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Family Preparedness for Disasters & Emergencies

Updated on September 15, 2013

Survive Natural Disasters

Ultralight Survival Kit

Disasters & Emergencies: Why You Should Be Prepared

There is no doubt that weather patterns are more erratic than they have ever been. In Britain we have just had three years of unpredictable weather that has ranged from a freezing cold winter in 2010 with the lowest December temperature in 100 to an interminably wet summer in 2012 and a almost non extant spring, the weather was warmish so you knew we had moved away from winter but to where? There was hardly any sunshine, so we existed in a grey twilight like region.

Much was made of the Maya long count calendar, may scoffed at the idea that the long count was a harbinger of climatic doom. The recent malefic weather patterns in my view are part and parcel of the warning we are supposed to heed. We have to be prepared for extreme weather from rain, wind, heat and cold. It is wisdom to be prepared anyway, especially when it comes to securing your own welfare and wellbeing as well as that of your family. This means knowing how to take care of children from babies to the teenagers, elder, or disabled family members, as well as your pets. Making sure that they have prepared adequate survival kits that will make a difference between life and death for them and those around them is crucial. Relying on the notion that you will be able to put together a family survival kit or kits is not a reliable mind-set. General preparedness for emergencies, a bit like a workplace evacuation drill, it is an activity that every family should engage in as the seasons turn, especially is you live in areas that are prone to floods, hurricanes, and wild fires.

Survival kit

Types of Disaster to Prepare For

There are other types of disaster other than those that are weather derived. There can be sudden outage disaster from electricity, gas and fresh water supplies. That is when those things we take so much for granted as life necessities like food, water, clothing and shelter we have to make sure are readily at hand or we have easy access to. Especially if the strike hits a whole region or neighbourhood, as it did with Hurricane Katrina, because search and rescue or emergency relief teams will be extremely busy and may have a hard time getting to every victim for at least three days after the strike happens. This means you and your family could be stranded for all that time without life's necessities. The importance of having a disaster survival guide and readily prepared Emergency essentials such as first aid kits cannot be overstated; it will help you and your family to avoid needless suffering.

Bug out bag

Researching Survival Preparedness

I have researched and prepared a list of items that will keep you and yours going in a general disaster situation on Survival 0ut Doors . It does not cover specific situations such as earthquakes, terrorist attacks, tornadoes where buildings are likely to collapse, the list is ideal for hiking accidents.

The way to go about preparing for eventualities for single people, couples or a family is through researching expert survival techniques and requirements. There’s a huge survival industry online and on TV. Take a look at Ray Mear’s site because he is very knowledgeable on the subject of bush craft. Then there’s the quirky preppingblog, or any of the sites listed on top 50 survival sites.

Researching and having family discussions has the benefit of not only information gathering but it will also help in minimise fear and panic enabling you and your family to respond efficiently and with intelligence in the event of something happening.

When putting together your kit you and your family should be thinking about warm and waterproof clothing, footwear, lights & lighting, water filtration, portable stoves, freeze-dried or self heating food, a dynamo hand cranked radio, a car safety kit and an office preparedness kit.

Preparing Children for Disasters & Emergencies

In addition to information gathering and discussion, it’s particularly important that your children how to act during an emergency, say the phone or electrical services go down.

The children should know how to recognise emergency personnel of all the services, what questions to ask anyone claiming to be from these services, what essential information they need to paramedics such as blood group, special medication, epilepsy etc or to let the fire fighters or police departments if they or anyone in the house with them has medical issues.

It is important to impress to them that the search and rescue teams will be out there working hard to find stranded people and to help them at all times during a disaster. Teach them the emergency telephone number for where you live, for example 911 (in America) and 999 (in Britain) so that they can report the emergency if you’re indisposed.

Depending on their age, it might also make sense to teach them how to shut off the utilities such as gas if the smell a gas leaks. It is also a good ideas for the to know where to access your important personnel contact information such as an out of area relative who has agreed to be your family’s emergency contact. In fact, every member of the family should have an emergency contact information card on them at all times.

Disaster Survival Kit

Putting Together A Disaster Survival Kit

From the family discussion it will soon be apparent which the essential group survival items are and which are individual ones. Each family member should have a ‘good to go’ bag packed with their own specific items. Whilst the adult focus must be on the necessities, it makes better sense for the children to carry a small doll or other toy make certain they have a comforting item available during a disaster.

The older kids and elderly members of the family should also make sure that they have something light, for portability, which will break the monotony of waiting to be rescued. The item should be power free, preferably or able to take batteries which they will be responsible for.

These days there are reasonably priced solar chargers available on the market. But they whole thing about survival is ease of use, durability and portability, so make sure that you buy something that will meet those criteria

Keeping Fit in Your 50s 3-Pack (Aerobics / Strength / Flexibility)

Disaster & Emergency Family Survival Depends on Family Fitness

It’s almost impossible to predict all of the factors with which your family must contend in the aftermath of a disaster. You may face several days of hiking through difficult terrain or be forced to wade through flood waters. Disaster preparedness means getting fit as well as having items that will help to prolong you life. One of the ways to get your family fit is to take them on regular hiking expeditions in the summer months and encourage them to participate in sports and other physical exercise during the winter months. Generally rejecting a couch potato lifestyle will not only keep you healthy anyway, it will also prepare your family for any endurance ability they may need to survive in the wake of a disaster.

Also, everyone should keep up with routine doctor visits, ensuring that all required shots and immunizations are up to date. Floods can potentially increase the transmission of the following communicable water-bourne diseases, such as typhoid fever, cholera, leptospirosis and hepatitis A


Have in ‘Shelter-in-Place’ Plan

In some disaster circumstances, you may be required to shelter-in-place. The phrase means that you have to survive wherever you may be when disaster strikes. Usually, this situation arises when toxic fumes have been released into the atmosphere. The authorities will ask you to stay indoors until you are advised otherwise. General guidelines for sheltering-in-place include closing and locking exterior doors and all windows, choosing a room for shelter that has few or no windows and bringing a working radio into the room. It may be advisable to use plastic sheeting and duct tape to cover vents and windows.

As an employee you are within your rights to enquire what your in work shelter-in-place plans are. You can also contact your children’s schools to find out what their shelter-in-place plans are. Possessing such of information will give you peace of mind to know that a workable plan is in place at their school and a sense of control over a disaster situation and increases your chances of survival.

Learn How To Survive From ‘Survivors’

You have read the article, and you want to be able to survive but you still have no idea what you would do if a disaster strikes.

There was a brilliant British TV serial called ‘Survivors’ written by Terry Nation that dealt exactly with a sudden disaster situation, and how those people who survived managed. The premise of the series was based on someone unleashing an air borne genetically engineered virus that ends up killing ninety-five percent of the world's population.

The few survivors, mainly in Britain, try to rebuild humanity in the face of overwhelming odds. The idea behind "Survivors" is really a study of man vs. nature initially and then man vs. man as they attempt to reclaim what is left of civilisation in a post apocalyptic world.

You can judge for yourself whether the series was any good or not by clicking on the link above.


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