Talking about natural disasters is not up there with the most “sexy” or “fun” aspects of prepping, but it’s important to make sure we are prepared for these natural disasters none the less. The odds of a natural disaster or a personal doomsday happening in our lifetime are far greater than a global or national disaster scenario…although these odds are changing daily.
The basics of preparedness are the same regardless which disaster(s) you are preparing for. Preparing for these natural disasters is a great way to build your foundation, and become become better prepared for even the smallest disaster situation or personal doomsday.
I recently published this video about 10 basic things we should have taken care of to be prepared for any disaster scenario. How many of these do you have checked off your list? If you only get 7 out of 10 you might have a little work to do.
Here are the 10 tips from the video…
- You have enough food stored
- You have cash set aside
- You have out of area emergency contacts
- You have water stored
- You have a plan for the family
- You know where you’ll go (including pets)
- You have a good first aid kit
- You have first aid training
- You practice for a disaster
- Your car is in good mechanical condition
SPP195 Are You Prepared for Natural Disasters?
In this weeks show we went over some of the basics of preparing for a natural disaster. This might all seem very simple to you (especially if you’ve been prepping for a while) but they are areas that sometimes get overlooked because they are so simple.
Sometimes what you thought was a perfect plan will not work out like you thought it would. Sometimes we get so focused on the bigger details, we forget about the small details. Having the greatest bug out vehicle that can bust through a concrete wall is worthless if it runs out of gas, or gets a flat tire.
Topics Covered In The Show…
Here are a few of the things we talked about in this weeks show. We went into quite a bit of detail with all of these, so make sure and listen.
Before: A little bit of extra warning can go a long way in a disaster situation. With a hurricane or blizzard you will have plenty of warning, an earthquake or tornado is a different story. At this point you will have TV, radio and phone service…make sure you use them.
During: Some of these services might be out during a natural disaster, but a shortwave radio might still be useful. I have this Crank Radio which also has a solar panel and light.
After: A natural disaster can cause quite a bit of damage. The first thing we will want to do is make sure everyone is safe. You can register on the Red Cross website to check in as “safe and well”. You can also check in on others who might be affected, as long as they know to use the website.
Home and Away: Evacuation planning is not just choosing a bug out route, it could mean getting out of the house in the first place. Earthquakes and tornadoes could destroy your home leaving you trapped, and in a house fire you would need to find the safest escape route.
Escape Routes: This could be anything from escaping the house, to escaping the neighborhood. Make sure everyone knows which routes to take and why. Make sure to always have a plan B, and also a plan C.
Timing Is Everything: While you would have plenty of time to prepared for a hurricane, some natural disasters won’t afford you that luxury. This is why staying informed and having supplies ready to go is important.
Destinations: It’s not only important to have your destinations picked out, it’s important that everyone is on the same page. Make sure everyone knows where you will meet, and where you will meet if that isn’t an option. This could be anything from the front yard, to a school paring lot, to a relatives home.
Include the Pets: If you own pets you are going to want to have a plan and supplies for them as well. If you need to evacuate you will need supplies for them, as well as a suitable location. If you plan on going to a relatives home, make sure they are OK with Fido coming along.
Family Disaster Planning
Contact Information: These days we don’t know peoples actual phone numbers, they are just names in our cell phone. You can make wallet sized cards with contact information, as well as important medical information. Wallet size contact cards are great for teenagers because they don’t need to remember anything other than where it is when they need it.
Important Websites: You should also add important websites to these cards, the SafeAndWell website I linked to above is one of them. While the internet might be down during the natural disaster, it could be available in the future. It could also be available in other areas.
If You’re Separated: The entire family is rarely in the same place all the time. Parents go to works, kids go to school, and a disaster is not going to wait until we are ready. This is why having pre planned meeting points and contact information is so important. If we know that they know, it can make an already stressful situation a little more bearable.
Money on Hand: In a natural disaster scenario money will not be useless, but ATM’s might. Everyone should carry some emergency cash in their wallet for event’s like this. This could be $100 in small bills, or whatever you can afford.
Practice Your Plans: Having these plans is only the first step. The more important step is making sure everyone understands these plans and is on the same page. The family might not take this as serious as you, but when the time comes they will remember.
Around the House: During or after a natural disaster there are some safety precautions we need to make sure everyone understands. Make sure everyone knows where the breaker box is (and how to shut if off) and where the gas shutoff is. Make sure a bad situation doesn’t get worse by something that could have been avoided.
The Basics: Making sure the family knows survival skills doesn’t mean they need to know how to use a ferro rod to start a fire, but do they know how to use a fire extinguisher? Do they know what to do during a house fire? Or do they know the basics of first aid.
And Then Some: While we might not be able to get the whole family on board with the more advanced survival skills like trauma care, CPR or bugging out, they are important to learn. We never know what situation might present itself, so the more we know, the better our odds will be.
3 Days Minimum: FEMA recommends that we have 3 days worth of food and water stored. As preppers, if we only have 3 days worth of supplies, we think we are severely slacking. In the event of a natural disaster 3 days is probably OK, but I feel much better knowing I’m covered if day 4 or 5 rolls around.
Staying or Going?: Having 3 days worth of supplies doesn’t just mean around the house. If we find ourselves in a situation where we need to leave, we need to have some of these supplies ready to go. This means food, water, bug out bags, and other supplies.
The Right Tools For the Job: The supplies you need will depend on the natural disaster you are preparing for. While the basic survival supplies like food water and first aid might be the same, some tools will be specific to the disaster. A pry bar or a pick ax might be useful after an earthquake, they might not be during a blizzard.
This is just a general list that would cover a number of disaster scenarios. Make sure you have these covered, and then refine this list depending on which natural disaster scenario you are concerned about. If you have any ideas or thoughts, let me know in the comments below…