Practical Emergency Preparedness
Recommended Steps to Developing Your Own Plan:
What is an Emergency?
• A sudden unforeseen crisis (usually involving danger) that requires immediate action
• State of Emergency - a time of crisis, declared by a government, during which normal laws and civil rights can be suspended
• Martial Law - rule by military authorities, imposed on a civilian population when civil
authority has broken down
Potential Sources of Crises?
• Pakistan / Taliban
• Israel / Iran
• Iraq / Afghanistan / War on Terror
• U.S. and global economic instability
• Extreme weather events / natural disasters
• Pandemic Flu (swine, bird, etc.)
• Terrorist threats
• Civil unrest (political, economic, racial, etc.)
What Can YOU Do?
• Take personal responsibility for the safety and welfare of your immediate family.
• Avoid placing the lives and safety of your family into the hands of others.
• Avoid becoming a refugee in a “shelter”.
• Heed the clear recommendations of the U.S. DHS, American Red Cross and others.
• Build a kit, Make a plan, Stay informed.
• Consider laying up extra for others in need.
1. Three days of emergency supplies
• For “Bugging In” or “Bugging Out”
2. Three weeks of emergency supplies
• Primarily geared towards staying put
• Can also be the basis for pre-staged supplies at a remote location
3. Three months of emergency supplies
4. Long term strategies
Some Brief Definitions
• EDC – Every day carry bag (daily – think ‘man purse’)
• GHB – Get home bag in vehicle and/or at work (24 hrs)
• BOB – Bug out bag (portable 72-hour kit)
• Bugging in – means staying put and riding it out; the better your preparations, the easier it is on everyone
• Bugging out – requires travel from Point A to Point B. It can be difficult, stressful and risky, especially in a SHTF situation
• Crunch Backpack/web-gear packed in garage/basement – (bugging out for three weeks or more – likely dangerous)
Three Days (Bug Out Bag)
• “72-hr Emergency Kit” / “Disaster Supply Kit”
• Basic emergency supplies kit intended to support basic needs for at least three days
• Supplies should be packed in a portable bag (e.g. backpack) to facilitate “bugging out”
• Three day BOB will form the foundation for further preparedness planning and action
Due to any number of emergencies, you may be forced to leave the area quickly to ensure the safety of you and your family. This means leaving your place of residence for someplace safer, possibly for a long time (friends, relatives, some property you may own, etc.) A bug out bag (BOB) is intended to get you to your destination safely.
If you have planned accordingly, you have multiple routes to get there with maps and you have driven/walked one or more of these routes at least once. You have the basic gear required to get your group safely to its destination and you have practiced with your gear and know how to use it. All those in your group know the routine in the event of a bug out, including those who are away at the moment
of crisis, and there is a clear plan for communicating and/or meeting up together away from the emergency (GHB would come in handy).Your destination has been prearranged and staged with basic necessities to sustain your group long enough until you can safely return home. There may be a reciprocal arrangement and it may be your friends/family who are the ones bugging out to your location.
Typical Preparedness Categories
– Dehydrated food pouches
– Tuna, chicken pouches
– Rice, pasta, soup mix
– Lipton, Zatarian, Idahoan, etc
– Energy bars
– Trail mix
– Baby formula, cereal, food
– Tent, pegs
– Camp rope
– Sleeping bag / blanket
– Change of clothes
– Wicking socks, underwear
– Convertible pants/shorts
– Sturdy walking shoes
– Hat, gloves, long johns
– Gortex shell
– Poly pro fleece liner
– Rain poncho
– Mosquito netting
– Bandana, handkerchief
– Emergency blanket
– Contractor grade plastic garbage bag
First Aid / Medical
– Basic First Aid Kit
– Field Trauma kit
– Israeli Emergency Bandage
– Medical Superglue
– Tweezers, EMT shears
– Latex gloves
– N100 Particulate Mask
– Prescription drugs
– Insect repellent wipes
– Zanfel (poison ivy)
– Bacitracin, Neosporin
– Sun screen
– Lip balm
– Advil, Tylenol, aspirin
– Allergy medicine
– Immodium AD
– Eye drops
– Safety pins
– Hydrogen peroxide, alcohol
– Potassium Iodide tablets
Fire / Heat
– Water-proof matches
– Bic lighter
– Firestarter (BlastMatch, dryer lint, etc.)
– Hand / toe warmers
Tools / Knife
– Zip ties
– Duct tape
– Fixed blade knife
– Folding pocket knife
– Sharpening stone
– 550 paracord
– Small fishing kit
– Small sewing kit
– Work gloves
– Wire saw
– Small spade/hatchet
Sanitation / Hygiene
– Plastic garden trowel
– Toilet paper, Facial tissues
– Baby wipes
– Zip lock bags
– Tooth brush, paste
– Hand sanitizer gel
– Wash cloth
– Camp soap
– Shaving kit
– Feminine hygiene
– Chlorine bleach
– AM/FM/TV/NOAA/SW radio
– Walkie talkies
– Cell phone, charger
– Survival Handbook
– Basic first aid manual
– USB memory stick w/ vital documents scanned in
– Pot to boil water
– Backpacker stove, fuel
– Aluminum foil
– Cooking utensils
– Eating utensils
– Can opener
– Scour pad
Comfort / Personal
– Pocket bible, book
– MP3 player
– Coffee, tea bags
– Spare eyeglasses
– Multi vitamins
– Paper, pencil, Sharpie
– Cash (small bills), coins
– Small games, cards, etc.
– Generator, fuel
Some Considerations For Developing YOUR Personal Preparedness Plan
• What are the most likely emergencies to prepare for?
• Where do you need to be to minimize exposure to threats?
• Do you have ‘bug out’ option(s) (where to evacuate to)?
• Where is your ‘bug in' site (where to ride it out)?
• Do you live in an apartment or own your own home?
• Do you live in the city, suburb or small town? On a farm?
• Do you have children (ages)? Pets? Disabled or elderly?
• Do you have special medical considerations to address?
• Do you have anyone outside your immediate household to care for; i.e. elderly parent(s), children with previous spouse, neighbors?
• What other unique considerations should you consider?
• Food, water and shelter are most important! Prioritize these basic necessities first.
• You can't carry 72 hours of water for even one person if bugging out; knowing where to find and treat and/or filter water is very important.
• Maintaining a BOB keeps critical emergency gear together in one location and organized; it can be used for “bugging in” or “bugging out”.
• Each person’s emergency preparedness plan is unique and personal; what works well for one family may not work at all for another family.
• How bad does it have to get for you to bug out? Are you prepared physically, spiritually and mentally?It takes time and money to accumulate a decent BOB so begin chipping away now; as it begins to come together you will build
momentum and confidence.
• BOBs can become oversized, overweight and overcomplicated with "necessities“ – Use those extra supplies to begin the foundation for three weeks of emergency preparedness.
• Your BOB contents should be reviewed at least twice/year (seasonal weather, expiration dates on meds/food/etc., family changes, geographic locations, etc.)
• Backpacks – recommend you go to “Outfitters” and get properly sized, otherwise you may start ditching gear if having to walk.
• When on foot - less is more (weight is king). If your legs are your only means of transportation and they stop – you stop! If one person in your group stops, your whole group likely stops!
Recommended Next Steps
• Identify your family’s unique circumstances and emergency preparedness requirements.
• Create a checklist and start gathering items to support three days of disruption.
• Begin to USE your items – practice! (hiking, camping, simulated “bug outs”, etc.)
• Plan – Do – Review cycle: identify problems, make necessary changes and test it again.
• Start thinking about extending your time horizon to three weeks and preparing for more people.
• http://www.usa.gov/Topics/Usgresponse/Protect_Yourself.shtml (US Government)
• http://www.ready.gov/america/index.html (US Department of Homeland Security)
• http://www.bt.cdc.gov/ (Center for Disease Control)
• http://www.fema.gov/areyouready/ (FEMA)
• http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/HAW2/english/disaster_prevention.shtml (National Hurricane Center)
• https://www.prepare.org/services/prepare/0,1082,0_239_,00.html (American Red Cross)