Make A Plan!
Sometimes, and all us preppers do this, we do a lot of learning and reading but we forget to make a plan. All of our hard work and long nights gets applied when we start making a list of the things we need, a plan to evacuate with our family & Pets from a house fire, and having everything ready to go. Now I know that being prepared is an on-going process, but you need to at least put down the basics of what actions you would take in case of an emergency & share them with the whole family. It doesn’t do any good to make a plan, organize your preps, and then when the emergency happens, everything gets left behind because you weren’t home, and no one else knew what to do!
Here are a few simple steps to get you setup for success! Remember you can go far and wide with making a plan, getting as super detailed as you want, but getting started is the most important part.
- Bug Out List – I know what your thinking, “We did this for our Dogs BOB already” but this list is about which bags to grab, which color bag goes with who, and how to pack your Long Term Storage(Humans & Pets) to take along with you. Keep the list somewhere handy and the BOBs for everyone all together, so you or who ever is at the house can Easily & Efficiently get all the Preps, Pets, & People to safety
- Safe Location(Fire or Immediate Threat) – Similar to the plan, you want to establish a safe place to evacuate too. in the case of a fire my family always said meet at the mailbox, which was about 500+ feet away from the house. this will differ for you because everyone’s living space is unique! Once you have decided share it with everyone that lives in your home. If you live in an Apartment or large housing development, you could post a sign on the bulletin board, with no name attached, saying “In case of Fire Meet HERE”. You would be so surprised how many Apartment complexes that don’t have any plan in place. Imagine if you didnt have a plan, but you saw this on the board and it saved your life! Also i say “No name Attached” because if you announce it was you, then people (Official or not) will come asking questions and destroy your OSPEC.
- Safe Location (Bugging Out) – This is the more long-term solution for something like Economic collapse or a zombie invasion. All of these plans you will keep to yourself & those of you that are in your Preparedness Group/Family. you definitely don’t want to post your private getaway on the board, because then everyone will show up and you WILL have a problem. Figure out your location ahead of time, and if it is a friend/family members house make sure to store some supplies there. you don’t want to show up and use Preps that aren’t yours! So in advance you could (Space allowing) Keep your more long term food storage for you and the pets, comfort items, protection(Weapons for humans) etc. Some of us have a bunker to retreat to,others will probably stay with grandparents, again this varies on your situation.
- Practice, Practice, Practice!!! – I cant stress this enough! once you have some plans in place, randomly do drills to get everyone familiar with them. this includes, and even more important, your animals. It’s like training a dog to sit, once they know what to do they will remember and feel comfortable doing it. this will lower stress, confusion, and extra complexities that an emergency event will cause for your pets! The same is true for little kids, if you can make it like a game in a time of safety, then when it really matters they will comply. One side note concerning HUMANS – Don’t OVER practice! what i mean here is don’t have a fire drill at 1pm everyday. this falls into the category of the boy who cried wolf. You want to insure the sense of urgency around emergency events, and not “its just another drill”. so about Once a Month is enough practice! I know its hard to fight the urge to do it more often! Pets – Creatures of Habit. you could practice 10 times a day, everyday, and they will never have a diminished sense of emergency! Animals can sense danger and they will know there is trouble.
- Discuss With Family – Make sure that everyone in your household knows the plans, and how to execute them in case you are not there when the event takes place. if you have a large family you can make 1 person accountable for 1 animal, and this chain will create a safety net to make sure everyone gets out OK. In my house we have 3 animals. 2 dogs 1 cat. My wife is in charge of the dogs because one follows the other and they both follow her. The cat will only come to me, so therefore its my responsibility to get her out! I have seen this same system work with families of just people and it works great. Dad keeps track of Mom, Mom keeps track of the Oldest child, Oldest Keeps track of next Oldest etc. Now if i could get my pets to do this on their own that wouldbe amazing!!
This is a great starting point for getting everyone, Pet & Person, in your home on track with how to handle an emergency. Just like everything else, the more you put In the more you get Out! But also remember no to over do it and make emergencies seem like a hassle or unimportant.With BOBs, a Plan, and a SAFE location, you take away the panic of a fire, hurricane, even Zombie Apocalypse!