10 Ways To Prep For Disaster
Identify Your Situation & Risk Level
If the social order broke down and anarchy erupted in the streets, what kind of situation would you and your family find yourselves in? You need to consider the following factors.
- Do you have a decent security system on your property? Does it actively prevent people from trespassing (gates, barbed wire fence, heavy locks), or is it simply an alarm system? Is your current security system adequate enough to keep you and your loved ones safe?
- Do you and your family have the means and ability to responsibly protect yourselves?
- Do you have reliable vehicles?
- Do you have a lasting amount of supplies in the form of food, water, power-generating technology, etc.?
At minimum, you want to have ways of protecting your property from breaking and entering, means of protecting yourselves, and enough supplies to last at least six months.
Establish a Disaster Plan
- Decide where and when your family will meet if a disaster occurs.
- If a disaster occurs that requires you to leave your home, choose an out-of-state family contact that you can stay with. If the disaster is truly wide-spread, make plans with your extended family for a place that everyone can meet up.
- Decide the best evacuation route.
- Decide where you are going to get emergency information in your community. This information may mean adjustments to your evacuation route.
- Establish a plan for internal family communication.
- Decide what will happen with the family pets.
Make sure your plans are tailored to the needs of each individual in your family. Everyone needs to have specific responsibilities as well.
Write this plan down with each member of the family.
Practice Fulfilling the Disaster Plan
Repetition is certainty. If disaster breaks out, are you going to be haphazardly trying to execute a half-formed survival plan? Far better to have a firm grasp on a comprehensive plan with which everyone is on the same page.
Obviously, this doesn’t mean you have to literally enact every step of the plan (packing up all of the essentials, driving to Colorado to meet with extended family members, etc.) but you need to be able to fulfill a virtual version of your plan consistently and efficiently.
Get Disaster Supply Kits Ready
Every member of your family should have the following supplies at the ready:
- Cell phone with backup battery and charger
- One gallon of water per day for at least three days. This is for both drinking and sanitation.
- At least a three-day supply of (non-perishable) food.
- A wireless radio (either battery-powered or hand crank)
- Local map
- Plenty of batteries
- First aid kit
- Can openers
- Garbage bags, plastic ties, and moist towelettes
- Tools (Swiss army knives, pliers and wrenches for turning off utilities, etc.)
There are more supplies that can be added to this list, but these are the bare essentials.
Get Your Children Mentally & Emotionally Prepared
Panic is your enemy, and it’s far easier for adults to keep their heads together than children. You need to prepare your children for the realities of disaster in a way that does not disturb or panic them.
Explain to them that the reason for a disaster plan is to keep everyone safe, and they can do their part to help. Help them feel they are an important contributor to the plan and that everything will be okay if you all work together.
Take Into Account Those With Special Needs
This includes people with disabilities (either mental or physical) and the elderly. Ensure that medications, medical supplies, and all other substances and technology required for these people are ready and easily accessible.
Learn Basic First Aid and CPR
You can contact the local American Red Cross chapter for basic training on first aid and CPR. They will give you the foundational skills you need to keep your loved ones safe and possibly save their lives.
Eliminate Home Hazards & Beef Up Security
Make sure there aren’t any unnecessary things in your home that could pose hazard problems such as fire or air contamination. It’s also important to ensure your security systems are working correctly.
Do this and you’ll sleep much better at night.
Secure Outdoor Objects or Move Them Inside
Whether it’s the grill, flowerpots, or patio furniture, make sure it’s either strapped and locked down or moved inside so it doesn’t get stolen.
Regularly Check & Maintain Your Preparation Supplies
It’s no use having disaster prep foods if they end up expired when disaster strikes. Emergency evacuation vehicles are of no use if the batteries are dead or they’re empty of fuel. Are all of your batteries charged? Is the water still good? Does everyone still have their plans of action ready in their minds?
Double, triple, quadruple check your plan, maintain your supplies, and keep everyone on the same page during these unpredictable times.
Survival Tools - What Is “Good Quality”?
When it comes to disaster preparedness, it’s a balancing act between good quality tools and making space for everything. There’s no point in having a large amount of good tools at your disposal if you have no room for them, or if the size and amount of these tools makes them too heavy to carry and transport.
There are certain characteristics that you want in your survival tools. Keep these qualities in mind.
Space is going to be limited if you need to evacuate your home during a disaster. The size of your tools should be a major factor of concern. The general rule should be to go for the smallest size possible without sacrificing quality. You want compact tools that can easily be collapsed and concealed.
Try to go as lightweight as possible, again, without sacrificing quality. Take advantage of lightweight materials that are still strong enough to get the job done.
Cut out all the fluff. You don’t want to be weighed down with unnecessary items. If you have a Swiss army knife with most of the necessary tools, do you really need two or three more versions of the same tool floating around in your bug-out bag?
You don’t want cheap junk that isn’t going to serve your purposes in the long run. Don’t get bogged down with a bunch of cheap survival tools when a few compact, multi-purpose tools made from durable materials will work far better.
When it comes to disaster preparedness, you need to have peace of mind knowing you can rely on your items to perform the tasks for which you need them.
Again, try to strip things down to a few multi-purpose tools that can perform a variety of different tasks, rather than having a large number of tools floating around and weighing you down.