Disasters can strike at any time. Being prepared ahead of time can save significant stress when a crisis hits. Most disaster prep can be done easily and quickly if you are smart about it. It doesn’t have to cost a lot to be disaster ready. Here are some tips to help you prep for some significant disaster (or SHTF) events.
The area where I live is on a fault line. We are due for the “big one” anytime now, or at least people have been saying so for years. Is your family earthquake ready? Does everyone know how to take cover when the ground shakes? Do you have plenty of food and water stored and an emergency kit in your home and in your car? It’s important to have an evacuation plan in place should you have to leave your home after an earthquake. Start now securing those plans so you aren’t scrambling when the time comes that you need immediate shelter. Another thing you can do is make sure you have earthquake insurance, especially if you live on a fault line. Know where the gas and water shut off valves are in your home and be able to get to them quickly to turn the flow off. If you have to leave on foot, make sure to have bug out bags ready to go, and full of what you need for at least three days. You may not be able to return home right away, so you need to be prepared for that possibility. Make sure also to have plenty of cash with you should you have need to purchase anything, as debit cards may not be working.
When it comes to flooding, the most important thing you can do is to watch the weather and news alerts concerning flooding. Don’t pass them off as insignificant. The warnings and watches are issued for a reason. Make sure you have copies of important documents sealed in waterproof envelopes, and if you have a basement, storing things up off the floor in rubber totes will help minimize damage. You should make sure that everyone in your family has a life jacket and rubber boots, should you need to leave your home on foot. Do not attempt to drive through flood water under any circumstances. What looks like a few inches could prove disastrous. Do you carry flood insurance on your home and property? If not, and you live in a high risk area for flooding, you may strongly want to consider adding it to your policy. Make sure to have a stash of emergency food and water, enough to last you several days, especially if your power is out and you are not able to drink the tap water in your home. Have plenty of hand sanitizer and bleach on hand to clean up as floodwater can be contaminated. Another important thing to remember about flooding is that it can happen very quickly, with little to no warning.
This is probably one of the SHTF scenarios that you should be most prepared for above all others. Have you thought about what you would do if there were no banks available, no stores, no ability to use credit or debit cards? Do you have a good emergency food and water stockpile, as well as a fully stocked medical kit? You would be on your own as far as finances, and you would need to be able to barter with others for goods and services. This is where having a good cash stockpile and plenty of trade-able items like food, ammo, and medical supplies will come in handy. You should also learn how to do many things for yourself, like grow your own food, make clothing items, and cook from scratch. These skills will be very valuable to your family, and possibly to others.
Being disaster ready is very important. Once you are prepared, encourage friends and family to do the same. What are you prepping for? What is the SHTF scenario that scares you the most?