Catastrophe Does Not Mean It's Over — A Family Survival Guide
Bombings, civil unrest, storms, violent home invasions...these are just some of several unfortunate events that can still happen in “safe” places like the United States. We may consider ourselves privileged, but we can also be quite vulnerable. What is worse is that we have absolutely no idea when these disasters will strike. And this is exactly why a survival plan should be considered for any instances that something forlorn might happen, as we hope with everything we’ve got that we continue to be safe.
Back in 1992, Los Angeles residents woke up to the sight of the National Guard on patrol in their neighborhood. When the police officers who beat Rodney King were acquitted, they realized how dangerous the world could be. This was the root of the worst urban unrest in the history of the United States. These series of riots left 53 people dead, and damages to properties from fires and mass looting amounting to billions of dollars.
In 2011, an exceptionally severe and devastating flood took its toll on Mississippi. Homes and commercial establishments were inundated, in a span of just a few hours, which stripped hundreds of families of the most fundamental essentials, like clean drinking water, food, and shelter.
But let us not forget that disasters are not always acts of nature, crimes and lawlessness are equally, if not even more horrific. In 2007 in Connecticut, the home of the Petit family was set on fire. The two suspects may have been caught and arrested as they were trying to escape but the arson was just the tip of the iceberg. Upon entering the home, the police discovered 50-year-old William A. Petit, Jr, who was mercilessly mauled and battered, along with his wife Jennifer Hawke-Petit, 48, and their daughters Hayley, 17, and Michaela, 11, all of whom were ruthlessly murdered. Reports indicate that they were each tied up in separate rooms, and, grievously, Jennifer, and one of their daughters, were sexually assaulted before the culprits started the fire.
To survive, you need to be a critical thinker and a meticulous planner. Being prepared spells the difference between life and death, no matter the risk, be it the devastation of an earthquake, fire, flood, or tornado or a violent home crime.
Below are some tips that can save your life and those of your loved ones under any circumstances.
Be Aware of the Risks, Develop an Action Plan
Several states and cities have a high risk of natural disasters such as earthquakes, flooding, and tornadoes; some have a high occurrence of violent crimes. And a few that are at risk of a biochemical disaster.
Know your enemy, make sure that you are aware of and ready for whatever danger is ahead of you and your family. You can start by checking out your surroundings, particularly around your home and identify potential catastrophes.
Anticipate the wretched crimes, such as home invasions, homicides, or rapes, when making a game plan. A burglarized home, with all your valued possessions, can be just as traumatic as a fire or flooding. Losing a loved one to violent crime will change your life in the worst way.
Once you start working on your disaster plan, it is vital that you consider all the scenarios that could possibly happen. Make sure to put everything in writing, discuss them with each member of your family, agree on them, and ensure that they fully understand and know what is expected of them in any case of emergency. The emergency plan must have the names, phone numbers, addresses of nearby family and friends, as well as other contacts who can readily respond in times of crisis.
Learn and master your disaster plan with all the members of your household. Explain to your children what is expected of them and make certain that they grasp its importance. Remember—if anything were to happen to you, the children must be able to survive on their own. The more the plan is discussed, the more prepared they will be.
Construct a FEMA-Rated Safe Room
The U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, encourages households to have safe rooms. Detailed construction plans and cost estimates can be secured from them whether you are building a new safe room or simply converting an existing room into one.
Safe rooms will always be worth your money. It can shield you from the weather when it gets too extreme and can protect you from dangerous intruders. It will afford you a sense of security and give you enough time to call for help.
The one pictures here is Storm Dorms above ground shelter
Gather Sufficient Emergency Supplies
What is the use of having a great masterplan and a very secure safe room if you do not have the supplies to tide you over? Depending on the number of members in your family and the kind of disaster that you are more likely to face, the supplies must be ample enough.
FEMA, in line with several disaster planning experts, have come up with a list of emergency supplies:
An updated and complete first-aid kit that would be useful and lifesaving in any circumstance. There is no such thing as too many first-aid supplies.
Batteries, flashlights, and small tools, for emergency purposes
Mobile phone and CB radio
Cash, hotline and emergency phone numbers, fire extinguisher, adhesives, insect repellant, weatherproof materials, and clothing; imagine what could occur and what may be needed under the circumstances
Water is indispensable when it comes to emergency supplies. It is possible to survive for weeks without food, but it is impossible to last more than three to four days without water. A family member must have one gallon of water per day.
For survival, “water bags” are also very important. These are adjustable and collapsible water containers that will come in handy and conveniently store fresh-water in large amounts.
Maintenance and other necessary medications that any of your family members are taking
To prepare yourself both physically and mentally, be equipped with at least the most basic self-defense training, and licensed firearms which you are capable of handling
Meals Ready-to-Eat, or MREs, as the name implies, are conveniently packed, with no cooking needed and calorie sufficient food that can be stored for years. Up to the present, deployed U.S military personnel survive by them.
Extra clothing and footwear for each family member, depending on the kind of calamity anticipated
A can opener, cooking and eating utensils
Bedding, like blankets, pillows, and/or warm sleeping bags
Essential needs of an infant if you have one
For pets, extra pet food and water (½ a gallon per day per pet), leash
Emergency supplies are indeed the most vital to survival planning. But, as natural disasters destroy your home, they can also wipe out your emergency supplies in the process. Proper storage is of utmost importance. It is advisable to keep your emergency supplies readily available and accessible in a very secure location, preferably not within your home. The holding containers must be strong, enduring, and weatherproof. Disasters and calamities that pose a threat to life and property do not come with a warning bell. It is always better to err on the side of caution. Come up with every possible scenario and create a corresponding foolproof plan for each. Now is the best time to start making sure your family will come out of any potential catastrophe alive.