As we see a rise in natural and man-made disasters all around us, our desire to be prepared should increase to meet this challenge. Sometimes we take for granted the luxuries we enjoy. Think for a moment about all the things that make your life easier. On your list, you may have put running water, electricity, air conditioning, cars, computers etc. Imagine what would happen if all of this were to be taken away through some kind of disaster. The reality is: this could happen to you. Did you know that you are more likely to face a disaster than to be a bystander to someone who is having a heart attack? Like CPR, we all need to know what to do when a disaster strikes close to us.
Imagine your house was completely flooded. You would have no clean water, available food or sanitary supplies. What would you do? Here are some things to think about as you prepare for a disaster.
Knowing what types of disasters can and have happened in your area is important. If you live in the Midwest you have probably seen or been affected by floods, tornadoes, ice storms etc. Coastal cities often suffer from hurricanes, landslides, or tsunamis. No matter where you live there is a likelihood of a disaster.
Create a Plan
First, identify your needs by asking yourself, "What do I need?" No matter how well you have planned, you will not have all the things you want, so do not try to put everything in your survival kits. Be flexible in your planning. Once you've identified your needs you can focus on specific disaster plans. It may seem simple, but making the decisions of where to meet, who to contact or what you will do in an emergency is crucial to your survival. Be sure to keep your plan simple. Keep your food, water, and survival kits in an easily accessible location. Make exit routes for a fire the same as that of a flood. Finally, practice. Like when you were in elementary school, have a "drill". Go over evacuation routes and discuss various issues that could occur and the decisions you will make. Panic causes people to make irrational decisions. Making those decisions beforehand will less the anxiety when the real thing happens.
Make a List
First, think of basic items you need in 72 hour survival kits, and then make a list of things that are unique to your situation. If you have someone in your family that takes certain medications or has special needs, make sure you have what they need in your survival kits. If you have young children or babies make sure you have extra diapers, wipes, formula, clothes, toys etc. Also, because children grow so fast make sure to update your survival kits regularly. You do not want to be done trying to outfit your two year old with a newborn outfit.
Do not know where to start? Purchasing or creating your own survival kits is a great first step in becoming prepared.