Emergency Preparations Checklist

A common misunderstanding to preparing is for some end of the world, Hollywood doomsday scenario. It's really about preparing for the real life challenges we will all face at some point; the kind of situation that will feel like the end of your world as the cascade of events occur. Be prepared. Print and share the PDF version of this list to help others start preparing.

With tons of information available on the web and this site, it can be overwhelming to someone just starting Emergency Preparations. This list may help simplify the startup process. Before clicking any links, use this basic list as is. Go slow, start small, then expand on details one item at a time using the links provided. For more details, click the HOME Button on www.5six7.com/p4t.

Emergency Planning: Panic, not rational thinking, is the first reaction to an emergency situation. Having documented emergency procedures will help organize the panic and chaos. Document and share, with the family/team, the steps to take for every possible situation that might take place. Plan what to do if you decide to stay or leave home. Include your Pets in the Emergency Plan as you would for every other family member. Have a long-term strategy, not just for the moment. Keep a Journal of thoughts, scenarios and lessons learned to better prepare for the future.

Where can I Get My Tools & Supplies: Supplies don't need to be expensive. The Dollar Store, Pawn Shops, Yard Sales are a few local options and search for web sites that give away free stuff. Product links are also available throughout the P4T web site. Avoid getting stuff just because it's free unless you feel you can trade (barter) it for stuff you actually need/want. In the midst of chaos, chances are that stores will run out of inventory and people will run out of their stock of supplies. Having things you can trade, to get what you want, will be invaluable. Even if you don't consider certain items (like booze and cigarettes) to be useful to you, others will be willing to trade for stuff you deem important.

How Long Should My Supplies Last? It's recommended to have a minimum of Seven (7) Days Supply of the following items for each person in your household. Water and Shelter should be priorities. Hard as it may seem to imagine, consider a worse case scenario of being completely cut off from the outside world, including public utilities, and what you will need to live for 7 days alone. Build your supplies a little at a time to lessen the impact on your spending and finances. Gradually increasing supplies to 2 weeks, a month, 3 months or more, is a good goal.

[1] - Water: Water is the essential element to survival and necessary in every emergency plan and emergency supplies kit. It is said that the average person can survive only three (3) days without water. Knowing how and where to gather water and properly store, filter and decontaminate water can insure that you will have enough water for you and your family when an emergency occurs. The recommended Water Storage Supply should be a minimum of One (1) Gallon of Water per person, per day for drinking and sanitation.

[2] - Shelter: Shelter is a top priority in most emergencies. Without shelter, severe weather conditions can kill within a few hours. Shelter defends from the elements and intruders. Luckily, there are a wide array of techniques and materials (wherever you may be) for building and enhancing a shelter. Additionally, under "normal" conditions, it is helpful to learn techniques for heating, cooling, cleaning and filtering your indoor environment.

[3] - Food: Having tasty, nutritious and readily-available food is something we expect in everyday life under normal circumstances. Stocking up on canned and dehydrated (dried) foods and beverages will provide necessary nutritional needs during an emergency. Remember that water will be necessary to re-hydrate dried foods. To prevent spoilage, buy food to eat normally but replace what you eat to keep your stash stocked up.

[4] - Fire: Building a fire for staying warm, light, cooking and signaling is a skill everyone should know. Having the tools and knowledge will make fire-building easier and effective. Without electricity, a well-built fire will build morale and provide heat and light.

[5] - First Aid & Medicine: Stock up on basic first aid medicines and supplies and prescription medications necessary for family members, including pets. Invest in a Survival Medicine Handbook. Growing medicinal plants can help if conventional medications become unavailable.

[6] - Personal Care & Sanitation: Staying clean and fresh is not just a civil nicety. Far from it, hygiene is a mandate for good health in good times or bad. A lack of hygiene will, not only offend others but, quickly result in debilitating illness, disease or other maladies which can sap morale or even lead to incapacitation. Stock up on soap and personal hygiene products to stay clean and healthy in any situation. Wash hands frequently.

[7] - Vehicle Preparation: Chances are, if you are not at home when an emergency strikes, you will be in, or near, your vehicle. So, for the majority of us, our everyday vehicle will need to be ready to serve us in nearly any emergency big or small. Stocking all vehicles with emergency, including self-defense, supplies & keeping them well maintained will serve you well in an emergency. Never let the gas tank get below half full.

[8] - Defense Strategy: Defending ourselves, family and home or business is a right and a responsibility. Reinforce structures (house, etc.) with better locks and board-up options for windows and doors. Add alarms, cameras, outside lighting and consider self-defense weapons. If firearms are included, buying more ammunition should be considered. Consider joining or organizing a Neighborhood Watch group.

[9] - Communications: Cell phones, telephone land lines and even satellite communications may not be available. Portable 2-way radios and an AM/FM/Weather Band Radio are recommended to stay in touch with one another and the outside world.

[10] - Power: There are many alternatives for electric power in an emergency. Fire, generators, solar, batteries, fuels, water and wind are all options for being able to create electricity when the grid goes down.

[11] - Navigation: As with cell phones and the grid, our GPS systems may be unavailable during an emergency. Understanding how to read a map and use a compass are skills that could help us navigate our way out of a bad situation and to a safe location in unfamiliar areas.

[12] - Fun & Games: Including forms of entertainment, in the emergency preparedness plan, can be a great asset to cope, reduce stress and lighten the mood in an emergency or unpleasant situation. Consider non-electronic games and other forms of entertainment that can be transportable in case bugging out is necessary.

[13] - Teamwork: Working with trusted friends and family can help prepare for, and face, an emergency with encouragement, other points of view, and broader skills set with different backgrounds, talents and strengths. More people - more can get done. Be sure that those in the group share the same values, morals, ethics, beliefs and trust because, in stressful situations, people can change and become a problem instead of help.

[14] - Finances: Keep cash on hand. Banks and ATMs could be affected by an emergency. Work, ahead of time, to improve your financial condition (get out of debt, find ways to reduce everyday expenses) and create an Emergency Fund for unexpected expenses.