Emergency Preparedness Week is held every first week of May in the United States. This is different from the Emergency preparedness Month which is observed every September. Disaster and emergency preparedness, however, should not be only practiced during these times. It’s an everyday thing. You should be aware that things can go wrong anytime anywhere. We’re not trying to scare you or something but if you ask victims of natural disasters and other unexpected tragedies, one thing you’ll likely hear from them is that they wish they were prepared. Many will say that if they only knew, they could have done something to prevent or at least prepare for whatever tragic thing that happened to them.
The best way to commemorate Emergency Preparedness Week is to learn as many survival tips as you can. This includes getting the proper training in self-defense, martial arts, firing a gun, first aid, using a fire extinguisher and other skills that could spell the difference between life and death.
Prepare for Every Possible Scenario
It’s important that you know what natural disaster will likely strike your area. If you live in a coastal area, you should be ready for hurricanes, tsunamis, floods, and even landslides. Do you live near an active volcano? Then you should definitely have an escape plan related to a potential eruption. You should base your disaster preparedness on such possibilities. However, there are other tragedies you should prepare for and not all of them are caused by Mother Nature.
Aside from preparing for other natural tragedies such as earthquakes, cold and heat waves, and a huge comet landing on Earth, you should also be wary of man-made catastrophes. Terrorist attack, nuclear bombing biological warfare are just a few of the man-made calamities that could happen anytime anywhere.
And there’s the zombie apocalypse, alien invasion, and the more realistic sudden unemployment. In other words, you’ll never know what emergency situation is lurking behind the corner. As mentioned, your best course of action is to be ready for anything though it would be a lot easier if you knew what you’re preparing for.
One of the keys to surviving any natural or man-made disaster is to have enough food and water to keep you alive. It doesn’t matter if you’re going through an earthquake or trying to outrun flesh-eating zombies. If you have enough food and water, you’re already in a good place or at least better than most of the population or what’s left of it.
Without food, you can survive for up to three weeks as Mahatma Ghandi proved before. But if you don’t have access to clean water, you will die of dehydration in about two days to a week at best. Fill your prepper pantry with lots of non-perishable food and clean drinking water.
Stock up on non-perishable goods that have the longest shelf life. Make sure to arrange them in a way that you can easily access the ones that will expire first. For a list of what kinds of food is best for the apocalypse, check out this list from Happy Preppers.
Your home should also have lots of survival gear at home. Some of the essentials include fire extinguishers, lanterns, generators, axe or hatchets, some power tools, and weapons. You will also require other items depending on what are the possible disasters that could affect you. If you’re in a hurricane-prone area, for example, you should have plyboards ready to be installed on your windows to keep them from getting smashed during the storm. A chainsaw will also be useful in getting rid of fallen trees downed by strong winds and torrential rains.
Prepare an Emergency Kit
Bug Out Bag
Aside from the supplies and gear you have stashed in your home or bug out shelter, you should also have bug out bags. A bug out bag is simply a backpack or duffle bag filled with at least three days’ worth of food and water along with some essential survival gear. Each member of the family should have his or her own grab bag unless, of course, one is still an infant or is too old to carry anything.
Children can only carry as much as their bodies could handle. Give them a small bag with a few essentials and some items for their entertainment. Remember, a SHTF scenario will be extremely stressful for young children. The least you can do to give them a semblance of normalcy is to let them bring their favorite toy or book. In other words, pack their security blanket along with other things that they can busy themselves with such as crayons, playing cards or a small board game.
As for the adults and teenagers, each should have a grab bag filled with the important gear such as a flashlight, matches, lighter, battery-operated radio, extra batteries, charger, powerbank, compass, whistle, mirror, paracord, duct tape, N95 respirator, multi-tool, pocket knife, can opener, portable stove, Mylar blanket, hygiene kit, and a first aid kit.
Of course, you should also have a tent, sleeping bag, blanket, change of clothes, extra socks, gloves, jacket, rain gear, and poncho, among other things. For a more comprehensive list of grab bag items, check out this post from Bug Out Bag Academy.
Get Home Bag
If you’re caught away from your home and family, you’ll need a get home bag to, you know, get home. It’s basically a bug out bag but usually with less stuff since you need to travel fast to get back home. You can keep you get home bag in your place of work or in your vehicle.
Bug Out Vehicle
Speaking off, your vehicle can be another place to hide your valuable supplies and gear. Keep extra food and water in the trunk and other places in your car that are safely hidden from plain sight. Your car should also be in tip-top shape. Make sure you have tools, jumper cables, car battery charger, and the spare tire. Here are more tips on how to prepare your bug out vehicle.
When SHTF, you need to get out of your home and proceed to a safer location. To do this, you must have a plan in place. Your evacuation plan should detail what each member of the family should do once there is a need to evacuate. Aside from grabbing their bug out bags, each of you will be assigned a specific task that is necessary during your escape. For example, someone will be assigned to grab the pets if you have one.
Everyone should also be familiar with your bug out location, evacuation center or meet-up point. Your meet-up point is also the place where everyone will gather in case you get separated. They should know all the routes leading to your designated place. Designate a main route, which you will take once things go down south. If this path is compromised, you should know other routes.
Aside from calling each other to make sure everyone’s fine, you should also ask someone outside the family to be your contact person. Ideally, this person should be far from where you live so that he or she will not likely be affected by whatever disaster struck your area.
Your contact person will also be responsible for calling each of you to make sure everyone’s okay. If things go from bad to worse, this person’s home can also be your meet-up point or bug out location.
Learn Survival Skills
Another important part of emergency preparedness is to know various survival skills. There are tons you should know but the most basic ones are starting a fire, finding and purifying water, catching and gathering food, and building a shelter.
In case you’re lost, stranded or in need of any kind of help, the skill of sending out SOS signals will be pretty important. You should also know how to use a compass and read maps. Navigating with the stars ala-Moana is also a nice skill to have.
You also need to know how to defend yourself. Train in hand-to-hand combat as well as self-defense techniques. You should also be able to use weapons ranging from bats to knives and to guns. Maybe you can also get John Wick to teach you how to us a pencil for things other than doodling.
Emergency preparedness is no easy task. You should put your heart into it since it will involve the safety of not only yourself but of your loved ones. If you know of other ways one can prepare for disasters that are not discussed here, please tell us all about them in the comment section. You can also check out other articles about prepping and survivalism over at The Gentleman Pirate.
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