Being prepared covers a wide array of diverse situations, ranging from the life and death struggle of a worst-case scenario to the day to day effort to weather a serious financial setback. Each situation has distinct, defining parameters, yet certain elements have an effect on all situations. Here are a few of these essential elements.
Your first step is to spend a few minutes thinking about what area of preparedness you are most concerned about. Are you concerned about the possibility of a natural disaster leaving you stranded with no food or water or utilities?
Are you uneasy about the possibility that you’ll be evacuated from your home with only the clothes on your back? Do you worry about the economy and how to be sure you will always have food on your table? Have you considered the possibility that severe weather conditions or global disasters could result in severe food shortages?
Ponder your possibilities and try to gain as much insight and information as you can about what your options are and how you’d like to tackle them. (Check out the other pages on this website for valuable information.) Ideally, you’ll want to work towards being ready for any crisis. But don’t wait till you have the time and money to purchase every emergency preparedness product known to man before you start.
While you’re thinking about it and gathering information, there are things you can get started doing. Make a goal to always have on hand a supply of food and safe water in your home (see also this post on water filters). Begin by having enough food to last for a week. Then increase that to two weeks or more. Put aside fresh water for an emergency: at least two gallons per person per day for two weeks. Start your preparations for an emergency evacuation kit by gathering any appropriate supplies you already have into a box or bucket. You’ll replace those rough beginnings as soon as you can, but it’s a start.
Those are the first steps you ought to take. There are many, many more things you can and ought to do, and you’ll discover them soon since your first step was to learn and gather information on preparedness. And make sure your children are also ready for any disaster. Good luck with your preparedness journey!
- FIRST STEPS
- Gather information and learn all you can about preparedness.
- Always have on hand at least a two weeks supply of ready-to-eat foods.
- Store two gallons of drinking water per person per day for two weeks.
- Begin a 72-hour emergency kit today by gathering any supplies you already have and plan to replace and supplement them as soon as possible.
The peace that comes from being prepared
One idea that permeates all facets of preparedness, from the planning stage to actually living through ‘the event’ is the principle that personal preparedness can be accomplished without panic or a doomsday attitude. You can do what needs to be done to feel secure. You take it one step at a time, with a personalized plan of action. Panic and fear are replaced with knowledge and skills, common sense, supplies, equipment, and a symbolic teddy bear.
Did you know that many police and fire departments use teddy bears to soften the harshness of crises in people’s lives? Worldwide, the teddy bear represents comfort and assurance. It does not lessen the seriousness of a situation. It just offers soft security.
Acquiring an essential supply of water in your home
Water is, next to oxygen, the most essential element in the survival of human beings. A person is able to survive without food for a few weeks, but without any water, persons can survive for merely a few days. Day in and day out, water is essential! Water in an emergency situation is even more critical.
At least some water needs to be in your preparedness pantry. But how much? The Civil Defense Preparedness Agency recommends that we have on hand at all times a two-week supply of water. Bare bones survival rations would be half a gallon per person per day for drinking and basic food preparation purposes. Half a gallon is only 8 -8 oz glasses of water, the same amount recommended by nutritionists and dieticians every day for good health.
You might say that you don’t come close to drinking half a gallon of water each day, but I bet you’d be surprised if you tallied up all the liquids you drink each day. If you add up all the water, milk, juice, broth, soft drinks, etc. you’d probably be close to the half-gallon mark, if not over. And that’s on a normal day when food and water are plentiful. In an emergency, you’ll you probably will need more water and liquid than in any regular circumstances.
In addition to water for drinking, you’ll require (per person) around half a gallon per day for things like washing dishes, bathing, or brushing your teeth. Again, these figures are the minimum amount you should plan on having for an emergency.
A photocopied list of necessary supplies isn’t good enough
There is a lot of confusion about what to prepare, and how to prepare. Many of you are so overwhelmed you don’t even know where to begin. There are many who would capitalize on your confusion with a photo-copied list that specifies exactly what items you need to be prepared, your personal preparedness kit.
A word to the wise: If someone else has compiled the list, even though it may be professionally or commercially done, don’t rely on it too heavily. The reason that someone else’s list will not work is that being prepared involves too many important individual factors for a set list of specific items to apply to everyone. You need a plan that is tailored to your needs and your situation.
Granted, many things you need in order to be prepared can be lumped under general headings that will be on anyone’s list: food, blankets, a cooking source, water, medical supplies, etc. What I take the most exception to are the lists that suggest that you need exactly and only what they say, and only the brands suggested will fulfill your preparedness needs.
Having a list is not a bad thing. In essence, this website and the information available on it could be considered “a list,” since I am suggesting things you need to be prepared. The difference is that this list is not someone else’s list. It is your list, your plan of action, shaped by your individual factors to meet your needs.