Spring is right around the corner. Most people equate spring with warmer weather, blooming flora, allergies and spending more time outside. However, in the prepper community, spring means tornados, hail, damaging winds and flash floods. There are some specific challenges that arise when preparing for severe weather. Having a kit is a great place to start, but just having supplies on hand is only half the challenge.
Getting in Touch
In combat, communications are extremely important. A unit that can’t communicate will not be effective, and this is no different when it comes to an emergency. In many cases, your family won’t be together when a disaster hits. Having a communication plan ahead of time is the best way to circumvent the inevitable problems that disasters bring to the table.
Check with your children’s day care or school. Facilities designed for children should include notifications as part of their emergency plans. Complete some type of contact card for each adult family member. Have them keep these cards handy in a wallet, purse or briefcase. Additionally, complete contact cards for each child in your family. Put the cards in their backpacks or book bags. Identify a contact such as a friend or relative who lives out-of-state for household members to notify they are safe. It may be easier to make a long-distance phone call than to call across town, so an out-of-town contact may be in a better position to communicate among separated family members. Also, teach family members how to use text messaging. Text messages can often get around network disruptions when a phone call might not get through.
If there is no way to communicate, have a designated place to meet. Severe storm and tornadoes can wipe out large amounts of property, and you may find yourself frantically searching for loved ones. A pre-assigned meeting place should be within walking distance of your home. If something more widespread happens, have an out-of-neighborhood designated location as well. A friend or extended family member’s house would be ideal, since community centers and public buildings could be crowded.
Once you have communicated and your family is all together, you may still need to get around town. Make sure you keep your vehicle filled with gas as much as possible. If you are one of those people who runs around town on 1/16th of a tank of gas and sputters in to fill up at the last minute, you may find yourself abandoning your vehicle on the side of the interstate. Huge numbers of people panicking and leaving the same area often cause blockages on major roadways during emergencies, so plan accordingly by staying to the back roads. Make sure to watch out for downed power lines, and get to your bug-in spot as safely as you can. Debris and panic can make the simple act of getting home nearly impossible.
Be Self Sufficient
Be ready to make impromptu repairs to your home as needed. Having basic skills in plumbing, roofing and woodworking could help your life return to normal much faster. Try to learn to fix things that severe storms can knock out. Shattered windows, leaking roofs and falling trees are all major effects of storm damage. Have your own food and water sources. Have medicine set aside and the knowhow to perform basic emergency care. Be prepared to survive without power. Electrical utilities are often the first thing to go during a disaster, but if you have a contingency plan, you won’t have as many problems.
The most important thing to know is that the government will most likely not be of any use; you need to be prepared to help yourself. Don’t stand around and wait for someone to fix your things for you, because you will be waiting for a long time.
How do you prepare for disasters? Tell us in the comment section!