Emergencies can happen when you least expect them, so it's important you and your family are never caught unaware in the middle of one. In times like these when natural disasters, risk of job loss and unforeseen circumstances are becoming more frequent and more violent, coupled with a financial storm brewing in certain parts of the world, you have to be ready.You never know when you may have to face these catastrophes . . . and it is certainly better if you face them prepared and in control. By doing this, you ensure you and your loved ones can survive through any emergency situation, for the short or long term.
No doubt you are looking for ways on how to be prepared for emergencies that may last for hours or days...excellent, you’ve come to the right place. We will guide you in preparing for emergencies, and also in what to do when an emergency does occur. Our talented team has worked tirelessly for days shifting and sorting through all the information that is out there to bring you the very best and most valuable guide to preparing for an emergency and helping you stay in control.
First and foremost, you need to be financially ready for any disaster. This means being able to have money ready when you need it the most, and also having money to be able to build up a supply for your family and for other expenditures with regards to emergency preparedness, such as house repairs. There are several ways to do this. Keep in mind that being financially ready is not only for the wealthy, but it is for every income-earner who wishes to be prepared.
The first step to being financially ready for any disaster is to be able to slowly build your emergency fund. The steps here may provide you with a wide variety of choices on how to build up emergency funds – from prioritizing the creation of an emergency fund to changing your spending habits to save more money. You can also try to find creative ways in order to earn money, so you can save more. Another way to be financially ready is to create and maintain a savings account – if you have one already, great! You can use these funds in any situation – be it for emergencies or for extra necessities should the need arise.
When creating an emergency fund, think about dividing up your savings for short-term and long-term emergencies.
A short-term emergency is a short-lived natural disaster or possible short-term money problems. Short-term emergency funds are stored so they can be easily accessed when necessity calls for it. They can be stored in a separate active bank account to gain interest (however small) but can be taken out whenever it is needed, or ideally a deposit box or safe in the home.
A long-term emergency is one that lasts for more than a few weeks – disasters or recessions that pan out over a lengthy amount of time such as environmental disasters, terrorist attacks, fuel supply collapse or the financial system collapse. The difference between the savings for long term and short term emergencies is that long-term funds are often placed in banks and investments that generate returns but have the option to be accessed fairly easily if ever required and should always be diversified.
Being ready with your finances is but one step on the way to becoming prepared in times of emergency. During an emergency, products become overpriced due to lack of supply (depending on the emergency) or too much demand, and usually, money can only take you so far. So aside from saving up for other expenses, you may want to save up and invest in emergency food storage, which brings us to the next step.
The second thing you must have and should be prepared for before an emergency occurs is an emergency food supply. In this case, you should be thinking about emergency food supplies that can last for days, weeks or months. When creating your emergency food storage supply, you don’t just go out to the grocery and buy whatever you feel will last you for a few days. You need to have a plan. You have to plan what to buy, and just like doing a grocery shop on a normal day, it has to be within your means.
There are many ways in which you can start creating and building up your own emergency food supply at home. By far the easiest, most valuable and most cost-effective way in the long term is to store freeze dried food packs like the 3-month, 6-month or 12-month packs that we supply.
This is because they have been specially created to give the right balance of proteins, nutrients and energy people need, ensuring they are adequately prepared and they cost just pennies a day over the long term.
Alternatively, you may want to buy items one at a time – in this case, slowly building up your stockpile by adding extra quantities of what you usually purchase. There are many guides available online on what you can buy weekly and monthly to steadily build up your emergency supply – which will include not only food but also water and important live-saving utilities. This slower approach is also available for freeze-dried food, building up your reserves in a few boxes at a time over a year or so. Many of our customers take this approach using our “Create Your Own” packs option, which can be found here. In time, you will build an additional food supply in addition to the food you regularly stock . . . and here is where you have to do some organizing if you do not take the freeze dried food approach.
Food rotation is a method often used in order to organize a food supply. It involves rotating out the first food supplies to expire and using these goods for your everyday cooking. By having a list of your stock complete with their “best before” dates will make checking easier and will avoid restocking an item that still has a good number in your stockpile. There are several ways to do food rotation, and for those who have the woodworking skills, building your own rotating canned food shelf can also be a good investment. By building your own rotating food shelf, you will save the time and effort of constantly checking your stocks. Information about preparing a short-term emergency food supply is being distributed to households not only by the government but also by the local councils, as people are becoming more aware of the need to be prepared for any kind of emergency.
The link highlighted above is a recommendation from the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension, which provides ideas on what to prepare when building up an emergency food supply that would last for a certain period and also advice on what to do with the food supply once disaster strikes. If you have the money to build your own food supply, but you do not want to be bothered by the details of organizing your own emergency food storage, consider buying in bulk from a specialist. There are many stores where emergency food storage is being sold and can be catered to meet your specific needs. You can purchase emergency food based on the number of days or months it should last, and you have the option to buy it separately or to buy in bulk. If you buy in bulk, be wary of items that may be nearing expiration. This is not a problem with our products as they all last 25 years plus. You may want to consume them in order to prevent waste of money and food, and at the same time, be sure to replenish your stocks.
Your house is your first physical line of defense against Mother Nature’s onslaught.
Your home will not only shelter you and your family, it will also protect your belongings. Therefore, it's important your house is properly maintained. This helpful source not only provides details with regards to securing food, water, and utilities, but it also notes how to secure additional property, such as your physical self, your house, your vehicle and even your workplace. With regards to securing your house, it is important you have the proper utilities in case of an emergency. Repairing or replacing parts of your house may save you a major headache later. Another consideration is the landscaping around your home - you may also want to take a look at your porch and see if there are trees with branches that may fall onto your house or to your electric lines, and clear them up a bit every now and then.
It is also important that you have a stock of emergency non-food supplies ready in your homes or wherever you are most likely to be when an emergency occurs. Supplies such as tools, first-aid kits, batteries, radio, lighters/matches, alcohol and disinfectants, toiletries and extra clothing are all important considerations. It's also essential you have copies of your important documents sealed in waterproof containers and contact details of family members and government agencies placed in an area of the house you can easily access. Creating such a kit requires time, patience and a good dose of organization. Alternatively, we offer a 72 Hour Pack and additional supplies you will need that takes the hard work out for you. They are easy to store and very cost effective.
Another essential step of emergency preparedness is being sure your family is well-informed. Knowing basic survival tips – even for children – may become a life-saver later. It's important that family members sit down and discuss what to do when an emergency comes along. FEMA, through Ready.gov, provides a great Family Emergency Plan. Here, family members can learn to jot down important information regarding themselves and what to do should something happen – especially if they are separated during the time of emergency, for example, when are at school and the adults are either at home or at work. Discussing meet-up/escape points and also how to secure the house when leaving is essential. By completing this process, you and your family will be more prepared should an emergency strike, easing worry and anxiety.
Weather and climatic conditions vary around the world, know yours.
By knowing not only the weather systems affecting your community but also the geological and political backgrounds in your area, you will have a better understanding of the type of emergency which could occur in your location. Some regions are prone to earthquakes, while others are prone to tornadoes, flooding, typhoons or hurricanes, though this is rare in Europe. Some regions even need to be wary of blizzards and snowstorms. There is also the human factor, in which you will want to read up on issues that may result in riots or even wars.
Natural disasters vary from city to city and European country. If you think your home may be at risk of flooding, (or if it is standing near meandering rivers or low-lying areas) you may want to consider preparing your house for a flood. Because of climate change, natural disasters are becoming more severe, and you need to be prepared for the worst. For flood-prone homes, you have to know the policies your neighborhood has for floods, and prepare your utilities in such a way that you can easily access them in case of a flood. In this case basement storages aren’t the best option. Storing your emergency kits in a high, cool place (like a cabinet fastened to the wall) may be the best option.
Government agencies have posted advice on what to do in case of emergencies, like natural calamities, terrorist attacks, and other hazards. Some also conduct drills. Try to find out if there are seminars or drills regarding emergency preparedness in your area. You may also want to stage your own drills as a family. Try acting out certain scenarios and what to do should events like these arise.
If there is one common factor among natural disasters, it is that they can happen when you least expect them. You may be at work and the children are at school. You may be walking to the supermarket, or taking a hike down a trail a few kilometers away from your house. Whatever the circumstances are, disasters will not wait for you to return home; you have to be ready where you are standing. The most important part of emergency preparedness outdoors is having a presence of mind. Panic will take away precious moments in which you can plan to go to safety.
Even without the hazard of natural calamities or an emergency, it is best that you are prepared for anything and everything when outdoors.
Aside from prepping for outdoor activities, there are specific lists based on which outdoor activity you would like to participate to – since like geographic events, emergency preparedness has also specific notes depending on which environment you are in – the snow, water, land, etc.
There are several tips on how to be prepared while enjoying the outdoors, ranging from being well-informed, especially on weather and news updates, to taking every factor into consideration when planning for outdoor activities. You can also build an emergency kit -like the one found here - that can be stored in your vehicle for easy access. A government website also offers tips on being safe when expecting winter, from taking into consideration the clothing used for the season to what could you do if you are stranded in your vehicle during the winter.
Common tips being offered to outdoor enthusiasts with regards to emergency preparedness: Be informed of the weather and any news that might affect you, your family and your trip. Prepare an emergency kit with necessities from flashlights, radios, to first-aid kits, OTC and maintenance medicines, water, tools and emergency food. Inform others where you’re going and if possible keep communication lines open. Have a plan for when something unexpected does occur.
When emergencies occur – be it from Mother Nature’s wrath, human-inspired, or even life-or-death situations in the home – you must grab a hold of yourself to be able to make live-saving decisions while keeping the morale of your family up. Here are the top five way to do that effectively and safely.
Disasters take most lives when people least expect them to happen.
Even communities that have been prepped for emergencies can be caught unaware in certain situations, such as during the night when everyone is asleep and at their most vulnerable. For example, flash flooding in the morning is not as devastating to human lives as it is during the night because, during the day, people are more alert and therefore can still make decisions that could possibly save lives. When a hurricane – or any natural calamity for that matter – is forecasted to hit your community, it is best that while you rest, you also be aware of your surroundings, even at night, because chances are it will be difficult to hear an emergency siren especially if you’re sleeping deeply.
Local officials, in an effort to alert their constituents, often set up early warning systems and sirens in their communities. While this helps, it is your responsibility to do your best to be updated on potential emergencies in your area. Though Europe is naturally more protected from this than the USA, changing weather patterns are starting to suggest that this may not be for long.You can, as a precaution, turn off certain utilities that are not essential– you can easily turn them on again after a storm or emergency passes. Before hitting the sheets, you may also want to check your provisions and their storage areas and secure them in case of immediate evacuation. Also, if you are cut off, you can be sure they are easily accessible. Keep your emergency kit where you can see it, and be sure to prepare one for your vehicle as well. If evacuation is done during evenings, don’t forget clothes, money, your emergency kit and keys to your house.
While this advice can be applied to events which can be forecasted or seen, there are instances when disaster just happens, without any notice. For example, an earthquake can occur without warning, but you can still be prepared. Assess your house –is it structurally sound or should you move out for a while until a repair can be started? Also, assess your neighborhood – if you are living in a coastal community, you may have to quickly move to higher ground until tsunami warnings cease. When emergencies happen without warning, you have to quickly assess your situation and make the best decisions for yourself and your family.
When emergencies occur, the safety and security of your family members is the priority.
If an emergency occurs during a time of day when family members are separated (school, work, home) you may want to make a quick call to see if they’re alright. To conserve battery in case of power outages, limit the calls – and if it has been planned, go to the meeting place you have discussed with your family after the incident. If your phone lines are down, the best place for you and your family to wait inside the house. Yourself and your family by settling down in one area in your house that has the least chance of being damaged by natural disasters and try to stay updated with your town or city’s emergency procedures. Try tuning in via radio, TV or the public announcement system. Government institutions may post guidelines on what to do during certain emergencies and tips on staying out of danger.
Keeping your family’s morale up during an emergency is important in order to reduce stress. One way to do this is with food. Be sure your emergency food storage contains some of the foods your family loves to eat. Having a favorite, familiar meal can help in reducing stress and boosting morale. When you prepare your emergency food storage, keep this in mind – be sure to select and stock food you know your family will eat and that you can prepare easily.
If by any chance you, your family members, or even your neighbors, are injured during an emergency, it is vital that first aid is provided immediately to reduce the chances of infection. In an emergency situation, keep a close eye on infants and children – to keep them preoccupied, think about storing some toys or games that can help boost morale during emergencies or while waiting for announcements or rescue. People disabilities (PWDs) and elderly in your family’s care will need tending to as well, especially during times like these. Be sure your meeting place in the house or outside takes their needs into consideration.
When an emergency occurs, looking out for your family and other people nearby not only requires providing for them during the disaster and while waiting for rescue; you also need to examine your neighborhood and your house for potential hazards. Potential hazards such as leaking gas tanks, grounded wires, and utilities that may have not been switched off during the disaster all require your attention. If your house is in danger of collapsing, it is best to either evacuate or proceed to a safe room (if you have one or if you haven’t been in it during the emergency). Before evacuating, however, you must discuss (if you haven’t already) with family members how to proceed with evacuation – who brings what, where to go in case of separation, how to call out using signals, etc. Also, assess if you and your family are in more danger staying in your house than going outside to seek an evacuation center. To do this, keep in touch with officials and listen to broadcasts about updates on the emergency and evacuation procedures.
Going outside during or after an emergency may pose some risk, depending on what type of emergency situation you’re in. During natural catastrophes – typhoon, hurricane, tornados, earthquakes, and the like – staying where you are may be a good option unless government calls for evacuation. When moving out of the house, be careful of debris or loose branches that may be hanging above trees that can fall and injure you or anyone else. Also, be cautious of treading through water, especially if there is a power outage. If you are outside during an emergency, either seek shelter or go to open fields, whichever is applicable to the emergency you’re in.
But if you are safer in your home than outside, it is best that you wait for rescue to come.
Be posted on any news by the government agencies. While waiting, be safe and lift the spirits of your family members, try to rest but even after emergencies, be alert.
Some emergencies may take the form of financial disasters, such as economic depressions. In this case, the procedure may be different, but planning may take a similar shape to preparing for a natural disaster. Saving up money and supplies may save you the headache of finding them later. You never know when the prices of essential supplies could skyrocket or even disappear from shelves altogether. Surviving a financial crisis requires the right attitude towards spending and saving.
To survive recessions and depression avoid debt, outrageously high mortgages, cosigning on loans, and slacking off.
You can accomplish this by adapting the right spend and save attitude. By avoiding debt, high mortgages, and other monetary downfalls will help keep you afloat if the economy should worsen. If you are not careful, any of these things could put you in financial trouble. What if you are out of work? Or the person you cosigned for takes off, suddenly leaving you to pay for it? These are all important considerations.
There are also other ways to keep afloat if a recession, a depression, or other economic crisis comes along. Preparing for one may reduce the effects brought about by the crisis, but once it does occur, you have to be ready. Like any crisis – natural or man-induced – an economic crisis can and will greatly affect your lifestyle. When it happens, you will want to know what to do. Usually, aside from the right attitude, we may have to make some lifestyle changes when engulfed in an economic crisis. Lifestyle changes include getting cheaper alternatives to extravagant hobbies or keeping yourself busy at lesser costs. Swapping cost-inducing activities may keep your money in check and at the same time, can help maintain morale. But being frugal doesn’t mean you should avoid spending altogether; it means choosing where to spend your money. For example, during a recession, purchasing products native to your country can actually alleviate the situation in your nation, but it is important that you only spend what you have – meaning don't rely on your credit cards!
Despite the possible trauma a disaster can create, your family and all the people affected need to recover and start rebuilding what is lost.
After an emergency, you have to stay calm, tend to your family, and check on your neighbors. It is important that if you haven’t turned off the utilities in your home that you do so now, and keep posted on updates via radio or other forms of communication. Remember that safety is still your priority until it is time to start repairing and rebuilding.
For specific disasters, you may have to take special precautions as well. When going back to your home after the disaster, you may want to first assess the condition of your house before entering it – if it was involved in a fire, you smell fumes or see that it is in the verge of collapsing, it is best that you don’t enter just yet. Always check your utilities, appliances, and supplies upon entering.
Often, communities are hard-hit by the same disaster, and even though you are also deep in the mud, you can reach out for those who may have lost more than just homes by volunteering or donating. Even if you cannot, you can extend a helping hand to your neighbors, or do something in your community while it rebuilds to boost morale. You can help your community get back on its feet better by helping one another.
Coping emotionally after an emergency may take some effort as you may have experienced trauma during the disaster. If you see that you have the signs deep stress from the disaster, it is best to seek someone to talk to, such as professional help. Above all, don’t blame yourself for what the disaster did. Picking up after the disaster will be a group effort, and you, your family and your community will need each other to mourn and rebuild. It is important that you help your family cope with the disaster too, especially the children, for the trauma they experienced during this stage of their lives may affect them as adults.
Picking up from the emergency means that you will have to rebuild, repair, stand back up and prepare again. An emergency can still come, even when you’re down and at your lowest. Remember that disasters and emergencies do not respect emotions or situations – they will come, and you will have to be ready.