I was working on a new Emergency Preparedness binder last night, and started to notice a pattern emerge in the first 5 items for each emergency. These are typically the most critical items and I thought I would share them with you in today’s post. Now granted, some of these may not apply in certain situations, but for most of them they certainly will.
#1 Get to a safe place – The very first thing you will want to do in any emergency is to get yourself to a safe place. This may be an interior room, a basement room or even higher ground or an underground bunker depending on what the emergency is. If you can’t get to a safe place, then nothing you do after that will help you much if you are dead. No matter what the emergency is, you must find safe shelter. I would hope you have already thought about this and have a predesignated place to go, if not then now is a good time to make that plan and the decision, not when it happens. Remember that you may not be at home when it strikes and will need to find it where you can, in that case. I would suggest that you sit down and make a list of what you should look for in a situation like this. While a ditch might help in a tornado, it certainly wouldn’t work in a flood… see what I mean? Your list should be simple and logical based on the emergency itself. When you are done keep it in your wallet or purse at all times, especially when away from home. Once you are in a safe place, you can begin to plan for the next things you will need to survive.
#2 Find water – Remember the rules of 3s (3 minutes without air, 3 hours without shelter, 3 days without water, 3 weeks without food.) In step 2, find and fill everything you can with drinkable water. Use pots, pans, old soda bottles, and anything else that is clean that will hold water. One of the first things to stop working when an emergency strikes is electricity and water and soon followed by sewage as well. Water is critical to survival! Just ask anyone that has ever been stuck without fresh water for any length of time. You can be surrounded by it but if it’s not safe to drink then it is useless, so store up as much as you can. If you are away from home and are going to have to walk home, look for empty water bottles that you can fill and put in your get home bag or tie together with a string and carry over your shoulder while you walk. Your life actually depends on you having fresh water to drink for as long as possible. Gather it as quickly as possible or you may be too late.
#3 Find a reliable means of communications – Whether it is a computer, a radio or a TV, find a way to get information on the current situation as quickly as possible. You need to know what you are in for and how long you can expect it to last. In many cases , the situation can become fluid and may change from one minute to the next and without this information, you could be walking into more trouble without even knowing it. Information is key in any emergency and should be one of your first priorities right after finding water. If the emergency is weather related then you should listen to NOAA weather warnings on a weather radio as well as local information for changing conditions. Regardless of what the emergency, you should always try to find out as much about it as possible, as quickly as possible and do not give into panic. Panic will doom you as sure as anything and you need to keep your wits about you in any emergency.
#4 Locate food and medical supplies – If you are at home you need to immediately inventory your food and medical supplies that you have on hand. If not enough, then you need to start looking for sources of food and medical supplies to last as long as possible. Never underestimate the length of time an emergency may last. Think of Hurricane Katrina where people actually died for lack of water days after the hurricane had passed. No matter how hard officials try, things seldom go the way they plan and you could wind up being stuck longer than you expected. Plan for the worst and pray for the best! If you are a Prepper like me, then you have plenty of food and medical supplies stockpiled and should be in good shape provided you have enough. If you are on the road however, you will just have to do the best that you can and try to get home to your supplies as quickly as possible. In any case, food is another essential and you need to locate as soon as possible.
#5 Locate a form of transportation – in many situations, you will need a way to move around in any emergency. . If you have a vehicle, then try to locate fuel for it while you still can. If electricity is already out, it may be already too late to get it. Hopefully, if you are at home then you have some stored up for just such a situation, but if not then you will want to start looking for it. If you are away from home and your car still runs, then try to locate extra fuel for it and begin your trip back home. If you car will not run, you will need to walk or find another vehicle or other form of transportation, such as a bicycle. You will need to find it fast, as others will be looking for the same thing. Being prepared is the key to surviving any situation and you need to be ready when the time comes. Oh, and please don’t forget to check on the elderly during any emergency and make sure they are not scared and alone.
Just remember to keep your head straight, when a disaster hits and having an Emergency Preparedness Plan binder will help keep you from falling prey to panic and running down the road screaming “We are all going to die!” while waving your hands over your head. OK, so maybe it won’t be that bad and you will be ready after all, you are a Prepper! Until next time, just remember that prepping is a direction of travel and not a destination, so keep on prepping!