From Sharon Ross, Afrovivalist and Preparedness Educator
Being Mentally Prepared for Disasters
A man-made or natural disaster will cause disruption and disorder in your life. You could be affected mentally and physically depending on the situation. Being prepared is an essential element of survival when the inevitable unplanned earthquake occurs.
It is important that every able person is responsible for themselves and their family members when preparing for a disaster.
It is a potential deadly mistake to think that the only thing one needs to do is stock up on supplies. There is more to it than that. You must have a mindset of knowledge that is second nature.
You may find yourself exposed to horrible devastation. Can your mind handle the images? Will you know what to do?
Depending on where you are during a disaster, your mind could be going in all different directions. It’s important to get your mind right, now, before a disaster.
Get mentally prepared. Panic will reduce your chances of survival greatly, much less your ability to thrive and keep your family, pets, community healthy in the days after.
Being mentally prepared can assist you in staying alert, possibly keep you from going into shock, or keep you from panicking.
During that catastrophic unplanned disaster, you will need a controlled mind that will keep you focused. Mental preparation will assist you in surviving the disaster.
I encourage you to watch Trauma Psychologist, Rob Gordon talks about disaster preparedness. He is the expert and explains it clearly.
No matter where you live, there is the possibility of calamity. Whether it is earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires, mudslides, or the risk of a nuclear, chemical accident, you must be mentally prepared to survive.
Prepare now to have peace of mind during a time of devastation.
Research Where You Live
What sort of calamity is your region susceptible to?
Not all regions of the United States are susceptible to the same types of disasters, and not every disaster is prepared for in the same way. Research where you live and think about the supplies you will need to prepare for those specific types of emergencies.
In the aftermath of an unplanned event, stores may be closed for several days to weeks due to damage and power outages. Roads may be unsafe to travel. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Red Cross strongly encourage that every home has at minimum a 2-week emergency supply on hand. Most emergency kits on the market are standard kits. I would suggest you choose a kit and customize it to you and your family’s needs. Every person in your family should have a kit.
Vehicle Emergency Kit
It’s important to keep an emergency kit and supplies in every vehicle you use on a regular basis. When you purchase your vehicle kit be certain to add hiking boots, clothing, blankets, and anything else you feel you may need if you find yourself stranded on the road.
Water is life.
You cannot survive 3 days without it.
Every person in your family should have 1 gallon of water per day.
FEMA states that every person needs a minimum of ½ gallon of clean drinking water and ½ gallon of water for sanitation per day.
After many disasters, such as an earthquake, water lines and running water will most likely be unsafe to drink because of contamination.
It is recommended that you purchase a long-term water storage drum for sanitation and hygiene.
How much water do you need for yourself and your family?
Number of Family Members x Number of Days = Gallons of Water Needed
Do you have enough food to feed your family after a disaster?
If all stores are closed, how do you plan on providing food for your family in the aftermath of a disaster?
Start a pantry of freeze dried, dehydrated and canned foods. But keep in mind when purchasing food to make sure you have enough calories for you and family for basic sustenance. The average male needs a minimum of 2000 calories and the average female needs minimum of 1600 calories per day.
First Aid Kits & Supplies
Every home should have a basic first aid kit that includes medications and sanitary supplies.
From small everyday scrapes and bruises to minor medical emergencies, first aid kits are an absolute must to have on hand. If you already have a first aid kit, be sure to check your kit for expired and missing items and replace them.
Emergency Radios & Communication
An emergency radio is very important to have because it will allow you to listen to emergency broadcasts so you can stay informed of local and national emergency directions and instructions. Always have extra batteries stored or purchase a non-battery crank or solar powered radio. In regions of the country where weather related disaster occurs regularly, make sure you purchase a radio with NOAA frequency and alerts.
What if your electricity is out for days or weeks and you, your family and pets are forced to evacuate or camp out in the backyard without access to power?
Emergency lighting will not only give you a sense of security and safety, but will eliminate possible injuries from moving around in the dark.
Imagine your home has become uninhabitable and the plumbing is non-functional.
Where will you use the facilities?
How will you maintain basic sanitary conditions? If your home is destroyed, you may have to camp outside or with neighbors until rescue teams arrive to offer you a better situation. Consider having these emergency sanitation supplies on hand to maintain sanitary conditions in a disaster. FEMA recommends to have two 5-gallon buckets. One will be labeled “PEE” and the second one, “POOP.” Line each bucket with heavy duty contractor’s bags to store the waste. Proper disposal of human and animal waste is of the utmost importance as disease can spread fast when infrastructure is compromised. The refusal to properly dispose of bodily waste will impact your quality of life and could cause an untimely and unpleasant death.
Emergency Shelter & Warmth
If your home is uninhabitable or you are forced to relocate by first responders, do you have the proper equipment to shelter you for days and maybe weeks? If you are a camper, you are already prepared. If not, take the time to purchase camping supplies.
Where do you store your emergency supplies?
The best place to store your emergency supplies is outside your home in a secure tool shed or outbuilding, however, this is not possible in every home.
If you keep your supplies in your garage, make sure they are close to an entryway because the garage is usually the first room to collapse if there is structural damage to the house during an earthquake. Remember that many supplies like water and long-term shelf life food must be stored between 40°– 65°. Every home is different so come up with a plan to meet your storage needs. Most importantly, make sure everyone in the home knows where the emergency supplies are located and train them on how to use the items properly.
Learn New Skills
Survival preparedness requires survival skills. Attend deCamp Outdoors to sustain life in any type of natural or urban environment. deCamp Outdoors, A Preparedness Camp for City Folks, offers a weekend for adults age 21 and older to gain knowledge on disaster preparedness and wilderness survival skills all in one place. Visit the website for more information.
Are you interested in preparing at home, please go to www.afrovivalist.com or feel free to contact Afrovivalist directly at 971-343-1101. I look forward to assisting you.