Create a Family Emergency & Survival Plan
Success requires planning. It doesn’t matter what you are trying to achieve, you have to plan for success. Survival is no exception. You cannot expect to have an easy time of it after a major disaster or other cataclysmic event if you have not prepared and plan on how you will handle it. If you have been doing a lot of prepping, but haven’t come up with a family survival plan, you are not fully prepared. Having an emergency food storage is only half the battle. You need to know how, when and how much to use of it in the days following a disaster. There are many facets to a survival plan. We will cover those here. Grab a pen and paper and jot down your ideas for each part of a typical survival plan. It is better if you create a survival plan for the most likely disasters for your particular area. If you live in tornado alley, you would plan for a major tornado and etc…
Designate a Meeting Place
Your first order of business is to establish a place where the family will all meet up in the aftermath of a disaster. This is typically the family home, but if you live way out of town and the family all works in town or goes to school in town, it is a good idea to plan to meet at a location in town and then make your way home together. If you have a retreat already established, that can be your meeting place. You also need to establish a meeting place somewhere close to your house in case you are all home when disaster strikes and you have to escape the home. This can be across the street, near the barn or somewhere close by. There is nothing more terrifying than being unable to find a loved one. In case you don’t see a family member at the meeting place, instruct each person to leave some kind of secret message that you have all agreed on that indicates they were at the meeting spot and will check back the next day.
Have an Outside Contact
Designate a family friend or relative that lives away from you in another state or in an area that is unlikely to be affected by the disaster. This is the person your family would check in with to let them know they are okay. This contact would relay messages and help arrange meet ups between family members that have been separated. For younger children, write or sew the number into a backpack or coat.
Give each family member a job that they will be in charge of in the event of an emergency. Don’t forget to assign the kids a small job as well. Jobs may include grabbing flashlights, making sure a younger sibling gets to the meeting place, locking doors and so on. It is important you divide and conquer. You cannot handle it all alone. By assigning responsibilities, you will increase your family’s escape time as well. As your family evolves, adjust the list of responsibilities.
Create Bug Out Bags or Survival Packs for Each Family Member
Part of your planning should include bug out bags or at the minimum small caches that include key survival tools. A box of matches, a survival knife and a bottle of water purification tablets takes up very little space. These basic items should be included in the trunks of cars, your desk at work and at home. Kids will be unable to carry these items, which is why it will be crucial you plan somewhere to meet up with young kids to bring them to safety. Bug out bags are meant to get you from one point to another. You only need to pack basic supplies that will aid in your survival. Don’t get too carried away and create a bag that is so heavy it is impractical to try and carry for long distances.
Practice Using Your Survival Tools
All of the survival gear in the world will not save your life if you don’t know how to use it. Plan a weekend of roughing it in the woods time to time to get your family familiar with what they can expect should the worst happen. Practice using the tools you have stored away for an emergency and get familiar with each of the quirks. If and when disaster strikes, your family will not be quite as scared and lost because they have practiced in a more controlled environment. They will know what to expect and what to do. This will help fight panic, which can be deadly. You must teach yourself and your family to keep their cool and think before blindly responding in an emergency situation. Panicking causes people to make rash, dangerous decisions that can cost them their life.
Establish a Communication Method
You need to be able to communicate with family members when you go out hunting or scavenging. Your best investment would be 2-way radios with the capability to span several miles. Your cell phone is always an option, but depending on the emergency, service may be out or overloaded. Investing in a CB or HAM radio has become a favorite among preppers. This will allow you to check in with others all over the country.
These are the things that will help you get off on the right foot following a major event. Taking the time to delegate, practice and train today will give you a huge advantage if and when disaster strikes. You don’t want to get caught without a plan in place. Get started with your family survival plan today and make sure you communicate it to the entire family. Hold a family meeting and gather input from your family members. Three or four heads thinking is better than one. Run emergency drills and test your family’s knowledge of the survival plan. Make adjustments as needed. There are always going to be ways to improve upon your plan and you won’t know until you have run through it a few times.