Fuel & Light - 09-2005
With the disasters happening around the world and close to home, this is a great time to evaluate what you have and what you need to fix any holes or gaps in your emergency preparedness plans and supplies. Here are a few things to consider.
1. Consecrated Oil – Keep in your 72-hour kits.
2. Cash – This is needed for emergencies. It takes money to evacuate, for hotel rooms, food, gas, etc. Do you have family/friends in another state or area that you can plan to escape to? Make arrangements now.
3. Emergency Contact – Person should be in another state or area. How will your family know you are ok or need help? Figure out a calling plan or a contact person for your family group.
4. Family Escape Plan – This is a plan to get your family members/children from school or work. Practice it so it won’t be as scary if it’s for real. Practicing it will help work out the bugs and help everyone at making decisions. Do you have a family password?
5. Alternate Transportation - If no gas is available, how will you get where you need to go? [Bikes, walking, etc.]
6. Alternate Sources of Heat & Energy – Have you practiced using them with your family? Practice sessions can be fun and may remove some of the fear, particularly in children. [Remember the fun we had the night we used only candles and flashlights?]
7. Waterproof / Fireproof Box or Safe Place – Use it to keep valuable documents and important papers. [Copies of wills, insurance policies, contracts, deeds, stocks & bonds, passports, social security cards, immunization records, bank account & credit card numbers with their company names & phone numbers, inventory of valuable household goods, important phone numbers, family records (birth, marriage, death certificates), and photos of family members.] Some things may be irreplaceable if lost or destroyed.
8. Emergency Kits – Ready to go if you had to leave immediately, including any needed medicines, phone numbers, important information, etc. Remember to take your safe box with you!
9. Home Earthquake Emergency Kit – This includes rolls of clear plastic to cover broken windows, a staple gun to anchor it, a waterproof flashlight, a crowbar and a hatchet, gloves, and duct tape. All needed to for temporary repairs.
10. Guidance of the Holy Spirit – Pray and listen for guidance in preparing what is essential for your family. President Gordon B. Hinckley has suggested "that the time has come to get our houses in order… There is a portent of stormy weather ahead to which we had better give heed" (Ensign, Nov. 1998, p53).
FUEL AND LIGHT
With the winter coming, and fuel prices skyrocketing, you need to make sure you have alternate sources for heating and cooking.
“Electrical power and natural gas service to your home may be the first services interrupted during a natural disaster. Alternate fuel sources will be needed whether you evacuate from your home or are allowed to stay at home during an emergency. Fuel will be needed for keeping you and your family warm, dry and cheerful, for cooking, heating and purifying water, and for signaling.” (From 72-Hour Family Emergency Preparedness Checklist by Barry G. Crockett, M.H.Ed. and Lynette B. Crockett, p. 25.)
Evaluate your family’s needs, ages and abilities when looking at fuel and light sources. Beware of carbon monoxide problems that may occur! Items to include may be taken from the following list:
· Kerosene lanterns and heaters
· Fire starters (lighters, 00 steel wool, matches, etc.)
· Chemical warmth packs (like the ones for skiing)
· Cooking stove (butane/propane/kerosene/Coleman Fuel/or natural [wood] fuel)
· Fire extinguisher
· Light sticks (Cyalume) [great way for young children to have some light and feel safer]
· Oil lantern
· Road flares
· Flashlights, preferably LED & waterproof (store batteries separately then put together for use)
· Charcoal - must be kept dry.
Here’s an idea to help build your food storage! There is a program called Pinching Your Pennies, <pinchingyourpennies.com> that is FREE. Fox 13 news has a weekly update on it at 7:00 a.m. Monday mornings. Also offered are free seminars at the various Standard Examiner offices every Wednesday at 7:00 p.m., but you must register to attend. They teach you how to use store sales along with coupons and teach you the various stores’ coupon policies. For example: Albertsons will accept in store coupons (this includes competitors’ in store coupons) along with a Manufacturer’s coupon. The web site lists all the best deals at the various local stores.
You can maximize your savings by getting five newspapers delivered on Sunday (Standard Examiner has a special where you get a newspaper daily, then 5 on Sunday for $16/month.) You can also have your Mom and friends give you their weekly coupons if they don’t use them. This way you can take advantage of the best deals by buying several of the items. You won’t spend any more on your weekly grocery bill, but you will be rapidly building your storage. Once you get your storage built up you will be able to reduce what you spend and only buy what you can get with the very best deals. Even as a novice, you can start out with savings of about 50% weekly and move to higher savings as you learn the ropes.
For example, using these tips on a shopping trip you could buy 9 pkgs of gravy mix, 6 boxes of plastic utensils, 3 boxes of trash bags, 3 cans of honey roasted peanuts, 3 pkgs of spaghetti noodles, and 9 bottles of 16 oz. salad dressing and you’d spend $5.40.
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