This is a bit of a departure from my usual kind of thing, but it’s something simple I think everyone should do.
Be storm ready.
As the last few years of Brisbane weather have shown us, wild weather doesn’t only strike the top of the state.
Would you be prepared if you were cut off for a few days?
I’ve always kept some extra supplies around, but after a combination of the floods & Ben’s health issues, I became much more prepared.
There are many resources online for disaster planning. I am writing out what I do, but this is based on my needs & knowing my local area. It may be totally different for you & where you live.
When Brisbane flooded, I went straight to the supermarket on my way home & picked up a few extra bits. I knew it was going to be bad. I don’t condone panic buying (for the bad behavior it causes from shoppers & retailers alike), but I’ve got to say, after mass evacuating the city that day, there were only one or two others in the supermarket buying proper disaster food. That confused me. Then in the days that followed, the mass panic buying & completley empty shelves followed.
There are varying recommendations of what amount you should have on you, but I tend to keep a spare 20-40L in my pantry at all times. I buy an additional one for summer, since that’s when disasters are more likely to happen where I live.
Gas stove & gas
I bought a $20 single burner gas stove & cylinders from Kmart. Buy these kinds of things when they’re on special & that way anyone should be able to afford this kind of backup.
I keep a small first aid kit in my handbag most of the time, so I have an easy grab & go kit right there. When Ben was a type 1 diabetic, I freaked out before storm season & had in depth discussions with pharmacists about insulin supply chains in Brisbane. Unfortunately for him, if he ran out of insulin or if we lost electricity for too long he would have no choice but to just check into hospital. That part scared me a lot! Plan what you would do with any medications you have to take – do you always have a spare script & the cash (yes CASH, not card) to fill it in an emergency situation.
Plain, easy to store food
I find this pretty easy, just stash some extra pasta into my Tupperware. That keeps it fresh for a long time. I buy some tinned veggies that we would eat anyway. I keep a little bit of long life milk at home, but we aren’t big milk drinkers anyway. All of our fruit & veg are bought from a shop that’s about 6 doors from our house, so that’s easy to go and stock up if need be. We usually also have a bag of frozen peas in the freezer. Disaster food isn’t about gourmet cooking, it’s about staying vaguely healthy & alive. Just make sure you buy what you would eat any other time! And don’t forget to think about how you will cook it.
I’m certainly not the best at this. I’ve never even tested the gas stove. I’m also lucky that in a very small area (of roads that are mostly unaffected by flooding) I can access three Woolworths, two (soon to be three) Coles, an IGA, as well as numerous corner stores (including fruit & vegetable suppliers). So with little fuel expendifture, I can scope 7 supermarkets for items that become rare.
It goes without saying to have phones charged, spare batteries, torches etc. This isn’t meant to be comprehensive and I would highly suggest that you look at your local SES (State Emergency Services) website for tips relevant to where you live.
Do you stay storm season ready?