September is Emergency Preparedness Month {living outside the stacks} #EmergencyPreparednessMonth

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A few years back, I was obsessed with all things prepper. I mean, I wasn’t buying stuff nor was I putting together a bug out bag or anything, but I was taking mental notes. You know, just in case I woke up to a Walking Dead type scenario. But, like with all things, my easily distracted mind wandered…

And I started focusing on day~to~day living and not really thinking about the what ifs. After all, those things happen to other people, right? Wrong.

A few years ago, my family was forced to evacuate our home in the wee hours of the morning due to a dam break. We had approximately 15 minutes to get our stuff together and get out of the evacuation zone. Do you know how scary and disorienting it is to try to pack for yourself and your kids, while your spouse tries to make sure that your home is safe? What do you grab first? What do you leave behind? You know you need the essentials: medications, birth certificates, debit / credit cards, etc. But what about those irreplaceable photos that were taken before the digital age? Do you leave the doll that you’ve had since you were three? Is it weird to grab that misshapen bowl that was lovingly created by your kid? What about your bible? I mean, you know there are apps. But this is the one your mom sent to you during Basic Training. The bag containing your daughter’s hair from a surgery she had at 5 months old that you didn’t know if she’d survive. Do you leave that?

Yes, this is the stuff that goes through your head. It doesn’t make sense. In the physical sense, none of it is essential for survival. But mentally, emotionally, spiritually? You need it. These are the things that make up your life. A life that may or may not be forever changed.

My family and I were able to move back into our home about a week after the dam burst. We were inconvenienced for months afterward as road crews and engineers repaired the vast amount of damage that was done to the dam itself and to the surrounding roads. Most of the homes suffered minimal damage and, to the best of my knowledge, no one was injured.

And that is what led to my prepper obsession. The fear that one day we’d face another emergency and we wouldn’t be ready. That’s what also led to my waning interest: nothing ever happened.

But I’ve watched what has happened in other parts of the world and that desire to be prepared is returning…

September is National Preparedness Month, so I can think of no better time than now to start preparing.

My first piece of advice is not to wait until you’re in an emergency situation to try to get stuff together. Depending upon how much time you have to move, you may get a little panicky, not have enough time, or simply forget stuff. Prepare now.

Important Papers:

  • important documents {birth certificates, citizenship papers, immunization records, social security cards, etc} should be in a locked fireproof box that you can just grab and go
  • you may want to consider taking pictures of the documents and sending them to your email so you have “copies”


  • keep written copies of your prescriptions and orders for medical supplies {this includes OTC medications and medical supplies}
  • ask your insurance company to help you obtain and maintain an emergency supply of medications {make sure you rotate your meds to keep them fresh}
    • if you cannot get an emergency supply, refill prescriptions as soon as possible so that you have less risk of running out

Photographs and Other Memorabilia:

  • scan all photos and upload to a photo holding/sharing site like flickr
  • make and send copies of cherished photos to other family members

I hope this post helps you and your family to start thinking about what you would do in case of an emergency. I’ll be posting more helpful information next week, so make sure you come back. If you have any suggestions or tips to share, leave them in the comments.

Be prepared and stay safe,

Daenel T {Living Outside the Stacks}





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