By Nicole Montesano • Staff Writer • 

Consultant urges people to embrace preparedness

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This is a good start, but I would like to encourage everyone to do even more to help themselves to prepare for a natural or man-made disaster.

While being very far from being experts or prepared enough ourselves, I think our family has done enough to keep us going for at least a little, on a small budget, if everything happens to be disrupted. We now have two 50-gallon blue poly drums of treated potable drinking water for emergency use that are refilled every year, I might add a third this year because the cost is negligible even the space to store it isn't. A new hand pump allows us to access the water.

We have a gas fireplace so if the electricity fails we still have the ability to heat food and water. We've sealed beans, rice, peas, wheat, and corn in foil bags, along with dry ice to replace the oxygen and kill pests, and then sealed the bags in five-gallon buckets for long-term food storage.

As for canned goods, whenever we go to the store for the things we normally use we try to pick up at least an extra couple cans for our emergency stash, which we rotate thru. Always keep at least one extra case of both toilet paper and paper towels on hand. We are well-stocked in candles picked up at sales and oil lanterns, with at least 10 gallons of fuel for them.

Also have rechargeable batteries and a solar charger for the flashlights. When it comes to defending what is ours, I have at least 3k rounds for my primary defense weapon, and a couple hundred for my sidearm.

One area where we are lacking is a more coherent first-aid kit. I have a basic kit, and also a kit for trauma/gunshot use, but I would like more durable medical equipment. A port-potty and bigger garden is on the 'to do' list for next year.

No one knows what the future might bring but I do think that common-sense efforts NOW to prepare would pay huge dividends regardless of any calamity that could befall our area.

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