Follow the Five A’s of disaster preparation:
1. Ask About the Dangers You Are Likely To Encounter
Find out the potential for natural disaster where you live. Wherever you live, there are certain natural catastrophes that you are more likely to experience than others.
Take a look at this US map to discover what natural disasters are most prevalent in your area.
When you have determined the events most likely to pose a danger to you and your loved ones learn what those dangers are, how to spot the warning signs of impending danger, and how to respond in the event of an emergency.
2. Assemble Your Emergency Kit, Bug-out-Bag, etc
Acquire and assemble items you will need to survive in the event of a natural disaster. As you determine when you perform your Assessment (#2, above) you may need emergency supplies in more than one location, and you may need special supplies to care for the needs of all who are depending on you.
For example, a family of four may need:
- Evacuation Packet (Evac-Pack)
- First Aid Kit,
- Food & Water Supplies for every member of your family for three days,
- Pet Emergency Kit, including food & water for the family pets for five days,
- Emergency Tools and Cooking Equipment,
- Extra Clothing for everyone, and
- Comfort Items for everyone, especially children.
Use the links above if you would like to see suggestions for assembling your supplies and emergency kits. Remember that these items may be essential to the your survival and comfort and that of your loved ones in the event of an emergency.
3. Assess Your Situation and Make a Plan
Review your circumstances: think about who you have to consider when making preparations.
- Will you be planning just for yourself, your immediate family, your pets, other dependents?
- Does anyone in your group have mobility concerns or special medical or dietary needs?
- Does your residence require modification to make it safer in the event of certain events such as earthquakes, tornadoes, wildfires, etc?
- Are you certified in First Aid and CPR? If not, maybe you would benefit from First-Aid training.
- Do you know how to operate a fire extinguisher and the types of fire extinguishers that are used for specific fires?
Whether you call it an Emergency Kit, a Survival Pack, a Grab-and-Go Bag, or a Bug-out-Bag, you need to determine what Emergency Kits you need to prepare and what items you need to pack in them.
Think about where you spend large amounts of time; these are locations where you will want to have emergency supplies available. For example, you will want to have a First-Aid kit and emergency items available in:
- Your home,
- Your workplace,
- Your vehicle, and
- In any seasonal residences such as a cabin or RV.
You may need different items in each of your Emergency Kits to cope with the different situations you are likely to encounter in each location. You may also need specialized emergency supplies to care for pets, babies, pregnant women, the elderly, those with special medical or physical needs or limitations, etc.
In the event that you are not at home with family members when disaster strikes, you need a plan for:
- Where and when to meet in the event of an emergency,
- How to contact each other if regular communication lines are unavailable,
- Who to contact if you are separated,
- Where to seek shelter if your home is damaged or your area is evacuated,
- How you will accommodate pets, family members who are pregnant, very young, elderly, ill, or otherwise in need of special assistance.
4. Advise Your Family and Friends of YourPlans
Advise family members of your plans for how to deal with disaster. Sit down and discuss everyone’s disaster response concerns and make certain that all questions are answered.
Ensure that everyone knows what to do if you are separated, at work or school, or otherwise away from home when an emergency situation arises. Be sure everyone knows where to seek shelter in public shelters and at home, how to handle your pets, evacuation out of the area, etc.
Your family will be calmer and feel more assured if you have a plan in place and everyone knows what to do and where to go.
5. Add To and Replenish Emergency Kits as Needed
Continue to add items to your Emergency kits and supplies when you determine a need for the item. Keep a list of everything in your emergency item inventory. Review this list to accommodate your changing circumstances.
Refresh and renew perishable supplies on a regular basis. See our detailed sample lists of emergency supplies to find out more about expiration dates and recommended shelf life of stored supplies.
Below is the video “how to prepare for a disaster“: