Category Archives: Self-sufficiency

JD’s DIY Dispatch: Disaster Preparedness

Mrs. Lauretta Parman, Sara's grandmother
Personal note:

Last summer, as my grandmother’s health was deteriorating due to cancer, the last coherent conversation we shared was about self-sufficiency.

She thought it was a shame that people don’t seem to know how to do anything themselves anymore. Imagine how proud I was to tell her about my friends and fellow crafters who are enthusiastically improving their skills and learning how to take care of themselves and their families. My own small-scale efforts aside, there are some very dedicated homesteaders in my circle of friends.

After she passed away, this topic remains important to me for many reasons, but mostly because I want to make her  proud. After all, she is the woman who taught me to sew, to read and write.

We will be adding more posts in the future on the topic of self-sufficiency, because it goes hand-in-hand with the Do It Yourself lifestyle.

-Sara Cowan

In this day and age, a major natural or man-made disaster just doesn’t seem that farfetched. It only makes sense to be prepared for one. I’m not talking about building an underground bunker in your back yard. I’m talking about gathering some supplies and knowledge, just in case.

There are several places you can go online to find information on preparing for a disaster. I recommend the FEMA web site

Your kit can range in size, from enough water for 3 days (1 gallon of water for each person times 3) and a change of clothes, to food, water, clothes, medication, toiletries, glasses, flash lights, water purification, etc… The list goes on.

Basically your kit can be as prepared as you want. Depending on the situation, you may or may not care about having something to work on, craft-wise. But in the event that your whole family is together and you have found shelter after the event and are just waiting it out, you may want to have a coloring book and crayons for the kids and something to read or knit (or whatever you like) for yourself.

Once you feel that you have prepared yourself to your comfort level, you can take a free class. I took a CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) class this month.

The purpose of this class is twofold. First, once you have completed the training, a total of 20 hours, you will be prepared to volunteer in the event of a disaster. Everything is voluntary- you will never be told that you must help.

The second and, in my opinion, genius part is that you and your household will be prepared. You will come out of this class with the knowledge to be one less victim in the event of a disaster. You (YES, YOU!) will learn the right way to shut off all of the power to your home, how to shut off the gas, and water too! You will learn all about using a fire extinguisher to maximize its potential.

Other training provided includes learning how to triage (sort) victims based on the level of care they need. This is easy! There are only 3 levels and you are given an easy way to do (and remember) it. You will also some learn light search and rescue, some first aid and more.

Remember, in the event of a disaster, one of the things highly stressed in the CERT class is NEVER self-deploy. If they are in need of volunteers with your skill level, the authorities will contact you.

Oklahoma has some great preparedness information and planning ideas on their site too. I also recommend going over the Family Communications Plan with your family, children included, and making sure that you have a solid plan and your contacts in place!

For more information on CERT in Oklahoma City, contact Jon Lowry jon.lowry(at) CERT classes are offered every month but may not be available after August so get it now!

If you have any questions about my personal experience, you can email me JD(at) and I will be happy to share!

-JD McCoy