I’ve seen the reality of what happens after disasters like Hurricane Irma, to me this is just one more example of how life can change in an instant, mother nature has no favorites, and if you are not ready for it she will take you down with everything else.
Within the past ten years alone, over eighty hurricanes have occurred throughout the world, leaving thousands without electricity and running water or homeless. During the most recent hurricane Irma in Florida, many were forced to pack up some belongings and evacuate their homes. Hurricanes aren’t the only natural disasters that can occur, though; typhoons, floods, tornadoes, wildfires, blizzards, and more can happen at any time.
Preparing for situations like these is actually a good starting point because as you prepare for some of these more localized events, you will be preparing for other events like being off the grid without even knowing it.
The basics of preparing for a natural disaster is based on the same principal as preparing for a national event, you need to start with being able to survive for the first 3 days.
Having the right supplies really depends on what natural disaster is most likely to affect you where you live.
When natural disasters comes to your town, what do you do? Most people aren’t prepared. And, because of that, they’ll suffer catastrophic losses and be totally blindsided by the fact that they don’t have electricity, clean water, and probably food. Here is a guide that will help you gather all the supplies you’ll need to be able to survive nature’s worst.
Prepping for Nature’s Worst
Food and Water
So, this may seem obvious, but it’s crucial to your survival. Ready.gov, the official website for Homeland Security, suggests having three days of non-perishable, canned food on hand, enough for each family member (and don’t forget the manual can-opener). Also, you should not eat home-canned food or jarred food because the seal won’t be as tight. If you lose electricity, you can still eat frozen food if it has ice crystals or is cold to the touch by cooking it over a Sterno stove. (You’ll also need cooking and eating utensils and disposable plates).
Remember that bacteria can form quickly, so be careful about what you consume. Also, have at least one gallon of water per family member per day for drinking and sanitation. We recommend a personal water filtration system, contained in a water bottle, which removes bacteria in water without the use of chemicals.
And don’t forget about your furry friends! Keep pets’ food with you and consider getting a gallon of water for them for drinking.
Be sure to have a flashlight and extra batteries for it. Also, for other sources of light, you can purchase a hand-crank lantern or you can have emergency candles on hand – just don’t forget the matches or a lighter. In a pinch, a crayon can burn for thirty minutes. It’s also a good idea to have a battery-operated radio for weather updates.
Clothes and Shoes
Have up to three days of clothing for each family member, including coats and shoes. It’s also wise to have leashes for your dogs handy and carriers for cats.
Be sure to have one blanket per family member and sleeping bags if possible.
You should keep a First Aid kit stocked and ready to use. If anyone in your family is on medication, keep that on hand. They also suggest buying dust masks to protect against air contaminants and plastic sheeting and duct tape to create a makeshift shelter.
Keep a stock of garbage bags, moist towelettes, and plastic ties for sanitation (in the event your plumbing doesn’t work).
Every survival kit needs a pocket knife, especially if it has a can-opener on it. You should also consider a survival fixed blade knife (i.e. a Bowie knife) or machete.
Have a solar powered charger on hand for your cell phone. More suggestions for contact are a whistle or solar flares.
Fun might be the last thing on your mind, but especially if you have kids, you’ll need something to keep busy while waiting out the storm (or whatever it might be). Coloring books and crayons (which double as a light source), decks of cards, books, magazines, and board games are all great ideas. F
Keep important documents (birth certificates, Social Security cards, marriage license, etc.) and family mementos (i.e. albums) with you, along with extra cash, credit cards, and a local map. If you have a baby or toddler, make sure to have formula, diapers, and toys for them.
Surviving a disaster isn’t impossible, but keep in mind that this list is made for surviving indoors, in your basement or shelter. (To survive outdoors you would need much more supplies). Just follow the guide above and, with some planning and preparing, your family will be able to survive whatever nature throws at you.