National Preparedness Month - Are You Prepared?
Every year the month of September is recognized as National Preparedness month. Different states offer different deals to help citizens purchase items to become better prepared. The normal benefit is tax breaks and sale prices on things such as generators, solar panels, cases of water, first aid kits, long term storage foods and other preparedness items. This is a great opportunity for the unprepared to start preparing. Everything I will talk about below can be found on the Hope for Survival Website, HFS YouTube Channel and most likely it was covered in one of my books; Hope for Survival - How Food, Water, Shelter and Security Could Save Your Life, or Hope for Survival - The Mindset. You can obtain my books off the HFS website at this link: Survival, Preparedness, Disaster Management for individuals or family (hopeforsurvival.com)
The question from the start is what are you willing to invest of your time and life to get prepared? Many of us before you took the time to learn, write books, establish websites, and teach classes, to help those following after us. We invested to make it easier for all the new preparers.
If you are new to preparedness, you need to grab some paper and gather your family up around the table or else do a draft on your own and then share with those who may be in your home. The first step everyone should consider doing is to build a plan. WHAT!!! That's right. Do you make a grocery list? Do you build plans for your vacation? Why not build a preparedness plan? Why? Seasoned preparers should have already figured out preparedness is evergreen and a continuous action of reading, learning, planning, training, putting together a risk assessment to identify threats, mitigations, and needs. For many this may seem backwards because most new preparers go directly to the store and buy food and water. Now having it is better than not having it but knowing how much to have is critical for planning purposes. This all comes from conducting a risk analysis process. Aside from the basics of food, water, shelter, and security, a very critical part of your Preparedness Plan is building a Family Communication Plan . How are you going to communicate with your family and friends before, during, and after, a disaster type event? Cell phone, home phone, texting, hand written note, in person voice message, CB radio, ham radio, GMRS or other methods? If you don't have a plan it is most likely you have not identified the means to communicate to using a P.A.C.E. Plan, right? I can "what if" you till the cows fly in.
At the start of September, Hope for Survival decided to become a Satellite Phone affiliate to promote the great capabilities a Satellite phone brings to preparedness. Yes, it does bring a low monthly cost but I will ask you, "what is your life worth to you?" Harsh, maybe, but if you are in a disaster and you need immediate contact for help possibly because of a life threatening injury or water around you is rapidly deepening and threatening your family. If you wish to learn more about the HFS Satellite Phone program follow this link Hope for Survival - Satellite Phone Affiliate or you can go direct to the Hope for Survival Satellite Phone Store link here Podcast Promo Inmarsat IsatPhone 2 Satellite Phone (satellitephonestore.com) to check it out. As most of you know the HFS motto is "one is none, two is one, and three is better. When your cell phone with texting features fails you, what is your backup plan? Plan, plan, plan. If you don't plan, you will likely fail at whatever it is you are doing.
Next you want to build a kit of some degree. Some folks will drop several thousand dollars, stick it in the garage and feel relieved as they go on in life. Simple fix but what if a family member has some level of a eating disorder such as gluten or high blood pressure. This is part of planning our food plan. You need to know these important issues before spending thousands up front. Many can't spend that much in a single purchase. Don't panic. There are ways you can build a food plan in small amounts for minimal cost. WHAT? That is correct. Check out this HFS YouTube video I put together on low cost food preparedness. https://youtu.be/3ZleDQ0hlQ0. Remember, you aren't stocked for a month till you have a weeks supply and you can't have a week until you have a day. Always remember to shop for supplies that you and your family will eat and don't forget any special needs for personal food disorders. Also, don't forget your pets. Can you filter dirty water to provide potable water for your family? Do you have a water source if and when the supplied water to your home stops? Ahh, you get cool clean water from a well huh? I love well water. Do you have an updated system that uses an electric pump to get the water up to you vs the old manual labor type where you work out your arms a bit? If you lose power and the pump no longer works, then what? What is your plan? Did you write it down? Of course not, it's in my head, right? So when you go down and your mental files are not available to your loved ones, how are they going to know what to do and how to do it if you didn't take time to write out your plans?
Another area you want to conduct a risk assessment is the facility you reside. It could be your home, apartment, condo, farm house, or in suburbia surrounded by people. What is the history of weather in your area? Snow? Ice? Flooding? Extreme heat? Forrest fires? Earthquakes? Do you know how these threats could impact your normal way of life? What type of structure do you live in? If you get heavy rainfall how does your water drainage system handle it? Do you have streams and creeks around you? If you have heavy rainfall and the water backs up in the storm drains is there a chance of sewage backing up in to your home? If you have to evacuate your home do you know the safest routes to travel based on potential threats caused from the threat that is driving you from your dwelling? You see, in order to properly prepare in all areas you must do your homework. Did you build a checklist of things you will need based on the threat you are planning to protect your family from? If you are chased from your dwelling by fire or flooding, do you have backpacks already set up for each family member or a cache set up with needed resources? I know, this seems like a lot of work huh? Again, I ask you, what is your family worth to you? Do you want to put the value of your children up against the odds when your opponent is mother nature?
Speaking of children, make it fun. Get your children involved. Let them help you plan and then conduct fire evacuations of your home to see how they do. Grab some old pillow cases and let them draw on them with markers while making small backpacks to set up as part of your 5-5-5 evacuation plan. You can learn more about children and emergency preparedness here on the HFS website under Preparedness for Children: Preparing Children for Possible Disasters (hopeforsurvival.com)
Preparedness is only as hard as you want it to be and the effort you invest now could determine the success of your family during a disaster. You must decide from this point how much you wish to invest in time, effort, and resources.
HFS is here to help you so feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. It is easier to ask now than after a disaster wipes you out. Have a plan.