Before a prepper launches into the whole food storage, water preservation, and seed harvesting plans,  they must first make sure they’ve taken all of the necessary preliminary steps in the event an emergency situation occurs. This, of course, is something you should do with your family — deciding where to meet up afterwards; taking stock of your current resources for food, water, heating, transportation, and communication; and knowing where to procure more in case you run out. Take the time to create your plans and walk the entire family through them so that each person is in the know about what to do. After all, with activities like work and school, chances are you’re not going to be around each other if and when disaster strikes.

Make a Family Plan

If you remember what it was like after Hurricane Katrina or the September 11 terrorist attacks, you remember how helpless and vulnerable we really were, particularly with regard to communication. The phone lines were jammed, damaged, or destroyed and there was confusion and panic abound. That’s why it’s important to take necessary steps to be well prepared:

Know when an emergency occurs – It seems obvious (and it is), but how will you know if there is an emergency? Modern day cellular networks often send text messages to customers with regard to local emergencies. You can also download the Well Prepared app to receive real-time emergency alerts directly on your phone, tablet, or PC.

Natural disasters, disaster prepping, emergency essentials

Find your safe place – Whether it’s your home, a cellar, or a shelter in place, it’s important to find a place where all members of your family can meet up in times of disaster.

Communication is important – How will you contact one another in an emergency? Mobile and internet service may not be available, so what are your other options? In case there is cellular service or a pay phone available, make sure every member of your family carries important phone numbers with them and has coins or a prepaid phone card to call their emergency contacts.

ICE contacts – It’s a great idea to identify a trusted friend or relative that lives out of your area whom your family can call and notify that they are safe. In addition, program your emergency contact as “ICE” (In Case of Emergency) in your mobile device so emergency personel can reference your address book if you’re in an accident.

Other things you should do to prepare include:

  • Teach children to call 911.
  • Keep a collar, license, and I.D. on your dog at all times.
  • Text messages can often get through when a phone call cannot, so make sure everyone knows who to text
  • Include neighbors in your plan. Identify safe houses for your children that they can go to in case parents are unable to get home.
  • Write down your plan and keep a copy of it in your safe or a fireproof box so you can access it in the event of a disaster. Adults should keep a copy in their wallets or handbags, and children can have a copy in a school pack or taped to the inside of a notebook.