We all know the importance of disaster preparedness. Almost on a daily basis we get to read about natural disasters like tsunamis, earthquakes, hurricanes, wildfires, floods, tornadoes as well as man-made calamities like war and terrorism. Then there are financial crises as well. If you are feeling insecure about this, a little preparedness could put your mind at ease. Disaster preparedness planning isn’t costly or time consuming; nor do you need huge storage space or a farm for it. A little bit done on a day to day basis can go a long way and could help you and your family prepare for disaster and emergencies. Here is a preparing for disaster checklist.
1. Getting started
Here are some steps to start out to prepare for an emergency.
- Read up books, blogs and resources about disaster preparedness, both online and offline.
- De-clutter your home.
- Look for ways to add extra storage to each room. Utilize the attic and basement well for the extra storage. Try to be as creative as you can about storage space.
- Consider buying a generator and invest in solar/alternative lighting.
- Find out exit routes from the city
- Make an evacuation plan in advance
- Learn to navigate without compass
- Connect with other preppers
2. Get your family on board
- Make a plan and get your family on board. Post an emergency plan where family members can see it. Keep a list of all passwords in a safe but accessible space.
- Assemble an emergency kit for the first 36 to 72 hours with food, water and medicine/first aid.
- Do not forget about your pets
- Assemble smaller kits (bug out bags) for the car, desk, and a mini survival kit in a mint tin.
- Teach children about prepping.
- Follow basic safety rules
- Learn to protect yourself from crime
- Assemble a dental emergency kit
- Pack a bug out bag
3. Get yourself fit
Invest in a daily exercise program to build your physical fitness. For mental fitness, practice stress relieving techniques like deep breathing, positive visualization, meditation etc.
4. Keep certain items accessible at all times
These include water, freeze dried/canned food, fire and light, shelter and clothing, cell phone, health and hygiene kit, tools, firearms, emergency cash.
5. Stock your car
One of the most important steps to be prepared for a natural disaster is stocking your car. Make sure your vehicle is in working condition and has adequate fuel. Keep extra cash and fuel cans with you every day, if possible. A spare tire and toolkit are also important.
6. Learn all you can about food storage and safety
Read up ways to store food for days at a stretch. You will need to rotate this stored food too. Learn to cook with different foods like canned or dehydrated food. Make sure you are able to add some variety. Here are some tips:
- Rotate your food supply
- Store dehydrated and freeze dried food
- Plan how much food to store
- Know the different expiry dates
- Learn how to keep pests/enemies away from stored food.
- Try to learn basics like making your yogurt, jams and preserves, breads, basic canning techniques, sprout beans and seeds, marinate vegetables etc.
- Store seeds so you can start up your own vegetable garden.
- Learn about edible and medicinal plants
7. Be ready financially
We often prepare for a natural disaster but rarely do we ready ourselves for financial crises. It is very important to make a personal financial disaster plan. If possible, start an emergency fund. Pay off all your debt. Review your insurance coverage from time to time. Invest in precious metals and do not forget to keep a stack of emergency cash at home.
8. Take care of water needs
This is perhaps the most important aspect of preparing for emergency. Calculate your family’s per day water needs. Start collecting and storing drinking water and, as is the case with food, keep rotating it. Learn to empty your water heater. Try to find hidden underground sources of water in your yard. In case of floods, take steps to prevent contaminated water from coming into your home. You also need to learn how to make a water filter. See videos on ways to purify water with sunlight and ways to build a solar sill.
9. Learn basic skills in peaceful times
These include life saving skills like swimming, using basic firearms, martial arts, CPR, plumbing, waste management, hunting, fishing, cooking without heat/electricity, gardening, setting snares and traps, climbing trees etc which could save your life during an emergency. Read up all you can about different herbs that work as medicines and food and especially edible and non edible plants. Learn to identify toxic plants. It will be especially helpful to learn ways to start a fire.
We all hope that we never have to deal with natural disasters. However, preparing for one can go a long way in saving lives so it is essential to learn skills for survival. Hope this brief guide helps you.