Emergencies come in all sizes and forms. Our reasons for living a preparedness lifestyle are also all varied, from those who have a 72 hour kit in their house (and that’s enough for them) to those who are in a bunker in Idaho and ready for a show-down. Being prepared is more than just a single incident that can change your life, but being able to deal with ANY incident that comes along, as well as being able to exist without relying on others to help keep you going. While our family doesn’t prepare for a specific emergency, we take all kinds of things into consideration as we begin to build our life around a preparedness living ideal to help ride the storm when these emergencies do arise.
But some are still hesitant to consider what little it might take to cause their world to turn upside down.
10 Reasons You Might Want to Begin to Prepare for an Emergency
One of the most unexpected (or sometimes VERY expected) emergencies that our families face that are ours, alone, is a job loss. If you’re a one income family, the loss of the income can be devastating if it is for an extended amount of time. Even for some families living paycheck to paycheck (or less), that devastation can be almost immediate. Being prepared with a supply of food, water, money in the bank, and supplies can help you ride the time period between jobs.
Illness/Injury in the Family
Not only for a small emergency like an accident at home that needs some first aid, a reason to perform CPR on someone who has collapsed, to an extended sickness in the family that may mean you can’t get to the grocery store all the time. We need to have a supply of first aid items in our homes that extends beyond a box of bandaids. It’s also important to have some first aid / CPR training. Not only for our families in our homes, but if we’re out and about – we can be the first responder! If you are suffering through a short-term, family-wide bout with a rotovirus, or are living with a family member who is in a long-term illness situation, having a basic pantry and treatment system helps take some of the pressure off the family about who is going to the store next to get meds or Pedialyte or throwing something on the table so the kids can eat while you’re still incapacitated.
If your tire blows on your car on the side of a dark, deep woods road, what are you going to do? What happens if you get stuck in a blizzard on the way home you didn’t expect? What if you run out of gas in the middle of a deserted stretch of road. Having your car prepared for an emergency with needed equipment, and a box of items to help you through until help arrives or you can get out is necessary.
We’ve seen it happen in Moore, OK, New Jersey, India, Chile, New Orleans, and so many more places. Weather emergencies aren’t relegated to a hurricane on the East Coast or a snowstorm that takes out a region. Weather disasters happen all over the world at all times of the year. You don’t need to worry about preparing for a hurricane if you live in Oklahoma, but in Oklahoma, you DO need to prepare for a tornado, an ice storm, a snow storm, or a drought. For most folks, this is the biggest emergency they are going to have on a broad scale, yet people are caught, every year, unprepared for those things that happen a lot. If you live where snowstorms are bad, why wouldn’t you make sure you have provisions to last out a bad two week storm and the aftermath? If you live on the coast, why aren’t you prepared for what a hurricane might do?
As with weather, natural disasters can effect entire regions and cause huge loss of life and property. The Tsunami in Japan, earthquakes in the volcanic ring, volcanoes and other impending doom brought by the planet have their own reasons for us to be prepared for them. One of the biggest thing we should be prepared for in these situations is an evacuation. Are you prepared to walk away from your home with an hour’s notice in the case of fast approaching wildfire, or have a plan if your home is destroyed by an earthquake? Do you know what documents to grab, do you have a list of items in your boxes that take, are you prepared with a simple escape plan from your home?
Local & Regional Emergency
West, Texas was a relatively localized emergency that has an entire town spinning from the after effects. Train derailments, power outages, water main breaks, and chemical spills are all things that can disrupt city services for days on end, which may leave you without the ability to go to the store, have clean water, or be safe. Do you have water stored in your home, or a plan on how to quickly store water in an emergency?
When the ‘recession’ hit in 2009-2010, many families (and companies) were caught off guard at the soaring prices, the change in consumer spending, and even the ability to keep paying on a home you thought you could afford. What happens when there is an even larger collapse of the economy – do you have food and water and means to grow your own food?
Most of us in the United States don’t really have a concept of what war is like, especially if we haven’t served in the military or have lived abroad in war regions. We might know what war looks like in 20 second snippets on the news and photos in a newspaper, or from stories we’ve heard from family members. We just have no concept of what living through war is like, and I bet few of us think that it will ever actually happen here. Those of us that grew up during the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Cold War do remember what it was like living under the possibility of nuclear war, and we saw a small taste of it with Three Mile Island and Chernobyl. This isn’t the point where you have to go buy a bunker in Idaho and gun yourself up (but feel free to if that’s how you roll), but you can’t completely deny the possibility that it’s a possibility, and you need to think through how you’ll handle it.
And the most important:
If nothing else, look to your spouse and your children. Whether your preparedness is all encompassing in a bunker in Idaho completely off the grid to making sure you have 3-4 days of food in your pantry, your family should be the driving force about why you prepare. It’s your responsibility as a Mom or a Dad or a Caregiver to make sure that you can handle whatever life throws at you to the best of your ability.
This post isn’t meant to be a End of the World scare tactic. It’s meant simply to help you think through those things that may happen, how you might prepare your home and family to deal with those things, and begin creating goals and plans on how you can accomplish this. Look at it as a call to action which can be empowering!
There will always be strife, there will always be death and loss, but with some careful planning and preparing, you can weather many of life’s storms and come out on the other side stronger and more capable than you imagine.
Needing some help on where to go next?
Here are some of my favorite blogs to read. They have helped me out tremendously. There are more – so many more, but here is where I learned the most when I first begin investigating what it meant to be prepared.
A Few of My Favorite Blogs to Get Things Started:
(youtube channel – skip to her older stuff on canning and dehydrating)
Hope this helps you realize that you have the power to help your family …one little emergency at a time!
Emily as an MFA in creative writing and a strong passion for cooking! She started trying out her mother’s recipes from a very young age, turning the time she spent in the kitchen into a career. She will soon publish her very first cookbook, and in her free time, Emily contributes to our blog with resources for all our readers, whether beginners or advanced chefs.