Living on the outskirts of a major city in the state of Washington is much different from living in rural Vermont. What does it mean to be prepared in the Pacific Northwest?Being Prepared

When we lived in Vermont we considered ourselves well prepared for any disaster that we might experience. We were prepared for major snowstorms, power outages and floods. We had few neighbors, but those we did have you could count on if you ever needed help.being prepared

Living here in Washington on the edge of a large city is quite different. If there was ever a major disaster the local disaster relief might not be ready for the mass response to a major event. Part of living the self reliant lifestyle is being prepared for emergencies.being prepared

First of all you need to figure out what sort of disaster might we expect? One thing you have to keep in mind is that we now live in an area of the country where earthquakes can occur. After witnessing on the news,  the recent earthquake that happened in Alaska you realize that if a major earthquake were to hit this area there would be big problems.being prepared

The local authorities say you should prepare for two weeks of supplies. They used to say three days but that changed recently to two weeks. The severity of the disaster changes how much you need to be prepared.being prepared in the PNW

Not everyone will have the same needs in preparing for a major disaster, so we must evaluate our current living situation and plan accordingly.

Most everyone we have met here has a Grab and Go Bag and often keeps a smaller one in his or her car. You may be driving home from the store when the disaster happens. All of a sudden the bridge is wiped out and you can’t get home. Having water and food in the car would be a good thing. What if you need to walk somewhere? Do you have wet weather gear and good walking shoes?

Neither my husband nor I have any prescription medication. However having first aid cream and bandages on hand and in the car is also a good idea. Water is also most important. You can survive without food for a long time but people start dying in three days if they don’t have water to hydrate. The standard is one gallon of water per person per day. For my husband and I that’s 28 gallons of water! There are water bottles you can buy with filters or even water filtration straws.

Don’t rely on your phone, if the power grid is down you will not be able to count on your phone. Make sure you have a hand-cranked radio. There are offline map apps you can download but make sure you also have a way to charge your phone if there is no electricity.

Have a source of cash. If there is no power there will be no ATM machines. If you have cash you might be able to buy some food.thrifty

Living on the outskirts of the city is much different from living in Vermont. My husband and I need to make it a top priority to have a Grab and Go Bag full of the basics to help us survive in case there is a major disaster in the area, We can start with preparing for three days and then continue preparing until we are prepared for two weeks. Luckily there is a lot of information out there to help us. The time to prepare is now.being prepared

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25 comments on “Being Prepared in the Pacific Northwest

Candy on January 23, 2019 4:47 pm

We have generator, food and water storage. Plus 72 hour kit for everyone in the house

Nancy Wolff on January 23, 2019 5:18 pm

Candy, You are well prepared!

Nancy on January 23, 2019 6:12 pm

Great post! Also good to have things to barter, like OTC meds, tobacco, pet food, candy, etc.

Nancy Wolff on January 23, 2019 8:43 pm

YES! Absolutely, it’s a great idea to have things to barter.

Kristi Stone on January 23, 2019 6:48 pm

Great idea. I have struggled with preparing for our family for so long, especially with water. I can totally get the water, it’s rotating it that’s the problem. Do you think that having a filtering straw would work if the water in my 5 gallon containers was older than 6 months (or whatever the time frame is that it is good)? I’ve always wondered how to make that work.

Nancy Wolff on January 23, 2019 8:42 pm

I’m sure you could find such a straw. I gave portable drinking straws to my daughter and her husband for when they are hiking. They can drink out of a stream without any problems!

Marla on January 23, 2019 8:13 pm

Hi Nancy,
I love your pictures on this article. Great information too and your list of necessary is certainly extremely helpful. We have a generator that automatically runs off gas with a 250 gallon tank that also runs our gas fireplace in our family room. The generator turns on within a minute after we lose electricity. It sure has been a lifesaver quite a few times – winter and summer.

Nancy Wolff on January 23, 2019 8:41 pm

Those are the best generators to have, no worries1

Lisa on January 23, 2019 10:24 pm

Very good info…it is interesting how different the needs are based on where you live. I think we need to update our car first aid kits and store more water in the house. Thanks for sharing!

Nancy Wolff on January 24, 2019 5:08 am

I never really thought about how different it could be in a different part of the country and what you needed to prepare for!

Julie on January 24, 2019 1:08 am

We live in a rural area, so we are working on building up our supplies – especially medical type. I want to get both of us go bags for the vehicles, and this list will help me get them organized. Love this post!

Candy on January 25, 2019 4:10 pm

We all have a 72 hour kit. Food aid kit in house and all cars/ Truck. Over year worth food and water storage. Generator run entire house. Heat with wood.

Lisa Lombardo on January 25, 2019 6:48 pm

I am saving clean milk jugs now to save more water for emergencies…after reading this post! Thanks!

Annie Lewellyn on January 25, 2019 7:13 pm

Being prepared is so important! So many people don’t try and prepare until it is too late. I keep a tote(my DIY Emergency Kit) in the trunk of my car at all times!
I think you are smart to reassess your living situation and prepare accordingly! Great post!

Kristina S. on January 25, 2019 7:33 pm

For sure we should be ready for any natural disasters that might come our way. Thank you for the ideas.

Holly on January 25, 2019 7:47 pm

Emergency preparedness is an area my husband and I need to improve big time. You have given me a lot to think about here. I definitely am going to get started with food and water. I’m kind of new to this stuff–we have a reverse osmosis system. Assuming something happens and our city water becomes contaminated, can we trust the reverse osmosis to take care of that? Is there a situation in which city water would not flow? These are probably dumb questions for those that are prepared already, but I am so new to this and don’t know where to start. Thank you!

Nancy Wolff on January 25, 2019 7:55 pm

Check with your local town/city as they usually have information on hand. This is the first time we’ve lived in an urban setting, we’ve always had springs on our property so water was never an issue. Now I have to think ahead!

Pamela marston on January 25, 2019 9:08 pm

Important information for sure!
We have ours all set up since our boys were little and restock and add new items frequently ! Love it

Pamela on January 25, 2019 9:12 pm

Great Info we all need ! Been doing it since boys were little always up dating and restocking!!

Jennifer Cook on January 25, 2019 9:52 pm

Living where we live, we are in a disaster zone 1E for the Bluegrass Depot where there is a bunch of nerve gas stored by the Army. Our area has drills and such plus we are given weather radios and disaster kits as well for sheltering in place. We know our evacuation routes and have to be aware at all times if somehow that gas escapes. As for other disasters, we are pretty good here. We have enough for 6 months now and I am adding each year with a bigger garden. As for the Depot, the truth is that if that thing has an accident, it is not going matter much if you evacuate because the truth is, we would most likely die anyway. Most folks around here say if the worst happens, just go outside and breath deep. They have had a few “tiny” leaks in the last year that were “contained” but it sure is scary if I think about it for long. Thank you for some very sound advice!

Rosie on January 27, 2019 6:48 pm

We always try to keep 2 weeks worth of supplies although the longest we have ever been without electricity (to date) is 72hrs and snowed in for 4 days.

Pamela on February 2, 2019 2:02 am

Emergency kit for hubby and I food storage and first aid kit all
Ready! Restock and re check monthly!

Nancy Wolff on February 2, 2019 4:33 pm

Sounds like you are prepared!

Addie | Old World New on February 14, 2019 2:02 pm

I definitely am not ready for a disaster. These graphics and your post are so helpful. Thanks for sharing!!

Nancy Wolff on February 14, 2019 5:25 pm

I think very few people (me included) are truly ready for a disaster!

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