Household Prep Plan for EmergenciesWise Blog Team
No one wants to think about the potential for a natural disaster or another calamity to strike their home or community and affect their family.
As unpleasant as such situations may be to think about, it is important that we consider them in order to plan for what should happen should the circumstances arise.
Having an emergency plan for your household can go a long way toward keeping your family safe in the event of an emergency. By planning and having all the required supplies on hand, you can sleep soundly at night knowing your family will be safe in the event of an emergency.
Know the Emergencies Your Household is Most Likely to Face
The first step in making a disaster preparation plan for your household is knowing the type of emergency your household or community is most likely to face.
This will be contingent on a number of factors, including geography, climate, neighborhood, natural hazards, and so much more. You will also need to take into account factors such as the size of your family, distance from major centers, and telecommunications access.
The hazards and emergencies faced by a single person living in a condominium in an urban center along a major earthquake fault line are going to be vastly different from those faced by a family of four in a rural or remote setting in the wintertime.
Whether the major emergency your family faces is a house fire, a multi-day power outage, a tsunami, or something else altogether, an awareness of the major hazards will help you make a contingency plan and make sure you have the necessary supplies on hand as well.
Have the Tools You Need in an Emergency
One of the most important things you can do to ensure your own safety in the event of an emergency is to have the correct supplies. Ideally, you will be able to carry these in a duffel bag, and they will collectively be light enough to be carried by one person without difficulty.
You should include in this bag a waterproof reflective blanket and tarp, which offer protection from the elements. You may want additional supplies for heat such as blankets if you live in a cold climate. Matches and candles are always useful regardless of climate, both as a source of heat and light. You may also wish to include a flashlight or headlamp and a supply of batteries as well.
A survival knife or tactical knife is another invaluable tool to include in your emergency supply kit. This can be used to make a fire, open food supplies, defend oneself from wildlife, and much more.
Army surplus stores, camping supply stores, and online retailers are three places where you can obtain most tools and supplies.
Another important consideration is where you will keep your emergency kit. Ideally, it will be stored in your vehicle or in another place in your house that is easy to access when you are leaving in an emergency and will be contained in a duffel bag or backpack that can be easily carried.
First Aid Kit for Emergencies
A first aid kit should be included in your emergency preparedness kit.
Most importantly, it should contain any medication you take regularly and require for your health, such as prescription medication or insulin if you are diabetic.
It should also contain gloves, bandages, antiseptic, and medication for pain. Tweezers, tensor bandages, gauze, scissors, and tape are also very useful.
Food and Water Rations for Emergency Situations
One essential component of your emergency kit should be sufficient food rations that will feed yourself and all the members of your household for at least 72 hours. This should suffice to feed you through the first several days of any major natural disaster or other emergency situation.
If you have pets, include enough pet food for them for this duration of time as well.
Appropriate foods for inclusion should have a long shelf life and not require heat, refrigeration, or special tools to prepare or consume. These may include things like granola bars, trail mix, jerky, and dried fruit.
Something else you will need to consider in addition to food is potable water to meet your needs. After all, in many types of emergencies, the water supply may be interrupted. As a rule, include one gallon of water per person for every 24 hours for which you are preparing.
Because carrying this quantity of water is usually prohibitively heavy and cumbersome, it may be more practical to carry a water filter or water purification tablets instead of fresh potable water.
However, you should have some drinkable water in water bottles in your emergency supply kit as well. You may wish to include a few small personal hygiene items, such as soap and a toothbrush.
Planning for Safety
Beyond having adequate supplies for an emergency situation, you and your family should create a safety plan that outlines how you will find each other during an emergency. It should also include a meet-up point and a list of escape routes from your house or other buildings. This plan should be reviewed periodically.
Keep a method of communication in your emergency kit as well. This could be something as simple as a radio or a solar charger for your cell phone. This will allow you to get into contact with family members, loved ones, and the authorities if needed, to access medical care, and to stay up-to-date on rescue efforts, evacuation orders, and the safety of the surrounding area.
Part of making an emergency plan is knowing where important resources are in your community. If you are unfamiliar with the location of the nearest police station, hospital, health care clinic, or school, it is important to familiarize yourself with those as well.
There are many resources at your disposal for making an emergency plan and creating your emergency toolkit. Organizations such as the American Red Cross offer emergency preparation guides and information to help you plan for natural disasters and other emergencies.
Having the right plan in place and enough of the right supplies for yourself and your family and loves ones for the first 72 hours of an emergency will keep you safe in the event a disaster or other emergency should happen.
About the Author:
Ross Burgess is the operations manager for eKnives.com. When he’s not working, you can find him outdoors hunting, hiking the trails, or researching the latest in tips and trends for survival.