As the world becomes a more and more unsettled place with employment, economic conditions, and worldwide military affairs; the ideas of family emergency preparedness becomes more and more vital. Preparedness can mean everything from preparing for a worldwide disaster to preparing for a bump in your own family situation. Family disasters can include everything from a missed paycheck or a layoff to the loss of a family home after a natural disaster. When focusing on preparedness here are the important things you need to consider:
- Create a plan as it relates to your home and family for every natural disaster. Just as schools and businesses have preparedness and evacuation plans, you should have one for your home and family as well. Make sure that every family member is aware of the plan, how to evacuate, and where to meet. You should also have plans for meeting places away from home if disasters strike when you are away.
- Make sure you have the needed tools to stay in your home if possible following a disaster. Where are your utility shut-offs? Do you need specific tools to shut them off? Hand well pumps that allow you still get water, shut off tools to ensure gas lines are turned off, and knowing where your electrical box is are all a must.
- The most essential items you can have for preparedness include food and water. When creating an emergency plan you need to calculate just how much food and water you need to have stored to care for your family for 72 hours, 2 weeks, months, and even a year. The more you can have stored the longer you can survive when emergency conditions are present. When determining which foods to store and in what quantities you need to look at your individual family preferences (what they already eat) as well as how often you eat specific meals. One essential component to good food storage planning is learning to rotate and use what you store.
- Consider other household and emergency supplies when you are buying supplies. These supplies include things such as paper products like paper towels and toilet paper, cleaning products, items to provide heat and shelter when necessary. You should also consider a change of clothing as well as entertainment items for each member of your family.
When beginning your preparedness preparations, it is important to have realistic expectations and plans for work on a preparedness budget. For most families it is not feasible to purchase everything you need at once. You need to create a budget amount that you can apply toward gathering supplies and increasing your food storage. As you begin to acquire supplies you will begin to feel more confident in what you need, the choices you are making, and in your overall preparedness level. Emergency preparedness is about instilling piece of mind in the face of uncertainty in the world and at home.