History teaches us many things, but Mother Nature has taken it upon herself to give us an extra dose of hard-life lessons in the past year. Hurricanes, typhoons, earthquakes, floods, and disease have shown up, uninvited, and left a wake of destruction and disaster in their path. As a result, people are hyper-aware of the importance of preparing for an emergency.
Natural disasters are not the only threat to you and your family, we are human after all and “to err is human.” Crisis situations are caused by accidents or simply by stupidity every day. Being prepared can be the difference between life and death in these situations.
Here is a Guide to help you and your Family Become Prepared for an Emergency:
1- Learn About the Risks
Contact your local emergency unit center and learn about the dangers that might directly affect you and your family. Knowing the possibilities of the future allows you to make the most efficient plan. Identifying the risks your local area may encounter will allow you to plan accordingly. Residents in Arizona may not face the frenzy of a typhoon, but the hot-dry landscape is a playground for brushfire, so become familiar with your surroundings.
2- Prepare a “to go” Bag
Once you have identified conceivable dangers, you should prepare an easily carried bag of survival items. Freeze dried food, water, personal documents, toiletries, and medication are a few of the items that should be a part of your get-out-fast emergency bag.
3- Family, Friends, and Neighbors
It is essential to sit down with your family and talk about what steps to take in the event of a crisis. Make sure each individual knows how, where, and who is important to your survival. However, that is not all… involving your friends and neighbors gives you and your community a sense of “we’re all in this together,” which is a key puzzle piece to emergency preparedness.
4- Knowing the Risks and Developing Scenarios
Start with the worst case scenario and work your way down to “meh, this isn’t so bad.” No matter how big or small the emergency, having a game plan is crucial. Ask yourself the important questions; How or who will make this occur? When will it happen? How will it happen? Who will be affected? If you identify the consequences of every possible scenario you’ll have a much better chance of survival. Consider places you frequent; home, work, family’s homes, friends homes, and places of business. Knowing where you might be will give you a better idea of how to respond.
5- Practical Reasoning of Actions
In order to get the best results from a decision, especially in the face of a crisis, it must be justified with practical reasoning. This will allow you and your family to respond in a calm, precise, and efficient manner.
6- Home Away from Home (and Danger)
If evacuation becomes necessary, you should have a meet-up place (or three, in order of safety) that you and your family is familiar with. When all individuals have arrived, you’ll know that you are in a safe place. This place should be somewhere that you can stay long term and includes at least a 6-month to 1-years worth supply of emergency essentials; food storage that has a long shelf life, plenty of water, candles and matches, flashlights and batteries, and basic medical supplies.
7- Documents for Days
Every relevant discussion, idea, and plan should be documented, think old school… laminated papers in a binder (or in a sparkly unicorn trapper keeper). Electricity and access to technology can quickly become non-existent in a disaster. Having a hard copy of your survival plan will come in handy.
8- Practice Makes Perfect
Perform regular drills. Just like in grade school when you learned to hunker down under your desk during an earthquake drill, you and your family should monthly, quarterly, or yearly practice what actions to take during a crisis. This can actually be fun but should help you know exactly what to do without a sense of panic. Natural and manmade disasters are lurking around every corner and they are often furious and unforgiving. However, there are ways to prepare for even the worst of Mother Nature’s wrath. Stock your shelves, have a plan and map out how to conquer risks with a plan of action and you and your family will be prepared for any emergency situation.