Preparedness Plan 101: The Simple Yet Practical Way to Survive Any Disaster
Having a preparedness plan has never been more imperative if you want to survive and thrive.
Regardless of who and where you are in this ever changing world, there’s always the potential of a disaster or any unforeseen event to take place one way or another. May it be extreme natural disasters like earthquakes, hurricanes, and wildfire, or even some common ones (but could turn fatal if neglected) like getting rear-ended ― you need to have some sort of a plan. It’s something that will help you calmly deal with the tough situation and come out on the other side safe and sound.
So, the question is, “Are you prepared?”
If you can confidently answer with a big “YES”, you’re one step ahead, but don’t be complacent and make sure to keep honing your skills. On the other hand, if you’re like most people who answer “maybe” or “no” you’re not missing anything. This article is made especially for you (but those who answered “YES” can still find gold here).
As we move along, we’ll define what an effective preparedness plan is, what elements you should incorporate when planning, and most importantly; how you, yourself, can create your own preparedness plan without any frills or unnecessary theories. Because when it comes to survival, your preparedness plan is your lifeline. And I bet you don’t want a messy, mazy lifeline, do you?
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
Effective Preparedness Plan
What makes a preparedness plan effective? Is it something very long? Should it be based on a book written during the ice age? Or maybe it must sound like rocket-science articulated by a mystic scientist.
The answer? None of the above!
Here’s the thing. While a lot of so-called “experts” and “survival gurus” make survival and planning sound so complicated beyond the realm of an average person’s understanding, it’s quite the opposite. Though it may not be a walk in the park and will need a bit of brainpower (what doesn’t?) to assess and anticipate the possibilities, it’s definitely doable as long as you’re willing.
Just like creating a grocery list if you will. Once you have figured out what’s lacking in your kitchen and what needs to be bought for future events, all that’s left is to head out to the grocery store (deal with the disaster or predicament in this case).
Key Points to Consider
Simplicity is Key
“Complexity is the enemy of execution.”
An effective plan is simple. And as simple as that. It doesn’t have to be long-winded or complicated. You’re planning to help your family survive. In times of a disaster, things are chaotic, stressful, and even deceitful ― which is to be expected. Most people are in a frenzy. Panic is in the air. Pressure is at an all-time high. Thus, it only makes sense to keep things simple when it comes to your plan. After all, you’re preparing for a pandemonium, not a utopia.
Also, make it concise without missing the essentials. I don’t know about you but the longer the list is (like that 100-page TV manual), the harder it is to follow, let alone retain. Help yourself and uncomplicate your strategies.
K.I.S.S. - Keep It Simple, Stupid!
Two is One and One is None
Read that again. The Navy SEALs might know a thing or two about having a backup plan.
In essence, you can never go wrong having a backup plan. For if you only rely on a single plan and consider it as one-size-fits-all, then you’re setting yourself up for failure. Thus, having a plan B or C is smart. Just don’t go all the way to Z, because by then you fall into “option paralysis” syndrome ― the inability to make a decision when presented with a wide range of options. Time favors no one so you want to be quick and decisive if you want to survive.
Know that having two or three feasible plans is far better than having dozens of theoretical and unpracticed ones. What is plan X, Y, or Z even good for if no one remembers? And if anything, it will only overshadow the basics and what really matters most.
When creating a plan, make sure to provide all the details to everyone involved. This includes but is not limited to your household members, immediate neighbors that you trust, and remote contacts you can reach out to in case you need to evacuate or bug out.
Disseminate what the plan is, how it will play out (plus the back-up plan if it doesn’t), and each person’s responsibility. Make sure they are fully aware of the entirety of the plan and that everyone’s in full agreement. The last thing you need in a disaster or an emergency situation is a feud or conflict among yourselves, which could slow you down if not kill you.
Bear in mind that teamwork makes plans work.
Once you have conveyed the plan, ask for feedback. Communication should be a two-way process, not one-way where you keep on giving information without taking any responses. Ask them about their thoughts, their feelings, and suggestions on the plan. Only then can you successfully formulate a plan that will work not just for you but also for everyone with you.
On top of that, learn how to not just rely on technology. The modern infrastructures are not fail-safe. This includes your phone, your computer, and even the internet. That’s why it helps to write down and have a hard copy of each person’s contact information and the plan itself including when and where to meet in case of separation.
Preparedness Plan Blueprint
Now that you know what makes a plan effective, time to give you an easy-to-follow blueprint as your guide when formulating one (and some back-ups).
1) Assess your circumstances
a) Your location
Where are you located? What common disasters do you have in your area? What are the ins and outs, safest routes, and exit points?
Once you have a clear perspective of your location and environment, you’ll be able to plan accordingly.
b) Each member’s capabilities and specific needs
Are any of the people involved physically disabled or unfit to travel? Any special attention or medication needed? Who’s the most capable of doing what?
By knowing such, you can balance your supplies (like stockpiling meds for those with ongoing medication needs), weigh your decisions, and leave no one neglected. In both planning and surviving, knowing not only yourself but also those with you is crucial if you want to weather the storm together and come out still together.
2) Constantly discuss and brainstorm the plan
As mentioned earlier, make sure to establish clear and solid communication. Creating a plan is a continuous process. You don’t create a plan and leave it as is unchanged for years or decades. A golden plan today could be a stone tomorrow.
Hence, always keep your plan up to date through constant assessment and brainstorming together with the people involved.
3) Practice, practice, and more practice
A plan is meant to be executed, not left idle in a box only to become dusty and be forgotten. Even during peaceful times, always practice and rehearse because you never know. Disasters strike when least expected so there’s no time to be complacent.
Remember, having the perfect plan is useless without execution. So, go ahead and enact, do some quizzes, perform an emergency drill with your family. Do whatever you need to instill the plan into each other’s mind and lifestyle.
Tomorrow is a mystery no one can predict. Therefore, it’s only wise to not waste today’s chance while we still have it to prepare for whatever tomorrow may bring. It’s an unforgiving, unpredictable world we live in and it definitely pays to have a preparedness plan. It’s one of those things you better have and not need, rather than need and not have.
"It is better to look ahead and prepare than to look back and regret."