A New Year’s Resolution You Can Keep: Disaster Preparedness

Pack GongThey say the only constant in life is change. To wit, we can never know where or when the next natural disaster will hit. So, the best way to get ready for 2014 is to double check that your emergency plan is up to snuff. A strong emergency plan will keep you ready for whatever change next year throws your way.

3 Ways to Update Your Emergency Plan for the New Year

1. Check emergency supplies. You’ll need at least three days of food and water for each family member (including pets). To ensure that your plan is up to date, check that your food and water supplies are still good, and haven’t exceeded their expiration dates. Also ensure that you have working batteries in LED emergency lanterns and flashlights, and that you have viable back-up batteries on hand. This is also the perfect time of year to check that everything in your automobile emergency kit is still up to date.

2. Add long-term emergency preparedness. When disaster strikes, you can’t be sure how long it will take authorities and aid organizations to bring relief. Therefore, many survivalists suggest adding long-term preparedness habits to your emergency plan. For instance, 2014 could be your year for gardening. You can set up a survival garden with basic vittles (greens, herbs, potatoes, carrots, etc.) so that you’ll always have fresh greens on hand. It’s also smart to talk with neighbors about their emergency plans—you may be able to arrange trades for added comfort and stability. For instance, you may be able to borrow your neighbor’s DC cell phone charger in exchange for the use of your LED emergency lanterns.

3. Check for earthquake and flood readiness. Is your area prone to earthquakes, floods, or both? If so, walk through your home looking for potential problems in the face of these disasters. Secure loose items that could fall down and cause injury during an earthquake. Move all valuable items to upper floors to protect them against floods. Also check that your home’s drainage systems are working properly. If your gutters are shunting water under your home, it will be more susceptible to flood and earthquake damage.

With these three emergency preparedness New Year’s resolutions, you’ll feel safer and more at ease heading into 2014.

[photo by: pellaea on Flickr via CC License]

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