Emergency Preparations 101(www.5six7.com/prepare)
Preparing for an emergency, long before one is actually announced, is not only a good idea, it's the responsible and mature thing to do for oneself, family, friends and community. The platitude "Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance" will manifest itself, in a good or bad way, depending on how well you have planned. By the time a potential disaster event is announced, panic has already set in to the general public. Pre-planning (not just gathering stuff) is the key to preparation. It will keep a cool head when others have lost theirs. Information, below and throughout this web site, will help to make a plan and prepare for nearly any emergency situation.
Start slow and small with an Emergency Preparations Checklist otherwise it's easy to become overwhelmed and go crazy buying unnecessary stuff and over-spending. Like anything we want to purchase, we should make our shopping list, budgetforit and stay within that spending limit.
Prepare for Disasters - Limit the impacts that disasters have on you and your family. Know the risk of disasters in your area and check your insurance coverage. Learn how to make your home stronger in the face of storms and other common hazards and act fast if you receive a local warning or alert.
Teach Youth About Preparedness - Talk to your children about preparing for emergencies and what to do in case you are separated. Reassure them by providing information about how they can get involved.
A common misunderstanding to preparing is for some end of the world situation or Hollywood doomsday scenario. Truth is, it's not about preparing for some statistical anomaly, but for the reallifechallenges that we are all going to face at some point in our lives; the kind of situations that will feel like the end of your world if you're not prepared. Consider these reasons to have a real, documented plan:
In the end, what is the "goal" of being prepared; what's the purpose for all this stuff? Isn't the government going to be there for me and take care of this? I believe that those who ask these questions have never gone through a crisis and those who are able to answer the questions have lived through a crisis and learned from it. Ultimately, it is the responsibility of an adult to take care of their family, community and themselves to reduce the impact of an emergency event. Being prepared reduces fear, anxiety, and losses that accompany disasters. Yes, there may be public resources available if an emergency occurs but those resources will need to be shared (rationed - possibly thin) between everyone who is impacted by that same emergency. There is no guarantee you will be able to get exactly what you need to deal with the emergency. Don't take that risk.
To what end do we survive? Survive to the end. Then start preparing for the next emergency with the knowledge gained from the last emergency. It's said that if you can survive the first 72 hours of a crisis situation, it's highly likely you'll survive the entire crisis.
GETTING THE BRAIN "PREP JUICES" FLOWING:
Chances are GOOD that something BAD will happen to you during your lifetime. Do you prefer not to think about that or choose to be prepared for it? Thinking through possible scenarios can prepare you to think on your feet when the bottom falls out and keep a cool head when the heat is on.
One excuse used for not preparing for an emergency is that it takes a lot of time. True enough. Anything you pursue with passion and intensity is going to take some time. On the other hand, here is a list of preparation activities that can be undertaken in just five minutes. Preparing for a disaster or crisis or even an economic collapse does not have to be an insurmountable task. Breaking tasks down in to manageable chunks will make the job less chore-like and less of a burden. As a bonus, when you are done, you will feel the sense of satisfaction that comes from knowing that you have done something to secure your safety and well-being if it all goes to heck. Make every day a prepping day; even if it's for only 5 minutes!
START WITH THE BASICS:
1 - Build at least two emergency supply kits; one with everything necessary to stay where you are (sheltering in place), and a smaller, lighter one to carry if you need to evacuate (bug out). Make a kit for each person, being alone for at least 3 days without any utility services. Look at what you already have to start your supplies and think about alternative uses for those things. Basic preparations include:
2 - Practice, Practice, Practice! As with any plan, it is worthless unless it is communicated, tried and practiced, on a regular, periodic, scheduled basis, with everyone in the family or business. Preparing and rehearsing an Emergency Plan Document is essential to preparation. Don't rely on memory or ability to calmly handle an actual emergency when anxiety and panic are normal responses. Like anything, practice makes perfect. When the time comes and the brain wants to panic, a well-documented and rehearsed plan will provide structure, calm and clear thinking; reducing anxiety during an actual emergency.
Share, and periodically review and practice it, with your support network. Adjust and update as needed.
Review your plan when current events are happening that could escalate into a real bad situation.
2a - Identify a personal support network of family, friends and others who help you on a routine basis. It is NOT a good plan to fend for yourself in a disaster or emergency. Designing a plan with your support network is a great way to tell them of your plans and encourage them to create their own plan. Discuss every aspect of your emergency plan with everyone in your support network. Make sure someone in your support network has an extra key to your home and knows where you keep your emergency supplies.
2b - Designate a friend or family member, who is not local, to be the main contact and communications hub for the whole family. In an emergency, the best way to communicate with family members may be (if public local communications are disabled) one contact person who is not local and thus not in the affected area. That person can coordinate among other family members who may not be able to communicate because of issues in the surrounding area.
2c - Have several alternative destinations, in different directions, so you have choices in case of evacuation, or not able to reach your home. Inform your support network of your alternatives.
List a place to meet or go in case you are not at home, or together, when disaster strikes. List alternate locations, in sequence, if the others (including your home) are not accessible or you need to evacuate the area completely.
Consider and List the locations of out-of-area family and friends, local Emergency Shelters, Hospitals, Parks, Arenas, etc.