Congratulations! Making the decision to begin your emergency preparedness trek and set up your home and your family for unexpected hardship and disaster is a wonderful thing. You will find that being prepared can really give you peace of mind. The next time you hear about an impending super storm, a financial crisis, a food shortage or other possible emergency, you’ll be able to sit back with the confidence of knowing you have given your family the very best chance to survive with a minimal impact to everyone’s health and welfare.
Disaster prepping can seem overwhelming, but going slowly and having a plan makes it easier. There are many different situations to prepare for. Knowing what you might need for your family, and how much of it, is the first step.
First figure out where you want to start in terms of what you want to protect your family against. The preparation for many possibilities overlap, so being prepared for one possible outcome will probably leave you prepared for several others as well. For example, stocking long-term food supplies can prepare your family for everything from loss of income to an approaching storm that leaves you snowbound for days. In fact, a food storage is essential in most emergency situations and a great place to begin.
Trying to be prepared for every possible situation at once can be overwhelming, so start by preparing for the emergency that seems the most likely, or the one that you are most concerned about, and start there.
Situations that you might want to be prepared for could include:
- Weather-related disasters, including winter storms, hurricanes, tornados, and flooding
- Additional natural disasters, such as fire or earthquake
- Chemical or germ warfare
- Pandemics or other medical emergencies
- Loss of income
- Economic collapse
- Food scarcity
- Terrorist attacks
- Loss of power or communication networks
Once you have identified the area or areas of most concern for you and your family, start developing a plan of action. What supplies do you need to start stockpiling? In the event of the disaster or emergency, what should each family member do? Is there any special training that would be helpful? Does your town or state offer assistance or advice? Search helpful articles online, read books, and talk to other preppers to help you prepare a solid plan. Create your list of tasks that need to be done to prepare, and then work toward checking everything off, little by little, as you can.
Prioritize the items that will make the most impact. For example, to prepare for a loss of income, you might first want to save up an emergency fund. If you are preparing for an evacuation, having a bug-out bag for each family member plus multiple routes to safety may be high on your list.
When you can, use ready resources to get your preparations done quickly, such as freeze-dried meals or already prepared back packs. You’ll cut down your preparation time and give yourself peace of mind.
There are two big things to remember if you are new to emergency preparedness: the first is not to panic or become overwhelmed, and the second is to take advantage of the knowledge of others.
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