Back in 2011 Ben and I moved to Christchurch, NZ. The day after we arrived, the 6.3 magnitude earthquake hit Christchurch.
185 people were killed, and thousands were injured.
The damage to buildings and infrastructure was massive. The rebuilding continues, still.
To say we were ‘lucky’ feels trite; we (including my mum, who we were with) were spared injury or loss. Though our apartment was right in the city centre, it did not collapse. We were at home, we were together, we had a car.
Within an hour, we packed our things (we’d arrived by flight, only the night before), got in the car, and left.
Thousands of others were left with no power, no water, no waste removal, no way to cook. They didn’t know where their loved ones were, nor if they were okay.
It was devastating.
I tell you that story to remind us all, that disaster does strike. Of course, we can’t prevent events like this, but we can take some small steps to preparing ourselves for when bad things happen when we’re on the road.
Sometimes, when we think about being prepared for an emergency, we think it constitutes events that are as dramatic (or life altering) as a major earthquake.
But it’s not always dramatic events.
- Flooding has stopped us from leaving where we were for a couple of days.
- When we were living in Auckland, there was a fire at a local substation that cut off our power for days.
- And we’ve all had times where the water pipes are being worked on and you’ve got no water for a few hours or more.
When you’re on the road you can still be hit with events like fires and floods.
I think that living in a caravan means that you may be better set up to live without some services, but you still need to be prepared. Here are the things that we’re doing (or intend to do :-O) to be a at least a little prepared should unfortunate circumstances occur.
We’re not totally self-sufficient (not even close), but we do have batteries, solar panels, and an inverter so we can power electronic devices and lights.
Our stove and oven is gas, and our fridge can be powered by gas but it’s very inefficient and we’d go through the gas way too fast. (We’d be better off eating the contents of our tiny fridge rather than use up the gas)
So a power failure wouldn’t actually be too bad for us.
Food & Water
We have a box of food that I keep in the hard to reach spot under the bed, as an emergency food supply. Just some supplies that can be used to whip up a meal in a pinch. Mostly canned stuff, but also some pasta, long life milk, and… ahh… maple syrup? Dunno what that’s doing there …
Also under there is a 10L water jerry can of emergency drinking water. We’ve got a 60L fresh water tank, but as we’re usually hooked up to water, the fresh water tank is usually empty.
Fire Extinguisher and First Aid Kit
I was pretty chuffed with myself when we finally got kitted out with a fire extinguisher and a fire blanket (they were on special at Aldi) and they are both within easy reach of our kitchen and the outside.
However, our first aid kit is next door to useless, so it’s a priority for us to get that kitted out ASAP.
Free Emergency Contact Form Template
This is the simplest part of our emergency preparedness.
Is there anyone else out there who doesn’t know their partners mobile phone number off by heart?
I’ve never needed to memorise Ben’s phone number, his number is right there on my phone so of course I’ve never had to dial it.
Same goes for all our other family members.
If we have an emergency and I need to contact any/everyone, yet my phone is flat, I’m screwed.
So I put together a list of all the numbers that I need, and if you want, you can use this Free Emergency Contact Form Template too.
Even if you use your own template, this may just give you a checklist of all the numbers that should be on your list.
Here’s a link to the google doc: Free Emergency Form Contact Form Template
You’ll see that you have ‘View Only’ access, but go to ‘File’ and ‘Make a Copy’ and you’ll have your own copy that you can edit however you wish.
Do you think you’re prepared for an emergency while you’re on the road?