Life is full of little surprises. The folk of New Orleans didn’t expect Katrina. The folk in the Midwest probably won’t expect the upcoming killer quake centered around the New Madris Fault in the Missouri Bootheel. Or, sometimes the surprise may be on a much smaller scale, such as the tornado that devastated Joplin, Missouri five years ago. On the ultimate small scale, you could merely be lost in the woods.
A common theme to life-altering emergencies is that most people are unprepared. Preparation demands the right mindset, and the right tools to survive. Let’s examine some of these necessities in our Survival Gear FAQ. Then scroll down and stock up on some of the things that will prove helpful.
What is the most important step in surviving an emergency?
There is no overwhelming important step. There are a series of important steps that should be considered. However, there is always a first step. That is preparation. With a failure to plan pre-emergency then any post-emergency plans you make will probably end in failure.
Such planning includes an initial meeting point with the family so that all go to the same place. A final meeting place is critical as everyone needs to know the destination. If it is incumbent to bug out, then everyone should be on the same page.
If you are going on a trip then you should leave a detailed itinerary with someone at home, including answering all the whos, wheres, whens, and hows questions.
Who is responsible for what during a system-wide emergency is also important for pre-planning. Someone needs to secure transportation while another person may be responsible for obtaining food supplies and ready cash.
What is a “bug out bag” and what is in it?
A bug out bag is a small, rugged container that holds enough necessities to get you through a short period of time on the road or in a shelter. The idea is that when the hammer comes down you won’t need to look around for the emergency supplies that you need because you will have them all pre-packed and ready to go.
Bug out bags are usually designed for 2 to 3 days, 4 to 7 days, and 7 to 14 days. The longer the anticipated use, the more should be packed in. Supplies usually include some kind of dried food, water, a water cleanser, paracord, cutting and multi-tools, a fire-starter, compass, sturdy replacement clothing, and blankets or other supplies to make rudimentary shelters. A small medical kit is considered high-priority. These are all useful even if you are trapped in an urban area.
Self-defense and protection tools such as pepper spray or stun guns should be included.
What about mental preparation?
You need three mental attributes to get you through this type of emergency. They are not ordered from one to three, but staying calm, being optimistic, and having determination will see you through a lot of times when nothing else will.
Practice living through the small pressures of your life with those three mental attributes and they’ll soon grow strong like a muscle that is given constant workouts. Then, when you need them the most they won’t let you down.
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