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Prepping for Disaster

Why It's Important to Have a Family Survival Plan

by Patrick Whalen, Copyright © SecretsofSurvival.com
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The wind outside howls as near freezing rain pours down the window.
You reach up to turn on the lights in the cold room, but they don't come on. From under the covers you walk to the shower only to discover there is no water. Beyond the noise of wind and rain there are sounds of panic in the streets outside.

You look through the glass to see cars speeding down the street past people loaded with all manner of baggage. Your mind races as reality sinks in, but you don't panic.

Putting a Family Survival Plan into Action

Why, because you prepared for this moment long ago, with your family survival plan. The first rule of order is to locate your family and figure out as much as you can about what is happening outside.

While most of us don't look forward to such a scenario, deep inside we have a sneaking suspicion that the possibility of just such a thing is an increasing likelihood. Even so, when we consider planning emergency survival strategies, the most overlooked factor tends to be the weather. It is unlikely that the sky outside will be clear with a hint of warm breezes when disaster or catastrophe strikes. The following information should help you develop a survival plan for you and your family, but in each step, consider the ramifications of the varying weather environments you will need to survive in.

As previously mentioned, the first step is to locate everyone in your family. Due to the chaos of various scenarios, each person on your list should be assigned specific roles and duties. This will help to get their minds off the current panic and focus their attention upon the task at hand. Plan various meeting locations that are realistic and close-by, just in case everyone is not at home at the outset of the event.

Keeping on Task with the Plan

Whoever the leader of your survival team is should then begin to make sure that each member is on task. Even if you have laid down the perfect plan, the first few moments of an event can make the difference between success and failure.

Assembling and Learning How to Use Survival Supplies

Long before your plan is put into action, there are several basic essentials that need to be planned for. Such things include, water, food, fuel, shelter, personal identification, and safety. There are many different methods for storing water and cooking food so determine which solution is the best for your plan. One gallon of water, per person, per day, is considered the minimum amount of water you should be prepared to provide. Take the time to learn about different methods of purifying water and in no circumstance should you ever consider drinking any water that you believe to be questionable.

Emergency Food

Freeze-dried or dehydrated food, similar to what backpackers use, are among the best types of food to store. Because the size of families varies widely, it is important for you to determine the right amount and types of food you will need to store. Try to plan for simple but nutritious meals and include plenty of staples including rice, beans and grains. When you have purchased or prepared the necessary food stores, make sure that they are sealed in containers that can be portable (if needed) and protect against insects, rodents or other animals.

Portable Cooking Gear - Why It's Important

Chances are high that whatever situation you may face, you will need to boil water. When the gas and power are no longer flowing into your home, or you are out on the road, you will need some form of portable cooking gear. Propane and light gas stoves are perfect devices suited for emergency cooking. When purchasing an emergency stove, it isn't always necessary to buy the top-of-the-line brand, but stay away from the bargain priced products. The last thing you need in a survival situation is a cheap stove that breaks down when it is needed most. You will also need to make sure you have an ample supply of fuel for your device.

When Disaster Strikes, Turn off the Utilities

If part of your survival plan involves remaining within your home, whether it is for a short time or an extended period, the first thing to do is to shut off all the utilities to your home. This is done to make sure that your home does not experience additional dangers if and when services are restored. Locate the shut-off valves for all utility connections to your home and make sure the necessary tools to do the different jobs are accessible and in good working order.

Even if you plan on remaining in your home during a crisis situation, depending upon the situation, it may be necessary to identify a specific room or area to be used during the disaster. Such things as weather and safety are important to consider when making such a decision. If special modifications are needed, plan for them in advance and make sure the supplies are available when the need arises.

Mountaineering Tents: Great for Mobile Shelters

If you will be leaving your home behind, tents are among the best solutions for shelter on the move. Camper trailers can be more comfortable, but if the roads are congested, your plan to survive may take a drastic hit. When purchasing a survival tent, money really does matter. The better quality tents will cost considerably more, but the money spent will be worth every penny. You may want to look for tents designed for mountaineering as they typically consist of much more rugged materials and construction and hold up better against the elements. When you purchase your shelter, make sure that you have considered the amount of space you will need for every person in your party.

Blending In - Give Your Gear an Old, Worn Look

Consider covering your tent with a large, old, worn tarp - you may not want to call attention to your designer mountaineering tent. The same goes for any backpacks, boots, etc. Choose colors that blend in with the natural environment, and stay away from the flashy colors and even consider removing all name brand labels. In the days after a widespread disaster, if you have money and supplies, it may be better to look like you don't (to avoid theft as much as possible).

Whether you remain at home or venture into the outdoors, you will want to make sure that everyone has proper identification, just in case it is needed. The best option to provide for this is to gather all pertinent birth certificates, social security cards, medical cards, etc. Place these items in a folder and store them in a plastic bag that can be sealed against wind and rain.

Be Prepared to Face the Elements

Planning for survival during a time of natural disaster requires certain protections against the elements. It may be really cold and wet and / or snowy. Or it may be hot and dry, or hot and humid. The clothing and gear you have will help you and your loved ones have more comfort and protection from weather conditions.

Firearms for Protection

If you are planning for a time of civil unrest, whatever the cause, your personal protection options might very well include some type of firearm. Whether it be a rifle or a pistol, firearms can be used for both hunting food and protecting your loved ones from people who mean them harm. Don't simply purchase a weapon (and ammunition) though. If you have never used the particular firearm, it is a very good idea to locate your local shooting range and become familiar with it. Trying to figure out how a weapon works at the moment you need it is not a good plan.

No plan is fool proof, but whatever plan it is that you create, make sure that you have thought through as many variables as you can. Also, include your family in the planning process and communicate the steps clearly and often. None of us want to switch from our daily lives into survival mode, but those who have a solid plan before the need arises are most likely to weather the storm.

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