Today's Lesson: Disaster Preparedness (Inspired By "The Long Winter")

So... we finally finished Laura Ingalls Wilder's By The Shores Of Silver Lake, and immediately started The Long Winter book and lapbook.  I am always inspired by the resilience of this family and the sacrifices they made, and well, I am not going to give away everything in the books so far, for those you who haven't read the series....But let's just say that in this book... it sucks to be them... Reading this story made me really start thinking and why I try not to be a procrastinator, sometimes life gets in the way and things just don't get done the way they need to.  One of the things that I DO try to keep up with is disaster preparedness.

My reasons:
  1. I live in California and we have earthquakes.  
  2. You never know when an earthquake (or any other disaster) can happen. Nature is totally unpredictable.
  3. Earthquakes can be frightening, although I will admit as a native Californian, I won't even get out of bed for anything less than a 6.0...
  4. I have kids, it is my responsibility to take care of them and assure their safety and well being.
I'm not gonna go full out "Doomsday Prepper" on you guys, although I will admit I have watched the show, and laughed really hard at some of the people...Then took notes from some that had some really valid points and concerns.  Like the people who had jobs as first responders, I didn't laugh at them.  Or the people who lived in disaster prone states, like myself.  

Here's a fun list of the states most likely to be hit by a major disaster (by number of major disaster declarations since 1953) AKA places I never want to live...
1. Texas - 86
2. California - 78 (uh oh! Too late...)
3. Oklahoma - 73
4. New York -  67
5. Florida - 65
6. Louisiana -  60
7. Alabama -  57
8. Kentucky - 56
9. Arkansas - 54
10. Missouri -  53
See the map to find out where your state is on the list.

After doing some research I found out what disasters where mostly likely to occur in my state earthquakes, wildfire, tsunami,  drought, tornado, volcanoes...yes vol-freakin'-canoes!!! Twenty of them!  There are about six that are potentially active...(I see a lesson on volcanoes in our near future!)
I found this lesson plan prepared by the Kentucky State 4-H Teen Council. It includes group activities, checklists and disaster preparedness coloring book that has a bit of information about every natural disaster.
Make an emergency binder so that all the information that you need is available right when you need it.

Head over to for an state by state disaster map. Click on your state to find out what the natural hazards are, then prepare for them by playing some interactive games and downloading the free curriculum

The American Red Cross has a disaster preparedness book featuring Mickey Mouse available to download for free on their website  in English or Spanish. (Scroll down and you will see it on the right hand side of the page.)

You don't have to own a tank or build a bunker to say safe in a disaster, but taking the time to educate yourself and your family is the best preparation you can have.  Still have question? Like how much water to store per person or food or how to store your kit?  Here's an assignment for the grown ups, download and read over the Are You Ready? Handbook from FEMA.