When it comes to any type of emergency wouldn’t you like to be one of the few people who planned ahead? All too often it isn’t until disaster strikes that people realise just how unprepared they were. In today’s post I want to cover some basic rules, and pass on some advice I have collected to help you be prepared for any situation.
First, you need to define the disasters or emergencies that may become relevant to you. Consider the area you live in and any environmental changes that might affect you. Some examples would be:
- Earth Quake
- Long-term power outage
- Drought or water shortage
Living in the outer eastern suburbs of Victoria, Australia a blizzard is a lot less likely then a drought or water shortage. The position of my home also means that flooding within my home is unlikely, however there are local roads that have been known to flood preventing travel. These are the kinds of things you need to think about when deciding on what you should be prepared for.
No matter the disaster there are some rules of preparation that everyone should follow.
Rule Number 1, Water. Did you know that you can survive 3 weeks without food, but only 3 days without water? When planning for any emergency make sure you know where you will get your water.
Rule Number 2, know your escape route. One of the biggest dangers in summer in Australia is bush fires. Not only do you need to be prepared to leave should they get too close and feirce, you need to know when, and how you can leave as safely as possible. An escape plan with a meet up point is a great idea and every family should have one.
Rule Number 3, food. As I mentioned earlier, you can last a long time without food if you have water available to you. However having food stored and ready is going to ensure you wont be lining up at the supermarkets for last minute purchases. This can prove to be even more important should you be unable to get to a supermarket at all.
Rule Number 4, plan plan plan. Having read this article you are already a step ahead most people. But to really get the most out of this you need to create a clear plan, an emergency kit for your house, and an emergency bag for leaving your home in a hurry (aka bug out bag).
It is recommended you have supplies stored in air-tight tubs or on shelves in your garage or basement. It is also a good idea to keep an emergency exit bag near your emergency kit just in case you need to leave the house during an emergency.
What kind of essentials should you keep in your kit?
- Three-day supply of non-perishable food.
- Three-day supply of water – one litre of water per person, per day minimum.
- Portable, battery-powered radio or television and extra batteries.
- Flashlight and extra batteries.
- First aid kit and manual.
- Sanitation and hygiene items (moist towelettes and toilet paper).
- Matches and waterproof container.
- Extra clothing.
- Kitchen accessories and cooking utensils, including a can opener.
- Photocopies of credit and identification cards.
- Cash and coins.
- Special needs items, such as prescription medications, eye glasses, contact lens solutions, and hearing aid batteries.
- Items for infants, such as formula, diapers, bottles, and pacifiers.
- Other items to meet your unique family needs.
Depending on your climate, these items might come in handy too…
- Jacket or coat.
- Long pants.
- Long sleeve shirt.
- Sturdy shoes.
- Hat, mittens, and scarf.
- Sleeping bag or warm blanket (per person)
Now on to the emergency bag. Make sure to choose a bag big enough to fit all of the items you will need, but not too big as you may need to carry it on foot. Don’t go for bright colours, camo, green or black. If its too bright you will attract unwanted attention, and if it looks too professional and military people are going to know you are prepared and they’re going to want what you have – especially zombies. Go for an average looking backpack. The content will depend on your skills and personal needs. Here is a list of basic essentials to get you started:
- Water, one litre of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation.
- Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food.
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio
- flashlight and batteries
- First aid kit
- Whistle to signal for help
- Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place.
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation.
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities.
- Manual can opener for food.
- Local maps.
- Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar battery charge.
- Copies of important documents (bank accounts, birth certificates etc).
I hope these tips help you prepare for any emergency that might come your way… watch out for those zombies!