While most of us live our lives with no real crisis or emergencies, sometimes freak weather events occur. In many countries, there is the risk of cyclone, bushfire, tsunami, earthquake, landslide, volcanic eruptions or other natural yet scary phenomena. Or sometimes man made emergencies occur like power outages due to accident, riots or large scale conflict. So, even if you live in a relatively stable country like Australia, it pays to be prepared for emergency. There’s a few things you can do to ensure that you and yours are safe if, and when, a crisis strikes!
Power is the Key
We have grown so used to having electricity that we can forget just how much we rely on it until it’s taken away. That’s why it pays to have a small generator in your garage, with a diesel tank for fuel, in case of disaster. If you have power you can ensure that you can call for help on a fully charged mobile phone if the landline is down, you can turn lights on to see and your food doesn’t spoil in case you can’t make it to the shops for supplies. Thinking about supplies…
Have a Stock of Food and Water
It pays to be prepared. If you can’t access the nearest shop due to closed roads or flooding then you’re going to want to have enough food and water on hand to survive until things clear up. The average human needs about 2 litres of water a day to remain healthily hydrated, so multiply this by how many people live in your house and stock up for at least a week or two. Also, grab lots of packaged and canned food. Soups are a great one to have because they contain vegetables and meat to keep you nourished.
If you’re going to be holed up at home with all those canned goods you’re going to need to be able to cook them. If the mains gas and power are both down you need a cooking solution. Plenty of outdoor stores sell portable gas stoves. Grab a stove and enough gas to last a week or two so that you can have hot meals and tea and coffee while you wait out the disaster.
Have an Escape Planned
This is a tip for those that live in bushfire or flood prone areas. While it’s all well and good to stock up the pantry and the garage with the above items sometimes you’re going to need to evacuate, full stop. So plan ahead and make sure to have multiple escape routes planned. Keep an eye on early warning systems and know the signs. If high rainfall is expected or you’ve got a week of hot weather and high winds ahead then consider getting ready to pack up and go. Here’s a great tip – have a suitcase packed for every member of the family containing clothes, toiletries and other essentials so you don’t need to waste any time when it’s time to get up and go.
It’s best to be prepared. Have a generator with some fuel ready to go in case the power goes out. Have a good amount of water and canned and packaged food ready so you stay hydrated and fed if you can’t get to the shops. Grab a gas stove from the outdoor store so you can cook and have hot drinks. Don’t forget a First Aid Kit to help keep your family safe if emergency services can’t reach you and Finally, even with all this preparation be ready to hit the road quickly in case of a crisis. There’s bravery, and there’s stupidity. It’s better to be smart and stay alive.