When you hear about survival, most people picture bleak realities where people constantly struggle with the threat of wild animals, starvation, and harsh climates. However, while we live in a world of plenty and tremendous technological progress, natural disasters such as earthquakes, wildfires, typhoons, and hurricanes are still a harsh reality in our modern concrete jungles. Being aware of how to effectively prepare in case of emergencies is therefore crucial.
Prepping is necessary to minimize the impact of disruptions caused by unexpected emergencies or natural disasters. Effective prepping requires identifying the main threats, and stocking up on supplies needed to help you cope and recover from a minor or major crisis.
This article will discuss the various reasons why prepping is necessary in our modern times. Additionally, I will highlight some of the key priorities and considerations to keep in mind when prepping. If you want to enhance your ability to cope and communicate in the event of an emergency, I recommend reading on.
Prepping involves taking the necessary steps to be better prepared in the event of an emergency or disaster. It is intended to reduce the degree of life disruptions resulting from unforeseen disasters or emergencies while also enhancing your chances of recovery from these disruptions.
Prepping involves numerous things such as:
- setting up a safe shelter to stay in in the event of a disaster
- keeping a stock of gear and medical supplies for use during a disaster
- ensuring that there’s plenty of food and water available during an emergency
However, prepping does not only relate to massive disasters and emergencies. It also entails taking precautions for simple and common emergencies, such as keeping a fire extinguisher in the house in the event of a kitchen fire or having a backup power supply in case of a power outage.
Prepping is a necessary precaution to enhance your ability to adapt and survive during an emergency. It’s also a critical safeguard to minimize the negative impacts that sudden and unexpected disruptions can have on you and your family.
The nature of accidents and emergencies is that they are difficult to predict. Therefore, while most people tend to get lost in their comfort zones and thus fail to prepare for emergencies, they tend to be ill-prepared and highly susceptible should emergencies strike.
Prepping is necessary because of the changing nature of the world we live in. For instance, being prepared is crucial for people who live in areas prone to natural disasters such as earthquakes, tornadoes, flooding, hurricanes, etc.
It ensures that they have the necessary supplies – including food, clothing, shelter, and water, to sustain them for a while should such disasters strike.
On the same breadth, due to our over-reliance on technology in the current world, it’s important to also prepare for a situation where you lose cell service or internet service. This will increase your ability to communicate with your loved ones, locate your friends and family if you are separated, and contact emergency services if you need help.
Accordingly, taking the necessary steps to stock up on emergency supplies is critical to your survival should unforeseen disasters or emergencies strike.
Admittedly, it’s difficult to consider all possible threats and prepare for them entirely. The rest of this article will explain some guidelines on what you need to know to prepare for an emergency without getting overwhelmed.
Identify and Prioritize Threats
When prepping, it’s essential to understand and accept that you’ll be limited in terms of time and supplies. Therefore, it’s simply not practical to plan for all possible emergencies and disasters.
Accordingly, it’s essential to first identify the main risk factors depending on where you live, what you do, etc. For instance, if your state or region is prone to power outages, it’s crucial to prepare for such disruptions by installing a solar grid system or having a backup generator close at hand.
On the other hand, if you live in a state that experiences frequent hurricanes, you should keep in mind the supplies you’ll need to respond to a hurricane and stock up on these supplies based on the expected impact of the disaster.
Therefore, in addition to identifying the threat, it’s crucial to evaluate how these disasters would impact your life.
This allows you to employ your resources and time to hedge yourself and your family against those disasters or emergencies that are most likely to happen and that will significantly impact or disrupt your life.
How Much Food and Water Should You Have?
You should keep aside three to five days’ worth of food and water to sustain you in the event of an emergency. To prevent your food from going bad, use non-perishable canned foods and have a can opener as part of your stockpile. Keep the food and water in a secure, easily accessible location.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recommends setting aside food and water supplies to last your three days. According to FEMA, an average person will drink as much as half a gallon (2.3 liters) of water per day.
The same person will need as much water for hygiene and food preparation. Therefore, depending on the size of the family, you should ensure that you have enough for each person to last them at least three days.
It’s important to note that while you may be able to survive several days without food in a disaster, it’s very difficult to survive without water. Oftentimes, water from typical sources such as local water systems or lakes and streams may be contaminated during a disaster. You should therefore avoid these sources.
To keep your emergency food supply fresh, ensure that your freezer or refrigerator has a thermometer so that you can effectively monitor the temperature and prevent the food from going bad.
Include Medical Supplies in Your Kit
FEMA recommends always having a first aid kit and manual as part of your disaster supplies kit. This kit is vital to allow you to take care of common injuries you or your family may sustain during the emergency, such as cuts, burns, and other injuries.
The Red Cross recommends keeping all your emergency medical supplies in an easy-to-carry bag.
A lot depends on your ability to address any of these injuries quickly. A fast response will allow you to minimize the severity of the injury, which may result in further, more severe damage if not addressed.
Plan for Emergency Communication
Whether it’s a simple emergency such as a power outage lasting several hours or a natural disaster that damages cell towers and knocks out the internet, it’s essential to remember that communication is vital in an emergency.
Therefore, you should have a portable radio or television in your survival kit and backup batteries. This way, you can receive important updates about the emergency and vital information such as meeting points or evacuation points.
I also recommend investing in a satellite phone or two-way walkie-talkies to facilitate better communication between you and the group should you get separated.
Include Some Matches in Your Kit
One of the common mistakes people make is not including small items such as matchsticks in your emergency supply. These matchsticks or matchboxes should be securely enclosed in a waterproof bag or material to prevent damage in the event of flooding or hurricanes.
Matches are helpful when you need to build a fire during an emergency. You can use this fire to keep warm or prepare some food when you’re out in the wild. Fires are also helpful in keeping dangerous animals away.
Remember, most of these risks are not only associated with natural disasters. Matches will also come in handy if your car breaks down in the middle of the woods and you need to camp for the night or wait for emergency services.
Always Have Flashlights and Navigation Tools
Finding your way in the woods or a foreign state can be challenging, and this can be worsened when you have to find your way in the dark. There’s a high likelihood that you will only get lost further. Additionally, it’s easy to get injured when you try to find your way in the dark.
This is where a flashlight and a map of the local areas come in handy. A flashlight makes it easy to move in the dark. It also makes you more visible to neighboring people or rescue teams in your vicinity.
In the same way, a local map goes a long way in helping you locate emergency services, police stations, or the nearest evacuation points if your car breaks down in the woods or when there is a natural disaster.
Where To Place Your Emergency Kit
An emergency kit is of no use if it’s not accessible. Therefore, it’s crucial to ensure that your medical supply is close at hand, whether you are at home or work. As FEMA recommends, you should have an emergency kit in your home, your place of work, and in your car.
This will make it easy to respond to an emergency situation in different scenarios. One of the common mistakes that people make is only having an emergency supply kit in the home. However, this will do you no good if the emergency occurs while you are at work or when you are driving.
Consider the Needs of Vulnerable Persons in Your Family
When prepping, it’s not enough to only prioritize aspects such as food and water, communication, medical equipment, and other items discussed above. It’s also essential to factor in the special needs of vulnerable persons such as children or elderly people.
If you have small children in your family, you should include their requirements, such as diapers, pacifiers, and bottles, in the emergency supply kit. This way, you can meet the nutritional requirements of your child, who may not be able to eat the canned food you have carried.
This also applies to any elderly people in your family. By factoring in their needs, you can include special items such as their prescription medicine, hearing aids, lenses, and extra batteries in the kit.
Additionally, it’s always a good idea to have some extra clothing and blankets to keep yourself fit.
Prepare for Emergency Cash Needs
Emergencies can typically cause disruptions in key sectors, including the banking sector. Additionally, you may not be able to access the ATM or bank in the case of an emergency. Therefore, when prepping, ensure that you include cash and coins in your emergency kit to take care of your financial needs in the event of an emergency.
Remember, not all disasters or emergencies will occur on a state-wide or city-wide scale. Additionally, you still need to be able to access supplies in the case of an emergency. Having some backup cash can also come in handy when a person in your family suddenly comes ill and they need to receive immediate medical attention.
It doesn’t always have to be wildfires and earthquakes to be considered an emergency that requires prepping.
Include Copies of Your Credit Cards and Identification Documents
As part of your prepping for emergencies, it’s wise to have copies of your identification documents or credit cards close at hand. This is especially critical if you lose your cards and personal identification documents through theft or if you cannot access these documents due to a natural disaster.
These documents are critical for authorities to verify your identification in the event of an emergency. Officials may also be able to use these documents to contact your next of kin.
Update Your Survival Kit Regularly
It’s essential to update the items in your survival kit regularly. This is to make sure that your extra clothes actually fit, that the food and water in the kit has not gone bad, ensure that the batteries in your flashlights or walkie-talkies are still functional, and so on.
Intermountain Healthcare recommends updating the items in your survival kit every six months. To stay updated, you can set a reminder on your phone so that you never miss a date.
Prepping is crucial to limit the impact of disruptions from emergencies, natural disasters, or unexpected occurrences. Because of the wide breadth of possible emergencies and appreciating the fact that it may not be practical to prepare for all of them, we’ve compiled some valuable guidelines above to follow when preparing for emergencies.
Remember, it’s essential to focus on your needs and that of your family to stay on the safer side, especially when you can’t evacuate promptly following an emergency.