Is It Really Necessary to Prepare for a Crisis?

None of us is happy about the disasters that have hit the United States over the past two years.

Of course, I’m talking about a global pandemic that changed the way we live and interact with others. Plus record-breaking hurricanes, tornados, derechos and wildfires. As well as civil unrest and political upheaval.

I’d say the only good thing that has come out of these crises has been the fact that self-sufficiency has gone mainstream. People have come to realize that FEMA and other relief organizations can’t save them in an emergency.

And so they now understand that preparedness is the only thing that can help them and their families deal with disasters that are sure to follow. 

National Preparedness Month has begun

National Preparedness Month is underway. And not a moment too soon. We who believe strongly in self-reliance think about preparedness every day. But it’s good that FEMA has designated a month to think about – and start – preparing for a crisis.

There’s no time like the present to get prepared for an uncertain future. As the Ready.gov website says, “Disasters don’t wait. Make your plan today.”

Because, here’s the thing. The problems have become too great for government agencies. They try. They really do. But they’re short-staffed and spread too thin. They don’t have needed resources. Any help they offer will probably come too late.

To their credit, they’ve finally admitted this. They now encourage individuals to do everything they can for themselves and their families to be prepared.

Many of us have a head start in this area. But whether you are experienced at prepping, a newcomer to the scene or somewhere in between, this information is for you. And at the end I’ll let you in on what could be the preparedness deal of the year.

Bare bones preparedness checklist

So, what does preparedness look like? Here’s what I would call a “bare bones” preparedness checklist. 

  •           A three-day supply of non-perishable food per person
  •           One gallon of drinking water per person per day
  •           Flashlights and extra batteries
  •           Battery-powered or hand-crank radio
  •           First-aid kit, including prescription medications
  •           Plenty of extra clothing
  •           Sanitation and hygiene items
  •           Important family documents
  •           Pet food and other supplies
  •           Cash

As I mentioned, that’s bare bones. It’s very likely you will need more survival food and more water. Plus water purification devices. And back-up power in the form of a solar-power generator and hand-held power packs.

But you have to start somewhere if you haven’t already begun.

Before, during and after

Here are some additional suggestions from FEMA for before, during and after a disaster.

Before – Know the risks and danger signs. Purchase insurance, including flood insurance. Develop a family action plan. Assemble a disaster supply kit. Volunteer to help others.

During – Put your plan into action. Help others. Follow the advice and guidance of officials in charge.

After – Watch out for damage near your home, including downed wires. Repair your damaged property. Takes steps to prevent or reduce future loss.

Beyond your physical needs

The physical benefits of preparedness are clear. You can see your survival food stockpile anytime you want to. You can hold your water purification devices in your hands. You can move your portable solar-powered generator into any room.

The emotional benefits of preparedness are not as obvious. But they’re just as real. Realizing you have adequate supplies to keep your family and yourself safe in an emergency instills confidence. 

Knowing exactly what you and family members will do when a crisis occurs helps reduce fear of the unknown.

Taking steps to protect your home against intruders who may come calling after the stuff hits the fan reduces anxiety.     

 

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