Emergency Preparedness Plan

If you do not have an emergency preparedness plan, it needs to be on your "to do list". Tragedy after tragedy strikes this world and the photos all look the same with people walking around with a dazed look on their face - with nowhere to turn - no one to support them - no emotional foundation and no peace of mind.

No one EXPECTS to be put in that position.

No one thinks they will be in a disaster.

Each picture of a devastated community tells the same story of a series of lives uprooted, some destroyed, and each family is aching inside knowing that they should have done more to prepare. Don't be that family. Be prepared!

ice storm power outages

What is the psychology behind "not preparing"?

There are a number of reasons why people do not prepare for a disaster. The most common reason is that they don't believe anything will happen to them. They think that in the event that something does happen, everything will work out fine. They expect that someone will be there to take care of things, like the government or the Red Cross.

Another reason that preparedness is not high on some people's list is due to fear. Confronting what could happen is unpleasant. Doing nothing is easier. Unfortunately, burying one's head in the sand does no good at all. At least having an emergency bag provides some peace of mind. You will have supplies on hand when you need them if anything does happen.

The truth is that being prepared
does not take an overwhelming amount of time or effort.

I know because I've been doing it. If you live in an area where a natural disaster has occurred in the past 5-10 years, you owe it to yourself and your family to put together a plan for a possible emergency situation. You can do this over the course of a couple of weekends with just a few hours each weekend.

The goal is to make sure you have what you need just in case something does happen.

The first step is to get an Emergency Communication Plan in place. It does not take much to do this and it is super important. Knowing what to do and where to go (as well as getting all of your important information in one place) is so critical.

In just a short period of time - you can have an emergency preparedness plan in place. This will actually save you a lot of time down the road if a disaster strikes, too. Honestly, if you put this together and save it on your computer AND on a USB Flash Drive , you will have a great backup in case anything happens, like a theft, house fire, computer crash or some other life-altering frustration.

The second step is to get a few things together so that if you have to be away from your home for a few days, you will not stress out. These are your Survival Supplies. A lot of people call this a 72 hour bag, a disaster kit or an emergency bag. I like to call it a 72 hour bag because it is a reasonable time frame for having to be away from your home if something bad happens (house fire, chemical spill, manufacturing plant explosion, etc.). If you have to leave home, you are going to want to have your basic stuff with you. That is really what this bag is all about.

Each person needs to have their own bag. Everyone is different. Everyone has their own medications and those need to be packed, too. Men do not pack the same things women do. Think: toiletries. Being Prepared for an Emergency You are not packing for a holiday. You are packing essentials. However, those essentials could entail feminine supplies, a razor blade, different deodorant, etc. Although this isn't the most exciting topic to think about, you should be aware of the potential for needing to create a Sanitation and Hygiene Plan. If power is disrupted, water mains broken, sewers backed up, or any number of awful situations, you need to be prepared. Read that page.

When I packed my 72 hour bag, one of the things I thought of was what I might also need to pass the time. I will leave this up to you to determine since you will have to decide how much you want to pack. A deck of cards does not weigh much and can keep your mind busy if boredom takes over. When the residents of Milford, Texas had to evacuate due to a pipeline explosion in November of 2013, 20 percent of the town ended up in a shelter. I imagine some of them would have loved to have a deck of cards. They were there for several days.

Be sure to think through an Evacuation Plan, while you are in preparation mode and let your family know what those plans are. If you need to Shelter-in-Place, your plans will be a little bit different, but your supply list will still be somewhat similar.

Take the time to review your plans for both situations. The time to figure these things out is BEFORE the disaster strikes. When the crisis is upon you, you won't be thinking straight and you will be SO thankful you prepared ahead of time.

The last thing you need to do is somewhat similar to the first step. If you are ever in a disaster situation, the period of time afterward is usually a disaster in and of itself. There is a lot of chaos, stress and frustration. You will be faced with paperwork, questions and waiting for things to get done.

In order to speed things up as much as possible, it will be extremely helpful if you have all of your insurance policy and contact information with you.

Remember that USB Flash Drive? This is a great time to put it to use again. Drop all of your insurance information onto that portable drive. Even if you do not have a computer with you during the disaster, someone will - your agent, a relief worker, etc. Just make sure you have everything you need from all of your various policies - life, health, home or renters, auto, disability and so on. Scan each document and file it using a name you can easily recognize. If you don't have a computer, use one at your local library.

Special Note: If you have pets, you will want to review this page regarding Planning for Pets. If you have family members with special needs, you will want to review this page: Special Needs

Preparedness Plans will be a bit different because each of us is different. However, the structure of every plan is fairly similar. You will not regret making the effort. In fact, you will feel a lot of relief knowing you have these plans in place. I know I felt a whole lot better getting my "stuff" in order.

If you are a business owner, you need a Business Emergency Response Plan so that your staff and customers know what to do and when to do it. Keeping everyone safe is priority number one, but maintaining your records and supply chain is critical, too.

And for those of you who think preparing for TEOTWAWKI (The end of the world as we know it) is of utmost importance, I will tell you that I really don't prepare that way. For folks who do, that's great and it may come to that at some point. I just don't personally store 30,000 feet of paracord or 7,000,000 rounds of ammo. However, I do believe that preparing for the end of the world in general is a great idea. Spiritual Readiness is a part of my daily belief system. God comes number one in my life. If you aren't prepared to meet Him when your life is over, the rest of your preps really will fall short. He has to come first. Once that happens, the rest of your life will make much more sense. You will know a sense of peace that will get you through any storm that comes your way.