September is Emergency Preparedness Month, where agencies try to get the word out about families and individuals being more prepared to handle social emergencies and natural disasters. We at Shadowfox would like to join in the chorus and encourage you to do something this month to make yourself and your loved ones more prepared.
Just one thing will move you a step closer to self-reliance. That could be as simple as buying a canner and jars, so you’re more able to preserve your own food. Or it could be a major step such as buying a generator. Wherever you are in your prepping, take one step closer and you’ll sleep better.
To help, we’ve compiled a list of our own resources along with websites where you can get more information. What’s the one step you will take this month?
1. Download an App or Sign Up For Texts
The Red Cross has a page of downloadable apps that cover various emergency and survival scenarios, such as first aid or earthquakes. Depending on where you are, you may want to get the tornado app, the hurricane app, or the general emergency app that covers more than 35 different alerts.
2. Make a Kit or Make Your Kit Better
The Red Cross suggests having a kit with a 3-day supply on hand for emergencies. We know, however, that if there is a major earthquake event in the Pacific Northwest, services will be unavailable for possibly months at a time. If you don’t have a kit, start by making a 72-hour kit. If you already have a 3-day kit, add a day to it for each person in your household (and your pets!).
3. Become Trained As a First Responder
Experts have said that if a real SHTF emergency goes down, policemen and ambulance drivers may not be available because they’ll be trying to help their own family. If there’s a severe natural disaster, ambulances and fire trucks may not be able to drive down the street or cross bridges, or if they can, they may have too many emergencies to respond to to help you with your emergency. Moderately sized cities of a couple hundred people may only have a handful of ambulances–definitely not enough to cover a city-wide emergency. Train yourself to help yourself and your neighbors, because you may be the only person who can.
4. Make a Plan
Talk to your family and neighbors to come up with a plan for what you will do if an emergency goes down while you’re at work, at school or out of town. The Red Cross has information on making a plan.
5. Figure Out How You Will Communicate
This Shadowfox article offers five realistic ways that you might have to try to communicate in an emergency. Communicating by walkie talkie might work, but only if you actually have walkie talkies, so go ahead and get them. Maybe now’s the time to get your Ham radio license.
6. Evaluate Your Water Sources
From hidden water sources you never thought of to gathering water from the roof of your house in a pinch, water is one of the necessities you will have to plan for if you can no longer get water from the tap.
7. Prep Your Car
Most of us probably feel that if we’re at home in the event of an emergency we’ll be doing ok . . . after all, that’s where our food, clothes and tools are. But if we’re at work or at the movies when something goes down we will have only what’s in our car, and we may need to spend a night in our vehicle until it’s safe to move out. Prepare your vehicle for emergencies with basic car repair tools and an emergency kit that is always in your car. Keep a good pair of walking shoes in your vehicle. Sometimes I wear heels to work, but I keep a trusty pair of cowboy boots in my car so I never have to walk in my “fancy” shoes.
8. Consider Survival Essentials
There’s a basic 10 list of items that survivalists recommend people have. This includes basics such as a knife, lighting source, and firestarter. Evaluate what you have against our expert’s list of 10 essentials plus more that you can include to go beyond just the basics.
9. Protect Your Home
If the power goes out, so will your alarm system, your lighting, your stove and your ability to charge your phones. Be prepared by thinking through how you will protect your home in a power outage.
10. Be Aware, Be Vigilant
The most important thing that you can do is be aware and be vigilant. Always take stock of your surroundings and know, for instance, where exits are if you’re in a building, or what roads to avoid if you don’t want to cross over bridges. Be vigilant in making sure that you always have things nearby that can protect you and your loved ones if you need to.