Do you ever worry that your family might have an emergency you won’t be prepared for?
Do you hear all the things that happen in the news and wonder if they will happen to you?
Today, I want to talk about your family preparedness and how planning ahead can help you calm your worried mind in the future.
Disclaimer: We aren’t talking about zombie apocalypse here. This is not a post about extreme prepping. These are simple, actionable tips you can take for a basic emergency scenario.
Last year, my husband was deployed (he works for the US Public Health Service) to help with the aftermath of hurricanes Maria and Irma. He is a pharmacist by trade, but in the disaster relief he took care of more of the logistics side of things. People had been flown in from Puerto Rico to the main land (he was in Atlanta, Georgia) that were in need of long term medical care. They were dispersed throughout the United States to hospitals to be taken care of.
Around the same time, I had family members that were helping with hurricane Harvey relief in Texas where homes had been flooded and destroyed there. They had to gut peoples homes of wet belongings and dry wall so that mold wouldn’t creep in and make them sick. It was a huge project and took months to accomplish.
I wrote this post back then to remind me of the things I had learned from hearing about these disasters—> 10 Lessons Learned from Recent Natural Disasters.
When these things happen, it makes emergency preparedness seem more valuable and urgent.
But now it is spring and for the most part things are calm. There are always emergencies going on around the world, but in my neck of the world things are quiet.
Does that mean I need to forget about those feelings I had back in September?
Does it make emergency preparedness any less important?
I don’t think so. In fact, it could very well be “the calm before the storm”. Many Christians have heard the phrase “Noah didn’t wait until it started raining to build the ark”.
The quiet time is the perfect time to evaluate your needs and start taking action. It will make the storm more bearable if you are prepared.
Why should we get prepared?
- Natural disaster- Depending where you live, you have natural disasters that you know to expect every few years. This could be tornados, hurricanes, forest fire, etc that you should look out for. You need to evaluate the likely natural disasters in your area and plan accordingly. For my area, it is drought (which brings forest fires) and blizzard (which could knock out power and make roads impassable).
- Job loss- Although not wide spread, a job loss could be an emergency for your family. If you are prepared financially and with food storage, it will be easier to ride that storm.
- Power outage- If you were without power for several days, what would you need to survive (or thrive). An easy way to find this out is to turn off the power for one day and see what needs aren’t being met. That is what you prepare for in the future.
- Water contamination- Maybe your area has water but it has been contaminated at the source or before it gets to your house. Do you have water storage and filtration to make it drinkable?
How should we get prepared?
- 72 Hour Kits-
This is a “bug out bag” that would contain the basics you would need to survive for 3 days. This includes food, water, first aid, clothing and basic shelter needs.
Each kit should be tailored to each individual family member, including pets. Think about things like allergies, diapers, special food or dietary restrictions when packing your kit.
You should put the kit in a container that is easy to carry such as a duffle bag, backpack or large bucket.
You may want to pack more in the adult packs and leave the kids packs lighter with just food, water and clothing.
For more information on 72 Hour Kits, check out this post–> How to Make 72 Hour Kits to Get Your Family Prepared for Emergencies
- Food Storage-
If you have an emergency that doesn’t require you to leave the house, you are going to need to have food for your family for an extended period of time.
You can store prepared and packaged meals, meals your family loves and bulk staple items.
Again, you should tailor your food storage to things your family can and will eat in an emergency. Make sure you know how to make these meals ahead of time and that your food is rotated as needed.
For more information on food storage, check out this post–> Food Storage Tips to Get You Prepared
- Water Storage-
Besides food, water is a major necessity for your family. You need water to drink, bath, wash and flush.
The normal suggestion is storing 1 gallon per person per day. You can test how much your family uses by turning off the water at your house for 24 hours and monitor how much you use.
For more information on water storage, check out this post–> Emergency Water Storage for Prepared Families
- First Aid Kits-
First aid will be very important in an emergency, when normal emergency professionals are going to be busy with life threatening problems.
Each 72 hour kit should have a small first aid kit, but that is only the basics.
You should have a large, more comprehensive first aid kit for the whole family that is portable enough to take with you in an emergency.
For more information on a large first aid kit, check out this post–> How to Prepare Your Family First Aid Kit Now
- Personal Document Storage-
If you have your important documents all in one place, you can grab and go in an emergency.
This includes government identification documents, insurance policies, medical records, genealogy records and whatever your family deems important.
For ease, you should put everything together in a binder or file storage so you can take it with you quickly in an emergency situation.
For more information on personal document storage, check out this post–> How to Gather Important Family Documents for Emergencies
Why have I chosen these strategies to start with?
There are many things that you can do to prepare for emergencies in your area.
I chose these because they are easy, actionable and will make a big difference in your survival during an emergency.
There are other things such as fuel storage, getting out of debt, hunting and other survival skills that you can do to make even more of an impact.
But these 5 are the basics and need to be done first. If you have these done, your basic needs will be met for a certain amount of time and you will be better off than most of the people in your area.
Emergency preparedness is something that is hard to make a priority in our busy lives, but if something happens we will wish we had taken the time to protect our families before hand. The time is now.
Do you have these preparations in place for your family in case of an emergency? Let us know in the comments below. And if you found this post helpful, please share. Thanks!