Emergency preparedness and being prepared means a lot of different things for different people. You may be familiar with the term “prepper” as applied to that off-grid survivalist living in the wilderness or the militia group preparing for government collapse. This site is not geared toward those folks. Nor is it geared toward those preparing for the end of the world apocalypse. There is no preparedness efforts to save you from that calamity other than being right with God.
Emergency preparedness for the common man (or woman) is simply about making yourself, your family, and your community safer and more resilient when more likely disastrous incidents do occur.
While recent events such as 9/11, floods, hurricanes, and western wild fires might raise your awareness about potential disasters, sadly most people seem to have the attitude that it won’t happen to them. While it’s probably true most people will not experience major disasters, it’s pretty much guaranteed you will likely experience at least some minor emergencies. It only makes sense for you to be prepared.
Instead of being that person crying out for rescue by the government, it’s my hope you and I will be those self-sufficient persons reaching out to help those victims.
You can improve your level of preparedness through…
Planning allows you to prepare for and respond to anticipated disruptions and potential hazards following a disaster.
Education and intelligence would include learning about the potential emergencies you might encounter and their potential impact, the steps you might take to mitigate the crisis, and some basic skills in coping with the event. Having a degree of situational awareness in your particular scenario can mean the difference between life and death.
Training is important because even though you may have emergency supplies, they will do you no good if they don’t work or you don’t know how to use them.
As individuals, we can all (and should) prepare our homes and families to cope during that critical period. What you do today in these matters can have a critical impact on life and death and the quality of your survival.
It’s my goal with this website to help keep you informed about the “common sense” steps in emergency preparedness and resources to keep you and your family safe should a disaster or other type of emergency occur. I will also write about my personal journey towards emergency preparedness and some things I’ve learned along the way.
Prioritize Your Emergency Preparedness
It’s important to understand that not all emergencies are equal and the likelihood of emergencies and the degree of your preparations vary with your personal situation. There’s probably not any one single resource on the Internet that will adequately cover everything you need to know about emergency preparedness. Each individuals preparations will be different and the efforts you put into your preparations will be dependent on the emergency scenario you find yourself in. Each person also has a particular talent or skill and you may want to begin your prepping by focusing on that skill and later develop the skills you lack.
It’s not reasonable to expect you will ever be able to be prepared for EVERY disaster. The worst case scenario could happen but probably won’t; plan accordingly. There are simply too many things that can possibly happen and too many variables within each disaster for you to be prepared for everything. Even the premier government site, Ready.gov, has been deemed inadequate by the Federation of American Scientists. Therefore, to improve your level of readiness and for the greatest success you should begin by prioritizing your preps beginning with where you are now and then doing whatever you can. Will you get it perfect? No. But whatever preparations you can do now will be better than having none when faced with a disaster.
Prioritizing your emergency preparedness essentially means you should consider the different emergencies you might find yourself in and organize your preparations based on the likelihood of that occurring.
Another aspect of emergencies is the scope: personal, local, regional, national, or global. Since it is those personal emergencies you are most likely to encounter most often, you may want to begin your preparations to deal first with personal emergencies, expanding to local and beyond later. There are also emergencies that might occur in your home, at your place of employment, or on the road. Again, begin closest to you… your home and perhaps on the road since you’re likely to be spending quite a bit of time in your car.
Following are some of the most common emergencies or disasters that might occur:
- Medical emergencies
- Travel emergencies
- Power outages
- Environmental emergencies
- Natural disasters
- Home fires
- Man-made/Technological events
- Social Unrest
Organize Your Emergency Preparedness
Another preparedness step you need to take is to prioritize needs. You may need one or more of these in varying degrees for each of the above emergencies. Start with the basics in each category and expand your resources over time as you can. Begin your preparation with the focus on your basic needs, and what you must have in order to survive, regardless of the nature and scope of the disaster.
Each of the different emergency situations will require different disaster resources, so after you’ve prioritized what likely emergencies you might experience you’ll want to organize your emergency preparedness resources based on that list.
- First Aid
Plan Your Emergency Preparedness
And the last prioritization factor you need to consider is the time frame and to plan your emergency preparedness accordingly. You’ll need to assess each of the above categories of disaster and needed resources for different time periods. Your emergency may only be a short-term power outage, for example, or the disaster may extend for a longer period of time. I believe every person should have at least resources enough to last 72 hours because following a disaster the road and communications infrastructure may be severely impacted delaying response by police, fire, and emergency medical services.
- Short term (less than 24 hours)
- 72 hours
- Longer term
The fact is… disasters happen and are generally unexpected with little or no time for you to prepare. Traditional emergency services and personnel can be overwhelmed initially and your life or health can be endangered. It only makes sense you should do what you can to minimize the impact of these emergencies. And, since you never know what might happen next, if you haven’t begun emergency preparedness already… you should start NOW.