Hit the Books

My husband is currently in college, and I watch him pore over his books in preparation for a test. He tries to commit to memory everything he reads. He spends countless hours reviewing, and hopes in the end that everything he has studied will sink in and he will be able to recall it when test time comes.

Now, getting back to emergency preparedness, we've spent many weeks discussing food storage and sufficient preparation for emergencies. But, if an emergency situation occurred tomorrow, would you be ready for the "test"? Don't panic; here's the good news: This test can be open book. Yes - you can use any and all the information you've collected to help you. You just have to have it on hand!

Want to know how to prepare those dehydrated foods you've stored? Make sure you've collected in hard copy form some of the recipes you love. Consider purchasing some of the amazing food storage cookbooks available. Peruse the Internet, print off the articles you find helpful, and keep them in a binder. Consider sources like FEMA, the American Red Cross, the National Safety Council, and companies like Emergency Essentials for extra information you might need. Most likely, our good friend Google won't be available should an emergency take place, so get it down on paper now!

Does your emergency kit contain information on how each item is used? What about the tools you have stored? Do you know how to use the bung wrench and siphon pump or hose you have stored with your water barrel? If you do, that's wonderful, but make sure to also have a short explanation on hand for others in your family. My husband and I own a portable propane stove for an emergency, but I realized just recently during a camping trip that he is the only one who knows how to use it. What if he is injured or is needed to help elsewhere and I am left to cook for the family? I need to learn how to use it, and even make sure the owner's manual or an explanation of how to use it is easily accessible to me.

Consider putting together your own personal library of resources. A binder with the printed information you've found, a collection of owner's manuals for the tools you have on hand, information on how to shut off gas lines and other home safety guidelines, a first aid manual, and cookbooks are just a few of the items your library should contain.

Now, imagine that the time has come for your preparedness "test." Not only do you get the open book version, but you've got an entire library for you to glean from! Imagine this scenario, and you'll be glad you've taken the time to study up.


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