Do images of earthquakes, hurricanes, tsunami’s, fires, floods, or economic crisis ever make you wonder how you would fare during one of these disasters? We all have ideas of what we might do in an emergency but we never really know until it happens. The first thing to ask yourself is, if one of these disasters happened tomorrow, how prepared would I be with what I have at this current moment? Studies show that approximately 70% of families in America do not have a survival kit, an emergency preparedness plan, nor do they have adequate food reserves in the event of a food crisis. These grim facts illustrate why we must take the right steps to prepare now, before disaster strikes. The importance of this cannot be stressed enough. Experts who train astronauts, soldiers, and police all agree that preparation is critical to survival. Police psychologist Artwohol and her co-author, Loren W. Chistensen, write in their book, Deadly Force Encounters, “The actual threat is not nearly as important as the level of preparation. The more prepared you are, the more in control you feel, and the less fear you will experience.” One thing is for certain, lack of planning for an emergency situation can lead to severe consequences.
The first thing you need do is to purchase a high quality survival kit. You can buy items individually but in the long run this is usually more expensive. It is much easier and less costly to buy a ready made survival kit and then add specific items as needed for your particular needs. A survival kit is extremely useful to have on hand because you have a wide array of emergency supplies, emergency tools, and first aid readily available at your fingertips. We cannot predict if and when any of these disasters will happen to us but it is relatively conceivable that you will face an emergency situation at some point in your life. Survival kits do not come with guarantees to save your life but having one could potentially save the life of one or many and/or prevent further injury from occurring. It can also help to keep you safe and warm or even provide a means of communication if you are stranded. Always keep your emergency survival kit in a place where it is easily accessible and inform everyone in the household of its location. It’s also a good idea to keep and emergency car kit in each vehicle in case an emergency happens on the road.
The second thing you must do is to put together an “emergency preparedness plan” and review and practice it with your family on a regular basis. It is extremely important that you actually practice emergency drills instead of just talking about it, especially if you have children. By doing this, the behavior becomes imbedded in the subconscious so that it is automatic. When children are taught to “stop, drop and roll” they tend to remember it because we make them rehearse it. It would not be as effective if we only talked about it. The importance of this cannot be stressed enough. If you are staying in a hotel try taking the stairs down once or twice to learn to navigate the layout. In the book titled, The Unthinkable, Amanda Ripley writes that one woman who did this at a motel in Manhattan actually wound up in the kitchen because the stairwell lead through confusing pathways that emptied into unexpected areas.
Third, is to stock an emergency food supply to sustain each individual for a minimum of 72 hours. However, in the event of a food crisis a much larger supply of emergency food would be needed. You will need one gallon of water per person per day. More will be needed for nursing mothers, the sick, and children. A great item to stock up on is long term dehydrated food storage. It has an extremely long shelf life, is nutrient dense, extremely light to carry, and easy to prepare by just adding water. Emergency long term food storage can be purchased in quantities ranging from 14 days, several months, or up to one year. Canned goods are great too but they are not the best choice if you are on the go because they are heavy due to their high water content. Always make sure to rotate canned goods periodically and make sure the expiration date is still good.
In conclusion, be informed about your surroundings and any hazards that may be linked to your area. Always be aware of where exits are located when you are traveling, shopping, or dining. Actually read the emergency cards on airplanes and take note as to where the nearest exit is to you. Lack of preparedness combined with ignorance is the result of countless unnecessary deaths. Many more lives could have been saved during the 9/11 World Trade Center crisis had they known where the emergency stairwells were located. The lack of preparedness was beyond belief. Most of the people in the World Trade Center had no idea how to navigate the transfer hallways on the lower floors and only about half had known the doors to the roof would be locked. Precious time was wasted ascending the stairs instead of trying to find a clear way out of the building. Educate and prepare yourself now with a survival kit, a preparedness plan, and an emergency food supply.
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail”–Benjamin Franklin