92% of Americans who have survived a natural disaster say they are not prepared for the next one. *

85% of our nation is not ready for a devastating event.

52% of Americans do not have copies of crucial personal documents. **

48% of Americans do not have emergency supplies.

44% of Americans do not own a first aid kit.

*Source: FEMA.GOV

**Source: US Department of Health and Human Services 2016

Do you live in an area prone to flooding, an area plagued by harsh winters, areas susceptible to tornadoes, coastal areas facing hurricanes, or in earthquake country? Identify if you are at risk and the key is to identify why you are at risk.

Steps to prepare yourself to survive with minimal effort:

Step 1 – Make a plan, familiarize yourself with how to receive emergency alerts and warnings from local government agencies and law enforcement personnel in your hometown. Talk with your family about plans for different disasters and what to do. Learn how and when to turn off water, gas, and electricity at main lockouts. Talk with your family members about how you will communicate with each other during a disaster. Collect personal information from each family member’s photos, phone number, and email address. Include doctors, hospitals, and schools. Provide a laminated copy to each person involved. Choose an emergency meeting place if practical. Determine and practice the best escape routes from your homes.

Step 2: Gather emergency supplies. Water, 1 gallon per person per day for 72 hours in addition to water for preparing food, bathing, brushing teeth, and washing dishes. Food experts recommend a three-month supply of non-perishable foods (infant formula if needed). Clothes, you will need complete changes of clothes for each member of the family. Include long pants, long-sleeved shirts, comfortable shoes considering the climatic area in which you live. Don’t forget baby diapers and also include sleeping bags or warm blankets for each person. Personal health care supplies should be in the travel bag, prescription drugs, first aid kit (to match your lifestyle). Feminine hygiene items, prescription glasses, and hand sanitizer will also be needed. Gather important documents to include copies of insurance policies, copies of identification cards (driver’s license, passport, or other identification), bank account information, cash (small bills) or traveler’s checks, family photos (if separated), and a first aid book Store everything in waterproof portable containers. And finally, stock safety supplies and equipment such as water filtration devices, flashlights, batteries, fire extinguishers, battery or hand-cranked radios, waterproof matches, paper cups, plates, utensils (the old military-style gear), paper towels, large trash bags with ties, paper and pencils, whistle, dust mask, duct tape, can opener, cell phone charger, lighter, rope, wrench or pliers.

Step 3-Emergency food supplies. Choose foods that have a long shelf life and do not need to be refrigerated. Supplies should be easy to prepare with minimal steps. Fruit bars, nuts, peanut butter, and canned juices. Vitamins, baby food, children, high-calorie foods, comfort and anti-stress foods, dehydrated milk, pet food. Keep salty and spicy foods to a minimum, as they increase the need to drink water. Check and replace at intervals throughout the year as needed. Store a three-month supply of non-perishable food in a cool, dry place that is easy to reach. Choose familiar foods that include all dietary concerns and needs. Keep food in covered containers, keep utensils clean, and keep trash closed or buried! Wash hands frequently with soap and water. Discard the food if it is questionable. Use bottled water if possible and if the water is questionable it should be boiled or treated.

Use perishable foods in your refrigerator or freezer before using your emergency supplies. If cooking food in a can, remove the label, wash the can thoroughly, and then open the can before heating.

Have at least one gallon per day per person stored in sturdy plastic bottles with tight-fitting lids. Stored water should be changed every six months. Allow your people to drink as much water as they want or need. Everyone is different and may require more. Do not ration drinking water unless directed by local or federal authorities. Do not substitute carbonated drinks for drinking water. Capture and store rainwater or snow. Use ice cubes, liquid from canned goods like fruits or vegetables. Water from heating systems, toilets, flush tanks, waterbeds, pools, or spas may be used for personal hygiene and cleaning, but not for drinking!

Step 4: Get over the disaster while sheltering in place. Protect yourself, your family and pets from the elements by staying indoors. Make sure all windows, doors, air vents, and fireplace dampers are locked or closed. Turn off any airflow systems. Have an emergency supply kit ready. Go for interior rooms with minimal windows and seal all windows with plastic sheeting and tape. Watch TV, radio, or check the Internet frequently for official news and instructions.

If you are stranded outdoors, find a structure that will protect you from the elements. Stay warm, dry and hydrated. If you are separated from your family, be sure to contact them to inform them of your whereabouts.

Step 5-Coping with the disaster. Keep your mind off what’s going on around you by entertaining yourself and your family with board games. Stay informed through television or radio. Take care of your body by eating healthy, staying hydrated, and getting enough sleep if possible. Take breaks from everything that’s going on and spend time together. Keep a regular schedule for your days. Provide a safe environment and help others if you can. Identify what you are at risk for and prepare, so that when that time comes you can rest easy knowing that you and your loved ones are cared for.

Plan, prepare, protect, overcome, endure, endure, do it and keep body, soul and family together. You need a plan to prepare and protect yourself and your family. Survival is our strategy!”

Thanks for reading this. I would love to hear what your ideas are and what you have done to better prepare yourself to master outdoor survival and how you practice and why, so please leave your comments below and share your thoughts.

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