Now hear me out. That isn’t just a catchy headline. It’s the truth.
If you have the ability to plan ahead for emergencies and you don’t do it, that’s selfish.
There are people that don’t have that ability, and emergency services should go to them in an emergency, not you.
When our house burned down, the fire department was called automatically. Obviously. And we appreciate their service putting out the fire.
But the Red Cross was not called. We didn’t need their help.
We had insurance. We had some money in the bank. We had friends and family willing to help us.
We had our church family to support us as well.
We didn’t need government assistance. But if we had, we would have been thankful for it.
But if you prepare for emergencies the best way you can, you are more likely to be able to help others in a disaster instead of needing help yourself.
What does that look like?
How You Can Help Others Because You Were Prepared
Keeping a roof over your family’s head and food on the table.
Sharing your food storage with others.
Allowing others to stay at your house because you have more food and supplies then they do.
Having electricity when others don’t because you have a generator and extra fuel.
Being able to help in search and rescue or moving debris because you have been trained and are in good physical health.
Treating people with homeopathic options when hospitals are overloaded because you have trained and have the supplies to do so.
These are just a few ways you can help others if you prepare for emergencies now.
7 Steps to Take To Prepare For Emergencies
1. Food storage
Adding additional food to your home for food storage is a great way to start preparing for emergencies.
You can start small by adding a few extra items on your shopping list each week. Here is a blog post to give you ideas –> Emergency Preparedness for Beginners: One Week of Food and Water.
Then you can add bulk pantry items such as wheat, rice, sugar, etc to increase your long term storage.
When you have extra food in the house, you can be prepared for job loss, quarantine, food price spikes and other emergencies great and small.
2. Water storage
Along with food, water storage is essential and often overlooked. If your water supply gets contaminated you are going to have a hard time finding good water quickly.
We’ve seen the stores run out of bottled water very fast in an emergency situation.
You can store water in water bottles, 2 L bottles, 50 gallon drums or even bigger. To figure out how much water your family should store, check out this blog post –> Why Every Family Needs Emergency Water Storage.
3. Generator & fuel
As we saw in the Texas Winter Freeze of 2021, you can’t always depend on your local power grid for power.
In that storm, that covered the entire state of Texas, the grid got overloaded and some were without power in below freezing temperatures for 6 -10 days.
Most Texans don’t have wood burning stoves and aren’t used to that kind of cold weather for an extended period of time. Also, their pipes don’t go down as far as their neighbors to the north, so most dealt with busted pipes and water damage when the power came back on.
To prepare for this kind of emergency, you can buy a generator and have enough fuel to run it for several days. You can also buy a home with a wood burning stove and store enough wood to use for several days atleast.
To find out more about types of fuel and what you should be storing, check out this blog post –> 7 Types of Fuel You Should Store For Emergency Preparedness.
A generator may seem like an expensive item, but you can find one on sale or used much easier and much cheaper when you aren’t in an emergency than at the last minute. Then you can help your neighbors or family members stay warm when their power goes out too.
4. Staying physically fit
Being physically fit doesn’t just make you look good and feel good.
It can also allow you to help others during an emergency. This could be helping to rescue neighbors after a hurricane or tornado. It could be helping move debris after a house or forest fire.
By keeping yourself physically fit, you can eliminate many ways you may need help in the near future.
Here are a list of healthy habits I suggest for those looking to get physically fit –> 15 Healthy Habits: Changing A Little At A Time.
5. Emergency fund
Taking care of your finances can also help you be ready for emergencies.
Some emergencies such as job loss or personal injury only affect your family, but you still need to be ready for them. If you have some money set aside for this kind of financial emergency you can ride the storm better than others that are living paycheck to paycheck.
Some emergencies such as hurricane evacuation or forest fire evacuation can leave you stranded for several days in an unfamiliar place. If you don’t have an emergency fund to cover extra expenses you will be stuck in a government evacuation shelter, living off of what they give you to eat and probably sleeping on a cot for several days.
Your initial emergency fund should be $1000 and then you can build on it from there.
Building this emergency fund is also the first step in getting out of debt for future, long term security. To find out more about this, check out this post –> 7 Reasons Why You Should Be Debt Free.
6. Proper insurance
Insurance is a blessing, even though we don’t like paying for it.
It has saved our family heartache and kept us from financial ruin. It is hard to pay the premiums and it’s something we hope we never have to use.
But it’s better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.
There are several types of insurance that you should have to mitigate helplessness in an emergency situation.
- health insurance
- home insurance
- car insurance
- life insurance
- flood insurance (if you are in an area that is prone to flooding)
Our insurance company was amazing after our house fire. They took care of things quickly and were reassuring in a time of difficulty.
And when you have insurance, make sure you know where your policies are and how to access the help when needed. To help with document organization, check out this blog post –> How to Gather Important Family Documents for Emergencies.
7. Additional training
It is always good to get more training. Learning is a life long pursuit.
So if you could get more training that would be helpful in an emergency or natural disaster, try to do it.
Here are some ideas of extra training you might want to think about:
- First Aid
- Homeopathic Remedies
- Search & Rescue
- CB Radio Communication
- Basic Wilderness & Survival
You never know how your training might save your own or someone else’s life. And focusing on a new skill can be fun and rewarding as well.
After all, you see types of emergency preparedness on television that seems more like hoarding than useful tactics.
Most of the time, you aren’t going to be arming yourself against your neighbor to stay alive (think zombie apocalypse).
In most emergencies, communities come together to help out those in need.
If you prepare ahead of time, you can be a helper instead of the one taking the handout.
This is how preparing for emergencies is not selfish. It is essential to community survival and family survival.
I hope these 7 steps help you get ready for any emergency that hits your home. You got this!
How can you help your community in an emergency? Let us know in the comments below. And if you found this post helpful, please share. Thanks!