Friday, December 19, 2008

Making Lists and Checking Them Twice

I'm making lists and checking them twice, but it's not for Christmas. It's for my family's preparedness. Two years ago, the word "preparedness" might have been viewed as silly. Prior to the housing bust, prior to banks being bought out by the government, prior to food prices rocketing, prior to severe layoffs rippling throughout the United States, prior to...well, prior to all this, those who "preached" preparedness were viewed a bit extreme.

But suddenly, people see the value of being the grasshopper prepping for winter (or whatever that little creature was in Aesop's fable). Suddenly, "preparedness" makes sense. And no, my family's not perfectly prepared (can anyone be?). But I am trying.

So that's why I'm making lists and checking them twice. Lists like these desires of mine:

  • plant fruit trees in the spring
  • learn to use herbs for health
  • gather important papers into one location
  • teach children emergency skills, such as CPR and first aid
  • set up a ham radio system
  • learn Morse code
  • etc.
All of these might seem extreme if the economy were sound. All of these might seem extremely wise while facing unexpected emergencies. I'd rather lean on the "wise" side and be ready if need be.

So yes, I'm making lists, checking them twice, and then working to accomplish each item. It may take me years, but then the legacy I leave my children will be a priceless one (and they will have learned safety for the "winters" in their lives).

Friday, November 21, 2008

Preparedness is a Lifestyle

Preparedness is a lifestyle.

The more I've thought on preparedness, in all forms, the more I've realized it is a lifestyle. It's picking up two bottles of ketchup at the grocery store instead of one. It's keeping a list of emergency phone numbers in your purse at all times. It's putting the letters ICE next to the two most important phone numbers in your cell phone (emergency responders look for these letters to know who to call--if they've found you unconscious somewhere).

The more you do on a daily basis to be prepared, the more you realize it's all "baby steps" anyways. Little by little soon becomes a lot.

So don't despair if you don't have the two weeks of food & supplies the government now recommends (in lieu of the old-fashioned 72-hour kits). Just start today...with a second bottle of ketchup. :0)

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Passivity Kills

Are you or a loved one going into a hospital any time soon? This article at is a must-read: Don't Let a Hospital Kill You

Sunday, April 27, 2008

"The Importance of Other People in our Preparedness Plans"

"The Importance of Other People in Our Preparedness Plans" is the title of an article at the site (an excellent site, by the way). Claire Wolfe raises an essential issue: when/if times get really bad, do you let neighbors or community members into your life? Or do you purely hunker down, with hardness in your eyes? Her points are well worth reading. Here's the link:

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Even Bigger Quake Could Hit Midwest

"Even Bigger Quake Could Hit Midwest" is the title given by LiveScience Senior Editor, Robin Lloyd, at for the editor's 4/18/08 article. Living where I do, I hadn't heard about the 5.2 earthquake the US's midwest experienced on Friday, April 18, 2008.

Apparently the coalescence of factors are raising concerns for scientists regarding this portion of the United States. So my question is: are you ready for any sudden event? If not, here is a quick suggestion. Make a list of priorities and activities you can take so that by three days from now, you are more prepared than you were just yesterday.

Remember, preparedness is a lifestyle, not a one time event. Don't feel badly if you're not perfectly prepared; just take it step by step. Little by little soon becomes a lot!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Children Hurt? Which Hospital?

I read an article today at CNN that spoke of the problem some ERs have in treating children. Whether the child's emergency is an asthma attack or a broken leg, some hospitals only have adult-sized equipment. This is a problem if a baby needs an IV or a small child needs a breathing mask.

The CNN article recommends that you decide which hospital to visit in advance of life-threatening emergencies for your children; it may make all the difference in the world (although the article does point out that you just need to get your child to ANY hospital if they only have minutes to live).

Here is a handy link to determine in advance which hospitals near you (if any) specialize in pediatrics. I know that using a peds specialty hospital has made the difference in saving my son's life when he was dying from the RSV virus.

1. Click on this link.

2. Select the "By Zip Code" search by typing in your zip code and select the "Distance from Zip Code" mileage you desire (you may need to expand your search if your first effort does not pull up a hospital--I'd recommend initially starting with a broad radius of, say, 50 miles). Click on the Search button.

3. At the next screen, select "Type of Provider" and click on "Pediatric Specialty Hospital". Then click on the Search button (if that choice is not available, you'll need to back up and enter in a broader radius of miles).

When I selected 25 miles as my Search radius, I found two children's hospitals 19 miles or less from my home. I do know that there is another hospital with a specialty wing for pediatrics in my area. I'm not sure why it didn't show up. But this website at least will help you get started reviewing your options.

Again, if your child is dying or really struggling, you just need to get him or her to the closest hospital. Period. But if you have a choice, for example, a scheduled procedure, why not do some research and find a hospital that specializes in serving the smallest amongst us!

P.S. Here is a link to a consent form to have at home for babysitters, should your children need medical attention. Nothing like preparedness to help reduce fear during difficult times. And make sure to read the CNN article, "How to Find the Best ER for Your Child," for all the terrific ideas they offer for emergencies with children.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Water Emergency x 4

OK, what is it that I'm not getting? I've now had four water emergencies in less than three weeks.

Water Shortage #1: City Boil Alert

A short time ago, my city announced an emergency "boil water" alert that lasted for (what felt like) days. Do you know what a pain this is? You can't wash dishes easily, you can't shower easily, and you have no running water that you can trust. Talk about an eye-opener.

Water Shortage #2: Broken Water Pipe

Not two hours after the city lifted the water alert, my husband accidentally cut into our main water pipe outside the house while edging the lawn. Yep, this is right. My neighbors now have clean water again, but we've had to turn ours off. Oh, showering is starting to look like bathing in liquid gold.

Water Shortage #3: Broken Kitchen Faucet

True, a broken kitchen faucet is not a water emergency per se, but when the handle snaps off and your husband is working two jobs and not home, this means you are without water in the kitchen ... for what feels like a very long time (although it ended up being only 3 days). Ever tried washing dishes in the bathroom?

Water Shortage #4: Replacing Water Dial-Thinga-Ma-Jiggy

OK, so not a very official title, but I can't remember the true name for the main water measurer-thingy the city uses to see how much water you guzzle. But just yesterday, the city employee showed up out of the blue to tell me my water would be shut off once again, so he could change to a new dial-thinga-ma-jiggy. Once again, I'm without water ... in less than three weeks time or so.

I think I'm getting the message that emergency preparedness MUST include having a water storage system of some kind! (Otherwise, a family gets awfully thirsty!)

Friday, March 14, 2008

Electronic gadgets dumping viruses on your Computer

You're not going to believe this. First, viruses came through email. Then news agencies alerted consumers not to download porn, because that brought a slew of additional trash (well, duh). But now get this.

You know that iPod gizmo you just bought? Or that lovely digital photo frame from Target? Or that cool TomTom navigational tool? Hmmm, hmmm. Some of them are coming with viruses and trojan pieces of software set to steal your computer passwords to things such as...your bank account.

Security experts are just now learning that this may be bigger than a few incidents here or there. Just when you thought it was safe to get back on your computer!

Click here to read more and to learn what you can do to protect you and your family:

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

4 Years to Extinction?

The phrase, "4 years to extinction," caught my eye today when reading a news report about bees dying in droves. Einstein stated his opinion as to the importance of bees when he reportedly said, "If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe then man would only have four years of life left. No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man."

Why would bees be so important? Here is the link to the Einstein quote and the article that explains. "Collapsing Colonies: Are GM Crops Killing Bees?"

We're Out of Water!

Here is a link to my experience recently of "no water." It brought attention to my mind of what happens if you're not prepared. The link also contains an easy family home evening discussion to help your family start becoming even more prepared for unexpected events.

Remember, preparedness is a lifestyle - not a one time event. I learned this even more with the events of last week!


C.S. Bezas

Thursday, February 07, 2008

More Preparedness Blogs

I've been blogging recently on Preparedness issues over at I invite you to take a look!

Remember: Preparedness is not a one time event ... it's a lifestyle! No matter what you do to prepare for emergencies or setbacks, just make sure you do something about it today. :0)