Emergency kit

Coming from England, I’ve never really had to deal with a severe weather emergency. We don’t get hurricanes, tornadoes or much like that, although flooding has been more of an issue in recent years. But here in Houston, it’s a different story. The roads seem to flood every time it rains, and there have been several tornadoes this year. Now, we’re facing a potential tropical storm, which might turn into a hurricane. So, in an effort to be prepared and organized, off to target the little man and I went in search of supplies in case of a few days without water or power.

Thankfully, we currently live on the 3rd floor, so it’s unlikely that we’ll have to evacuate because of flooding, but we’ll be packing a bag of clothes and filling up gas tanks just in case! More likely is that we’ll be stuck at home with no means of cooking and having to throw out all of the food from our fridge, and have no water. With that in mind, I figured that cartons of soup would be a good place to start, since they don’t need anything to open them and they can be eaten cold. They might not be that appetizing, but they’ll provide nutrients and liquid. I also stocked up on protein bars and protein-rich snacks, since they provide easy calories. While I don’t normally buy sweet snacks to keep at home, as a scientist I know that hormone shifts during the body’s stress response can limit the availability of glucose, which is essential to keep your brain working properly, so we opted for fruit snacks to provide some sugar when needed. Normally I make all of the little man’s baby food, but I didn’t want to count on our stocks surviving a power outage, so in to the cart went a few days worth of pre-made containers in varying flavors. When you pack these into the box, I recommend taking them all out of their boxes if they’re individually wrapped, since they take up less space this way.

So that plus a couple of cases of water should have us nutritionally taken care of for a few days. Then it came to the rest of the kit. Trash bags, not just to get rid of trash and keep the bugs out, but also in case a window gets broken. Flashlights, batteries, baby wipes to keep all of us clean (ish at least!), and of course duct tape, because what can’t be fixed with duct tape?! We have always kept a fully stocked first aid kit in the nursery along with plenty of hand sanitizer, but if we hadn’t I would have been stocking up on those too. Last but not least, a sturdy box with a water resistant seal to pack it all in, and we’re ready to go! Ok, not quite, but we definitely will be by the time the storm gets here on Friday. Wish us luck!

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