At King County Emergency Management, December was always a month of reckoning and balancing out our finances for the year. We would construct a wish list of equipment that was needed and if funds were still available and would otherwise have been turned back, we'd purchase things like computers, an office chair, etc. Since you can't use funds quickly to do training or exercises, the purchase of materials was a good alternative. Sometimes we printed preparedness brochures.
Another option available to you is to purchase disaster supplies. I think it is appropriate that we as emergency managers set an example for our operations and have disaster supplies available for our internal staff and also for people who deploy to our emergency operations centers (EOC). One supplier of such supplies who I highly recommend is American Preparedness. They have a full complement of different types of supplies for individuals and offices. For our own office, where I work now, we have disaster kits for each individual. Last month we just refreshed the kits with materials and food/water that had reached their shelf life. We all tried the food bar included in the kit and it tasted OK. I was afraid it might taste like sawdust.
So, do I have a special deal for you! If you make an order between now and the end of December 2017 you can get 10% off your order if you mention my name (Eric Holdeman) at the time of the order. I'm not getting any kickback on the deal; it is only an incentive for you to become better prepared.
And how about giving disaster supply kits as Christmas gifts? The teenagers probably won't love the idea, but something for their car trunk, in addition to your other gifts, might come in handy someday.