Be Prepared

Special Needs – Emergency Preparedness

The “Special Needs” your family will need in case of an unexpected crisis is our next emergency preparedness category. Since every family is different, “Special Needs” will vary from person to person within a household. Perhaps you have a baby, a pet or an elderly person living in your home. “Special Needs” are the individual essentials for the people living in your home.


The following are just a few items that may be considered special needs. This list is just to get your wheels spinning.

1. Baby formula, diapers, wipes, medications, bottles, baby food.

2. Feminine products, Advil, medication, extra contacts, contact solution, shaving supplies (male and female.), extra eye glasses, vitamins.

3.  Needs for folks who are may be impaired.  Dust masks and inhalers for an asthma sufferer.  A cane or walker for an elderly person.

4. Pet food, food dish, portable kennel, muzzle, a leash, medications

If you need prescription medications, such as insulin for a diabetic, consult with your doctor on the best way to increase and store an extra supply.


Collecting all of the individual needs for your family members can be a bit over-whelming.  So, I’m giving you a “Special Needs” form for you to fill out.  You can get it HERE free.

Post it some place convenient, so as you think of things, you can write them down.  Under their name, other family members can add to the list as they think of the important items they will need.

Make your list over several weeks, then pick up a few things every time you’re out doing a bit of shopping. Of course, you can make one full sweep at Wal-mart and get the deed done. If you do…. consider taking the kids along… they would have a good time picking out the things on their list.

Now I realize…. the shiny lip gloss your daughter thinks is important… may not meet your criteria for being a “Special Need.” However, boosting one’s spirit during a crisis is important. Although, you may have to limit such items, don’t eliminate them completely.

I’m adding important things to my list daily…. Snickers… Peanuts… Almond Joy … you know.

Till Later,

Kathy Griffiths
Insightful Nana

P.S.In case of an emergency… do you think hair dye could be considered a “Special Need”?

Be Prepared

Emergency Prepareness – Sanitation

Proper sanitation and hygiene are critical during the time of emergency.   Disease runs rampant after a disaster strikes if proper sanitation and hygiene standards are not kept high.  You probably already know this… but as many people die because of unchecked sanitary conditions during a disaster, than the actual disaster itself.   Proper disposal of waste is critical in your emergency preparation.


1.  Look around your present circumstances and imagine what you would do, in the face of a emergency, in dealing with  human waste.  Sure, it’s not a fun subject to confront, but a necessary one.    Look at the lay of the land.  Are you in a home, with a yard… or are you in a condo or a high rise apartment building.  Your environment  will determine your preparation.

If your in a condo or an apartment, contact management and has ask what plan has been put into place in the event of an emergency.   If you live in a home with a yard… contact your city or county to see what sanitation control methods have been adopted.

2.  For our purposes… in our “Closet Emergency Preparation”  here is what we suggest.  Put a side items that you could use in case apartment or city regulations can not be met.  In other words… be prepared for the worst.


3.   If your living in a home with a yard… your arrangements can be as simple as a shovel,  and a box of  enzymes.  Rid-X is an enzyme product used to break down solid waste in septic tanks.  It’s a natural ingredient  and is not harmful to people.  It can be found at your local hardware store.   Locate an area away from your living quarters that you can designate for bathroom purposes… or the disposal of waste.  Dig a hole or trench,  cover the waste with enzymes to aid in the breaking down of the refuse.  Cover the area with dirt.  Kitty Litter is great to control the odor.

However, using the bucket with the seat is far more comfortable.  You will need heavy duty liner bags, and enzymes to aid in breakdown of the waste.

4.  If you are living in a condo, or apartment, having a sanitation bucket is a must.  Again, check with your association or apartment management for the disposal of your filled bags.


5. The easiest answer  for our project is to purchase a sanitation kit from an emergency preparedness retail store or order on on line.  It will run you anywhere from $16.00 to $45.00 depending on the kit.   I found the prices at Emergency Essentials to be competitive if you are ordering on line.

6. In addition to your port-a-potty and enzymes,  you’ll  need toilet paper,  a box of latex  gloves,  disposable wet wipes,  anti-bacterial soap, and bleach.  You can add a couple of cans of disinfectant spray… but chlorine bleach is a good disinfectant and it’s inexpensive.

Tip:  if worse comes to worse…empty the water from  your toilet bowl.  Line the empty bowl with a heavy duty bag.  Use enzymes.  Tie up bag well and take it t a designated location in your yard or apartment complex.  It’s just safer if you can remove the waste in a bag lined bucket.

There are many sources you can visit on the internet you can visit that will give you more information about sanitation.  I did find this book to be an excellent source because it is so practical.   Just click on the book if you’re interested.  

What I’m giving you is just the basics you will need to add to your “Closet Emergency Preparation.”

Till Later

Kathy Griffiths

Insightful Nana

P.S.  Let’s get our sanitation bucket and supplies in order… then we’ll talk about personal hygiene.

P.P.S.  Here is a one minute video you’ll find interesting.

Be Prepared

Back To Basics – Basic Survival Skills – Water

Water is the next “basic” you will need for your “Closet survival preparation.”

Behind electricity and heat, water is the next thing that is likely to “go down” after a natural disaster.

One can survive for several weeks without food, but only a few days without  water.  An adult needs about two litters a day and a child at least one quart.  If you have a baby… extra water will be needed for formula.  If you have to cut back on anything in your storage, it should be something other than water.

To be safe, you should store at least a two-week supply of water for each member of the family.  If you’re unable to store this quantity, store as much as you can.  It may take some time for culinary water sources to be up and running again.  Remember, your water heater is a good source for drinking water.

Water for our “Closet Preparation” comes in the form of bottled water.  This water choice works well because it doesn’t need to be treated and  it can be stack on top of each other… clear to the ceiling.

Once the culinary water is restored… it’s best to run the water through a filter.  For our purposes, store a small filter that will handle from 200 gallons to 400 gallons of water.

These filters can be found at emergency storage retail stores or on line.  A small filter won’t produce the water as quickly as a large filter… but it’s sufficient and is easily stored in the closet.  Since they’re so small, storing two filters should not be a problem.  Of course, if you have room for a larger water filter, by all means, added it to your storage.

How much should you store above and beyond a 2 week supply?  You will need water to drink and the food in your bucket will need to be reconstituted.  That should help you determine the amount of water you store.  Keep in mind, clean water will most likely be restored at some time… so don’t worry about having enough to cover the entire 2-3  months.

Water for for bathing, cleaning, and washing of clothes, should come from other water sources.  Water in the toilet tank can be used for these purposes.  It should not be used for drinking.  If you have room for a 35 to 55 gallon water drum in your garage or carport, it’s a good alternative water source.  Now is the time to check on  alternative water sources; don’t wait until the emergency happens to go looking for extra water.

Now that you’ve  purchased your food bucket.  Now, go get your bottled water and water filter.

We’re off to a good start in preparing a closet for emergency preparation.

Till Later

Insightful Nana

P.S. The bottled water will take up the most space in your closet… but don’t skip on this necessary item.

Be Prepared

Back To Basics – Basic Survival Skills – Food

Knowing basic survival skills is really getting back to basics.  Sound emergency preparation can relieve your mind and eliminate the fear that comes from not being prepared in case of an individual or a collective hardship.

After attending a meeting, on surviving a Pandemic, I decided to include helpful information on this site that will help you be better prepared, no matter what hardship you may encounter.

This program is called “Survival In A Closet” The line up will be something you can store in your apartment or condo. Not everyone lives in individual homes where space may be readily available. If you have a closet, you can designate for survival preparation, then you’re in great shape to follow the program.

This is a step up from a 72 hour kit.

In the next several months… we’ll move on a fast track to get you set up for a two to three month emergency supply for you and your family. You can follow the program, or just include some of survival tips in the  preparations you’ve already made.

Now, remember… this won’t be a luxury program… just a simple basic “survival” plan.  Down to the bare bones.  Once you get your plan in place… you can add all the little extras you want.

The first thing that comes to mind for many folks is food. However, In my booklet, “4 Family Survival Needs that Are More Important Than Food,” I explore why food is not the most important consideration.

The logical place to start would be the first consideration mentioned in the booklet…  but if I know most of you… food is still your primary thought.  What will we eat?

So with that in mind, we’re going to start with food because this will be the easiest step in the program. Then we will consider the other four as we go along.  Remember… this is a fast track program.

The food bucket can be found at Costco for about $69.00.  It contains 200 adult meals… which will cover 3 meals a day for 66 days.  The food packets must be reconstituted with water.  Last summer, I purchased one of these buckets after sampling some of the meals.  They were actually very good.  I have tasted some reconstituted food that was so bad, I knew if I had to count on it, I wouldn’t make it.

These food buckets can be found at “Emergency Preparedness Stores,” but they are a little more expensive.

You will need to determine how many buckets your family will need.  It might be a good idea to purchase one bucket and cook up a food packet before you invest in several containers.

Since these buckets stack very well, you can stack them in the corner of your closet to the ceiling.

So… the first in our “Closet Preparation” series is… food.  Get moving and pick up your buckets at Costco now.

Till Later,

Insightful Nana

P.S. There is not a basic survival guide in the world that works… unless you work it. Go for it.

As I See It

Surviving The Recession – A Balancing Act

Surviving the recession, and other scary events play a game in my head. I seem to move from “fear” to “hope” on a regular basis.

Part of the fear comes from the fact, I’m not as prepared for “hard times” as I would like to be. Even though I have a 72 hour kit, and have added to my emergency preparedness food storage on a regular basis, there are gaps and holes that need to be filled.

When I’m in the “hope” mode, my mind really does a dance. I neglect picking up a few extra things at the store to put into my food storage… “hoping” I’ll have more time. Besides, haven’t I thrown out one heck of a lot of old food and nothing serious has happened yet? No hurry! On top of that, “What you focus on is what you get,” so why focus on the negative?

So, my mind plays a game with itself. If I’m focused on “fear,”… all I see are problems. If I focus on “hope,” my mind has a tendency to go in to denial… or “woo woo” land.   Where is the balance so I don’t go crazy?

Sunday evening, I attended a meeting about being prepared for a “Pandemic.” I found the meeting to be well worth attending and the speaker didn’t try to scare the heck out of the audience, but gave good, helpful information.

One thing the speaker said, helped to balance my thoughts a bit. He said, “Hard times come in different forms at different times to all of us. Some hard times hit us individually and some hard times hit us collectively. It’s not a matter of “if” but “when.” The question is, “How well will you recover?”


For some reason… it hit home. I’ve decided it’s wise to be prepared. I will do the best I can to get prepared and then move on with my life. I have things to do, places to go, and folks to meet with out the fear and worry of the future.

With this new insight,  the “Back To Basics” portion of this site will focus on emergency preparation and survival tips. I want all of us to recover well from what ever emergency, recession, or hard times we face in the future… whether it’s an individual or a collective hardship.

I would love to hear your thoughts on the subject… so give us a comment or two.

Till Later,

Kathy Griffiths
Insightful Nana

P.S. Grab your free booklet “4 Family Survival Needs That Are More Important Than Food.” Join the Insightful Nana Community. All you have to do is fill in the box in the upper right hand corner.
In the future, you’ll receive all kinds of fun goodies… printables, recipes, crafts and survival guides.