Emergency Preparedness | Where to Begin?

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September is Emergency Preparedness Month

National Preparedness Month is an observance each September to raise awareness about the importance of preparing for disasters and emergencies that could happen at any time. An emergency can happen at any moment and being ready- calm and collected- can set the tone for your success in an unprecedented situation. In order to help you and your family get started we’ve rounded up some great resources and tips.

We want to make sure that these preparedness tips will be able to help you achieve piece of mind. Being prepared is not a sign of fringe politics or paranoia.

Prepping should be:

  • Responsible. It is smart and normal to get ready for emergencies.
  • Valuable. The whole point is to actually benefit from prepping if you should ever need it.
  • Easy. Don’t waste hundreds of hours digging through incorrect and confusing content.
  • Affordable. Almost any budget can cover the basics of prepping.
  • Comforting. Have the peace of mind that you and your family are ready.
  • Fun. It’s challenging and fun to figure out how to become a more self-sufficient person. It’s like Boy/Girl Scouts for adults.

Why Prep?

People enjoy prepping for a variety of reasons. For some, it’s part of the responsibility of our right to pursue life, liberty, and happiness. Many parents feel it’s part of their job description. Other people may feel that it’s part of their duty to be ready so they don’t burden their community and so they can be ready to help their neighbors in need.

Prepping is also fun and rewarding. You spend time being active and outdoors, learning new skills that can help you in all areas of life, and challenging your brain to think about interesting scenarios

5 Steps of Where to Begin

Step 1: Get your health and finances in order

Medical issues and financial difficulties are the most likely disruptions you’ll face in your lifetime, and if you’re smart, you’ll prioritize the most likely emergencies first. You should not spend any money on gear/supplies beyond the essentials (eg. two weeks of water in your home) without first having core financial preps such as a rainy day fund, debt-reduction plan, and retirement savings.

Fifty-four percent of consumers worry that they wouldn’t be able to afford the costs arising from an emergency or disaster — and more than one-quarter (26%) express this fear strongly. Just 10% of consumers disagree strongly with the idea that they couldn’t afford an emergency.

Millennials (ages 25 to 40) most commonly feel uneasy about the financial impact of emergencies. Of this demographic, 32% strongly agree that an emergency would carry a financial burden that may be too expensive. Gen Xers (ages 41 to 55) are the second most likely to agree strongly with this at 28%, followed by Gen Zers (ages 18 to 24) at 21% and baby boomers (ages 56 to 75) at 19%. (Source: ValuePenguin)

Personal Finance is Critical

Don’t be one of those people who has massive stockpiles of prepping gear but lives paycheck to paycheck. Having high credit card debt and no emergency or retirement savings is dangerous. Being prepared means lowering your chances of bad situations happening and being ready to handle them when they do. Being a rational prepper means preparing based on which emergencies you’re most likely to face.

Step 2: Get your home ready for 2 weeks of self reliance

Your goal is to be able to survive in your home for at least two weeks without any outside help — whether from people or the grid. That means you can’t assume you’ll have electricity, water, cooking or heating gas, communication, internet, 911, ambulances, and so on. A common and dangerous mistake people make when prepping is focusing too much on bugging out and thinking that you somehow choose ahead of time — before a particular emergency happens — if you’re going to bug in or bug out when the time comes. You would only make the choice to leave or stay away from home (if caught away from home when an emergency hits) when there is a specific and meaningful reason to.

Examples of good reasons to leave or stay:

  • Something known and acute is coming, such as a Category 5 hurricane that’s three days away from landing on your doorstep.
  • Your house is physically unsafe, like in the aftermath of a natural disaster that shook, burnt, or flooded your home.
  • Someone is specifically targeting you (eg. a domestic violence situation), and being away from home makes you safer.
  • The critical supplies you had at home are gone, and you can’t find any more after scouting the nearby area.
  • Civil unrest is happening within a block or two and the mob is already looting or being violent.
  • An earthquake happens while you’re at work, and you’d have to cross through super-dangerous areas to get home.
  • You have to get to a FEMA camp because government broadcasts specifically told you to leave because no help was coming.

Home Checklist Summary

  • Water: store 15 gallons of potable water per person (roughly 1 gallon per day) and have ways to treat dirty water via either a portable water filter or countertop water filter
  • Food: at least 23,000 calories per person (roughly 1,500 calories per day) of shelf-stable food that’s ready to eat or only needs boiling water to make; usually one or a mix of extra supermarket food you normally eat anyway or special prepper food that lasts forever
  • Fire: lighters, matches, and backup fire starters
  • Light: headlamps, flashlights, candles, lanterns
  • Heating and cooling: indoor-safe heaters, extra blankets, USB-powered fan
  • Shelter: a cheap tarp (anything you find at a local store) comes in handy for improvised shelter, plugging holes in the house, and clearing debris
  • Medical: list of 145 prioritized home medical supplies
  • Hygiene: wet wipes, hand sanitizer, camp soap
  • Communication: either a one-way NOAA radio or a two-way ham radio (if you know how to use it)
  • Power: spare batteries and rechargers (your bug out bag will have a solar charger, but you can also get a second one for home)
  • Tools: axe, shovel, work gloves, wrench for your gas lines, zip ties, duct tape, etc.
  • Self defense: depends on personal views, may include body armor, firearms, etc.
  • Cash: as much as you can reasonably afford to stash
  • Mental health: board games, favorite books, headphones, movies downloaded to a tablet, etc.
  • Documents: copy of deeds/titles, insurance policies, birth certificates, maps, pictures of family members, etc. in both physical and USB thumb drive forms
  • Local & emergency info: write down important contact numbers, know the location of the nearest hospitals, etc.

Step 3: Bug out Bags for every Adult

Good news and bad news: There’s no such thing as The Ultimate Bug Out Bag. There are just too many variables to allow for a universal answer that is perfect for all people in all situations. So the good news is you don’t have to stress over being perfect. Putting a bug out bag checklist together can be daunting — even if you’re only thinking about one or two types of scenarios, the list of items you’d like to have in an emergency is always longer than what you can take. Even the most experienced and skilled people have to make tough choices about what to pack. Here is a great place to start for putting your bug- out bag together.

Step 4: Get home bags, everyday carry, and vehicle supplies

What happens if an emergency strikes while you’re away from home?

You clearly can’t walk around with a heavy bag all of the time, so the key is to keep the right kinds of supplies where they naturally fit within your life pattern — most people’s daily patterns tend to be pretty consistent and predictable, so use that to your advantage.

If you have a vehicle, you should keep basic gear on hand for road-related emergencies. These items don’t need to be kept in a backpack since it’s very unlikely you’ll need to carry them on foot over distance. Here is a checklist for winterizing your car.

Step 5: Learn , Practice, and Plan

As you learn more about preparedness, don’t forget to practice your skills the same way you would practice with gear.

It’s also time to get into the habit of an annual or semi-annual prep review, where you check your supplies, update anything expired, swap out winter and summer clothes in your go-bags, check contact info, etc.

Your annual review is also a great time to do practice runs with your family.

 

Some great sites and Resources to Browse on your journey to Preparedness:

Prepping for Beginners 

This site offers a great breakdown of how and where to start your preparedness journey. Easy to maneuver, understand, and follow. We recommend reading their beginner guide to determine your personal stage of preparedness.

Fieldcraft Survival 

Field Craft Survival mission is to expand your capabilities in the genre of survival. Their goal is to educate, train, and equip you to survive in the worst-case scenario. FCS offers life-saving medical equipment, products built to enhance dependability, and training courses led by resident duty experts. This company was started by retired veteran, Mike Glover. He served as a SGM in Special Forces in various positions and deployed multiple times to combat theaters. Mike is an expert in Counter-Terrorism, Security, and Crisis Management Operations and is the host of the Fieldcraft Survival Podcast on iTunes, and Soundcloud. He is an avid outdoorsman, overland enthusiast, traveler, and hunter. Be sure to also watch their Youtube channel for more applications and training.

 

For more information or to contact an agent visit us HERE or call us at (775) 622- 6688.

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