Natural disasters are some of the most devastating types of disasters there are, as well as one of the most sudden or unforgiving.
For one thing, we don’t even control natural disasters. If there’s going to be hurricane or a tornado or an earthquake or a blizzard or dust storm or anything like that, it’s going to happen because mother nature wants is to, and there’s nothing man can do about it.
But while there may not be anything we can do about stopping the natural disaster itself, there is much that you can do in regards to how you prepare for it, and that’s what we’re going to discuss here today.
Which Natural Disaster Are You Preparing For?
First, you need to decide which natural disaster you are going to prepare for. Obviously, this will be dependent on your area.
If you live in the deserts of Nevada, the one natural disaster that you would want to be prepared for the most would be flash floods, which are a major issue there. In California, it would be earthquakes and tsunamis. In Nebraska, tornadoes. In Florida and Georgia, hurricanes. In Michigan at the height of winter, blizzards.
You get the idea. Choose a specific natural disaster that you are going to prepare for, the one that you deem is the most likely, and then prepare for that disaster.
Build A Bug Out Bag
Hopefully, the disaster is not bad enough to the point that you are forced to evacuate your house, but if you are, then it’s important to be ready.
Having a bug out bag is the number one way to prepare for a bug out situation. Also known as a three-day survival bag, a bug out bag is simply the items that you bring with you when you need to evacuate. The idea is that your bug out bag should enable you to survive for at least three days and three nights.
Now as far as what you need to put into your bug out bag, it’s really dependent on the specific disaster you preparing for. Getting ready for a blizzard means you’ll want hand and feet warmers, a hat, snow boots, winter clothing, and a wool blanket at least. But for a desert environment, and you’ll want sunglasses and sunscreen.
There are some items that will need to remain consistent regardless of the disaster that you are preparing for, however, and examples of these items include:
- Fire Starters
- Food (Portable, Long Lasting)
- Water (3 Days At Least)
- Water Filter + Purification Tablets
- First Aid Kit
Stock Up On Food and Water
In the event of a long-lasting natural disaster, chances are extremely good that the power is going to go completely out and stay out for several days or possibly even weeks at least.
In that event, the food in your refrigerator is going to be good for a day at most before it goes bad, and the food in your freezer for only a couple of days.
This means that you’ll need to stock up on food to outlast the natural disaster and keep you and your family fed. If you can stock up on just a week’s supply of food and water, which really isn’t all that much, you’ll be much better prepared for the natural disaster that comes your way.
This stored food, combined with what you have in your fridge and freezer (since you’ll be eating your fridge and freezer food first), along with the food in your pantry means that you should have enough food to last you for at least two weeks, which is really longer than enough to outlast most natural disasters.
Examples of good food to store for disaster will be beans, white rice, and canned meats and vegetables.
As far as water is concerned, aimed to store at least one gallon of water per person per day. So for a family of four, to last you through the week, you’ll need at least twenty eight gallons of water (you might want to round that up to thirty in this example, just to be on the safe side).
Have Emergency Items On Hand
Next, you’ll want to focus on gathering emergency items in your home that you can use for when the disaster happens.
One such emergency item will be a flashlight; you’ll want at least one flashlight per person, along with at least two sets of extra batteries.
Another emergency item, or series of emergency items, that you will need are candles. Candles provide you with a small but immediate source of warmth and light for even when there is no electricity. For safety reasons, you should gather at least one mason jar for every candle, to help protect the flame.
The next emergency item that you will need is a radio to help you get in contact with the outside world. Specifically, go with a radio that is either battery powered or hand cranked (or both) and that is programmed to receive NOAA weather frequencies. You do not want a radio that requires to be plugged into an electrical outlet to charge.
The next emergency item will be a map of your town and the surrounding area. Consider having this map laminated for improved durability.
Finally, the last major series of emergency items that you will need to have on hand is personal hygiene items. Personal hygiene, in general, is one of the most overlooked topics when it comes to disaster preparedness, but it’s vitally important.
Have you wondered how you’ll be able to use the toilets if the power is out and there’s no more running water, for example? You’ll need a backup option in that case (such as buckets with garbage bags).
Baking soda, in particular, is one of the most versatile personal hygiene items to store, because you can use it to create everything from soap to shampoo to deodorant to toothpaste (just mix it with water and that’s it).