Monday, November 29, 2010

What's in your camper?

Do you ever think about "what if"? What if a big storm came and we had to evacuate quickly? What if there was an emergency with a family member and we had to rush to their side (but they live out of town)? What if we were told by emergency people we had to evacuate our neighborhood because of gas leaks?

How quickly could we leave? Piggybacking on my post here about how quickly we can pack, I want to talk about what we have in our camper.

Several years ago there was a lot of talk where we live about emergency preparedness. The nation had been attacked by terrorists, devistating hurricanes, and other emergencies where families were displaced or sheltered in their homes for days, weeks without electricity and basic necessities. The nation seemed to be on a wave to get prepared. There were advertisements, trainings, and information disseminated everywhere about what you need and should have on hand and for how long.

While we don't live daily in fear of any of this happening it still is good to be prepared, right? It got my husband and I talking and while we already had a pretty good food stores at our house we decided to make a few tentative plans ourselves. We live two hours from our nation's capital and two hours from the east coast naval headquarters. This puts us in the line of fire for any international attack if {knocking on wood} war broke out. Oh, did I also tell you we are 45 minutes from a nuclear power plant? Yeah, that would be us. So we made a few quick plans and if we had to evacuate we would hook our camper up to our truck and head out of Dodge, so to speak. But the question then was how quickly could we do this and have what we need for several days?

This is where we started to consciously prepare. We decided that we would always have three days' worth of food on deck. We would also have basic hygene supplies (ie. toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, toilet paper, etc). We would keep a pretty decent first aid kit. This was a no-brainer since we also use that first aid kit while traveling. We would keep water stored too.

That was a few years ago. Today I am proud to say that for the most part adding a few perishables and a few clothing items we are still pretty much set. When our camper was parked a couple hours away we had it stocked similar to our house. Of course we had electricity and running water hooked to it so that kept items in the freezer and refrigerator from perishing while we weren't there.

Do you stock your camper? For emergencies?

This is what we have on board all the time.

Food: basic food items in cans and boxes. We try to keep about three days worth of food, just in case.

Water: we try to keep a few gallons in bottles.

First aid kit: this is a must for traveling anyway.

Hygene items and OTC medicines: Pain/fever relievers, bandaids, ace bandages, antibiotic ointments, lotions, etc. Also, toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo, soaps, toilet paper, feminine products.

Paper products: paper plates and cups, napkins, paper towels.

Other items: A set of sheets for each bed, several blankets, towels, hand towels, plastic bags, trash bags, basic tools, rake and shovel, lanterns, flashlights, batteries, etc. Small toys and books for the kids. Extra set of clothes for everyone, rain jackets/ponchos.

When we had our camper parked at the campground we were more stocked then we are now. In fact right now there isn't much in the camper. I emptied it out when we brought it back to our house. Since it is in the backyard, I am not that worried if there is an emergency and we need to go quickly. We can pack it pretty quickly from our supplies in our house. Also since it is getting colder outside, I don't want water to freeze and rupture in the camper. Also we don't want any food to freeze and spoil.

In summers and while we are using the camper, I like to rotate the food in there so it doesn't spoil and I try to keep foods that we eat a lot on the road in there anyway so food rotation is easy.

Do you even think about this? Do you consciously keep extra food on hand in your house? Your camper? What would you do in an emergency?

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