Google+ Authentic Parenting: Emergency Preparedness in Sub-Saharan Africa

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Emergency Preparedness in Sub-Saharan Africa

Welcome to the May 2013 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Emergency Preparedness
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have shared their plans to keep their families safe. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.
Emergency preparedness is not just a fictional concept for a family living in Africa. Having already been evacuated out of Ivory Coast after the troubles following their latest elections (where Ouatara took over the power from reigning president Laurent Gbagbo), and living through a forced period of self sufficiency out of sheer lack of food, being prepared for just about anything is second nature.

So what do we do differently?

We always have a large supply of food. We only shop once a month, so we make sure that we have a full freezer and pantry and that we have nice and nutritious food available, even in the event that we aren't able to go for our monthly shopping trip. We try to find local grown greens to have fresh food available, but also freeze vegetables whenever possible.
I used to have extensive gardens, but since it was absolutely necessary in the Congo, since we couldn't get vegetables anywhere else, it's been overkill for me and I now content myself with just the odd crop and some sprouted seeds.

We also have all of our travel documents and some money in one place and generally have a ready packed evacuation bag.

We have two big dogs. They're our alarm system and they also keep unwanted visitors off our turf.

When we were living in Ivory Coast, my husband received a security training, and eventually ended up having to use it to organize our evacuation. As a result, we always have some 'flight plans' in our heads.

This may all sound pretty stressful and scary, but on a day to day basis, we're leading very relaxed and normal lives. I would even argue that living here is safer than say, in Europe. We just have to remain vigilant, be careful when the turmoil presents (fe around elections and strikes) and use our common sense.

Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
(This list will be updated by afternoon May 14 with all the carnival links.)



  1. I've often wondered how families with young children survive the stress of living in war zones or countries that get violent during elections. I would have to imagine that in addition to all of the practical preparations, there is an added element of mental/emotional preparation, especially for the kids.

  2. That's fascinating. It's good that those experiences have prepared you so well to manage in times of crisis!

  3. What a fascinating perspective! Thank you for sharing your experience, it can't be easy living in a foreign place. Having those sorts of hostilities present would make me jumpy and I'm glad that I only have to worry about the tornados!

  4. Wow! Yeah, it does sound kind of scary, but good to have a "go bag." You see those in spy movies, though! Crazy!


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