Family and Emergency First Aid Kits

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As we are approaching the 3rd anniversary of the 2011 Tornado outbreak we all went through, being prepared is on my mind.  In fact after the tornado’s hit-being prepared was being pushed every where.  Sorta like after any natural disaster.  After ours, I bought a Red Cross first aid kit-special from Target- along with a natural disaster kit .  IMG_6696 IMG_6697 IMG_6698

The blue first aid kit on the table was one I bought at Costco for our camper RV about 8 years ago.  I found it in our garage while cleaning.  I was going to throw it away cause it look old and yucky.  But I am glad I didn’t, cause much I was able to save!  I had to get rid of all the medicine and creams.  Then I put all the stuff I pulled, into baggies.

From all of that I created an “on the go first aid kit.”  I also add items like hydrogen peroxide, insect bit cream, sunscreen and aloe, hand wipes, baby and kid pain meds,  and a few other items.

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The red first aid kit in the Target Red Cross kit, is ready to go!  I did have to throw away some medicine that was out of date.  Keeping our medicine cabinet organized is important. This is a great time to go through your medicine and discard any old prescriptions or medicine.   That way we can really grab what we need if we really had to evaluate fast.  Also I kept an on the go bag for the car and activities on the run.  That tote needs to be redone for this summer.

You can put together your own first aid kit, or buy one.  Add to your emergency first aid kit slowly if money is an issue.  Watch for great sales.  I got a lot of Band Aids this week at Target on Sale.  Wholesale ware houses are a great place.   Check out my Pinterest board for awesome ideas for first aid kits!


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Family Fire Safety

My 6-year-old son, walked into my bedroom while I was resting with a baby.  “Mommy, there is a fire in the back yard” he said so calmly.  NOW…..once before when he was three he told us “I saw fire.”  We didn’t believe him.  We should have.  So when Isaiah said “mommy, there is a fire in the backyard” I jumped with some concern.

And concern was due.  Seemed Isaiah, found the matches that were hidden, went into the back little area of trees behind our house and was playing with them.  He started a small fire.  So I jumped into action, getting the hose, calling 911, and then dealing with the aftermath of processing this with the kids- I knew we were kinda prepared.  (Although I learned that talking to 911-I can not determine math related questions-such as how far is the house from the fire-my answer-a back yard distance! ) But I did know calling from a cell phone to give your address right away.  I was calm, till they started asking math relate questions and then I got frustrated.

We had many talks with Isaiah.  Just a few weeks before during a thunderstorm, lightening had hit a house and in the middle of the night, from the front of  our house we could see the flames.  So we first drew pictures or wrote about what happened.  Then we drove by the site of the burned house again.  We talked about fire safety till he finally put his hand up and said “no more I get it.”  We wanted to make sure that he was not going to do this again and that we were prepared!20140423-213820.jpg

Being Prepared!

Fire escape plan : Having a plan, and letting everyone know this, can save lives.  We review with our kids what to do if they hear the smoke detectors go off, if they smell smoke while in their rooms at night, or see fire.  As a foster family, we are to have a fire plan so foster kids know what to do.  It is good for any over night visitors to know what to do-just in case.  Here is a simple resource for you and your family to make an escape plan for your family. Review with them how to get out, how to open the windows and push out the screen.

Fire Extinguisher: Every house needs one, if not two or three.  We have three.   As a foster home we must have a 5 lb  Fire Extinguisher .  We have two smaller ones too.  All are in different areas of our home.

Smoke Detectors: We have three in our house.  Two over by the kids bedrooms, by each of the room doors and one in ours.  Two are connected, so if one on the other side of the house goes off, ours will go off too.  Our third one is hooked to our alarms system.  We also have a carbon monoxide detector too.

Stop Drop Roll: Reviewing with kids often what to do if you ever catch on fire.  We practice this just to see how it would work.

Crawl Low Under Smoke: If there is smoke, start crawling out.

Meeting place and DO NOT GO BACK IN: Make sure your family knows where the meeting place is.   And please make sure they understand to NOT got back into a burning house!  I had to re-emphasize this with my kids.

Hide, hide, hide the lighters and matches: So we have our lighter and matches hidden.  So we thought, but my husband while grilling, put them up high, but in sight and a curious little 6 years old started a fire.  And we learned a lesson.  Don’t think not my kids.  If you smoke, keep your lighters up.  Because  you just never know.

Resources to help your family prepare for family safety:

Sparky the Fire Dog

Keeping Kids Safe– great resources

Fire Facts

Check out my Pinterest Emergency readiness board where I am adding new ideas all the time.

I am blogging about Family Emergency Readiness.  Please share with me any other ideas! Make sure you check out what to do when the power goes out and about unexpected family storms.10179047_10201590939751558_1096325659_o


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When the Power Goes Out

I first want to say, that I am no expert on any of this readiness stuff.  Just like you may be-I am just an everyday wife and mom who knows I need to have some better things in place.  When the tornadoes came through three years ago we lived without power for almost a week.  I remember the first night as the darkness over came our house and town.  Not only was it dark-it was quiet.  A kind of quiet I had never heard.  Soon over the next few days that quiet was filled with the hum of generators and chain saws.10179047_10201590939751558_1096325659_o

We struggled to find batteries.  We had no communication to the outside world.  Our phones had no service.  We were in a crisis state.  We knew what ever happened was bad.  I had heard the F5 tornado not far from our house.  I had heard it roar as it tore the world as we knew it up side down.  We knew a smaller one hit by our house because of the damage.  Either way,  we made it through that week.  Finally got batteries by driving 20-30 minutes to get gas and buy batteries (no power meant no power for pumps for gas).  We listened to the radio every night.  We were blessed with hot water because we had a gas hot water heater.  We were playing “Little House on the Prairie” we told the kids some days.

Lessons I learned from that week:

  • Have flashlights ready with batteries that work.
  • Have a battery power radio with batteries.
  • Have a battery power weather radio. (We realized on the TV and internet for the weather all day, it was evening when the power went out.  We were helpless in knowing what the next storm was doing, cause I didn’t know were our weather radio had been placed.)
  • Learn to grill a lot of food fast!
  • You get a clean fridge and freezer after a week
  • We charged our phone in our cars
  • We got all our text ready-when we got signal, we quickly hit the send button.
  • The little battery power tea lights are great for the kids to take to bed with them.

Things we said we would do differently:

  • We didn’t rush out and get a generator.  We had our RV-hybrid pop out, that we did use it for little things. Only if we fill our freezer with a cow will we get a small generator.
  • We needed a box of all our power outage stuff together.  Instead of rushing around looking for stuff.
  • We would have like to have more solar items to charge things.
  • Walkie Talkies would have been nice to have.  Or known where they were.
  • Make sure we had enough flash lights for all kids.
  • Make sure we had lanterns to use for family time.
  • Get more of the battery candles
  • Use the solar outside lights inside-like in the bathroom
  • Get glow sticks

We have created a Power out box.  It will keep extra flashlights, radio, batteries, candles, matches,  battery candles,  and instructions on what to do.  While I hope to never be in a Katrina situation or Sandy- a week without power is enough.  But long term power outage- would be like living off the grid.  And a kind of living we only think about once in a blue moon.  But basic power outages is what we are prepared for.  From storms or natural disasters.  Something bigger-we would need bigger planning.

Web pages and ideas good for getting prepared and surviving a power outage.

      • Red Cross is always FULL of great information.
      • Here is a great site on survival about food safety.  I think I needs some thermometers for our fridges and freezer!
      • Check out all the Flashlights!
      • Having a portable Generators is always handy.  If you want a big time one, check out your local hardware stores for suggestions.
      • Solar Panels would be handy to have.
      • Maybe a hand crank weather radio would be handy?
      • Check out gdonna’s idea for a battery power fan!  Now that is handy living in the south!!
      • Sometimes the power goes out when it is cold.  Direct Energy gives some tips to survive that time.
      • If you know a storm is coming, like a hurricane or bad thunderstorm, charge all phones, iPads and other electronics.

What is in our Power Out Box

  • Big flash ($5)
  • Little flash lights ($1 each)
  • Battery power Tea Lights  ($10 for 24)
  • Other flash lights (I buy the cheap ones with batteries-cause if we use them-they will disappear) ($8)
  • Radio (note-leave batteries out) (Had in the house along with the batteries ($9)
  • Mason jars with tea lights and matches (these may hide somewhere else-more tomorrow. (had candles, jar, waterproof matches ($2.5)
  • So you can see I didn’t spend that much

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Things we still want to put in there:  Bigger Power candles (will wait for a good sale:)), glow sticks (those should be in the dollar section of Target soon), and some lanterns.

We do have two good flashlights by our bed, so if we need them at night time, we have them.

Also our check list-to remind us of things to do during a power outage.

What to do when the power goes out

  •   Stay Calm
  •   If it is storming, make sure you are listening to the weather radio. Be Safe.
  •   Get the flash light
  •   Get Power out box

Power Out Box

  •   Hand out flash lights
  •   Have everyone turn off lights and radios
  •   Keep Living Room light on so we know when power comes back on.
  •   Mom or Dad can check on reason for outage.
  •   If it looks like it is going to be a while- unplug small appliances.
  •   Put out battery candles and other lights
  •   No Candles inside-unless mommy and daddy light them
  •   Remember no flashing light in others eyes
  •   DO not open fridge
  •   The weather outside will determine how we handle keeping warm or keeping cool.

In the next coming weeks I am going to be looking at different ways to be prepared in an emergency.  I would love for you to share with me how your family is prepared in these different areas.

 


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The Unexpected Family Storm

Three years ago-our family was hit with the worst unexpected family storm.  

Actually Storms.

Began with a week-long snow/ice storm.  Then a very close family friend had their 13-year-old son get sick and within 3 months die.  Then the tornadoes hit.  One after another.

What I learned from that year was we were not prepared.  At all.  We struggled to make it through all the different circumstances that were thrown in front of us.  But some how we did, but we said, we will be better prepared.

April 3-4 marked the 40th anniversary of a super outbreak of Tornadoes.  All that talk and memory made me realize-we are not prepared.   It is time to be prepared.  We have some preparation in place-like our tornado safe room.  But three years ago-when we had the last super out break we were without power for almost a week.

So for 10 days (plus) I want to dedicate on my blog resources and ideas to help us all get prepared.  Simple things to do.  Ah Ha things we can do.  If I had been prepared for the week-long snow storm that stranded me in my house I would have had more food and batteries incase we lost power.  Speaking of batteries-I never got them when the tornadoes came, only a few months later.

A family storm can come in way of a natural disaster.  Red Cross is always a great place to go to be prepared.

A family storm can also come in a way of illness or death.  They can swoop over us leaving us and our family paralyzed.  Having a simple plan can help during those times.

So areas that I plan to get in order in our family and give you ideas and resources on are:

  • What to do when the lights go out
  • Fire Safety
  • First Aid Kits
  • Emergency Kits
  • Evacuation plans
  • Babies, Kids, and Pets
  • Food and Water storage
  • Car Kits
  • Our Safety area
  • 10 of the Ah Ha Survival Ideas on Pinterest
  • Sickness and Death

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