It’s a situation we hope to never have to experience but it’s also something we can’t just avoid. And by not doing anything to prepare for the worst is, in reality, the worst thing you can do.
So whether you live in an area prone to tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, blizzards or even brain-hungry zombies, it’s good to have a plan.
Here’s the 411 on how to properly disaster prep. We’re not saying you need to go as far as the elaborate 10-foot underground bunker that your uncle Bert built back during the Cold War days, but at least he’s prepared for anything … right?
During a natural disaster, it might seem ridiculous to wear a helmet, but brain trauma isn’t anything to scoff at. In the event of an earthquake or even a tornado where things can fall and hit you, the first thing you’re going to want to protect is your head.
Create an emergency plan
Keeping your family together in a time of disaster should be at the top of your safety list. Everything from natural disasters to terrorist threats, you need to be prepared and choreographed with a family escape plan. This is even more important if you live in a congested city. What’s the fastest way out of the city? How do you get there without a car? How do you communicate if your cell phones aren’t working? Where’s the meeting point? Can the neighbors help if you’re not around?
These are all questions you should actively be speaking with your family about so that everyone is on the same page.
Get a first aid kit
This should be common sense for all families, but first aid kits are critical, especially in an emergency situation like a natural disaster. If you can’t get to a hospital because the roads are flooded out, you need to have some resemblance of hospital equipment at your disposal. Better yet, having access to a field medicine book along with your first aid kit could be the difference between life and death.
Having at least one person in your family know CPR is also an added bonus to consider.
Ward off hunger
Everyone knows that even if you survive a natural disaster, you’re not going to last long unless you have a supply of food and water. Collecting a surplus of nonperishable food items and water to last at least 3-5 days is strongly recommended for disaster prep. Everything from protein bars, canned goods, crackers, nuts, and more is highly recommended. It’s also worth noting the importance of knowing how far your closest source of freshwater is if you do happen to run out of water during a disaster.
Stock a supply kit
Outside of food and water and medical supplies, you’re going to need access to a few major items. Having immediate access to a flashlight, self-winding radio, rope, a knife, a compass, a lantern, a lighter, blankets, and more survival items can help you discover a sense of comfort in an overly uncomfortable situation. The last thing you want to happen is have your entire power go out in the dead of winter without access to some of the items above. Or even worse, maybe it’s not a natural disaster that hits but your car breaks down and you have no cell service. A ready-to-go supply kit is super important.
And while you’re at it, consider adding some board/card games if you have time and space. Occupying your mind in a stressful time can help you persevere and keep good spirits.
Save your memories
During a natural disaster, you’re not just worrying for you and your family’s safety. Sure, those are obviously paramount, but what about your personal belongings? Family heirlooms and memories (photos, videos and more) are some of the most cherishable items in our possession. They also happen to be among the most perishable. So rather than risk losing precious family memories that you might never get back, it’s important to have those items digitized. If your family home videos and photos live on the cloud, then no natural disaster stands a chance at getting to them.