Sugar and Spice Advice on emergency preparedness


California has endured many wildfires that destroy everything in its wake. Florida and Louisiana are hit with hurricanes that are destructive, too. Blizzards, earthquakes, you name it can occur at any time. I am not trying to be a harbinger of doom; no, that’s just not me. I just believe in being prepared. Many people in our county have had to evacuate their homes, oftentimes at a moment’s notice. If you are told to evacuate will you be able to get your family out quickly and be ready or will you be frantically hunting around, wasting time, trying to locate things you might need?

In the past, I have shared information on 72 hour kits. Rolling carts work well; the kind pilots and flight attendants use can easily hold what you might need for 3 days and are easily mobile. I hope you have worked on getting a 72 hour kit together. If you did, awesome! If you didn’t, I encourage you to start putting one together today.

How many people think they should have an emergency kit in their cars? I am curious as to how many people would think this would be a good idea. On the other hand I would also like to know how many people think it is a waste of time to have one in the car. And hey, with this emergency kit taking up room in my trunk where am I going to put the groceries? Maybe having a car emergency kit sounds like overkill. Take a moment and think about the following scenario.

Wildfires are raging in the drought plagued undeveloped land around your county. You are on the way home and find that traffic on the freeway has come to a dead stop. You are sitting there with 300 other commuters. Why the delay? You turn on your radio and find that the fire has jumped across the freeway blocking all lanes. Believe me, this is not a scene from a horror movie. In San Diego County, which is arid at best and now in drought conditions for lack of rain, fires have jumped the highway and people have been stopped cold. Think about this question. Are you prepared for an emergency if you are in your car? Do you have what you need to survive should the road home be shut down in a fire or earthquake?

It’s not a bad idea to be prepared now is it? You have decided to be get prepared, but aren’t sure what you should have. Let me share with you some information. In your car try using a plastic storage box or a backpack or duffel bag. You will be able to hold your supplies and contain them in an area of your car leaving room for your groceries.

Your car comes with a spare tire. Most of us never think about it until we have a flat. Changing a flat is a pain in the backside, right? Can you imagine how much more that pain will increase if your spare is flat? Check your spare tire every 6 months to make sure it is properly inflated. Have a car jack and a lug wrench that fits your car. Be sure you know how to use it. There’s no point in having it there if you don’t know what to do with it.

Basic Kit Items: 12 foot jumper cables. (I have not had to have used them on my car, but they have come in handy when someone else needs a battery start.)
Four – 15 minute roadside flares.
Emergency Red Reflector Triangle.
First Aid Kit.
Flashlight and extra batteries.
Tire pressure gauge and some rags.
Roll of duct tape.
A HELP sign that is at least 8 inches in size.
Energy bars (change yearly).
Bottled water (change yearly).
Extra car fuses.
Small tool kit.
Nylon rope, at least 12 feet in length.
Plastic tarp.

These sixteen items in your kit can make the difference in your safety and level of anxiety should you be in an emergency situation. Below are what considered to be “Nice to Have Extras.”
Tire inflator (such as Fix a Flat).
1 Quart of motor oil.
Spray bottle with washer fluid.
Pocket knife.
Paper towels.
Pen and paper.
12” Bungee cord.
Rain poncho.
Work gloves.
Small ABC Fire Extinguisher.

If you have infants toss in a few diapers, bottles, and baby formula.

Peace of mind is priceless. With just a little effort and some cost, if you don’t have some of the above items, you can be ready for anything. There is a very wise saying I have read multiple times in an awesome book: “If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear.”

My prayer is that all of us stay safe and healthy. Being prepared is part of the way to make that happen.

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