As preppers, we like to hope for the best but prepare for the worst. We’re ready for hurricanes, earthquakes, EMPs, and maybe even economic collapse. The problem is that there are far more likely “everyday” disasters that affect us more than any of the aforementioned disasters. It’s time to focus and prepare your family for the more mundane disasters out there.
The most likely causes of personal disaster that would affect just a family rather than a whole city or region would include: job loss, death of a spouse, long term illness, a house fire, and general child safety. As much as we like to prepare for hurricanes to Armageddon and everything in between, it just makes sense for us to prepare for those disasters that are more likely statistically (e.g., job loss or long term illness), the scariest of personal situations (e.g., house fire or kidnapping), or just plain inevitable (e.g., death of a spouse). With these in mind, here are a few suggestions for you to better prepare your family:
Keeping the basics up to date, including your resume, networking contacts, letters of recommendation, and so on are smart actions. With the job market being tough the last thing you need is to be scrambling to put together documents and contact lists that are easily updated from time to time. I would also suggest you keep your Monster.com and CareerBuilder.com accounts active and ready to go if need be. It doesn’t hurt to get a LinkedIn.com profile together as well. After all, the world is digital… be sure you’re there. Of course, the most likely source of job leads are going to be from your networking so be sure to always keep your ears open.
In order to avoid an unexpected job loss turning into a downright immediate catastrophe, many prepping activities are called for, including food storage, cash reserves, stockpiling medications, and so on. The prepping lifestyle does have benefits beyond being ready for Armageddon. Jack Spirko gives some good advice about job loss here: Episode-245- Dealing With A Job Loss.
Long Term Illness
Deciding what to do with a family member that needs long term care has got to be tough. While it may be that the best option for such care is at a nursing home, sometimes that option just won’t work due to expense or whatever. Other options include in-home nursing care or actually caring for that person on your own. Because the potential medical conditions that require long term care are so varied, a general list of supplies would be difficult to put together. That said, it is likely to expect that anyone who requires long term care will likely need the following:
- OTC, prescription medications, antibiotics - whatever is needed to keep them alive and functioning (stockpiled if able)
- a way to eat and drink while bedridden – straws, hot water bottles and other supplies may come in handy
- a method to care for bodily functions – think about bed pans, diaper wipes, catheters,
- a way to clean and bathe them without using the tub or shower
Consider reading these SurvivalBlog.com articles discussing the subject: Letter Re: Extended Care of the Chronically Ill in TEOTWAWKI and Four Letters Re: Extended Care of the Chronically Ill in TEOTWAWKI.
Do the obvious basics such as smoke detectors (the more the merrier), CO detectors (at least on every level), fire extinguishers (on each level and in bedrooms at minimum), and so on. Be smart about your actions (e.g., no smoking in bed) as well as what you use inside such as no charcoal burning devices (BIG NO-NO), and anything else that shouldn’t be used inside unless it specifically states so. There are plenty of resources out there, such as FireSafety.gov and CSIA.org for starters… use them!
In addition, the basic fire drill is a good start. Get the kids to draw their room and escape routes if you like. Perhaps a better idea is to physically take your children from room to room and ask them how they would get out if they had to; that way you can interact with them and correct their decisions right them and there. Not long ago I actually showed my kids how to completely open their bedroom window and remove the screen, then I asked each of them to show me that they could do it as well. Oh, and teach them how most house fires kill (the smoke and heat from the smoke, not the flames) so that they should crawl to get out if they had to.
Consider emergency lights that will turn on automatically if the power goes out, placed near your bed and/or window so that you have an immediately accessible light if there is ever a house fire. Consider purchasing smoke egress masks (such as this Breath of Life Emergency Escape Mask) and have them at bedsides.
While I can’t say this is very common–thankfully–I can say it’s at the top of my “scariest” list. I would suspect it’s near the top of yours as well. I’ve talked about this before in my Are You Teaching Your Kids to Be Disobedient? post, so I won’t rehash it here. The point is simply that you should be talking with your children regularly about stranger danger and what they can and should do about it.
Death of a Spouse
As much as I don’t want to think about this one either, it is inevitable. Proper estate planning is a must here. Again, Jack Spirko had a guest on a while back that discussed this very topic here Episode-872- Mark Matthews on Estate Planning, which I mentioned previously in The Disaster We’ll ALL Face for Sure! article.
Regardless of the “everyday” disaster listed above, they are all real and probably need your direct attention from time to time. Please take the action steps necessary to get your family as ready as they can be, even for seemingly mundane disasters such as these.