Emergency preparedness is essential, yet most families aren’t prepared for the unexpected. Experts recommend that people should prepare to survive on their own for at least 72 hours. Only one in ten Americans, however, is prepared to make it for that length of time with no access to food, water, power, or transportation. These are some steps you can take to ensure your family is ready.
1. Find out what natural disasters are most common in your area.
While you may be aware of some risks to your community, others may surprise you. Flood is the most common natural disaster and can happen anywhere. Earthquakes, tornadoes, thunderstorms, landslides, and wildfires are just a few of the things you should be prepared for.
I live in an area not know for tornadoes, yet there have been several in my community in the past five years. While they did not directly damage my home, they did cut off access to power and telephones. It was several days before those utilities were restored.
Floods are also a common occurrence. While I live very far above the flood plain, flood waters still affect me. If the water rises high enough to cover the main road, which is the only way in and out of where I live, I would be trapped with no access to grocery stores or other needed supplies.
2. Think about “uncommon” disasters.
With political unrest growing throughout the world, it’s important to consider disasters that aren’t as common, such as terrorist attacks and war. Escalating tensions with countries like North Korea could pose a threat in the near future. It’s important to consider what the outcomes from something like an EMP attack could be and how to survive it.
3. Have an emergency supply kit ready.
Make sure you have enough food, water, and medications for yourself and your family. Also consider pets. Think about extras you may need as well, such a lanterns, batteries, medical supplies, and fuel for generators. A first aid kit should also be included in your supplies.
Consider foods specifically designed for long term storage, such as meal kits from My Patriot Supply, which have a 25-year shelf life. (Most canned and shelf stable goods are only good for two years.) A seed bank is also a great item to have on hand.
4. Have an emergency communications plan in place.
If something happens and you are separated from your family, how will you contact them? Share your emergency plan with those close to you so they will no how to contact you in case of emergency. Consider investing in long range walkie talkies. As a backup, set a meetup place, in case commonly used methods of communication are blocked. Do no rely on cell phones to work.
5. Safeguard important documents and make sure you have access to them.
Store electronic copies of important documents on a password-protected thumb drive. Give a copy to a trusted friend or family member. This will allow you to have a record of critical documents, like medical information, legal documents, and insurance information.
Being prepared is vital, so take charge now. Don’t wait for a disaster to hit, then think of all the things you should have done. Commit to surviving during a disaster now.