How to Prepare Your Family for a Disaster

No one actually likes thinking about how potential disasters could cause emergency situations for themselves and their families.

But at the same time, if disaster strikes, you’ll be able to handle the situation much better if you and your family are prepared.

Disasters come in many shapes and forms. You could experience a natural disaster like a flood, hurricane, or wildfire, or you could be struck by a man-made disaster like a terrorist attack, a radiation threat, or a power outage.

Whatever type of disaster could happen in the future, you need to prepare yourself and your loved ones.

Come Up with a Plan

Sit down with your family and communicate openly about the types of disasters that could potentially occur.

If you live in Oklahoma, you’re more likely to experience tornadoes whereas if you live in Florida, you could be more exposed to hurricanes.

Once you have talked about and listed different disasters, come up with an effective disaster plan to put into action should the disaster strike. The plan should be straightforward and easy to implement.

If you have a complex disaster plan, it can lead to much more confusion when you try to implement it during the stressful situation of an actual disaster.

Generally, you should have a plan for two scenarios: a disaster that forces you to evacuate your home and a disaster that forces you to be confined to your home.

The former means having a plan in which you know exactly what to do and what items you should take with you when you have to leave your home. The latter means being stocked up with essentials in order to survive.

Stock Up Long-lasting Foods

A crucial step in preparedness for being confined to your home is having a food supply. It’s wise to start stocking up on food with a long shelf life.

By having an emergency food supply, you and your family will be able to get through the period of confinement.

You can purchase emergency foods that have very long shelf lives, such as twenty-five years, but you should also stock up on other long-lasting foods that require no refrigeration. That could include canned meats, vegetables, and fruit, powdered milk, soup mixes, and chocolate.

Stock Up Water

Just as important as food is water. If a disaster causes a water shortage, you need to be prepared. So, stock up on water.

People require at least one gallon of water each day, and you should stock up enough water to last at least several days; so, calculate how much water you need to store for the size of your family.

You could keep water in plastic, fiberglass, or enamel-lined containers, and you should store it in a cool and dark place.

You should also make sure you have water purification tablets in case the emergency situation goes on for a long time. With purification tablets, you can make water sources like river water safe to drink.

Come Up with Precise Actions as Part of Your Disaster Plan

 Preparing your family for a disaster isn’t only about making sure you have the right supplies. It’s also about ensuring you, your partner, and your children stay calm during an emergency situation and know precisely what to do.

If disaster happens, each member of the family needs to know things like:

  • What to do in the event of a fire, such as staying low to avoid the smoke and checking door knobs for heat before turning them.
  • Where to go when a certain disaster like a hurricane or wildfire strikes.
  • The designated meeting place, in case you become separated.
  • The designated local contact that any family member can get in touch with, in case of separation.
  • Breathing techniques to help stay calm and focused.


You don’t have to build an underground shelter to prepare for a disaster – just follow these simple steps to ensure that your family is safe should a disaster strike.

How have you prepared your family for a disaster? Let us know in the comments.

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