When writing about family preparedness, it is easy to be drawn in to preparing for the more extreme events that might (or might not) happen. You know what I mean: hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, storm and the entire gamut of natural disasters. It is equally easy to be drawn into preparing for civil unrest and urban chaos since our fear of rowdy mobs and roaming thugs is intense if not debilitating.
The reality is that while we need to prep for these extreme events, however unlikely, we also need to prepare for day to day calamities that can be equally devastating. Although I have written about these everyday emergencies in the past, I thought it would be good to pull in another perspective.
Today I am thrilled to present the first of a series of custom crafted preparedness tips from Rob Hanus at the Preparedness Podcast. Rob has generously offered to share some tips with Backdoor Survival readers and I, for one, am grateful for his willingness to specially tailor his tips for us.
Preparing For Life’s Everyday Emergencies
While we preppers focus on disasters and other crisis events, we should also keep in mind it’s the personal disasters that are far more likely to affect us. This is why I recommend to all preppers that the first level of preparedness they achieve will aid them in their personal disasters.
The most likely events to affect you include: Home Fire, Vehicle Accident, Property Crime (theft, robbery, burglary, etc.), Health Problem (injury or disease) and Job Loss. These everyday emergencies are personal disasters that occur to us, sometimes small, sometimes big and typically don’t affect anyone other than ourselves, or our family at most.
Some of these are more difficult if you’re younger and just starting out in the world, but these things need to be covered. You are far more likely to be in a car accident or have your home catch fire than you are to be in what we think of for the typical disaster, like earthquakes, terror attacks, tornadoes, and so on.
The first thing is to make sure you have enough insurance. Make sure you have the appropriate insurance and the right amount of coverage. A good insurance agent, one that you trust, can help you identify which you need:
- Auto insurance
- Home or renter insurance
- Medical insurance
- Flood insurance
- Life insurance
Remember, the odds of getting into an auto accident far outweigh anything else that might happen to you.
Next, you need to make sure that your family can survive a house fire. Once a fire has grown bigger than the average trash can, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to stop it from spreading. For this reason, it’s extremely important to make sure that you all know how to escape and that the most irreplaceable items are safeguarded.
Make sure you have the following in your home and they are in working condition:
- Smoke detectors
- CO detectors
- Fire extinguishers
- Escape Ladders
Note: Even if your smoke detectors are hard wired into the house electricity, change the batteries every year.
Also have a “Fire Escape and Disaster Plan”.
If there is a fire or other disaster, such as an earthquake, everyone needs to know what to do immediately. The best way to ensure this is to talk about it and practice what to do. Make sure everyone know how to escape in case of a fire or where to go and what to do in case of tornado or earthquake.
If your home catches fire, you won’t have time to grab anything except what you have prepared to grab. You can safeguard your important documents by putting them in a highly rated fire safe. Another great way to safely store these documents is to scan them into your computer, put them in an encrypted file and store the file on a cloud data service (like Dropbox or SugarSync). This allows you to access it from anywhere you have access to a computer and an Internet connection.
Here are some of the important documents you need to safeguard:
- Birth certificates
- SSN cards
- Photo IDs
- Vehicle titles and registrations
- Bank account records
- Marriage license
- Insurance documents
- Wills and living trust documents
- Diplomas and licenses
- Logins and passwords of needed websites
- Immunization records
Post emergency numbers like the Poison Control near phones. If you have young children, it’s probably a good idea to post your cell phone numbers and 911 just so they don’t forget. It’s also a good idea to make sure you have all the phone numbers and contact information for friends and family both in printed form and on your cell phone.
If you don’t already have one, you should also be working on an emergency cash fund. This is cash that you keep at home, preferably in the fire safe and hidden from burglars. Start slow, with a target of having the ability to pay three month’s worth of bills from this fund.
Additionally, have a good first aid kit in your home and keep it freshly stocked. If you don’t know anything about giving First Aid or CPR, sign up the whole family at the local Red Cross.
And lastly, increase you home security. Make it difficult or less desirable for burglars and other thugs to break in. If you have children, teach them what to do and not to do in different circumstance.
It Takes a Community
Something that I have learned over the years is that it takes a community of like-minded people to succeed at almost everything in life. This includes families, co-workers, neighbors, friends and yes, even colleagues in the online world. It is only by opening up to members of these communities that we can learn and grow, intellectually and spiritually.
As member of the prepper community, Rob frequently posts original podcasts on his website in addition to publishing the “Prepper News Watch”. He also is the author of an eBook, the Preparedness Capability Checklist which can be purchased from links on his website. His podcasts are informative and his Prepper News Watch is the best. You can bet that his book is good as well.
The Final Word
As we continue to prepare, let us make sure that we do not get lost in the forest. Take heed of the things you need to do to prepare for living today in addition to the things you need to do to prepare for long term survival. Do the little things that will contribute to your comfort and your safety and most of all breathe. We are a community of preppers and we are in this together.
Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!
Gaye Levy, also known as the Survival Woman, grew up and attended school in the Greater Seattle area. After spending many years as an executive in the software industry, she started a specialized accounting practice offering contract CFO work to emerging high tech and service industries. She has now abandoned city life and has moved to a serenely beautiful rural area on an island in NW Washington State. She lives and teaches the principles of a sustainable and self-reliant lifestyle through her website at BackdoorSurvival.com. At Backdoor Survival, Gaye speaks her mind and delivers her message of prepping with optimism and grace, regardless of the uncertain times and mayhem swirling around us.