Checklist: What You’ll Need If Mother Nature Strikes

DIsaster PlanningWhen Mother Nature rears her ugly head in the form of natural disasters like earthquakes, snow storms, blackouts and floods, it’s crucial to be prepared for any eventuality. Doomsday Preppers may be a fun TV show to watch but the entire premise is worthy of note, even if on a smaller scale for the average folks. Failing to be prepared means you could be left behind when food and water are scarce and you risk being raided for what little supplies you do have. Do what you can to protect yourself and your family now so that in the future when disaster does strike, you won’t have to scramble just to survive.

Guard Your Home

Whether you have one gun or several different kinds, it’s crucial to have the right kind of ammunition to use in them — and to have enough on hand in case of emergency. A gun is useless if you run out of ammo. Stock up on boxes of 9mm ammo and store them in a locked safe along with your weapons. If a prolonged blackout occurs due to the weather and days go by when food and water dwindle, you don’t want strangers knocking down your door to find out what you may have. Be ready to protect your turf if it comes to that.

Invest in a Generator

Whether you lose power in the summer due to thunderstorms or in the winter due to heavy snow and ice, you need to have an alternative source of power at the ready. Failure to do so could lead to dangerous conditions, especially in the cold months when it’s freezing outside and you face the possibility of days on end with no power. The best time to buy a generator is in the summer. If you wait till the height of the winter, or right when you lose power in your region, you will be met with bare store shelves or inflated prices on the ones that are left. Keep a small backup generator in your basement or shed in the event you need to power it up. But again, like the weapons, a generator is only as good as the amount of gas you have to fuel it. So make sure you have enough fuel and store it safely.

Water and Food Reserves

Putting aside the time and resources now to stock your food pantry and water supplies will ensure you have enough sustenance when a storm or other natural disaster hits. Both FEMA and the Red Cross recommend storing at least two weeks’ worth of food and water. In terms of water, you’ll need one gallon of water per person for each day. Stock your pantry with gallons and bottles of spring water, juice, canned foods such as soups and beans, and freeze dry foods such as nuts and dried fruit. Focus on high-calorie foods that will give you the most nourishment in times of stress. Avoid foods that need to be refrigerated once open or that require cooking or special prep work. Also, avoid salty foods, which will in turn make you thirsty and lead to drinking more water, further depleting your supplies. Keep your extra supplies in a cool, dark place such as a basement and be mindful of expiration dates. Don’t forget food and water for your pets, too.

Extra Supplies

Injury is a real possibility during times of emergency. If there is no easy way to get to a hospital or for emergency crews to get to you, it’s critical to build up a well-stocked first aid kit complete with sanitizing agents, bandages, medications and the like. You should also stock up on non-food essentials such as flashlights, batteries, manual can openers, matches, diapers and wipes if you have an infant, fully charged cell phones, sleeping bags, feminine products, fire extinguisher, mess kits, glasses and any prescription medications your family needs. This includes epinephrine injectors and inhalers. In the event of a prolonged disaster situation, you won’t be able to refill any prescriptions at the pharmacy so think of the worst case scenario and be ready. When you’re adequately prepared, you have peace of mind that you can and will protect yourself and your family.

Lee Flynn is from the Wasatch Mountains near Salt Lake City, UT. After Lee spent years preparing himself, his home and his family, he decided he had to do more. In his free time, Lee helps educate those who want to do the same. Through small local workshops and articles, Lee trains and teaches others on home preparation, food storage techniques, wilderness survival and self reliance. After obtaining a bachelors degree from the University of Utah, Lee moved to the Salt Lake Valley where he now lives with his wife and daughter.

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