Last Updated on June 17, 2022
A disaster can take many forms, natural or man-made. No matter what comes, it’s best to be prepared before the worst.
If you’re not sure where to start, here are a few tips for getting ready in case things go south.
1. Have a Backup Power Source
The power grid is one of the first things to go down in an emergency. Even a common thunderstorm can knock a power line down, leaving you without an electric connection to the outside world for days.
This is not only an inconvenience for not being able to charge your phone. This could cut your heating or cooling, leaving you in a potentially dangerous situation while leaving the food in your refrigerator to go bad.
A well-constructed solar generator will be a lifesaver in those situations, especially as gas prices are at an all-time high and you can simply charge it with the sun. No need to keep fuel on hand for your generator. Just ensure it’s in a position for the panels to receive sunlight, and you’ll be set for any power outage that comes your way.
2. Set Aside Water
Water is one of the most essential resources to have during an emergency. In a normal situation, the average person can only live three days without water. Under duress and disaster, dehydration can be deadly.
It is recommended that you have at least a gallon per person per day ready to go for drinking and cooking, and at least three times that much if you’re in a very hot climate. You should have enough water set aside for at least three days.
While not a substitute for having stored water, commercial filter straws and purification tablets are also good to have on hand in an emergency.
3. Store Enough Food
While you can technically go weeks without food, hunger will worsen any bad situation, especially in an emergency.
Have a small stockpile of shelf-stable foods ready, enough to last three days for each person in your household. The food should be able to be consumed without cooking and should not be beyond any expiration dates.
Don’t go overboard with food hoarding, though. While being over-prepared is better, it shouldn’t become detrimental to your daily life. Also, check the stockpile semi-regularly for signs of damage or mold. Dented cans may indicate botulism, and any food with mold or discoloring should be discarded.
If you have pets, it’s also essential to ensure you have enough food for them. If you can afford it, an extra bag of dry food or frozen cans of wet food can make a world of difference.
4. Identify Your Animals
Pets are often an afterthought when it comes to planning for emergencies. If you have animals, they need to be included in your preparations. Pet insurance is a good investment in case of injury.
During traumatic situations, pets can end up separated, lost, or injured. Even if they don’t usually roam outside, cats and dogs need to have a collar with identifying tags, ideally with proof of rabies vaccination.
Another method is microchipping your pets, which is a permanent way to ensure any shelter or vet who finds your animal can contact you, as long as your pet is registered correctly. Tags and microchips should be used in conjunction for the best results.
Preparation is Key
Having some kind of plan is significantly better than nothing.
Water, food, power, and shelter are the most important things to remember. Knowing what you can do for yourself, your family, and your pets during and after a disaster will give you the best chance of thriving.