We get it.
It can be difficult to take people seriously when they preach to you about emergency preparedness.
I mean, what are the odds of something really major happening, right?
Earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes … those things only happen in someone else’s backyard, right?
But have you ever had a storm hit and lost power for a day or two?
Or, try to get to work, but found your usual route closed due to a snowstorm or a flood?
These events may not be as dramatic as a major disaster, but they sure can be disruptive.
And if they dragged on long enough, the inconvenient can become, well, unsafe, especially if you’re not ready.
Look, we’re not talking about doomsday prepping here – we’re talking about no-stress emergency preparedness and doing a few things to make sure your family can weather a storm.
And if that happens to be enough to take care of them during a disaster, then that sounds like a win-win for every one.
So, we’re taking a different approach by offering five cheats to emergency preparedness.
We think it will help you prepare for things that may actually happen to you.
Then we layer a few more skills, like packing a sensible bug out bag and other preparations, to help you deal with bigger curveballs that nature throws you. Things like:
- earthquakes: Learn what to do during an earthquake with this DisasterGraphic.
- tsunamis: This DisasterGraphic provides tsunami information you need to know.
- volcanic eruptions
- floods: Another one of our DisasterGraphics will help you with some facts about floods.
- zombies (just kidding).
Be sure to bookmark this page and revisit it from time to time as we add more content and updates to this page.
The thing that most people are going to lose from time to time is power.
If it’s only for a few hours or so, do what most people do. Nothing. Or, go someplace where there’s still power.
But if the power outage drags on for a day or two, you’ll find it easier to cope if you have a few things set aside, like spare batteries, rechargeable power banks for your devices, and one of those automobile emergency jumpstart battery banks.
You should also plan for things to do with the kids at home should the power stay gone for a few days.
And if the power failure stretches for several days, you’re going to be real glad you have a generator. And know how to use it safely.
Or maybe a way to tap into renewal energy like solar or wind. Or a generous neighbor.
Information & Communications
When the power goes out, there is a chance that the Internet and cell coverage will go as well.
This is an easy thing to address and plan beforehand.
It could be as simple as getting a battery powered radio that can access emergency radio channels, and also, an old-fashioned landline, which does not need external power to run.
A few walkie talkies might also be great for around your neighborhood as well.
Even if you are fortunate enough to still have some Internet on your smartphone, it might be limited. So use text messaging, email, or social media to contact others and get updates.
The most useful form of communications to have when the power is out for a long time is Ham Radio. You’ll need a power source like an automobile emergency jumpstart battery pack mentioned above, or get a handheld battery-operated version.
The other thing that you’ve probably experienced is having a road obstructed, maybe due to roadworks or an accident.
During severe weather, it is likely that multiple roads are going to be closed. Fallen trees, downed power lines, flood, blizzards, take your pick.
You can expect roads, bridges and tunnels to also be cut off after a major disaster.
This article will help you be ready should your usual routes be closed.
This part is really simple. If someone in your family needs prescription medicine, make sure you always have at least a week’s worth on hand.
Next, make sure you have a ready supply of Ibuprofen (Motrin), Acetaminophen (Tylenol), and Dipehnhydramine (Benadryl). Throw in a first aid kit, and you should be good for temporary disruptions.
If you want to take things up a notch, sign up for First Aid and CPR training. Or, take your skills to the next level by getting certified as a Wilderness First Responder.
Food & Water
Emergency food and water are usually what most emergency preparedness experts say are the most important things to plan for.
We do not disagree, but we’re going to bet that you probably already have quite a bit of food stashed around the pantry that will last a few days.
And unless there is a major disaster, you’ll probably still have water flowing out of your faucets.
But if that water stops running, in a pinch, you can drain water from your water heater (so don’t waste it showering!).
So you’re probably going to be in good shape for food and water, which is why it’s at the bottom of the list.
Just to be safe, stock up on a few extra cans of soups and food, and some dried items like ramen noodles or pasta. And get some extra bottled water or sports drinks.
You can always use the food to fix a quick meal occasionally, and use the beverages for weekend soccer or other activities. That way none of it expires on you.
Another thing to consider is making sure you have a way to heat food and boil water.
If you have a BBQ grill, or a camping stove, you’re all set. Just make sure you use them OUTDOORS.
So there you have it – a practical take on being ready for those curve balls that nature throws us from time to time.