Natural disasters not only disrupt lives of people but also destroy what takes years to build up. Buildings, bridges, roads often account for a huge amount of destruction that society has to pay for natural disasters that ravage different countries. US has suffered several such calamities which have taken billions of US dollars to get the infrastructure back to how it was. For instance, if you take a look at natural disasters that have affected US regions, Hurricane Katrina probably tops the list. It has been one of the costliest disasters so far. If the figures are adjusted for 2010, the damages caused exceeded about $45 billion US dollars. That amount is about twice the amount that was spent to fix the disaster that came with World Trade Center or the Pentagon on 11th September 2001.
Everything considered, out of the costliest disasters that have affected the US, about eight out of ten are hurricanes. Besides the 9/11 attacks, the Northridge earthquake in 1994 also comes in the top ten disasters to have hit the country. Here are some more interesting facts to consider:
Between the hurricanes that have occurred in the US, Hurricane Katrina has been the third worst as per a number of lives lost. There was the Galveston hurricane that occurred on 8th September 1900. This is considered to be the worst that occurred in the country. It had claimed as many as 8000 lives. There had been a tidal surge that also claimed lives during that time.
Among earthquakes, the Northridge, California one that occurred in 1994 was the worst in US history. However, from the point of strength, it was not the strongest. That is because there was an earthquake in 1964 which registered about 9.2 on the Richter scale. This was around Prince William Sound in the Alaskan region.
If you consider floods, the 1927 flood in Mississippi was the worst. The flooding that occurred affecting about seven states, Mississippi, Arkansas, Tennessee, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, and Louisiana. As a result, the effects on disaster management were palpable on the nation as well.
If a natural disaster strikes in your region or country, there are different ways you can help. This can be done by donating money or by transporting supplies. You could volunteer to physically help as well as donate blood. However, even if you mean well, you might simply get in the way of organized help and rescue operations. Hence, during emergency situations, you need to understand what are the helplines that are open and can be used. For instance, US has the National Guard and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) that work in disaster-affected areas along with other charitable and nonprofit organizations.
If you wish to volunteer
When you wish to volunteer in a natural disaster situation, you need to coordinate with trained responders. That will help you understand where you can provide your assistance that would be well utilized. Transportation might be required for those who are injured or to help bring in necessary supplies. However, you should not take it upon yourself to decide what needs to be done, but coordinate with disaster management experts.
The best way to provide help is to donate money. Any disaster management operation requires a lot of funds. Donating to the right agencies or organizations will ensure that your money is well utilized. Ensure that you donate to organizations that will use the funds for the direct assistance of victims. If you are unsure which organization to donate to, there are lists in verified business directories like the Better Business Bureau. Here the list of organizations will be your source of information as to where to donate to in different situations. Many schools, community centers, and religious institutions also work actively in different disaster situations. You can join such forums to help out in different disaster situations.
There have been several cases of natural disasters over the past decade that has rattled communities in different parts of the world. It has proven the importance of being prepared for anything. Hence, it is imperative that you and your family are prepared to handle a natural disaster if it occurs. There are several ways you can counter a situation or a natural disaster that might keep you stuck inside.
Understand the risks
When you are making a plan of preparation for handling any natural disaster that might strike, you need to first assess the risks that exist in your region. For instance, are tornadoes most likely to affect you or floods in your region? It is necessary to prepare for an earthquake in a certain way as opposed to if landslides are more likely in your region. Hence, at the time of identifying the risks that can affect your region, you need to prepare for different natural disaster risks in different ways. Educate yourself as well as your family on the warning signs that a natural disaster often shows. You need to take steps before and not wait for an official announcement to be made. Usually, a storm or any form of natural disaster results in power being cut off in your area. You will also not have network access to phones, TV or radio.
Evacuation plan for your family
When you are coming up with an evacuation plan for your family, ensure that you not only include all the members of your family but pets and other valuables as well. This should include important documents. If you need to evacuate your home, you need to know of places you can go to that allow pets. It is necessary that you plan to go to places where you can take your pet along and not have to wait for emergency rescue to come for you and your family.
You need to have an evacuation kit, in place that should be easy to reach. Gather supplies and keep them ready such as a flashlight, canned food, battery-powered radio, first aid kit, sleeping bags, water supplies, cash that you might require and so forth.
The concept of business continuity planning comprises steps and a written plan as to how a company can save its data and operations from irreversible damage. The plans can then be put into action when a company faces a disaster situation or a new management needs to come into place in order to assume operations. The steps usually comprise of guidance on how to continue business operations and provide the know-how of a company’s assets, operation details, and financial status. In order to come up with a comprehensive plan, much thought and deliberation need to be put into it.
Issues that companies can face can be of different kinds. For instance, there might be natural disasters that might affect a company or other issues like fire or a virtual threat to a company’s data and server systems. It is imperative that a company makes a list of the different potential disaster that can arise which can affect its operations. Plans need to include how natural resources will be obtained in the course of a disaster as well as how employees can be protected, physical facilities rebuilt or repaired. Different plans might be required to counter different kinds of natural or man-made disasters.
Longevity comes in different steps when a business continuity plan is made. Executives and owners of a business need to plan how a company will go on beyond the operations of the current management team. The plan will outline how a company will shift the responsibilities from an existing group of managers and owners to the next group of individuals who will run the business. For such a plan there needs to be a meeting between the current executive team and managers as well as the current owners. The early stage includes a gathering of data and conducting reviews. Companies then break down the plan for each department and activity group and to include their disaster management plans as well. Detailed plans need to be made to ensure that every department of a business is accounted for.
Business analysis needs to review all external and internal factors that can affect the operations of a business. The continuity plan that is made needs to look into gaps that can bring in outside forces which in turn will alter current operations. A company needs to develop its continuity plan based on the above factors. Once a written plan is in place, the employees need to be made aware of the same. It is necessary that employees are educated about the plans that pertain to their roles in different departments. When everyone is aware of what steps they need to take in a disaster situation, there would be less chaos and the right actions would be taken.
The right choice of survival food is necessary in case there is an emergency or natural disaster. It should be able to be stored for long periods of time, not only before the disaster, but also should be able to sustain for a certain time period after a disaster has struck. People think of items like canned vegetables and items like powdered milk when it comes to survival food. However, there are more choices out there when it comes to packaged foods that will sustain you for a long time if you are stuck somewhere to wait out a disaster.
If you are making your own disaster sustenance plan, you need to think of the items that should be prioritized. For instance water is a top priority and you need to store up to three gallons of water for each person. This would amount to 11.3 liters of water for each person. Such amount is enough for one to wash, cook and drink for a time period of three days. If you are unsure about the supplies that might reach you within this time period, you need to accordingly calculate for a seven-day ration for each individual. If you have a family of five people, you need to store about 35 gallons of water.
Canned food choices
The next aspect to look up is the range of food. For instance, starches, fruits and vegetables are not the only items that you can get for your sustenance. If you are stuck in the house, it does not mean that you need to only consume boring items like potatoes and peas. There can be several vegetable varieties like pears, peaches and others like soups and meats. Things like corned beef, chowder, and beef stew, canned tuna are some items that make meals wholesome and can be stored for a long time as well. These items are not as nutritious as having fresh produce but they will keep your body nourished and taste buds satisfied till you are able to lead normal lives again.
Spices to stock up
Spices like pepper, salt and others which can add flavor to meals are a must; you should also stock up on flour and sugar. These are items that will ensure proper meals with normal tastes where you need not eat simply for the sake of eating, but have the usual tastes that you are accustomed to. Indeed, eating canned food items often makes family members feel down in the dumps. When you have the right condiments like spices, mustard, ketchup as well as cooking spray or oil, you will be able to prepare proper meals even with canned food items.
Cereals and milk
For children who are used to drinking milk, you might want to invest in powdered milk for them. When it comes to cereals, it would be wise to get ones that are vitamin fortified. Rice or dried beans could work too. Potato chips and pretzels can be snacks that will help keep spirits high during chaotic times. If you store dried beans and pastas, remember that these need a lot of water to prepare and hence, you might have to look at alternate means of food.
Nowadays, many military grade food suppliers have meal packs that are dehydrated and can be stored in advance. They require less water to prepare and form complete meal solutions.
A natural disaster can happen at any time. Hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, floods…they often take us by surprise. Just in the past decade, natural disasters have effected more than two hundred and fifty million people all over the world. Because of this, it is imperative that you understand what calamities your geographic area is prone to and know what exactly you need to do to prepare to deal with it if it happens.
The best thing to do in case of an SHTF situation is to have a personal family plan. My friend that owns a carpet cleaning biz (click here) gave me the idea to come up with my own family’s plan. Where you live will determine the plan you need to have. For example, if you are living in the South, you will need to make a plan for potential hurricanes. You will need to have a safe place to find shelter where there are no outside doors or windows. Basements make great shelters for this very reason.
When it comes to natural disasters around the world, floods are responsible for almost half of the number of deaths. One way for you to keep your family from becoming victims to flooding is to pay attention to your local news and heed the warnings of evacuation when flooding is imminent.
When you begin making your family plan, you will need to keep a few things as a priority. First, if you have children in your family, you will need to know which parent is taking responsibility for getting each child in the family to a safe place. You will want the children to know the plan beforehand so they are prepared and know what to expect. Discuss your plans with close by family and neighbors to determine who may be able to help you in an emergency situation. It is possible that your child(ren) may need to stay in a different location if your home no longer safe.
Before you get in an emergency situation, it is important to determine what you will be comfortable leaving behind. Sure, there are things we would all love to save, but consider what is most important to your family in this case. You certainly will not be able to carry all that you want.
Figure out how you will help any elderly or disabled members of your family in an emergency. There will be special considerations for them. Also, you will want to have any medications that are necessary available at all times in a box or bug out bag in the case of an emergency.
We can all expect to face at least one crisis situation in our lives. If we are prepared, though, we will fare much better than we would otherwise.
If you have been prepping for any time at all, you have probably heard that the only time you should move in an SHTF scenario is at night. I believe this is a bad idea to follow for many reasons. Yes, this may be a great idea for trained soldiers, but think about having your family, with your wife and young children, walking through the woods at night.
I am not saying you should never move at night. There is a lot of value in doing so if the situation demands it. Traveling alone, I would certainly see it as a viable option. In a group, though, I would only do it if absolutely necessary.
Here are seven reasons that I think traveling at night in a family or group is a bad idea:
Your group will likely get separated: Even those in the military have issues with staying together in the dark. Can you imagine moving only at night in territory that is unfriendly in order to avoid being detected? You try to give hand signals in the dark to help you avoid the enemy, but it’s too dark for people to notice it or they are too tired to really care. Twenty minutes later, you stop to do your headcount and realize that not everyone got the signal and you are missing people from your group.
You will get lost: Remember that the best ways to travel unseen is to stay off roads and paths. Now think about traveling with your family all geared up, in the pitch black of night, and still finding your way. Almost impossible to do even in the daytime.
Consider your weakest link: Maybe you have a lot of experience in the military. Maybe others in your group have survival skill sets that are wonderful for the SHTF event. Well, how about your seven year old that is having to keep up with the rest of the group in the dark? You may as well tie a rope around each person’s waist to keep them all together.
Consider potential hazards: We are making the assumption that you are walking through the brush instead of down a road in order to stay hidden. There will be a lot of potential hazards along your trek, such as large rocks, holes in the ground, and tree roots, that you simply will not be able to see as you walk in the dark. All it takes is one person falling victim to one of the hazards, and now the situation is worse because you have to transport that person the rest of the way.
Noise and light: Have you ever noticed how sound seems to travel much further at night? Light also. Keep that in mind when you are traveling at night with a child that may start crying, or someone that lights a cigarette every thirty minutes.
Night travel is slower: To keep everyone together, you will be moving at a snail’s pace.
Missed opportunities to forage: When it’s pitch black out, you won’t see the wild edibles.
I will reiterate that there is value at only moving around in the dark of night, but you should only do so if necessary. You will be risking a lot of issues otherwise.
If you are already a prepper, you likely know what it is to barter. If you don’t know what it is, bartering is trading one thing for another. Bartering will be important in an SHTF situation because, let’s face it, you can’t store everything you will need for the long hall.
I have found that there are some things that are much better for bartering in an SHTF world than others. Of course, guns and ammunition will be huge in a world where the law is not in place and you have to defend yourself. The items I will be listing are ones that you won’t likely be able to barter for weapons, but they will help you barter for other items that will help your life “after” to go more smoothly.
The five items on my list for bartering are as follows:
- Food: Trust me, there will be a lot of people willing to barter for food. There will not be enough available for sustaining a lot of people. Of course, a lot of people will help others that are without but, for the most part, people will have to trade things in exchange for food to feed themselves and their families. You may even be able to barter for a weapon if you are willing to part with a large portion of food.
- Water: In an SHTF world, clean water will be one of the most important things. When a natural disaster occurs, disease becomes a huge factor, especially without healthcare in place to help. Very quickly, the water supplies can become contaminated by wast leaking into the rivers nearby. Luckily, you can buy filters for the water now to help you have a regular supply of water then. Being able to barter with water filters can mean, for many people, the difference between living and dying.
- Ammunition: In a world without money, ammo can become more expensive than gold. As people struggle to defend themselves and stay alive, ammo will be going at a premium. You can guarantee there will be plenty of criminals roaming around trying to take advantage of those who are not prepared enough.
- Antibiotics: Stockpiling medication is one of the hardest feats as a prepper. You can store painkillers and antibiotics that you can get over the counter for now, but may have to resort to raiding hospitals if the time comes.
- Candles: These will most likely become a lot more valuable than you think they will. In an SHTF scenario, the power will go down and there won’t be any electricity. People will find they need to use candles to light their world. Figuring out a way to make your own could make you rich.
There are many other things you could add to your stockpile. Consider the things most needed first, though, when determining what you will be able to barter with.
We all know that predicting the future is impossible. Of course there are blogs and websites all over the internet the scream “the end is near” each and every year. They will show you charts and graphs that show that the economy is about to crash, or show you photos from space showing a meteor that is certain to strike the earth soon. Not only that, but FEMA is supposedly building camps and very soon your guns will be confiscated by the government. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?
I agree that there are a lot of really big issues in our world with our society and economy that makes it a smart thing to prep. Thing is, these “experts” have been wrong in the past and will continue to be wrong in the future. Yes, it will unravel at some point, but don’t fall into the trap of following stories telling you that it’s all going down the drain by such and such time. These people usually want to scare you into buying something from them. The important thing is to make the best of what you have when that day comes.
Want to know the best advice ever given to new preppers? Create a plan you can stick with and do NOT, under any circumstance, accumulate ANY new debt, even if you are using it to prep. The next thing to do is to make sure you have the basics in your stockpile. These things are food, water, personal protection, medical supplies, and water filtration. How much of things you stockpile should be determined by how much you can afford. Remember that prepping isn’t always about the stuff you have, but a big part is the prepper’s mentality. You want to be able to be aware of the world around you so that you do not fall victim to the news on your television or on prepper sites. Start considering the skill sets that you and your family have and how those skills can be used in an SHTF scenario.
The main reason I am wanting to help beginners is because I regularly come across people that are interested in starting to prep. They hear the doom and gloom on the television and start freaking out. Many will make rash decisions and run out and purchase things they will never need. We need to help them to prep smart and to do it in moderation because, I guarantee you, whether the SHTF event happens this week or five years from now, not a single one of us will be completely prepared.
Are you new to the world of prepping? It is not an easy time to be a prepper, much less to just now be looking into prepping. If you have been prepping for a while, try to think back to when things first “clicked” for you. You saw an entire new reality and believed you needed to accomplish hundreds of things within the first month and stressed that there wouldn’t be enough time for you to get ready. Now think of someone coming into prepping now and deciding it is what they need to do. I can imagine that they are facing a lot of panic right now.
If you are just starting your journey into prepping, I know you are struggling right now. There are so many news stories screaming at you saying the end is near. If nothing else, the elections this year should scare you half to death! You may be one of those folks that start out thinking that a couple of cases of water and a few buckets worth of food would be enough. Then you start looking into prepper sites and read articles about the end of times being imminent, and then those articles linked to others about how the government is going to collapse by the end of the year. After a couple of days of non stop reading, you are thinking you should sell the house and start investing in more food, eater, ammo, silver, gold, and medical supplies. Because, hey, if it is all going to go down by the end of the year, you want to be ready, right?
Well, don’t get ahead of yourself. Yes, things can go downhill very fast, but you don’t want to make decisions on a whim that will cost you in the long run. Take a breath and relax. We will help you figure out what you need to do.