Disaster Preparation: Preparing Your Home and Family
Disasters are not unique; they are an inevitability of life on this planet called earth. While it is impossible to be 100% ready for all disasters, you can prepare for the most common and make a plan to keep your home and family safe.
As a prepper, you likely already know the importance of functioning in the wilderness: how to hunt, find water, and build a shelter. However, this article will take a more intimate look at your homestead and the essentials for readying yourself to hunker down or evacuate.
Know About Common Disasters in Your Area
Do you live in an area prone to wildfires, tornadoes, blizzards, or any number of other disasters? If you do not know, you need to find out. Every emergency requires a different response. For example, a tornado response requires an underground shelter with solid walls and minimal, if any, windows, but a fire escape needs multiple and accessible exits from every room in the home. If you are unaware of common disasters in your area, then contact the local emergency preparedness office to find out.
Use Notification Systems
If you do not already have one, find an application for emergency alerts. FEMA and the Red Cross have free apps you can sign up form, and some employers work with LiveSafe. These tools will ensure that you are among the first people to know when an emergency is in your area.
Create an Emergency Response Plan
You also need to create an emergency response plan with your family and practice it. Everyone in your household needs to know what they are expected to do when the sirens go off. Children and adults can benefit from repetition. If your city or state experiences many tornadoes through the year, then have practice drills for going to the basement or shelter area in your home at least once per month. If you practice enough, people develop muscle memory and are more likely to remember in high-stress situations.
Pack and Store a Go Bag
For disasters that may require quick evacuations, like floods and wildfires, your family should have a go-bag for every member. These bags will carry the essentials, like first aid kits, food, supplies, and other necessities. For more information on what to store in a go-bag, go to the FEMA site.
You want to ensure that the bags are accessible. Do not store them in the attic or behind a bunch of boxes in the basement. Instead, keep the bags close to the garage or even in the garage near the car. However, make sure the garage is climate controlled for any items that might need it.
Prepare Your Food Supply
When a disaster strikes, you want to ensure you have enough food and water to last through several days of power outages. You want to fill your pantry with shelf-stable supplies, such as water, protein bars, canned tuna, dry pasta, etc.
Secure and Protect Your Home and Belongings
Securing your home goes beyond home defense; it is also about ensuring your electronics and water supply are protected. For example, if the power goes out, unplugging all appliances protects against damage from power surges. Also, filling a bathtub with fresh water will provide water for sanitation, like washing hands and flushing toilets if there is a concern about your water supply.
Do you have any other disaster preparation tips? Leave a comment below and get involved in the discussion.