10 Graceful Steps to Preparedness

Featuring Tips from CommonSenseHome.com

Featuring Tips from CommonSenseHome.com

At RML we strive to be a source of positivity and inspiration in light of all the challenges, injustice and devastation occurring around the world. September is National Preparedness Month and we feel it would be remiss not to also offer some practical solutions, particularly when faced with all the recent natural disasters.

You may have that nagging feeling you aren’t prepared, but you don’t know what to do, where to start, or maybe even what to prepare for. But succumbing to fear or worrying can wear you out and freeze you into inaction. Take a deep breath, the best remedy is to stay calm and take action.

If you take daily steps to prepare for what might happen – good or bad – when things get stressful, you will be able to make better decisions, have more options and possibly save yourself some money, or a life. 

Just as athletes train, musicians practice and scholars study, time that you put in learning skills and gaining knowledge will keep you level headed, focused and forward thinking. Here are 10 ways to handle preparedness with grace:

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1) Food

Have 72 hours of food on hand. This can be as simple as having a few extra boxes of breakfast bars, cans/boxes of soup and other dry foods. You can and should try to buy the things you eat already. Put a few extra items in your cart when there is a sale.  Shop in bulk.  If the power is out for an extended time, refrigerator and freezer items may spoil, so it’s good to have emergency foods that are shelf stable.  That's why it's so empowering to start a garden at home and grow your own food! Also, you should have some way to heat/cook food that does not require the power grid.  If food prices rise, which is likely, extra food storage will save you money down the road.  Don’t forget pets and livestock.

2) Water

Store a minimum of one gallon of water per person per day.  2 to 4 gallons per person per day or more would be even better, since the average U.S. family of four uses 100 gallons per day.  For temporary emergency storage, which stores water in your bathtub and comes with a pump for easy access.  Remember, too, that bad weather or other water delivery disruptions can also lead to water contamination, so you should have water filtration available, too.

3) Healthcare, First Aid & Hygiene

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If anyone is on prescription medication, make sure you have adequate supplies on hand.  Know your limits. If you are the only one there, what happens if you get injured?  Plan ahead.  The best way to “treat” injuries is to avoid them in the first place.

Purchase or assemble a first aid kit that will allow you to treat minor injuries.  Have a few more first aid items for larger, more complex injuries, such as a sling for arm injuries.  Take a first aid class if possible, and invest in a first aid guide.

4) Shelter & Safety

Our homes are our first places of shelter in most emergencies.  Take steps to secure your home from weather and intruders.  Difficult economic times often cause an increase in burglaries.  Use your locks, consider motion activated security lighting and/or full security systems.  Well trained watch dogs and basic security/safety training may also prove useful. 

Prepare to heat or cool your home without electrical power if possible.  In hot weather, take advantage of shading and natural ventilation, opening the home during the cooler periods of day and closing the home up during the hottest part of the day. 

5) Emergency Lighting

Have flashlights, lanterns or candles on hand.  Always be extra careful with open flame, especially around children and pets.  Don’t forget matches or lighters too! You can keep matches weatherproof in a sealable container to avoid them getting wet.

6) Emergency Communication

Have an emergency radio.  Have a way to charge your cellphone when the power grid is down.  Some crank emergency radios and lamps can do double duty as cellphone chargers.  You may also want to invest in a solar cellphone charger.  Have extra batteries on hand, and make sure to keep them organized and rotated.

7) Get Physical & Keep Learning

It’s so easy to spend way too much time sitting.  Plant a garden, take a walk, crank out some pushups – just get moving! Like muscles, the brain responds to exercise.  Challenge yourself with new knowledge, new skills and interaction with real humans.  Employers are complaining that those under 30 have trouble with non-digital communication.  We can do better than that.

8) Make a Plan

A plan provides a framework to follow, modify or break. Change plans to match changing needs, and adjust plans based on observations and practice. Think through what the real risks are for you.  Start with the most likely event first, and prepare for that. Prepare for 4 hours to 72 hours of living without electricity and simple injuries.  As your skill level increases, you can prepare for more complicated scenarios and longer time periods.

9) Practice

A plan is meaningless if you can’t execute it.  Anytime I've seen one of those prepper shows where they hold up a container of seeds and say, “We’ll learn to garden when we really need it”, I cringe.  Every activity has a learning curve.  If you practice now, your odds are much better for success when it really counts.  Your body remembers even when your mind is struggling to focus.

10) Pray

More than anything, it's important to connect with our spiritual center and pray. Have gratitude for all the blessings, people and resources in your life. Pray for grace and protection for all the areas around the world presently threatened by or recovering from a natural disaster. Let's get on our knees and pray for peace to come.

 

Prepare in steps. Start with just one thing, finish it, then move on to the next. You can do this! Jump and let the universe catch you!

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