Hurricane Harvey has hit Houston, Texas in massive waves. Video footage continues to hit the internet of freeway flood barriers washing away. Heroes abound and debates ring out across social media. People wonder what to do in an emergency, and most people are vastly underprepared. Many of us think that it, whatever it is, will never happen to us.
Lately, however, we find disasters on the rise, and they may soon strike your state, your city, or your home. Most people agree that, in the event of a disaster, some relief should come from the government. When that help does come, it typically comes in the form of FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Unfortunately, FEMA does not always arrive on time. In the event you find yourself waiting for help to arrive, sometimes days after a disaster strikes, you should be aware of the top FEMA 123 items to hoard.
Why Was FEMA Created?
FEMA was designed for just such a disaster as Harvey. FEMA came to the rescue during Hurricane Katrina and for Sandy Hook as well. The reality is that FEMA has existed in some form for over one hundred years; federal agencies have come to the aid of people struck by disaster in various forms through cooperation with local and state governments.
Finally, according to the FEMA website, in the 1970s, those local and state governments “sought to decrease the many agencies with which state and local governments were forced work,” and “they asked President Carter to centralize federal emergency functions.” President Jimmy Carter signed the Executive Order to form the primary official Federal Agency in charge of disaster relief in 1979.
The problem with FEMA is that it is largely understaffed, underfunded, and underprepared for the rise of natural disasters as we have seen them occurring recently. In disasters FEMA has fallen short, providing toxic shelters for people in need of help, arriving too late on the scene, and failing to help cities prepare for future disaster.
A study done recently by Al Jazeera “has found that key agency programs fail to account for the observed and predicted changes of rising seas, more severe weather and other risks brought on by global warming.” The federal agency in charge of helping communities in the event of a disaster is not prepared to do so in many cases.
What this means is that we must be sure to prepare ourselves. To that end, below are the top three things you should be hoarding in the event disaster strikes and FEMA is nowhere to be found.
FEMA 123 Items to Hoard
This one is easy right? You can survive for three weeks without food, but you’ll barely make it three days without water. You must keep one gallon of water on hand for every member of your family for every day. And you should be prepared for a minimum of three days on your own without aid. We recently wrote an article on Pro Pur Water filters, and the King would be handy in the event of a disaster. It holds 4 gallon of water, so you’ll need one per person. Plus, you can keep them all full all the time, but also use them all the time. This way, you always have fresh water on hand, and you don’t have to worry about paying for plastic water bottles with expiration dates.
Sure, you can survive three weeks without food, but who would want to? Keep plenty of nonperishable items on hand, canned meats and beans, canned fruits and veggies, and boxed cereals and crackers for grains. Think of it as reliving all of the terrible food you ate when you were a kid on summer vacation and scrounging in the cupboards for food before your mom made it out for a grocery shopping trip. You cannot overdo stocking up on nonperishable food.
This one seems like a no brainer, but you’d be surprised how many people are frantically searching for batteries on Christmas morning when their kid has a new toy, “batteries not included.” You do not want to be that person. Hit up your local Costco, or place your order with Amazon, and stock up on plenty of batteries because candles die fast and you’ll want to run your lanterns and flashlights whenever you need to.
FEMA may eventually come to your aid, and they may not. With each year that passes, and each new hurricane, tornado, or other major storm, we have to wonder, “is FEMA preparing for something big?” In any event, there are certain key needs everyone has, water, food, a light source, and shelter. While access to shelter may not be in your control, the other three things are, so make sure to have plenty of them on hand.