Cities, countries and even world community all complete regular disaster analyses and take steps to prepare. Your family should be no different. An individualized risk assessment and plan will help you stay ahead of the curve. Here’s a simple process to help you complete your analysis and take action.
Identify Threats Clearly, while we all face many similar threats, we are also subject to different threats based on our geography, personal situation, etc. Identify threats that are specific to your family, as well as those that are common to all of us. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Weather emergencies (hurricanes, tornadoes, snow storms, spring floods)
- Other natural emergencies (mudslides, earthquakes, volcano eruptions)
- Social threats (strikes, crime, mobs if you live in an urban area, etc)
- Personal threats (Is there a neighbor that doesn’t like you? Crazy family member? Take these into account.)
- Health emergencies (think if there are chronic, life threatening conditions in your family, such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease, etc)
- Work related threats (if someone in your family has a risky job, such as mining, chemical factory work, military employment, etc take these into account)
Find Recurrent Patterns In Weather Emergencies. If you live in an area susceptible to certain weather emergencies, take note of patterns. For example, tornadoes and hurricanes happen on a pretty regular schedule annually. Determine the schedule that is applicable to your area and make a plan to prepare. Annual spring floods? Have sandbags ready by a certain date. Tornadoes? Make sure your basement or shelter is stocked with water, food, blankets and a change of clothes. Address each weather emergency in this manner and make a list of items and activities that will help you be better prepared.
Find Preparedness Gaps. There several kinds of preparedness gaps. The first one involves a general lack of awareness in your family. For example, a family member may not be aware of a certain threat. The second gap involves a lack of supplies to address a particular emergency. You may be missing essentials like food, water and first aid items or less essential items, like certain tools.
Address The Gaps. To address preparedness gaps, you must take 4 steps with your family:
- Train. Complete emergency preparedness education and training (this can be a community training or a highly informal family training). Be sure to raise awareness with you family about various emergencies, what the conditions of these emergencies are and what consequences come as a result. Train your family members how to respond to these emergencies properly. This includes finding safe places to be, providing first aid to self and others, protecting and defending yourself and others and so on.
- Purchase. Purchase necessary items (if you found gaps in your disaster preparedness supplies, fill the gaps as you can afford to do so).
- Practice. Conduct family emergency drills to practice appropriate survival skills. These should involve weather emergency drills, fire drills, home invasion drills, first aid drills and other practice that is appropriate to your family situation.
- Schedule. Once you have your threats figured out, schedule times to practice, times to check your items (like the water and food in your shelter or your sandbags). Having a reminder set in your phone, tablet or Outlook calendar will help keep you accountable and ensure that certain critical activities don’t slip through the cracks.
Complete your family disaster analysis today!
To your survival,