Do you have a family preparedness plan? Disasters, pandemics, and other emergencies can happen at any time, so it’s necessary to have a family emergency preparedness plan in place. Here’s what you need to know to be prepared.
Remember the Chinese proverb “may you live in interesting times”?
Well, the world is certainly living in interesting times right now. With the recent creation of and worldwide spread of a pandemic, families everywhere are wondering how to keep themselves safe.
This virus seems particularly nasty for those in the elderly population, and the number of infections (and deaths) seemingly double each day.
I’ve personally never seen a panic over an illness like this. I remember back in 2015 when Ebola had an outbreak and thought it might make its way to the US then, but it never did. We are now facing a worldwide pandemic, and many people in the US are very worried about how this virus may affect them and their loved ones.
As more and more businesses and supports shut down in an effort to curb the spread of this current virus, it's more important than ever to be prepared for an emergency and have the ability to stay home for extended periods of time.
Family Disaster Preparedness
Emergencies are inevitable. When you are facing any type of emergency (natural or not), it’s crucial to ensure that your family’s basic needs and safety are met.
The BEST way to do this is to have a pre-thought out family preparedness plan in place. Many people have a tendency to panic in the event of an emergency, but being mentally and physically prepared can help to reduce feelings of panic so you can help your family to the best of your ability.
An emergency preparedness plan should include any emergency essentials you and your family need. Store and arrange your emergency preparedness supplies in an easily accessible way. While your family's emergency preparedness plan will be unique to your family, there are a few general things that will help to best prepare you for any emergency.
Grab Our Family Emergency Supplies Checklist
You can be prepared with a reasonable amount of supplies in the event that you find yourself at home for a week or two. Grab our printable emergency quarantine supply checklist and round up practical supplies to have on hand. 👇👇
What should every family emergency preparedness plan include?
Create a Disaster Supply Kit
Your kit is essential to an effective emergency preparedness plan. Your disaster kit will include stocks of medical and first aid supplies, prescription medications, non-perishable food and water supplies, flashlights & batteries, radio & blankets, and other necessary items.
It can be tempting to include luxuries in your family disaster supply kit. However, our basic necessities include: food, water, clothing, and shelter; anything else in a crisis is a luxury.
Natural disasters may knock out power, pollute drinking water, and/or make it difficult for first responders to reach you. You will benefit most from having enough supplies to be able to ride it out for 2 weeks.
Store Enough Food and Water
One huge thing that I’ve witnessed in the last week is how quickly people go from being prepared to an irrational full-on panic mode in the form of fear-filled hoarding.
Have you noticed this too? Grocery stores everywhere are packed with shoppers all day long, stocking up on toilet paper, bottled water, hand sanitizer and more — more than any couple or family could use in months, let alone in weeks.
I went to the grocery store for a few things that we needed (to finish our appropriate food supply stores) and found EMPTY shelves. It was so shocking that I even took pictures of this normally full grocery stores with empty shelves. The pasta aisle…EMPTY. The paper products and cleaning supplies aisles…EMPTY.
And on top of that was the shocking behavior of the shoppers. It was very much a mob mentality – an every man for himself method of operation.
It was an extremely surreal experience.
As a supply and demand society, what happens in the aftermath of this fear-filled hoarding? A very real supply and demand problem occurs. Stores are left with empty shelves which trickles down to the average person trying to do their regular shopping only to find lots of out of stock items.
An emergency food supply of canned and non-perishable items, and safe drinking water, ARE necessary. Not luxury items. Not a year’s worth of supplies. A solid 2 weeks of necessary supplies are what you need.
For families living in areas with an increased likelihood of natural disasters, including hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, wildfires, or snow emergencies, having a family emergency plan and stocked emergency supplies is essential.
Family Preparedness Plan “Go-Bag”
If you live in an area prone to natural disasters, I suggest having a Go Bag prepared for each family member in case you are forced to evacuate your home quickly. Backpacks are the best way carry all of the items.
Use this list to help you know what to pack:
- Flashlights & batteries
- Dust Mask
- Utility Tool
- Cash in Small Denominations
- Sleeping Bag or Blanket
- Local Maps
- Food and Water: Trail Mix, Peanut Butter, and Canned Meat
- List of Important Family Information and Contacts
- Copy of Health Insurance and Identification Cards
- Extra Set of Prescription Glasses or contacts
- Prescription Medication
- First Aid Kit
- Change of Clothing, Sturdy Shoes, Rain Gear, Hat and Gloves
- Extra Keys to House and Vehicle
- Toothbrush and Toothpaste
- Moist Towelettes
- Two-Way Radios
- Matches or Lighters (in a waterproof container)
Grab Our Family Emergency Supplies Checklist
Know exactly what to store to survive for 2 weeks by following our Emergency Quarantine Checklist. Enter your info below the image to get instant access! 👇👇
Activities For Keeping the Kids Busy
- Play card games
- Write a letter or draw a picture to a family member who is far away.
- Play board games
- Make cookies
- Discover a new series on Netflix
- Color in coloring books
- Put together a 500 piece puzzle
- Facetime a friend or relative far away
- Blow bubbles in the bathroom
- Make homemade playdough
- Bake muffins or a cake
- Build a blanket fort
- Read books out loud
- Make paper snowflakes
- Plant herb seeds and watch them grow
- Make sugar crystals on a string
- Take a walk around the neighborhood
- Take a bubble bath
- Have a pillow fight
- Climb Trees
- Pull out the Legos and have a building contest
- Lay on the grass and see what you can see in the clouds.
More Family Emergency Preparedness Plan Help
Now that you have the basics of an emergency preparedness plan and our checklist for what you need, these fellow bloggers provide even more help when planning for an emergency!
Pandemic Emergency Supplies | The Organization House
Quarantined at home? Yep, us too.
Car Emergency Must-Haves | Saving Dollars and Sense
An emergency can happen at any time – including when you’re in your car on the road. Here’s what you need to have in your car to survive a car emergency.
When the Power Goes Out | A Mother Far From Home
Having the power go out can be a scary (and dangerous) situation. Here’s what you need to do to prepare for an extended period of time with no electricity.
Emergency Food Prep | Fried Dandelions
Especially if you have dietary restrictions, think through food prep during an emergency.
How to Cook When the Power is Out | Homestead Acres
Not just one way but 11 different ways to cook when you have no power.
Quick & Easy Pantry Meals | The Forked Spoon
Quick and easy meal ideas made from things you likely already have in your pantry.
More Family Disaster Preparedness Resources
I hope you find these tips and our checklist helpful as you design your family emergency preparedness plan!
Tell us in the comments below: what are any other questions or concerns you have about your family preparedness plan?
More From Made in a Pinch:
- Life-Saving Water Safety Rules Parents Can't Ignore
- Essential Stay Home Alone Rules to Keep Kids Safe