The first 72 hours of any disaster is easily the most critical and what you do during that time period may determine whether or not you live or even survive for the first week. During this period, life and death decisions will be made. will you be ready when it happens? In today’s post we are going to look at things you should do during that time to help ensure your own survival.
The first 72 hours are critical because during this initial period after a disaster, you set in motion the ground work for your survival and failing to do certain things can easily result in your survival plans falling apart. So what exactly do I mean by that? If you wait to fill water containers, then you may not have any water to fill them with later. If you fail to fill the tank on your vehicle then you may have no other chance to fill it. These are critical mistakes and can lead to disaster for you and your family when the time comes. Now we have to take into account that different disasters will require you to take different actions based on what is happening. If you over look them then you could get yourself into trouble. Let’s make a list of the most likely items that you should do as soon as possible after disaster strikes.
- Fill all water containers with tap water, no matter how much water you may already have on hand. Even if you have a pallet load of water in your preps, you can always use more for bathing, washing clothes and cooking with. You will be amazed just how fast your bottle water will go especially if you are forced to use it for other things besides drinking. Fill every container that you have that can possibly be used to hold water. If you wind up never needing it then so much the better. It is better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.
- Turn on a radio or the TV if you can and leave them on for local information on the emergency. No matter what happens, you will need to know as much as you can about what is happening around you at all times.
- Do you have enough food in your house or location to survive for the next week? If not you will need to try to locate and purchase what you can to meet this need. If you are going to walking home or to your bug out shelter then you will need to fill a backpack with enough food and water to get you where you are going. Do not fool yourself and think that you really won’t need that much. Walking burns a lot of calories and you will need to keep replacing them. Food and water are essential to surviving.
- Do you have enough gas or diesel for your vehicle and generators to last for a week? If not you will want to high tail it to the closest gas station and fill up your vehicle gas tanks and any gas cans that you may have before the lines to too long or they run out. Even if you have 4 generators, they will do you no good at all without gas to run them so be sure you have plenty.
- Do you have enough of your required medication to last for at least a week? What about first aid supplies? If not then you will want to fill them immediately and replace anything that your first aid kit made be missing. Do you or one of your family members have asthma or diabetes? If so then their medications are critical and should be at the top of your medication list.
- Do a quick inventory of what you have on hand to see if there is anything else that you may need before leaving the house or taking the road. If possible, do not leave without some way to defend yourself while away from your home. Remember that you may not have another chance to go to the store or even town again in the near future so you need to get it all in one trip if you can.
- Secure your home if you are there and be sure all doors and windows are closed and locked so you do not forget to do it later and leave looters a way to get in. Security is your primary concern no matter where you are and needs to be taken seriously. There are those that have been waiting for a disaster to strike so they can take advantage of the confusion created by it. They will see this as a golden opportunity to take what they want and will attack without warning out, of nowhere when you least expect it.
- If you are caught away from home and need to make your way back, look for a paper map that you can use to plan your route back home. You need to mark or highlight any areas that you think that you might encounter trouble along your route, then plan alternate routes around them if possible. You should always have a paper map in your car or get home bag in case of emergency and know how to read it. You never know when that GPS of yours may go down and simply not work, so don’t depend on it.
- Contact others to let them know where you are and where you’re going if necessary. Give them an ETA if possible, and be sure that you have emergency phone numbers with you if you are on the road. If someone comes looking for you, they will need to know where to search if you don’t show up when expected.
- Call or check on the elderly to be sure that they are OK and have what they need.
I strongly suggest that you create a bug out book or ICE (In Case of Emergency) book. These can be created in different sizes so you can even pack one in your get home bag with your supplies. These should be broken down in sections for each basic type of disaster that you can imagine occurring in your area. For example, Tornado, Flood, Earth Quake, EMP, Foreign Attack, Nuclear Accident, etc. You will want to approach each of these a little differently and each can occur without warning. Don’t wait until it happens to begin to try to figure out what to do first, second and so forth. Plan carefully and make a plan for every possible scenario that you can think of then write it out in a book and keep it handy. Don’t forget to add maps with possible alternate routes that you can take if you are leaving for a bug out shelter of if you are trying to get home. Create a check list for each one and be sure to use it when the time comes. Adrenalin can cause you to forget things when they matter the most and having them written down will help a lot! Well I guess that is it for today, and if you can think of anything else to add to this list, please let us know in the comments below. I hope I have given you something to think about and improve your prepping skills. Until next time, just remember that prepping is not a destination, but a direction of travel!