What is Preparedness?
Are you prepared for an emergency situation? Do you have a plan and resources to face tough times? In this article, we’re going to put preparedness into perspective for regular folks.
First off, this is not an article about doomsday prepping or end of the world scenarios. There is no way to plan for that types of events. This article is intended to make you think about what you can do to prepare for hard times or life-changing events.
What is Preparedness?
In simple terms, preparedness means being prepared when life throws you a curveball. To have systems, resources and a plan in place to handle hard times or an emergency.
Preparedness has many forms. Each person/family needs to define what preparedness means for them. To think about what kind of problems you might encounter that could impact your well being. Problems could include things like:
- Losing a Job
- Natural Disaster
- Fire or Flood
- Sickness in the Family
- Medical Emergency
- Roberry or Theft
- Utility failures such as a power outage or water outage
- Downturn in the Economy or Inflations
- And many more…
How do I start getting more prepared?
To become more prepared start small. You don’t need to buy a year’s worth of freeze-dried food or build a bunker. Take smart steps, starting with these basics and build up. The following are some basics steps to get started:
- Plan: Determine what types of problems you want to prepare for. Once you understand what problem you are trying to address, you can start listing the resources and steps to be ready for that kind of event. Build a plan and set goals for when and how you will complete the plan.
- Cover the Basics: Make sure you cover the basics food, water, and shelter. Then build on that foundation.
- Processes: Build processes into your everyday life that help you build a more prepared foundation.
- Example: Stop going to Starbucks every morning. Set the money you would spend each week aside and start saving that money as an emergency fund.
- Resources: Start acquiring the resources that you will need to be better prepared. Again, start small build it into your budget.
- Example: If you want to build more food in your pantry, buy a couple of extra canned vegetables every time you go grocery shopping.
To help you better understand what types of problems to prepare for, below are a few examples of real-life situations.
You have a family member in another state that gets sick, and you need to travel to them quickly. Do you have the resources and planning in place to be able to drop everything and get to them? Here are some examples of how to prepare for this problem:
- Have some money saved in case you need to take a flight.
- Plan where you will stay if you have to travel. The worst time to deal with the details is during the crisis.
- Save some vacation days for emergencies.
- Have a plan for someone to care for your children, pets, or home.
There is a power outage in your town for one week in the winter. Without power, you don’t have lights, refrigeration and possibly heat. Here are some examples of how to prepare for this problem:
- Have a backup generator, if you can afford it.
- Make sure you have fuel and oil for the generator.
- Have backup light sources such as flashlights, lanterns or tap lights.
- Have a battery operated radio to receive news and updates.
- Store extra batteries for all your devices.
- Have a backup source of heat. Heat backup sources could include a fireplace or a portable heater like the Mr. Heater portable indoors/outdoors heater.
- If you have a fireplace, make sure you have enough wood.
- Store extra blankets and warm clothing for everyone in your home.
- Store food that does not need refrigeration.
- Plan how you will cook food. Do you have a grill or solar oven that you can use for cooking food?
- Plan to cook the food in your refrigerator first, so it doesn’t go bad
- Do you have a way to keep your phone charged in case of emergency? You might want to get a portable solar panel to keep your phone charged.
Have a plan to address boredom. With no TV or computers, you need to think ahead and figure out how to keep everyone busy.
Plan to keep in touch with family and friends. Make sure you keep your loved ones up to date on the situation, so they don’t worry.
You lose your job. It takes you six weeks to get a new job. Here are some examples of how to prepare for this problem:
- Reduce your bills. Start reducing your debt now. The fewer bills you have during a time of crisis, the better off you will be.
- Build up your savings so that you can have fewer worries about finances.
- Keep a backup supply of food in your pantry. Try keeping enough extra food for 30 days.
- Grow some of your own food either in a garden or by container gardening.
- Create multiple streams of income. Build a second source of income into your life that can help you get through those tough times.
- Keep your resume up to date, so it’s easy for you to apply for a job quickly.
- Build good habits for you and your family, that keeps your utility bills low. Again, having lower bills will help in case of crisis.
Preparedness is built processes and systems into your everyday life to ensure the wellbeing of you and your family in case of an emergency. Being prepared doesn’t have to be hard or expensive, it just takes a little planning ahead of time. Take small steps, and you can be more prepared in case something happens.
Check back with Tin Can Junction regularly as we dive deeper into the topic of preparedness.