- 92% of Americans having survived a natural disaster say they are not prepared for the next one. *
- 85% of our nation is not ready for a devastating event.
- 52% of Americans do not have copies of crucial personal documents. **
- 48% of Americans do not have emergency supplies.
- 44% of Americans do not own a first aid kit.
**Source: Us Department of Health and Human Services 2016
Do you live in a flood prone area, an area plagued by harsh winters, areas susceptible to tornadoes, coastal areas that deal with hurricanes or in earthquake country? Identify if you are at risk and the key is to identify what you are at risk for.
Steps to get you prepared for survival at the least effort:
Step 1 – Make a Plan, familiarize yourself with how to receive emergency alerts and warnings from your local government agencies and your hometown law enforcement personnel. Discuss with your family, plans for different disasters and what to do. Learn how and when you should turn off your water, gas and electricity at the main shut-offs. Discuss with your family members how you will contact each other during a disaster. Collect personal information of every family member’s photos, phone number and email address. Include doctors, hospitals and schools. Provide a laminated copy to each person involved. Pick an emergency meeting place if practical. Determine and practice the best escape routes from your homes.
Step 2 – Collect emergency supplies. Water, 1 gallon per person per day for 72 hours in addition to water for food preparation, bathing, brushing teeth and dish washing. Food experts recommend a three month supply of non-perishable food (infant formula if necessary). Clothing, you will need complete changes of clothing for each family member. Include long pants, long sleeved shirts, comfortable shoes while considering the climate area that you live in. Don’t forget the baby diapers and also include sleeping bags or warm blankets for each person. Personal health care supplies need to be in the go-bag, prescription medication, first aid kit (to match your lifestyle). Feminine hygiene items, prescription eyeglasses and hand sanitizer will also be needed. Collect important documents to include copies of insurance policies, copies of ID cards (driver’s license, passport or other ID), bank account information, cash (small bills) or traveler’s checks, family photos (if you get separated) and a first aid book. Store all in waterproof portable containers. And lastly, stock safety supplies and equipment such as water filtration devices, flashlights, batteries, fire extinguisher, battery powered or hand crank radio, waterproof matches, paper cups, plates, utensils (the old military style kit), paper towels, large trash bags with ties, paper and pencils, a whistle, dust masks, duct tape, can opener, cell phone charger, fire starter, rope, a wrench or pliers.
Step 3 – Emergency food supplies. Choose foods with a long storage life and do not need to be refrigerated. Supplies should be easy to prepare with minimal steps. Fruit bars, nuts, peanut butter and canned juices. Vitamins, food for infants, kids, foods high in calories, comfort and stress foods, dehydrated milk, pet food. Keep salty and spicy foods to a minimum as they increase the need to drink water. Check and replace at intervals through the year as needed. Store a three month supply of non-perishable food in a cool, dry location that’s easy to get to. Choose familiar foods that include all dietary concerns and needs. Keep food stuff in covered containers, keep utensils clean and keep garbage closed or bury it! Wash hands frequently with soap and water. Discard food if it is questionable. Use bottled water if possible and if water is questionable it should be boiled or treated.
Use perishable foods in your refrigerator or freezer before using your emergency supplies. If cooking food in a can, remove the label, thoroughly wash can and then open can before heating.
Have at least one gallon per day per individual that is stored in sturdy plastic bottles with tight fitting lids. Stored water should be changed every six months. Allow your people to drink as much water as they want or need. Everyone is different and might require more. Do not ration drinking water unless it is mandated by local or federal authorities. Do not substitute carbonated beverages for drinking water. Capture and store rainwater or snow. Use ice cubes, liquid from canned goods such as fruit or vegetables. Water from heating systems, toilets, flush tanks, waterbeds, pools or spas can be used for personal hygiene and cleaning but not for drinking!
Step 4 – Riding out the disaster while sheltering in place. Protect yourself, family and pets from the elements and stay indoors. Ensure all windows, doors, air vents and fireplace dampers are locked or closed. Turn off any air flow system. Have emergency supply kit ready. Proceed to interior rooms with minimal windows and seal all windows with plastic sheeting and duct tape. Watch TV, radio or check internet often for official news and instructions.
If stranded outdoors, find a structure that will protect you from the elements. Stay warm and dry and hydrated. If you are separated from your family, ensure you contact them to let them know your whereabouts.
Step 5 – Coping with the disaster. Keep your mind off what’s happening around you by distracting yourself and family with board games. Stay informed via TV or radio. Take care of your body by eating healthy, staying hydrated and get plenty of sleep if possible. Take breaks from everything going on and spend time together. Keep a regular schedule for your days. Provide a safe environment and help others if you’re able to do so. Identify what you are at risk for and be prepared, so when that time comes you can rest easy knowing you and your loved ones are taken care of.
Plan, prepare, protect, get through, hold on, hold out, make it, and keep body, soul and family together. You need a plan to prepare and to protect yourself and your family. Survival is our Strategy!”
Thanks for reading this. I’d love to hear what your ideas are and what you have done to better prepare to master survival in the outdoors and how you practice and why, so please leave your comments below and share your thoughts.
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