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Emergency Preparedness for a Natural Disaster: A Family Plan

Updated on April 21, 2015
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Anan is an online blogger and private consultant since 2009 in the areas of relationships and interfaith spirituality.

The Facts

Knowing what to do in case of an emergency is crucial to ensure that your family will be protected in case of a natural disaster. Being informed about all the steps to take in advance will facilitate the family with a sense of security. According to FEMA, the array of disasters that Americans could face at any giving moment is varied. From hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, tornadoes, are just the most common of the situations that we may encounter.

Where I come from, hurricanes are not only a possibility, but is a mathematical certainty. Being aware of the risks in your area ensures and facilitates the family with options and information on how you can better protect your family. Your primary concern is to make a family plan and make an emergency kit. This can make all the difference when time means saving lives.

Let’s take into consideration that emergency services, in a the case of a natural disaster, can be delayed due to the priority of the rescue and the area. So it can take up to 3 tor 4 days for help to arrive. Even a week can go by before help arrives.

Keeping this in mind, we have to make sure that we are prepared to survive for at least that long. There are a couple of things that your emergency kit must have. And also keep in mind your family’s special needs like pets, babies, medications and the elderly.

Very Important! First aid kit

It's imperative that you have a proper first aid kit. There are pre-made first aid kits everywhere at a very good price. Make sure that is equipped with the necessary items to take care of your family in these times of emergency.

Prescriptions are even more important, because these medications are needed for any sick person in your household. This goes to pain relievers, antibiotic ointment and any other OTC medications that you know are needed in your home.


It’s imperative to have a food kit for each member of the family for at least 3 days. Customize it to fit the needs of that person. For example; my son loves nuts, but my daughter is allergic to them so, it can be wise to let each family member participate in their own kit. Elderly folk have very different needs, take this into consideration when packing for them too. Use individual backpacks so everyone can carry their kit with them in case you have to evacuate. There are also MRE’s or meals ready to eat, that can be a good idea in case of an emergency.

Another thing is, the family food storage. This has to include:

  • One gallon of water per day for each member of the family. ( Very important)
  • Plan meals and evaluate how much food you will need for your family.
  • Try to accommodate those needs with non-perishables such as canned food.
  • Get information about how to store food and how to rotate them.
  • Don’t forget comfort foods!!!!
  • Make sure that you have a mess kit (to prepare your family meals)
  • A cooking or heating device as a camp stove.
  • Make everything accessible. That is in case that you have to move from one location to another.

Safeguarding Documents

  • birth certificates
  • insurance cards
  • personal identification documents
  • names and numbers of doctors, insurance company, local emergency agency
  • photos and keepsakes
  • medical documents
  • deeds and titles

Try to keep them in a waterproof container.

Communication Devices

  1. crank up radio- These are best no batteries needed
  2. flash light- we have one per person in their backpack
  3. a whistle- In earthquake country this can save your life and help emergency responders find you
  4. flares- you never know when you’ll need it.

Don't forget your pet

Don’t forget to have a bag with pet food and their medications. I also have a spare leash.


It came to my attention the fact that in a big emergency, plastic money would be useless due to lack of ATM’s and electricity. Paper money could also loose it’s value so make sure to have the essentials for your family because in such a situation a can of spaghetti can be more valuable than all the Benjamin’s in your wallet.

Evacuation plan

Make sure to have a family meeting to discuss an evacuation plan in the eventuality of an emergency. Escape routes, meeting places, how to ask for help, out of state phone contact. Get everyone involved and let them ask questions about what to do if the moment arises. Children need to be taught in a creative and fun way to plan their evacuation plan. Since I moved to California, I make my kids carry a small business card with our emergency plan.

On a final note

With the 2012 end of the world scare, many are starting to take notice of the dangerous consequences of not having an emergency plan. There's so much information on the subject and video tutorials that will make it easy for you and your family to be prepared. Blessings!

Get a kit, make a plan and stay informed


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    • profile image

      Aneisha 3 years ago

      Way to go on this esasy, helped a ton.

    • ananceleste profile image

      Anan Celeste 4 years ago from California

      Thank you freezedry! I will check it out.

    • profile image

      freezedry11 4 years ago

      With all the news we've heard from the previous natural disasters like hurricane that happened in U.S., it is important to be always prepared. Emergency preparedness should be in every family - whenever and wherever they are. There is no place that is immune from disasters. Your hub is source of useful information about emergency preparedness. Beside from online sources, another good source of emergency preparedness are magazines like Be Ready! magazine.

    • profile image

      Wedge910 4 years ago

      Very well written hub with concise information on emergency preparedness. I have do a lot of browsing on the subject and it dovetails with information available on many, many websites that deal with emergency preparedness in one way or another.

    • SeriouSurvival profile image

      SeriouSurvival 5 years ago from Kenai, Alaska

      Nice hub. Our family met a few years ago and decided where we would all meet up in the case of a disaster. That seemed to be the spark that got us thinking more about emergency planning. I like your point about essential resources may not be plastic or money.