Disaster preparedness begins with shedding the belief that everything will be taken care of for you. It may seem harsh but the right mentality to have when it comes to a crisis situation is every man for himself. You cannot rely on FEMA or governmental agencies to take care of you during a disaster. After all, what if roads are compromised and there is no reasonable way to deliver supplies to people that need it? The best thing to do is to take matters into your own hands.
Being properly equipped for a major disaster is as much about being mentally prepared as it is about having the right supplies on hand. Once you have come to terms with the fact that the best person to look after your family when all hell breaks loose is you, it is important to realize that a disaster can strike at any moment. Every year about 200 million people are somehow adversely affected by some kind of natural disaster and that is to say nothing of man-made disasters. You don’t have to be constantly on alert. You don’t have to be a doomsday preacher either but having the mentality of knowing that anything can happen at any time is a must for true preparedness.
Now that you have the right frame of mind it is time to start taking the preliminary steps toward disaster preparedness. At this point you should be taking a general look at disasters and considering the basics. Take for example the area of the country you live in. If you live in Iowa then you obviously shouldn’t be preparing for a hurricane. Consider the hazards of the area in which you live. For example if you live in Oklahoma, it would be smart to prepare yourself for a tornado before you prepare for any other kind of disaster since a tornado is much more likely.
Most cities have designated disaster shelters and evacuation routes so take some time as soon as possible to go down to the Town Hall or the nearest municipal building to find out where these crucial paths and locations are. You can start right at home too by figuring the best possible escape method from your home and alternate exits in case the main one is blocked off. Make sure that every member of your family is aware of this escape routes and knows where to regroup should you be separated in the chaos of a major disaster.
Having a contact that is well outside your area is also important for keeping your family together in a crisis scenario. Get in touch with an out of state relative and ask them if they can be your long-distance contact. Again, let every member of your family know that this person should be the one contacted if separation occurs. Make sure that everyone has this person’s number in their phone and written down somewhere as well.
Organizations like the Red Cross frequently hold public courses that teach disaster preparedness. There are even adult school course that you can take that teach this very subject. Take advantage of these learning opportunities. Your local fire station will surely be glad to give you some pointers that are specific to your city or neighborhood as well.