During this time of the year, it seems that almost every section of the country subscribes to the old joke about the weather, which goes, “if you don’t like the weather, wait a minute, it will change.”
Daily weather conditions have grown increasingly erratic and extreme, and it is usually during the springtime that we are reminded of this fact. Nevertheless, the truth of the matter is that disaster season is a year-round and constant. From snowstorms to flooding, earthquakes to fires, hurricanes to tornados, and more, every month of the year has the potential for you and your family’s life to be turned upside down by a natural disaster.
Natural disasters are inevitable. They come every season. They are no respecter of persons–destroying the lives of old and young, rich and poor. None of us are spared, and if you think you have been, you should consider yourself lucky, not safe. Far too often, people lull themselves into a false sense of security because nothing has happened to them. They wrongly assume they have found that magical area of the country where no harm can occur. Nothing could be further from the truth. We are all at risk and we all need to be prepared.
So what can you do if you aren’t already prepared?
Begin by making an emergency preparedness plan. Planning for a natural disaster can save you a lot of time, money, and grief. It can also grant you an abundance of peace of mind–something that will be of extreme importance when you are attempting to piece your life back together.
To start preparing for a natural disaster, determine what you’ll need and how you’ll sustain yourself in the event of a natural disaster. One component of this plan should definitely be how you’ll meet your food needs during a disaster.
At the very least, you should have a 72-hour kit for you and your family. This kit should include a three-day supply of non-perishable food along with water, a change of clothing, and a source of fuel and light.
However, a 72-hour kit is just a minimum. When you factor in the aftermath of recovering from a natural disaster, you can be looking at weeks and, in some cases, months. Power outages, contaminated water, and clean-up procedures can quickly exhaust a 72-hour kit many times over. It is for this reason that you should be doing more than the minimum to ensure your family’s safety.
To create an emergency supply for longer periods of time, you’ll want to be sure you have at least one gallon of water per day per person. You’ll also want a depth of foods that your family will actually eat. Many in building their food storage will opt to buy a surplus of canned foods. However, canned food can go bad quicker than you think and requires you to monitor and maintain it on a regular basis. A better, more user-friendly solution is dehydrated food. Dehydrated food can last up to 25 years without compromising nutritional value, flavor, or texture.
Even though natural disasters can’t be predicted, the aftermath of such disasters can be predicted. In the wake of natural disasters, people are faced with stress, property loss, and interruption of water and/or power. All of those things lead to overtaxed relief organizations which, in turn, mean you could easily be left on your own while others are cared for first.
Disaster recovery is a long and arduous process.
Disaster recovery isn’t just about the damage to your surroundings or even your physical safety. The stress of displacement along with the precious memories damaged or destroyed can take a toll on a person’s mental well-being as well. In fact, the emotional toll can often be more devastating than the natural disaster itself.
Focusing on what you do have can help the recovery process and allow you to heal. If you and your family’s physical needs are met even to the slightest degree by having enough food and water on hand to sustain you, that will be one less thing to worry about and allow you to address the greater issues at hand.
So while the weather may be unpredictable, knowing whether or not you are prepared for a natural disaster is something you can rest easy knowing that you are ready.