One way to prepare for a disaster is to make an emergency plan. Some areas of preparedness, such as financial preparation, home and food storage, and emotional preparedness, can prepare your family for a variety of emergencies. Depending on your geographic location, you may also be able to identify which types of disasters are most likely to occur, how they may disrupt your daily activities or routine, and what you can do to prepare for them.
When thinking about disruptions that might affect your life, consider personal emergencies, such as job loss or the death of a family member, in addition to large-scale disasters such a fire, tsunami, or pandemic.
Here are more ways to prepare:
The following ideas are things you can do to be more prepared. Applying these ideas might vary depending on the country you live in or your circumstances. This list isn’t exhaustive, but it can help you begin:
- Designate a family gathering place or shelter in case of specific disasters or separation.
- Prepare a portable emergency supply kit to include a change of clothes, food and water supplies, medications, comfort items (like books or toys for children), a light source, and a phone charger.
- Think about how you would communicate with your family during an emergency. Memorize a few important phone numbers.
- Establish an emergency fund by saving a little money each week. Store a portion of funds along with important documents and pictures in a fireproof and waterproof container.
- Invest in a short-term food supply that includes foods that are part of your normal diet. Consider growing a garden to supplement this food supply.
- Learn and practice healthy coping skills to help develop emotional resilience. Start by understanding your body’s needs and how to manage difficult emotions. Developing good coping skills can help prepare you for emergencies.
- Develop strong and healthy relationships with others. When emergencies happen, you can receive help from those with whom you have good relationships.
Benefits of Preparedness
When you identify your needs before a potential disaster, you have more choices available to you. You will have greater peace of mind and will also be able to have access to lifesaving supplies that may otherwise be inaccessible or in short supply during an emergency. Planning and preparing now will help you be equipped to help yourself, your family, and your community.