I’ve been watching the news as I saw my friends in the Southwest hit by yet another hurricane. Here in Iowa we definitely don’t have to worry about hurricanes, but we experience severe weather in almost every season. From tornadoes, to severe thunderstorms, to flooding, to blizzards we see our fair share of crazy weather. This past summer our electricity went out twice – once for 13 hours.
Living in the Midwest I think most people keep a few emergency supplies on hand, but this year I determined to really put together some sensible emergency supplies. Now that we’ve had the chance to test a few out, I want to share some of my favorites. No matter what climate you live in it just makes sense to do some disaster preparedness.
Battery Operated Lanterns
One of the first concerns when we have a storm is losing electricity, which means no lights. These battery operated lanterns are bright enough to light up a small room, and have enough battery power to stay lit for 12 continuous hours. We keep one in almost every room of the house for easy access if the electricity goes out. These were a life saver when my daughter and I were home alone and lost power this summer!
This year we also invested in a little weather radio. When severe weather strikes warnings and watches can change quickly and our satellite TV goes out in anything more than a drizzle. Trying to stay updated on the weather via Facebook was hit or miss, so I ordered this weather radio. It uses batteries but can be charged by solar power or the crank. Like most of the reviewers, the USB charging port did not work on mine, but the flashlight does. This also has a regular AM/FM radio on it. This has definitely come in handy during severe weather!
First Aid Kit
A first aid kit is handy to have at any time, but one that is compact and portable is a must-have for disaster preparedness. This one that we have is small and comes in its own pouch, but it has a ton of useful first aid supplies. You can get larger ones with more supplies, but I felt like the small one was sufficient for our supplies. I store this beside the weather radio so I can quickly grab it and head to the basement in case of a tornado.
One concern in disasters is safe, clean drinking water. There are a lot of different options to prepare for this like stockpiling water, or a purification straw, but we decided that a Propur Water Filter was the best fit for our family. This is the same idea as the Berkey filters you see, but after researching test results I liked the Propur better.
The Propur filter reduces/removes 200+ contaminants including VOCs, lead, fluoride, heavy metals, pesticides, etc. We could filter pool water if we had to! I love that this serves the dual purpose of providing us with clean drinking water on a daily basis, but could also be used in case of emergency. It’s small enough it could be portable if we needed to evacuate, as well.
Other Steps To Take
Depending on where you live and what type of disasters your area experiences there are a lot of other steps you can take to be prepared. I talked about how we prepare for winter weather in this post. If you have pets you may want to have a small supply of food and emergency supplies for them handy. During tornado season make sure you have a pair of shoes you can grab and put on quickly before you seek shelter. If you live in a hurricane-prone area you can fill ziplock bags of water and freeze them for an emergency supply.
The key to disaster preparedness isn’t paranoia, it’s just taking some reasonable steps to be prepared. Do you have an emergency kit?