I am way into preparedness. As I have gone thru the process of preparing, I have found some things that have have really helped. (I have shared some of these ideas before.)
LIGHT (A big one)
My go to light sources are
1 - the small (very powerful) flashlights. I have at least 5 of them hooked to lanyards and hanging in my closet.
In an emergency we may not have hands to carry a flashlight.
We may not need the constant light source, and just misplace them.
Long term, we may get somewhere and realize we forgot our flashlight and have to go back. (In a simulated emergency I would run downstairs to the storage room for food, and have to run back up for my flashlight ;(
Of course, we also have regular flashlights w/ extra batteries, hand crank and shake flashlights and glow in the dark flashlights and glow sticks.
2 - Yard solar lights (Yep, just the inexpensive ones you stab in the landscaping. Watch for end of the season sales now.)
I got this idea after seeing them in our back yard during our last "fake" disaster. I just wiped off the tip and brought them in, and set them upside down. They did a GREAT job illuminating a room. I just took them back out in the mornings to recharge.
If you are in an apt., consider planting a few in an outdoor potted plant.
Keep in mind that although propane lanterns work great, they give off A LOT OF HEAT. (And the hissing gets annoying.) Also, I would rather use the free solar light than my propane bottles.
If I see the thermos' (the ones with the spigots. 2 1/2 gallon, 5 gallon...) at yard sales or thrift stores, I get them. They are practical for taking water and juice to the canyons. And homemade root beer :)
But, they work great for emergency water. (I always have clean ones in the basement.) Several times our neighborhood has lost water due to construction. One Thanksgiving day our neighborhood water was turned off due to a neighbors burst sprinkler line.)
Anyway, I quickly filled the coolers, and put 1 in the bathroom for hand washing, and one in the kitchen for drinking. (In a true emergency we would use hand sanitizer and drink ALL the water ;)
I also store water pouches, water bottles, water jugs...
I collect the small propane bottles. I just pick one up as I am out shopping for groceries, gifts, whatever.
BUT my big thing is, HAVE AN EXTRA PROPANE TANK FOR YOUR GRILL. And always keep it full. The reason is obvious. Who wants to run out of propane in the middle of a party?
We used to trade our empty tanks in for new ones when stores had them on sale. Then my son in law heard from his dad about a commercial place. That is where we go now to get ours filled. The cost is less, and they fill them full. If you are in the Salt Lake City, UT area, here is where we go. (They also sell full tanks.)
Commercial Propane, Inc.
8750 South 300 West Sandy, UT (East side of the freeway)
If you are not from here, call around to commercial propane co. for prices. (Not gas stations with a propane tank.)
I had a meeting last night and was glad that I have some regular wind up hair rollers for after my shower. I did not know if I would be able to use my curling iron.
Hand can opener. (Store a new, good quality one. It may get a lot of use.)
Alternative radio. (Battery, hand crank, solar...) You will want/need to hear the news.
This is my favourite extra. It is a smallish battery powered fan. I use them at night when I travel for air and white noise. (Yellowstone, New York) They work great. I keep extra batteries with them, but have not needed to replace them. (I got them from Walmart for $5.00 during our first "fake" disaster.
|$5.00 battery operated fan uses 2 "D" batteries.|
Centre circle is about 6" across.
We (actually me) do an inventory of the very basics the first week of October and April. I update emergency snacks, check battery needs...
I hope some of this helps you get ideas for preparedness. Remember to add card games, a good book or a few things to help you enjoy your day with no power.