Over the years disaster preparedness has emerged as an important topic as awareness of potential dangers associated with natural disasters, terrorist attacks, and other unanticipated events are raised. This has led many people to think about disaster preparedness, however, many don’t do it because it seems too overwhelming or expensive. The good news is, it doesn’t have to be. By taking the initial steps and setting realistic goals, you can ensure your family is ready for an emergency.

1. Get in the mindset

The first thing to do is get in the mindset and think about all the things that can go wrong. In our modern world, it’s easy to forget that one disastrous event could set society back centuries. Eliminating complacency is a big first step in your prepper journey.

2. Make a plan

Next, sit down and list any local threats. Do you live in a hurricane, tornado, earthquake, blizzard, or wildfire-prone area? Maybe you are in proximity to a nuclear power plant? If you live somewhere that might be a high terrorist target, you might want to think about this too. Once you prioritize possible events, start to plan accordingly. What events will call for hunkering down? Evacuation? Plan for each. Practice your plan and be sure your household understands what to do.

3. Build a Kit

In the event of an unexpected event, food, water, electricity, or other necessities might not be accessible, so you’ll want to make sure you have a basic survival kit ready to grab.

  • Minimum of a 3-day supply of food and water (for water, 1 gallon per person, per day and be sure to pack non-perishable foods with long shelf life).
  • First aid kit
  • Water purification tablets
  • Manual can opener and basic utensils
  • OTC and prescription medications
  • Personal care products (i.e. soap, toothbrush/toothpaste, toilet paper, feminine hygiene and baby supplies)
  • Eyeglasses and hearing aids (with extra batteries!)

Don’t forget to plan for your pets, they’ll need, at the minimum, food, water, pet carriers, and leashes. Remember, you might have to evacuate and have to transport them too.

4. Assemble Emergency Supplies and Other Important Items

In addition to your basic supply kit, you’ll also want to stash aside blankets, sleeping bags, clothing, coats, flashlights, batteries, matches, maps, battery-operated radio, and mobile phones/chargers. Don’t forget to include a multipurpose tool – one able to perform basic functions (i.e. screwdriver, knife, pliers). Other important items you’ll want to have are copies of include identification, insurance cards, immunization records, medical paperwork for ongoing conditions, extra car and house keys, emergency contact information, and extra cash (credit cards may not be usable during widespread power outages).

5. Take the Next Step

Once you’ve got your basics, you can begin to plan for the long-term. Make it simple. Don’t gather all at once, every time you go to the store, pick up a few more items. Over time you’ll have amassed a good stock of supplies. Before you know it, you’ll be well-prepared in the event of a serious, long-term situation.

There’s no harm in hoping for the best as long as you’re prepared for the worst. – Stephen King

The Protect America Disaster Sensor is a device that can alert you to potential natural events coming your way. To learn more about this device, give Protect America a call! We’d be happy to share more information and answer any questions.