Natural disasters and emergencies are often unannounced. In most cases there is little to no warning.

The likelihood of you and your family surviving a natural disaster or emergency depends greatly on having the plans and the tools in place to be able to make it on your own for at least 72 hours after the event. The truth is, EVERYONE can prepare themselves and their family.

We have put together a very simple 3 step plan to help you prepare. It only takes a few minutes to prepare. You can use the resources readily available to you.

The first step is to PLAN. To read more on how to PLAN check out a recent blog post: How to PLAN for an emergency or Natural Disaster. 


Step #2: PREPAREPlan Prepare Practice

If you've worked through the Family Emergency Plan, then you are completely ready for step #2 which is to PREPARE. 

Preparing is really quite simple. Download our 72 hour emergency checklist to get started.

Start by gathering everything you need for your list by going through what you already have. You probably have almost everything you need and might be surprised at how much you already have.

Once you have everything gathered, the next step is to organize it. There are a couple of ways you can organize your 72 hour emergency kit. Some people prefer to put everything in a backpack. You can create a small backpack for everyone in the family. This works great if you have children and you want to make sure they have a few of their toys or comfort items available to them. You can also put your 72 hour emergency kit in a latch able tool box or storage container. A larger container will allow you to store everything together in one place. 

After you organize everything you should store it in a location that is easily accessible. If you have the space you should put your emergency kit in the safe place in your home such as your storm shelter, basement, or closet. Keeping your emergency kit organized and accessible is important in case you only have a few seconds to seek shelter.

Storm Shelter Emergency Supplies
Photo Courtesy of:Endless Crafting Blog 

In addition to emergency supplies you should also gather your most important documents such as birth certificates, insurance policies, financial documents, etc. Store your documents in a small carry safe so you can take them with you if needed. 

Make sure your cell phone is fully charged. Loss of electricity is always a concern during any disaster. Keep an extra charger in your emergency kit. If you have children you may also want to make sure other electronic devices are fully charged so you can keep them entertained during and after the event.

Other items you wish to include in your safe place:

  • Water
  • Emergency Food 
  • Portable Chemical Toilet
  • Small Tool Kit
  • Alternate Power Source (Car Battery, AC/DC Converter)
  • 2 Way Radios
  • Weather Radio

Make sure you have your drivers license or other proof of identity with you. In many cases, local officials close access to neighborhoods if there is a lot of destruction. You may need to prove your identity in order be able to enter your neighborhood after a major disaster. You may also need to be able to prove your identity to FEMA relief & insurance agents following the disaster. 

It is also a good idea to have cash on hand in case of major power outages. Credit card and ATM systems will not be available in the event of a major power outage. Small bills are preferable. 

Make sure you have plenty of fuel in your vehicles in case there is a need for you to evacuate unexpectedly. 

Finally, know where your safe place is. If you are preparing for a tornado disaster make sure you have storm shelter or safe room. Storm shelters and safe rooms are the best forms of protection against tornadoes. If you do not have a tornado shelter you should seek shelter in a basement or small interior room on the lowest level of your home.

Some communities provide community safe rooms for residents to seek shelter. Contact your local emergency management office to find out if a community shelter is available in your area. Ask about their procedures for opening the shelter during severe weather. There may also be certain regulations as to whether or not pets are accepted and smoking is allowed in the community shelter. 

Preparation is everything when it comes to natural disasters! Once you have made the appropriate preparations you can have peace of mind knowing you are prepared for whatever may come your way. 

Feel free to leave us a comment about this blog post. If you found this post helpful please share it on your Facebook or Twitter by clicking the link at the top of this page. We welcome your feedback and your questions. 

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