A wise friend of mine once said that preparing without planning is just being a “hobby” prepper.
This passing interest is better than nothing, but without a solid plan – you’re really just playing. In the event of an emergency, a well-thought out family emergency plan can eliminate stress, limit confusion, and save a great deal of wasted time. Instead of wondering what to do or when to do it, you can put your emergency plan to work right away, bringing sanity and safety to dangerous situations.
Your plan should include the following.
- Maintaining up-to-date contact information cards or sheets for each family member
- Communication strategies to keep in touch, with options in case the phones are out
- Ways to assist or care for family who have mobility or medical issues, communication difficulties, or special needs
- The maintenance, inspection, and rotation of emergency supplies, such as non-perishable food, water, first aid, lighting, and communication equipment
- The maintenance of specialized supplies for any infants, young children, or elders of your family
- A plan and supplies for the care of pets and livestock
- The knowledge and tools to shut off your utilities
- Self-sufficiency skills and supplies, should you have to shelter in a place without utilities
- Evacuation plans and routes, should you have to leave your home
- Learning and practicing safety skills, such as first aid, CPR, and fire prevention
Here’s a quick checklist of crucial gear and supplies you should have prepared in case of an emergency or natural disaster.
____ Backpack/Bug Out Bag
____ Water storage containers for up to 100 gallons
____ Water filter/Purification Tablets
____ Food: nonperishable, shelf-stable items, freeze-dried meals
____ Generator and fuel and/or hand-crank generator
____ Fuel containers
____ Multi-tool, knife
____ Basic tools, hatchet, can opener, limb saw
____ Hand-crank items (radio, flashlight)
____ First-aid kit
____ Tent, large enough for family
____ Ponchos (which can be used as tarps) for each family member
____ Sleeping pads and bags
____ Rope, parachute cord
____ GPS units, compass
____ Wood-burning cook stove or cook stove with fuel supply
____ Fire starter equipment: stick matches, lighters, flint
____ Personal toiletries, medicines