months without perishing. If your family has some dietary restrictions, then buying gluten-free pasta will be ideal.
- Bottled water
While some of you might argue that water is not food, our bodies cannot function properly without it. You should consider storing water that will last you for at least three days. You could purchase water that has essential minerals and added electrolytes.
- Powdered milk to act as a substitute for fresh milk
Fresh milk doesn’t last for that long unless it’s refrigerated. So you should consider getting powdered milk for example if the electricity goes out.
These will supply you with the necessary vitamins that your body requires.
In the article, we mentioned that it’s possible to prevent a home crisis if you sign up for emergency alerts. If that’s the case you can rush to the store to pick some fresh produce, (perishable). They include:
- Apples-Citrus fruits- can last up to two weeks without refrigeration due to their high acidic content. Fruits such as oranges contain Vitamin C which will keep you hydrated.
- Tomatoes- can last several days at room temperature.
- Hard packaged sausages- like soppressata and pepperoni which can last up to six weeks if kept unopened.
- Winter squash- despite them being inedible while uncooked, they can stay for quite some time before going bad.
In general, when choosing foods that you should keep at home for the home crisis you should consider foods that your family are comfortable with (avoid salty foods since they increase thirst), foods with a high nutrients value, the food supplies should at least include one balanced meal for each day, consider foods that require minimal cooking or no cooking at all, finish all the leftover or discard them to create room for fresh foods and pack nonperishable canned foods for your pets.
You can choose to purchase canned foods which are very reliable as emergency backups for any home crisis since they can be stored for some time so long as they are not damaged or leaked. You should remember to replace them after 12 months.
How Do I Cook Food During a Crisis?
Most of you right now are probably wondering how you will be able to cook food during a crisis. Worry not we are going to show you how.
In case of a crisis, there is a likelihood that there will be electricity outages at many people’s homes. You could try this;
- Portable cooking bags
One of the simplest ways to cook food during a crisis is through the use of portable cooking bags. Here food is packaged with built-in heating elements. It will only take some chemical reactions which produce enough heat to warm the contents of food in the bag. Besides, the portable cooking bags will help you heat the food in a chemically heated pouch.
- Mini folding camp stove
Second, you can use a mini folding camp stove with canned fuel. They are designed to give a larger surface to cook through folding. However, this option is best for foods that need reheating. They can be used outside as long as there is some ventilation. Since they can be folded, they can be used as emergency backups during a home crisis.
- Use perishables first
Sometimes a home crisis can take longer than expected. Using your perishable food first should be your priority. It would help if you always chose to prepare your meat or dairy products. In the event where your oven is not usable, consider cooking outside on an open fire.
- Light your workspace
Cooking in the dark can be extremely dangerous. If you have a persistent electricity problem at home, you should always consider illuminating your workspace using a lantern or a flashlight to avoid minor injuries. Despite the crisis, you wouldn’t want a knife cutting you. So invest in lighting for your kitchen.
- Propane stove and matches
It’s not possible to use an electric source to cook if electricity is out in your home. Instead, you can choose to use propane to cook or gather matches which you can use to light your gas. It’s not advisable to use a grill inside the house though. Grill produces harmful carbon monoxide.
- Open fire
For instance, when you have an electricity crisis in your home, resorting to cooking outside in an open fire would be the best. The open fire not only cooks but also provides light. I know it sounds easy but it isn’t. There is no knob to turn neither is there a button to push to adjust the heat. But all in all, it can be an effective way to cook your food.
- Solar cooker
A home crisis will hit you unexpectedly. Owning a solar cooker will help you avert the food crisis you could have encountered. Nowadays, eating in hotels and restaurants has become quite expensive. A solar cooker will help you prepare your main meals and even bake bread. You may even decide to use a solar oven for cooking.
Practice! Practice! Practice! Practicing the different ways of cooking during your home crisis will be a huge boost when that real home crisis occurs. You should also practice cooking with only minimal equipment. Practicing builds muscle memory hence your brain will quickly adjust when electricity in your homestead is non-existent for some days.
In general, it does not matter which method you decide to choose for emergency food preparation during a crisis. Think always of “heat” instead of “cook”. You will find out that fully cooked foods just need to be reheated than uncooked foods. For instance, canned beans do not need additional water, soaking, or cooking time compared to fresh beans. This way you can tackle the water issue by using it sparingly and electricity outage issues by using an alternative source of energy.
How Do I Store Water During a Crisis?
It only takes a broken pipe in your house, a toxic chemical, or an oil spill at the water source, or water rationing to run into a water crisis.
We are all aware of why water is essential in our bodies. For those who don’t know, here is a quick reminder. Water aids to carry nutrients to the body cells and oxygen to the brain cells. It also enables the absorption of minerals, amino acids, vitamins, and glucose and helps in flushing out toxins from the body.
With that said, it’s important to know how you can store water in periods of a crisis. The storage of water on earth can be classified into 3 main natural locations; above, at, and below the earth’s surface. It is advisable to store at least one gallon of water for each person considering your family’s needs habits. Getting ahead of the situation to find some storage space is essential. It’s however possible to adjust your normal water usage habits such that you can get through the crisis.
In the case where the water in your home comes from a public water distributor, you can opt to store it in clean plastic bottles or jerry cans. However, if you suspect that the water is contaminated, then purchasing water from a local discount shop would be a good alternative.
Using small containers to store water is a good idea too. They are quite cheap and easy to find that’s why you will find them very popular among many households. Experts will tell you that if you must store your water in these containers, they should be made of food-grade plastic-made of glass, enameled metal, and stainless steel. A home water shortage crisis will force you to use one container at a time.
You should make it a habit to check your plastic after every six months for algae or any sort of bacterial growth. A water crisis requires tough measures. Be aware of the direct sunlight that may cause a drop in the level of your stored water. You are required to store water in a cool and dark place with minimal animal and human activity.
You can also use water storage tanks to store water. Storage tanks will help you store large volumes of water. You should consider putting into place a water storage tank system depending on if the area you reside in always has a water shortage crisis. Water tanks are of different types; Underground fiberglass tanks, carbon welded steel tanks, pillow tanks, and folding tanks, corrugated steel tanks, polyethylene tanks, and bolted steel tanks.
Even though you are going through a crisis, it doesn’t mean you should overlook some of the mistakes you probably do, most of which are not intentional.
- You should be cautious not to use containers that have not been completely cleaned, especially one used to store chemicals or oil before.
- You should avoid refilling containers from an untrusted public source. – You could make use of ways of purifying that water (boiling, distilling filtering, and use of treatment chemical like iodine)
- Avoid keeping your water outside in direct sunlight.
- Avoid using water after six months without testing its portability.
It’s however important to note that you should always consider using water sparingly and being smarter about how we use it in times of a crisis. Instead of preferring taking military showers, catching running water, and bucket flushing. If you find yourself in a crisis, thinking about long term sustainability in your home might be the way to go.
Rainwater is free and depending on your region’s climatic conditions, you should take advantage of that. It’s been proven that an inch of rainfall per square foot is enough to fill two-thirds of a gallon. If you don’t want your family to experience the agony of a water crisis, investing in a sloped roof and gutters should be the way to go.
You may also resort to using greywater collection. Some people will confuse it to be sewerage water but it isn’t. You can use it in your home to flush toilets, and watering your garden. Groundwater can also be another solution to your looming water crisis in your household.
To sum up, planning for the future is crucial to averting home crises like water shortages, food shortages, and electricity outage issues. So follow the suggestions on this guide to make sure you are always ready.