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Severe summer storms warrant a check of your family's emergency preparedness

On behalf of Lynnette Simon Marshall

Somewhere between being caught completely off guard (i.e. you think an inspection of your household flashlight would likely reveal that the batteries in it are dead...if only you had any idea where you put it) and being fully stocked and prepared to survive the Zombie Apocalypse, is a reasonable household emergency preparedness kit. In truth, I myself have traditionally struggled to find the Aristotelian mean with most household tasks. My emergency preparedness kit is no exception. At present it is virtually nonexistent, which, I believe, comes from being overwhelmed by the deluge of information and opinions on what it takes to "be ready."

Creation of my emergency kit is also hampered by my tendency to have a severely delayed response for removing things from my mental shopping list. All I can remember is that we are out of rice. The fact that I have purchased a bag of rice on the last two trips to the grocery store somehow escapes my memory. So when my mother called earlier this week to advise me we had a series of severe summer storms headed our way and to inquire about the status of my 'readiness', it got me wondering just exactly where I was on the scale of preparedness.

A quick search of Google for "emergency checklist" (followed by an oh-so-necessary follow up search on Pinterest because, after all, we do want our readiness supplies to be neatly organized and attractively packaged) reveals a tsunami (pun intended) of advice about what it takes to be prepared for everything from an evening without power to the end of civilization as we know it.

Doomsday news ranks high on the search engine results with a comprehensive survival list, the collection of which would appear to keep you alive 'off the grid', in the backwoods somewhere, for the remainder of your natural life.

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The ultimate Survivor's Bug-Out Bag List covers everything from supplies for water purification and fire starting, to shelter building and food catching and preparation. Call it denial or just a desire to hide some of my crazy from my husband, but embarking on a full scale collection effort to prepare for the apocalypse just isn't on the agenda for my summer.

So if your household storage space, your unwavering optimism, or your spouse, will not tolerate the collection of the ultimate Bug-Out Kit, FEMA offers a very reasonable 'short list' of essential items to include in your Basic Emergency Supply Kit.

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FEMA also provides a supplemental list of things one might want to consider adding to the list. Some seemingly very essential, like glasses and prescription medication, others being more like 'luxury' or sanity items such as board games for the kids.

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How far your 'prepping' goes is obviously a matter of personal preference and comfort, but the value of having a working flashlight, some bottled water and a basic First Aid kit on hand in case of an emergency cannot be underestimated.

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