Communications and disaster planning are some of the most important aspects of preparedness. What would you do if you were on your way to work and all the sudden the power in the city goes out? The more important question is what would your family and loved ones do?
We know that a power outage could be caused by several things ranging from a blown transformer, to a full blown EMP, but does your family know how to tell the difference?
The sad truth is that most people are extremely unprepared to handle any sort of disaster scenario, and while we can’t help everyone, we can make sure our family understands the basics at the very least.
SPP286 Communications and Disaster Planning for Preppers
This week Lisa and I went over some of the challenges we may face in a disaster scenario, and how to overcome those road blocks. Some of these are easier said than done, but important none the less.
In a disaster scenario time will be of the essence. If we are spending that time getting everyone on the same page, we are not spending it on the important matters.
Family Planning & Preparedness
To begin we need to think about getting family on board with our preparedness plan, or at least understand where they stand. Are they on-board with you? Are they completely apprehensive? Do they show some interest?
The ideal scenario would be to have both husband and wife of the same page with preparedness, but that is not always the case. Being the lone prepper in the family is often the case.
Decide on the best approach to get their buy-in without overwhelming them. This means don’t start with Nuclear bombs and WW3, start with disaster scenarios closer to home.
Contrary to what the main stream media would have you believe, preppers come in different shapes and sizes. Figure out where you might get the most buy-in based on their personality, and go from there.
In some cases you just won’t be able to reach them. In this case you may have no other choice than to plan for them. When disaster strikes they will be all ears, but unfortunately it may take that to get their attention…as it does for most of us.
What to Include in Your Disaster Plan…
Your disaster preparedness plan is only going to work if everyone in the family knows what and where everything is. Decide on the best approach, and make sure everyone understands the following.
Phone Numbers Not Contacts: These days we may have a hundred phone numbers stored in our phone, but we know what a few of those actual phone numbers are.
Make a handwritten list of emergency contacts and important phone numbers. Make a few copies and make sure everyone has one.
Emergency Contact List: Along with the important phone numbers of family and friends, make sure and include any emergency numbers they will need.
Everyone knows 911, but do they know an alternative when the phone lines are overloaded and calls to 911 can’t get through.
Escape Routes: Escape routes not only apply to getting from one location to another, it also includes getting out of the home. The obvious choice would be the front door, but what are the alternatives when those become impassable?
With everyone on the go these days, and because rarely is everyone home all at once, planning routes to and from home are also important. Even just getting the family to think about this is a step in the right direction.
Emergency Meeting Spots: Most of us have family and friends all over the state. If these people are included in your disaster preparedness plan, everyone needs to know where everyone will regroup.
This could be your home, but if that becomes impossible, everyone needs to know what the secondary location will be. This also goes hand in hand with planning escape routes.
Family Photos: When I say family photos I don’t mean pictures off the wall. You should have recent pictures of everyone in the family just in case that person becomes lost or missing.
A physical copy is preferred because phones may or may not be working depending on the disaster scenario.
Important Documents Binder: In next weeks show Lisa and I will go into more detail about how to put together an important documents binder, but it includes birth certificates, I’D’s, social security cards and so on.
It’s also important that your binder is waterproof and fireproof. A disaster in the home is more likely than WW3 or an EMP strike.
Procedures Binder: again, we will expand on this in the next show, but a procedures binder is very important. With disaster comes high stress, and a procedures binder will help people make the correct decisions.
This will also help the family members who are on-board yet. The people that refuse to admit that something could happen will be glad you put this together when disaster strikes.
Bug Out Bags & Go Bags
Sometimes the terms we use as preppers can be the same terms that turn people off to the subject. People have a different reaction to the term “preparedness” and the term “prepper”.
The same can be true for “bug out bag”. Depending on the person, you may get better results using the term “go bag”. Police carry go bags, firefighters and EMT’s carry go bags, and in my opinion, everyone should have a go bag.
What you (or they) but in your bug out bag really depends on you and your situation. If you are putting together a bag for someone who isn’t that interested in preparedness, it should at the very least contain the following.
- 3 days worth of water
- Food (nuts, granola bars, MRE’s, Ration bars etc…)
- Clothing and footwear, gloves, socks etc…
- Sleeping bag and/or blankets
- First Aid supplies
- Emergency Supplies (basic bug out bag supplies)
- Personal hygiene supplies (toilet paper, soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, feminine products etc…)
- Extra cash in small bills (you may not want to tell the kids you put it in there haha)
As I stated earlier, when disaster strikes one of the most stressful parts could be getting everyone together. This would be incredibly difficult if the grid went down, and cell phones became useless.
While most disaster scenarios won’t involve a grid down event, the likelihood is enough that it should be a concern. Think about what your alternatives are and you’ll see how important cell phones are in this day and age.
As I mentioned above, having a communications plan that includes both with cell phones and without is important. When setting up this plan, there are a few things we need to take into account.
- Who is Communicating? (the inner circle)
- How will you communicate? (with phone alternatives)
- Where and when are you going to communicate in person?
- What information needs to be communicated?
- Does everyone know to text rather than call if phones are available?
In part 2 of the podcast we go over both a procedures binder and an important documents binder. for part 2 I wrote a very informative article about preparedness binders here.
I also have this article I wrote a while ago about creating a binder for people who are apprehensive to prepping. It can be frustrating trying to get someone to see the importance of preparedness, but we can’t just give up.