This is part 2 of a 2 part series about how to survive a disaster whether you consider yourself a prepper or not. You can read part one here. These days it seems like disaster can hit us from any direction and it’s common sense to be ready for it when and if something happens.
5. Have a Communication Plan
Mother Nature does not give us a schedule for natural disasters, they can happen at any given time. Because we spend so much time away from home the odds are our family is going to be separated in an event like this.
These plans can be as simple or complex as you feel they need to be, but you need to make sure everyone is on the same page when you become separated. Make sure and pick a rally point, and make sure everyone knows where it is. It’s also a very good idea to have a plan b just in case the first rally point is inaccessible.
If you work in an office building or somewhere that has an exit route posted make sure you know how it works. Also know that if something happens everyone is going to go for that exit, have an alternative route that might be less congested.
The same applies to how you get out of the area that you work, people are more likely to go the way they know because people are creatures of habit. Think about possible alternative routes you can take and also make sure everyone knows the route you are taking, and you know the route(s) everyone else shout be taking.
In the event of a localized power outage there are still ways to get information by using an NOAA radio or even ham radio. You might need to rely on emergency communications from outside your area, phone lines, internet and television could all be useless so you need some sort of system to get information outside the affected area.
6. Have everyday carry items
Have you ever been in a situation where you needed a screwdriver and didn’t have one? That’s exactly what every day carry items are. Making sure you always have a lighter and a pocket knife with you is every day carry.
Every day carry items should be convenient to carry and something that would be a game changer. A bic lighter is a good example of this, if you were stuck on the side of the road and needed to start a fire how would you do it without a lighter?
What you decide to carry every day is really a personal preference. You will want to include items that are convenient, Items that you use every day and items that you might not use all that often, but it’s better to have it with you when you need it than to wish you had it with you.
I also have the everyday carry kit that I use (pictured Above) and what I included in it. There are a few more items in it because it is a kit, not just items you can put in your pocket. While I do have items in my pocket like a lighter, my knife, a fire starter on my keychain and a multi tool on my belt, I prefer to also have the more extensive kit because I would rather not have my pockets loaded down.
7. Have a Car Kit and Get Home Bag
I put these together because they can both stay in your car but they are 2 separate kits. A car kit does not necessarily have to be a “kit” it can be supplies you put in the trunk of your car. A get home bag is something you would use if you couldn’t use your vehicle and had to walk back to your family.
Car kits and get home bags (or bug in bags) are very dependent on your personal situation. If you live in a colder climate you might need warm blankets in your car, if you need to travel through wooded areas when you are bugging in you might need hiking boots. Most of these supplies will be the same, but you will still need to customize your kits.
Along with a regular emergency car kit you can get from your local auto parts store that contains jumper cables, extra fuses, road flares, road signs and the spare tire (with jack) that should already be in your car you need to add a few things to make this even better.
You need to make sure and rotate the supplies in your car kit at the change of each season. This is because winter supplies will be a little different than summer supplies, and food, water and first aid supplies will need to be rotated.
8. Pay Attention to Your Neighbors
We all like to think that our neighbors would never do anything that would affect us negatively, but the truth is that if they are not prepared and help is not coming, they will look to you for help.
This is not necessarily be a bad thing, we need to be helpful whenever possible. The problem arises when this kindness gets taken advantage of, or when you want nothing to do with a certain neighbor and they come knocking on your door demanding help.
Now we can’t just hide in our shell, and because of work and being a “good” neighbor we need to socialize with people we might not want to. Or, we have all met someone either at work or in the neighborhood that seemed like a good person when we first met them, but as time went on we began to think “this person is not who I thought they were” and you try to distance yourself from them.
To get a better understanding about people and try to avoid making mistakes like these we need to learn how to read people and profile them. When I say “profile” people I don’t mean by race or social class, as a matter of fact we need to take those preconceived notions and throw them out the window if we want to get an accurate picture about a person.
Take a look at the contacts in your phone and ask yourself…
- How many of those people are true friend and family and how many are just acquaintances from work of church?
- How many of those people know where you live?
- Now how many of those people do you have even the slightest concern about, and wish they didn’t know where you live.
Like I said, you don’t want to be a bad neighbor, just keep in mind how these people might react and be ready for it. Think about how you will handle a situation if someone unwelcome came to your front door asking for food or water. Do you have enough to spare? And will they be back for more?
9. Practice Situational Awareness
Situational Awareness means being alert about your surroundings, understand what everyone is likely to do in a disaster situation, and then zig when they zag. People are creatures of habit and will likely follow the same path because they have not prepared for an event like this.
Most people these days are walking around staring at their cell phone, wearing headphones or just so busy worrying about how their day is going they are completely oblivious about what is going on right next to them.
We all practice situational awareness while we are driving because we are surrounded by drivers that we are unsure exactly what they are going to do, we have been taught to be this way. This should not be just something we do while we are driving, we should be paying more attention to what is going on around us.
Most people that get robbed or mugged might have been able to avoid this situation if they were just paying a little more attention. Criminals are cowards and look for the easy target.
10. Invest in Your Future
Investing in your future does not necessarily mean investing in 401k’s and stocks and bonds, it means investing in something you can put in your hand. Imagine that the power goes out, how much cash do you have on you right now? Because the odds are the ATM’s and credit card machines will not be working.
Having at least $100 put away somewhere will insure that you are able to make necessary purchases in a power outage, I always carry emergency cash in my wallet.
Investing in gold and silver is always a good idea because precious metals might lose value from time to time, but they are always worth something. With stock market crashes, companies failing, banks failing and cybercrime it’s never a good idea to have all your money somewhere out there in cyberspace where others have more control over it than you do.
By investing in gold and silver you have more control of what you actually have. Most of us cannot afford to buy large amounts of gold, but silver is much more affordable. Junk silver are coins made before 1965 were actually made from 90% silver. These coins are a great way to start adding silver to your portfolio.
Staying away from credit card debt is also investing in your future. Every month we carry a balance on our credit cards we are basically giving money away because of interest, this is money that can be used for other more important items.
Investing in your future is not all about money, investing in your future is also supplies and skills. The supplies we buy to prepare for a power outage is an investment, during a power outage a generator will be far more valuable than what you paid for it.
Skills are also investing in your future and can be absolutely free. This is why we go to college, although that is far from free. We get a better education in hopes of getting a higher paying job.
Learning how to make fire, filter water, learning what to do during a power outage and knowing how people will react are all an investments in our future and out livelihood.
Thanks for taking the time to read this, if you have any further questions please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Make sure and follow some of the links in this article for more information about these 10 suggestions, there is so much more that goes into this that I haven’t even covered.