Emergency.cdc.gov lists 11 types of natural disasters and severe weather that affect people throughout the world. Many of them might not directly affect you, but there is at least one that can depending on where you live. They are:
- extreme heat
- floods hurricanes
- landslides and mudslides
- winter weather
Depending on where you live you need to be prepared for the worst possible version of whichever one of these 11 disasters might hit. For the South/Eastern coast of the United States that would mean hurricanes, for more central United States there are tornadoes, and for many countries around the world tsunamis are the biggest possible natural threat.
This video is a simulation of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, in what was the most deadliest tsunami in history. Over 150,000 people were killed or homeless in 11 countries. Pay attention to how many miles of coastland were affected by a single oceanic earthquake.
It was estimated by a U.S. Geological Survey to have released the energy of 23,000 Hiroshima-type atomic bombs.
Here is another video, taken by a tourist in 2011, as a tsunami goes over a sea wall.
Now though there is no sure way of being fully prepared for any disaster at all times, there are steps you and your family should take in order to be the best prepared you can be. You should also do some research on where you live to find out what disasters are common in your area and take further, more specific steps tailored for that type of situation.
Here are 10 general tips to help you get started.
1. Don’t, for a single second, think that a disaster will never happen to you. Always know that at any time something can happen. This also translates to other situations like riots or self-defense, where you may find yourself in the middle of violence. Never be a clueless victim. A lot of survival deals with the psychological aspect, not just physical. Be mentally prepared and your odds of staying alive will skyrocket.
2. Never panic. Panic leads to rushed, stupid decisions that will either get you killed, someone else killed, or at the very least set you back a great deal in whatever you’re doing. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you won’t be scared either. Disaster situations can be life-or-death and that is a scary thought. Identify the problem, choose your response, and take appropriate action to deal with it. It helps if you have previously made plans for various possible situations.
3. Know yourself. We all have limits, some are further down the line than others. You and your family will have specific needs that others may not have to worry about. Lack of physical fitness, needed medications, and even transportation issues are all normal examples of this. Know your and your family’s needs and limits, and address them.
4. Know how to do more with less. Simply reading this article will not satisfactorily prepare you for a disaster. You need to actually take steps to learn how to do certain things. My advice is to first go camping for a weekend if you have never done it. This alone will help you begin to develop a mind for living simply and efficiently.
5. Do not complicate things. Keep it simple. High-tech survival gear may fail you, so learn some real skills that will always stay with you, and practice using the gear you have. The more moving parts, the more hectic it can get.
6. Research your area. Do not prepare for hurricanes if you live in Kansas, instead – prepare for tornadoes. Do not waste time concerning about things that don’t affect where you live.
7. Knowing what affects your area isn’t enough – build bug-out-bags for you and your family that you can quickly grab when the situation strikes. Keep them light so they don’t slow you down. Also stock up on food, water, batteries, and other necessary items in case you are stuck at home.
8. Practice, practice, practice. Stay in shape and do dry-runs of your emergency plan, work out the kinks and modify it as you see fit.
9. Get others involved. Prepare your family first, but then get your neighbors to begin thinking the same. Maybe you have a friend who lives nearby who shares similar interests with you. Talk to them about it and make it into a project.
10. Don’t live in fear. Once you have taken the proper steps for preparedness that you think you need, continue to live your life normally. Do not become one of those crazy people who spend more money on fancy gear than food for your family. You will alienate those you love. Rotate certain perishable items like stored food and medications so that they are always fresh. If you live in fear it will result in paranoia, which will undo everything you have worked so hard to accomplish and ruin your chances of long-term self-reliance.