It seems like we hear about natural disasters and other emergencies every day. From widespread power outages, civil unrest, or just an accident at home, these events disrupt our daily life and can be difficult if you are not prepared for them.
Below we will review 5 basic tips to help you start preparing so that you can be ready for what life will inevitably throw at you.
Create a Plan
Preparing mentally should be your first focus of emergency preparedness. An easy way to accomplish this is creating a plan with your family.
Make a list of the possible scenarios with your family and discuss how you will react to them. Most people are away from home at work or school during the day. Discuss where you will meet and how you will get there.
Talk about the best meeting locations if you can’t go home and make a backup location. This could be at a family or friends’ home or other safe location that everyone knows.
Make a list of supplies that everyone in your family should have ready to go. Consider putting together a custom bug out bag for your family in case you must evacuate quickly.
Get a First Aid Kit
A First Aid Kit should be one item that is on the top of your list. During widespread emergencies, injuries are more likely to happen, and help could be slow to arrive.
If you or someone in your family has a severe bleeding injury, they only have minutes to survive.
There are many generic first aid kits available that just include bandages and ointments. Avoid these cheap kits and get one that has trauma items. Included should be a tourniquet, hemostatic gauze, and chest seals. Shears are also essential for removing pieces of clothing so injuries can be treated.
Finally, take basic first aid training. There are many courses online, as well as courses offered by various organizations like Stop the Bleed.
Learn Self Defense
During a widespread emergency, certain people may take advantage of others. Some will disregard the safety of their neighbors and may resort to causing harm to others to get what they need.
If the laws in your area allow it, consider purchasing a firearm. A firearm is the best way to protect yourself and your family.
If you are forced to leave home, it is important to keep your firearm concealed so you do not draw the attention of others. A concealed carry handgun is the best firearm in this case. Make sure the handgun you choose is both comfortable for you to shoot and operate, as well as easy to conceal.
Usually, this is not the biggest handgun, but not the smallest either.
To help to conceal it comfortably, you will need a proper holster. The two main holster types to carry concealed are IWB (Inside the waistband) and OWB (outside the waistband).
I recommend that you keep both types of holsters on hand. In the warmer months, IWB holsters like the Fair Chase Deer Hide Holster are the best since they can be concealed easily. This soft leather holster is also a great choice as holsters for women. However, they are usually not as comfortable as an OWB holster.
In the cooler months, OWB holsters can be easily concealed under a jacket or vest.
In addition to a holster, a proper gun belt is essential to support the holster so that you can move with confidence. If you are forced to move quickly through a crowd, you do not want your firearm to fall out of your pants.
Don’t Forget Water
Having clean drinking water is an important consideration during an emergency. We can only survive a few days without clean drinking water, so it should be a priority after treating any injuries and securing proper shelter.
If you are hunkering down at home, your normal water may not be safe to drink. In some cases, you may not have power either.
As part of your plan, make sure to include a way to obtain clean drinking water. This can be accomplished by storing clean water at home or having a method to purify water.
If you are forced to evacuate, carrying more than a few days of water is usually impossible. So, it is important to have a portable way to purify water.
This can be done by boiling water over a fire, using water purification tablets, or with a water purification filter. Regardless of the method you choose, be sure to practice with it before an emergency. This is important so you have confidence in the chosen method. Again, mental preparedness is key.
While we know that humans can survive for weeks without food, your mental state starts to suffer after just a day or two without food. In case of a widespread power outage or an evacuation, it is important to prepare and have non-perishable food ready.
As we saw during the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, non-perishable food was gone from grocery store shelves in just a few days. Because of this, it is important to not wait until an event occurs.
At a minimum, keep at least 72 hours of nonperishable food for your entire family ready to go in case of an evacuation. This should be calorie dense food that requires minimal cooking. Good choices are trail mixes, cereals, peanut butter, and meal bars. There are also commercially available kits that include freeze dried meals that are conveniently packaged and lightweight.
To prepare for a longer-term emergency when you must hunker down at home, store non-perishable food that you can use to make simple meals. Rice, Beans, Oatmeal, and Canned meats are all good choices.
Review some of your favorite recipes that you cook at home and see if you can substitute non-perishable alternatives. Items like canned chicken can be substituted for fresh chicken and baking mixes that just need water can be substituted for flour, eggs, and milk.
Preparing for emergencies is a big part of being ready mentally when a disaster occurs. While everyone else is in a panic, you will be calm since you have already visualized what may happen and have a plan.
Author – Jason Hitchcock is an emergency preparedness expert, survivalist, and a competitive shooter. He is the founder of Survivalstoic.com. When Jason is not in the woods or shooting he enjoys traveling with his wife and playing with his grandchildren.