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Disaster preparedness for families with food allergies

When you are the parent of a child with a food allergy, you have additional obstacles and things to consider when trying to be prepared. There could be circumstances where you’re required to shelter-in-place in your home for an extended period of time, or even go to a public shelter. In the event of either of these scenarios the best thing you can do is be prepared, and prepare your family for what may happen. This preparedness and training can be really beneficial for your children whether it’s a major disaster or a small house fire.

Create a Family Disaster Plan

The first step to getting ready for any sort of disaster or emergency situation is creating a family plan. In addition, depending upon the age of your child and the size of your family, you’re going to have to make adjustments to your plan. For example, if you have an infant your child isn’t going to be able to do much for themselves, and if you have an older child they may be able to help out more. Additionally, you have to keep in mind that your child and you may not be in the same place during a disaster, so you have to figure out how you will reach each other and meet.

  • Decide on a location of where to meet in your home if there is a disaster
  • Practice emergency drills for if there’s a disaster in your home
  • Fill out a Family Communication Plan for your child and put it in their go-bag, make sure they know and understand the plan (depending on their age). Be sure to fill this out together and talk through this plan together.
  • Talk to your child about the disaster plan if they are at school or day care

 

Connect with your child’s school or daycare

If your child is at school you’re going to want to 1) talk to the school about their emergency plans, and 2) figure out what supplies and emergency kit you’re going to leave for your child at school. I think it’s critical to explain to your child what will happen and where you will be during this time.

Things to consider about your child’s daycare or school:

  • Do they store water and food?
  • Do teachers have first aid and CPR training?
  • Can children leave and store their own emergency kits?
  • What is the plan if the class doesn’t shelter-in-place and they have to go somewhere else?

When you’re packing an emergency kit for your child at daycare and school, here are some things I would consider:

  • A comfort item like a teddy bear or toy that makes them feel secure
  • A folder containing medical information, family contact info, and any other contact numbers
  • A change of clothes
  • A supply of medications – both prescription and over-the-counter
  • A family photo including a note from parents or recorded message
  • An emergency whistle
  • A water bottle with water emergency pouches
  • A small flashlight
  • Basic first aid supplies
  • Epi-Pen/Auvi-Q and carrying case
  • Snacks appropriate to their diet
  • Handwipes
  • An emergency ID card – in addition to their allergy bracelet. These ones come in a variety of patterns and styles and you can include your contact information on the back.

 

Your Home Emergency Kit

It’s important to have a home emergency kit stocked with everything your family could need. I highly suggest having extra food for your child with food allergies. During a stressful situation, you don’t want to be forced to introduce new foods, so pack long-term emergency food and extra of it. Don’t forget to re-stock and check your home emergency kit regularly.

Here are some suggestions of item’s for your home emergency kit:

  • Water for each person in the house-hold (enough for drinking and cleaning)
  • A first aid kit
  • Contact information for relatives, hospitals and emergency shelters
  • Medical information on everyone in the family
  • A detailed allergy plan
  • Food supplies suitable for your child with food allergies
  • Prescription and over the counter medications
  • Flashlights
  • Extra batteries for all devices
  • Emergency blankets
  • Maps of your local area
  • Copies of any personal documents including birth certificates, insurance and passports
  • Sanitation and personal hygiene items
  • A battery-powered radio
  • Extra cash
  • Pet supplies
  • Games and activities for children

One easy thing is to

Suggestions for foods to have on hand

You’re going to need food that is not perishable and can store for a longer term that works for your child, here are some suggestions:

  • Soy, Almond, Coconut Milk and other non-dairy milks that don’t need refridgeration
  • Peanut-Free nut butters like SunButter
  • PackIt Gourmet has both dairy-free and gluten free meals that can be used in long term storage.
  • Mountain House has a variety of dehydrated gluten free meals
  • Some of the Paleo Meals to Go may work for your child

 

Your child’s home bug-out bag

In addition to having an emergency kit for your house your child should have a home bug out kit in the form of a backpack or easy carrying case. You’ll want to check bags on a regular basis to make sure everything in them is re-stocked and up to date. Things to include here are:

  • Re-usable water bottle
  • Change of clothes
  • Comfortable shoes and socks
  • Medications
  • Family contact information and emergency numbers
  • Toiletries
  • An emergency blanket
  • Small snacks
  • Emergency whistle
  • Hand  sanitizers
  • Band aids and wipes

You can also pick up a pre-made kit like the one below and then add additional items that your child may need.

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SHTF: A Process or an Event

The question “what are you prepping for” has just about been worn out. There is no shortage of threats in our world to be concerned about and to take steps to prepare for. Take your pick. It could be an economic collapse, natural disasters, might be a nationwide power grid failure or terrorists with suitcase bombs attacking several cities simultaneously. All of these are valid threats. Join the growing rank of people who have decided to not be caught by surprise, but rather to be as well prepared as possible if any such disaster should strike. Since you’re reading this, you’re probably in that camp, too.

But one question that doesn’t get asked very often is whether the thing that you’re prepping for is an event or a process. What do I mean by that? And why would it matter?

SHTF Event

An event would be a sudden occurrence, like an earthquake on the San Andreas Fault that causes a significant part of California to go bye-bye. Or an EMP (electromagnetic pulse), either solar or nuclear, that wipes out all of our electronics. Everything is fine one moment, then in an instant it’s not.

What would be the results of an SHTF event? There would be a significant loss of lives, followed by widespread shock and panic. Supplies and services would be disrupted for a long time, perhaps for a very long time. Panic buying would empty store shelves in a matter of a few days. Multitudes would be unemployed. No amount of government intervention would make a dent in the level of catastrophe affecting our world. Virtually every aspect of our lives would change from anything we had ever known before. Ready or not, everyone would be thrust into full-scale survival mode.

If an SHTF event occurs, you’re stuck with what you have. If you don’t already have it, you’re not going to be able to get it. If you’ve planned to buy a good rocket stove, you’re too late. You won’t be able to get one anywhere now. Still working towards acquiring a top-notch first aid kit? Kiss that plan goodbye. You’ve probably got a good supply of rice and beans and wheat on hand, but have you also stocked the spices and seasonings that you’ll need to make it taste good? That ship has sailed.

There are a lot of SHTF event scenarios that have a chance of occurring in our lifetime. That’s why we prep. But the bottom line for an SHTF event is that prepping time is over and implementation time has begun. If you don’t already have it when an SHTF event occurs, you’re not likely to ever get it from that point on. The key to making it through an SHTF event is to already have the things you want and need.

SHTF Process

It’s possible that the world won’t go out with a bang (event) so much as a whimper (process). A global financial collapse may have begun 15 years ago with the tech bubble and crash of 2000. While it appears that our economy plateaus or even rallies for a short time since then, it seems to me like we’ve been on a trajectory of steady economic decline ever since 2000. The years 2001 and 2008 saw the greatest losses in stock market history. Much has been written about this 7-year cycle, with warnings of a bigger crash to come in 2015.

An SHTF process wouldn’t come about suddenly like an event would. Instead, it would take years or decades to play out — a slow, steady decline. Money gets tighter gradually. There may be a series of bubbles that burst, but we ride them out. Businesses adapt by running “leaner,” squeezing more productivity out of fewer employees. Families adjust by taking fewer vacations. Many people are out of work, and those who have jobs have been cut to part-time so employers don’t have to pay for the benefits that full-time workers get. First and second-world countries start looking more and more like third-world countries. We find ourselves like a frog in a beaker of water on a bunsen burner. The heat gets turned up so gradually that the frog doesn’t react to the changes — and then he finds himself thoroughly cooked.

Unlike an event, an SHTF process could give you years and years of opportunity to stockpile the things you want and need. That’s the good news. The bad news is that if (when) you find yourself out of work, instead of adding to your supplies, you start tapping into your preps to get by until the next job comes along. But it doesn’t. And what you can’t eat you sell in order to get money to meet your family’s needs.

An SHTF process is not a pretty picture. Slow death never is. Yes, you are better equipped to deal with the problem than those who don’t prep, but it just delays the inevitable.

So what is the key to surviving an SHTF process? Sustainability. You will need self-reliance skills, the kind of mojo that the pioneers had 150 years ago. Do you know how to grow and preserve food? Raise animals? Use and repair tools? Prepping isn’t just about storing stuff. The best preppers would say that it isn’t even primarily about stuff. It’s about skills.

Which one will it be?

Of course, your guess is as good as mine. Many people lean toward process but are strongly aware that it could be an event and that event could occur tomorrow. Don’t let that worry you. Rather, do what you can while trusting you will be prepared enough to survive whatever comes along.  At the beginning of each year look at where you are, re-consider where you want to be and set priorities for the year. Yep, that’s what you’ll be doing in the coming week.

Whatever your SHTF scenario, make the most of your time by getting (right now) the top priority items that you need to ride it out, and continually work on building the skill sets that you will need to sustain yourself and your loved ones through tough times ahead.

www.prepperwebsite.com

 

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Survival Skills you should know or learn

Disasters and emergency situations are an inevitable part of our life. It is how we respond to such situations that plays a major factor on our survival. You may have all the knowledge about prepping but as we all know a disaster can change everything in an instant and you may be forced to survive without your emergency survival kits. Without the right skills for survival your chances of surviving a disaster or emergency situation will be greatly affected. It is important to understand that because of modern commodities our knowledge for basic survival has greatly diminished.  This will basically have a negative effect to us in an extended disaster survival situation and can mean the difference between life and death. Here are the basic survival skills that you need to know or learn in order to ensure you and your family’s chances of survival:

Learn how to grow food and or find it.

Disasters can change everything in an instant. You may be well prepared to survive indoors but what if you are forced to survive outdoors without any supplies? This is where self sufficiency with acquiring food becomes a necessity. Growing food for your family as well as the hunting and gathering approach are the best skills to learn to keep you and your family from starving when surviving outdoors.

  • Grow your own survival food.
  • Know what wild plants and insects are edible.
  • Ways to fish without the tradition equipment.
  • Hunting with trap and snares.

How to find water and purify it.

This is the most important skill everyone should learn in order to survive. As we all know it is impossible for us to survive without water so it is important to understand the importance of knowing how to get and purify water. You need to realize that unless your water source is a spring chances are your water supply will run out and you need to find an alternative source. Knowing how to purify your drinking water is also very important to ensure that it is clean and potable.

Learn about clothing repair.

You need to master this skill as clothing is one of the most important elements when surviving. From basic sewing to making clothes from bolts of cloths or leather it is important to master this skill to help ensure your chances of survival.

Learn basic grooming skills.

Basic grooming skills are very important to learn to keep your family clean and healthy in a survival situation. Keep in mind that being healthy is one of the most important factors in ensuring you and your family’s survival.

Learn first aid.

During a disaster situation you cannot expect to get medical professional help so it is important to know how to treat yourself and others as it will be your only chance in a emergency situation. Every household or group should have a good first aid manual and kit before and during a disaster situation.

How to start and maintain a fire.

This is one of the most essential skills you need to learn in order to ensure your survival either indoors or outdoors. Learning how to start a fire and have it going when you need it can mean the difference between life and death in a survival situation. Fire can be used to cook food and purify water not to mention keep you and your family warm ensuring your chances of survival.

Learn how to defend yourself and be willing to do it.

Owning a firearm and knowing how to use it is one of the most basic things to learn to ensure that you are able to protect yourself and your family in a emergency situation. It is important to understand that during a disaster or emergency situation there will be a lot of desperate people who will not think twice in harming you and your family just to get to your supplies. Defending yourselves with clubs, knives, and basic hand to hand combat are also necessary skills to learn.

Learn and train your mind to expect the totally unexpected.

Disaster situations can change everything in an instant, but no matter how much we know this actual disaster and survival events will surely freak us out. Training ourselves to prepare and practice all sorts of drills for various horrors is great way to prepare us for such situations. You also have to keep in mind that there will always be a big possibility of something strange, weird, and frightening things to happen when in a survival situation. By doing this you will eventually condition your mind to accept such scenarios.

Understand the world and potential disasters that await.

Keep in mind that timing is everything and knowing how to react and respond properly to disaster or pending disasters can mean the difference between life and death. This can be done by monitoring world and local news and be informed and aware to see a situation developing and act on it before it actually occurs. It is important to understand that knowledge plays a vital part in ensuring your survival.

Learn and condition yourself into a survival mentality.

Everyone has to learn the skill of scrounging around and finding what they need. You must learn to see in your mind that certain items can be very useful for your survival. Having a survival mentality will greatly increase your chances in finding solutions to problems that will surely occur in a survival situation.