For years, people have been preparing for disasters, storing everything from food and water to flashlights and batteries. Truth is, many preppers were stricken by a major crisis already, but because they were prepared, they were able to get through it and are still with us today. Unfortunately, many others — who did not take the time out to prepare — were not so lucky.
The sad thing about it is so many people that perished in a storm or the aftermath of one, could have still been with us today, had they been prepared. Now, it’s your turn to decide whether you and your loved ones will be ready for the next catastrophe.
Here are 5 tips to create an effective plan for your family.
1. Create Backup Plans
Of course, it is always best for you and your family to stay inside and lock your doors during a crisis. In fact, when a disaster takes place in your area, you will most likely hear announcements suggesting this. Therefore, you should base your plans in the home. But, what if things suddenly change, and you find yourself in a predicament where you have to leave your house and seek shelter elsewhere where it will be safer for you and your loved ones to wait out the storm?
No problem, all you will need to do is make a backup plan in case you have to leave home. Prepare traveling plans with the family deciding where you will go and what route you will take to get there, but more importantly, have a bug out bag all packed and ready to go.
However, just as where you plan on staying can change, so can how you plan on getting there, especially in a crisis where roads can become blocked, flooded, damaged, or jammed with traffic. Not to worry, all you need to do is have a backup plan ready to take another route should the original one become obstructed.
2. Pack Light and Wise
One thing a lot of preppers don’t take into consideration is the weight of the load they will have to carry if they must leave home and foot it. Many people will pack one bug out bag with all of their gear tucked neatly inside thinking dad can handle it.
It is obvious that dad is the strongest and can carry the most weight, but let’s be honest– he’s not Superman. Besides, it would be wiser for the strongest one in the group to save their strength and be prepared to fight off assailants, stray animals, or to handle other unforeseen prospects that can possibly occur. Generally, the smart thing to do would be to pack one bag for each family member to carry.
In addition, water weight is always a noted problem when it comes to prepping, but it doesn’t have to be so difficult. To solve this dilemma, keep one bottle filled with water in each of the groups’ bags along with tablets to purify water. Evidently, if you run out of the water, you can find some along the way and use the tablets to make it safe to drink.
As far as food goes, there are food ration bars available with enough calories to keep the whole family going for days.
3. Find and Record Important Information Ahead of Time
When a disaster strikes, it is more than likely that everyone in your area will be in the same predicament. Therefore, you can’t plan on going to Aunt Nancy’s house just down the road when she may not have a home either. Therefore, check your local listings for emergency shelter locations such as an ICC 500 storm shelter, a FEMA safe room, or a Red Cross evacuation area.
In most cases, evacuation camps will be set up in a safe place for everyone to take shelter in. The only problem with that is the locations are not known until logical, safe spots have been identified. To find out where the shelters are set up, tune in to Weather Radio, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), or The Emergency Alert System (EAS). You can also sign up for your community’s warning system and emergency alerts.
Another important thing to add to your effective planning is to choose a friend or relative who does not reside near you for everyone to call and mark themselves safe during a disaster and ensure all family members have their correct phone number. This is only required if you and your loved ones are separated during an incident.
4. Practice Your Plans to Perfect Them
Creating plans for your family to get through a crisis is one thing, but ensuring your plans will be effective will take some practice.
Although knowing your escape plans is a great part of effective planning, it is even better to practice them as well. This will help to ensure that your plans will work while identifying any hiccups or other obstacles, which can possibly get in your way that you didn’t think of before.
You should also travel the route you chose for evacuation paying close attention for anything along the way that could pose a problem during a storm or disaster, such as dips in the road that could easily flood, unstable bridges, or loose signs and billboards that can fall and block your path.
It is also a good idea to assign each member of your group their own tasks in case of a disaster, then make sure everyone knows exactly what to do by practicing the plans frequently so they won’t forget.
Practicing your plans is very important in a lot of ways. For one, it will help you to remember what to do in the case of a disaster. For two, it will give you a chance to practical experience living through a disaster so you can identify any obstacles that you may run into ahead of time, giving you the chance to make changes to your plans. Finally, three while going through the drill, you may come up with even better ideas to ensure your safety.
5. Plan to Deal With Intruders
It is hard enough to keep you and your loved one’s heads above water than to also have to deal with approaching assailants on top of it. However, if you and your family are prepared for this kind of intrusion, your chances of gaining control of the situation will greatly improve. Discuss every possible way an intruder may be able to enter your home and secure all of these areas.
Decide on a weapon that each member of the group should utilize and learn how you will use them in combat. Depending on the ages of any children in your group, decide on what they could do to help any situation that should arise, especially if hand-to-hand combat should arise between your group and one or more assailants.
Fortunately, there are other ways to resolve issues with others during a crisis. If its food or water they are after, accommodating them would be much better than having to fight them off, which is why it is always better to keep a little extra stored away.
Although it is impossible to ensure that, you and your loved ones will positively be safe during a catastrophe, it is possible to raise your chances of a safe outcome by preparing for disasters before they actually happen. It can’t hurt to prepare for something that quite possibly may come in the future, but it most definitely may hurt if you don’t prepare for such an event to take place, while you still can. Be smart, and stay safe always.
Conrad Novak is a proud father of two children. His journey as a prepper began when Hurricane Katrina hit and he lost his job due to the 2008 economic crisis. That made him realize that everything can change for the worst in a very short time. This experience was the detonator for him to pursue learning and becoming better prepared to face the kind of unexpected disasters that may occur at any point in our lives. You can read more of his content at SurvivorsFortress.com