Family Survival In a Disaster – Part 1: Overview (FSIAD1)

And now, for a serious note.

This post begins a series of posts of the types of things you will need to be aware of should a disaster strike your family or the world your family lives in, as well as helpful hints of things to keep in mind when the disaster strikes. We will begin a series of posts of things that you will want to make sure that you have ready before hand so that you are not floundering in the dark when the time comes to really shine. So, let’s get started.

Disaster is a broad category, but if you are ready for the small and likely disasters that come your way, you will have paved the way to be ready for the big ones. I look at this topic almost like a sport… one could spend that much time on it. However, I don’t want the idea of ‘preparation’ to be the guiding principle of my life. We have already established that the guiding principle is the worship of God. So I have this list of the top questions you should consider in preparation for a family disaster.

Keep in mind, most personal disasters are relatively common. You will most likely face the disaster of a job loss than you will a zombie apocalypse. Being prepared for the job loss first will enable you to do better in a zombie apocalypse.

Seven (7) Questions to Consider in Preparation for a Family Disaster, or, How to Prepare Your Family for the Upcoming Disasters In Your Life.

  1. Where is everybody? – You need to know the physical location of everyone you are concerned about. If you don’t know and can’t know because of your individual circumstance (let’s say that you are at work when it happens), then you need to have a set plan established to make sure that everyone knows where to go if you are separated by a disaster.
  2. Is everybody ok? – If everybody is physically safe and healthy, then the question moves to the next one. If not, the question becomes assessing the basic level of care and attention that the individual may need. Do you know CPR? Are you aware of basic medical considerations of how to save life? After answering the assessment, what do you need to do in order to get the person into a situation where they can get their immediate life threatening health needs met. If you have any means of being able to protect yourself and your family, this is the time that is needed in order to have that protection available.
  3. Has everyone gotten their basic physical needs met: Food, Clothing, Shelter and Potty? Assuming that everyone is in a situation where they are not facing an immediate life-threatening danger, you must then insure that their need for food, clothing, shelter and the capability of hygienically controlling their waste products is taken care of.
  4. What can we do in the short term to alleviate the symptoms of the disaster? Now that everyone is healthy and their needs are being met, you need to consider what are the short term things that could be done in order to insure that everyone is in a position of stabilization. If something collapsed, or if you were on your way to some event in order to complete a task, if it is possible, safe and wise for you to finish the job you were originally on, go ahead and finish the work.
  5. How can we rebuild our lives as close as is possible to the state of normal that our lives were before? There are some things that will never go back to ‘normal’. Just don’t freak out about it. Realize that there is something called ‘normalcy bias’ where people tend to think that things aren’t as bad as they really are, and that the disaster that happened isn’t actually happening to them. You shouldn’t be one of those people. And yet, when the actual disaster strikes, this is the direction our habitual thinking tends to go.  You need to start getting over the tendency toward ‘normalcy bias’ and start thinking about the fact that your life and all of the experiences you have are gifts from God. Being gifts, He can take them from you at any time He wants to in order for you to grow, which is His whole point in allowing you the privilege of having the gift as well as the privilege of having the suffering caused by a disaster. Do you have copies of important papers?
  6. How can we sustain the things that we already have? – This aspect of surviving the next disaster includes mid to longer term securing of food and natural resources from which you won’t be able to survive unless you have them… these include how will you secure water and food, in that order.
  7. How can we plan for the future so that these things won’t happen again, as much as possible? This is where your community enters into the equation in the longest term consideration. You won’t be able to plan for the future if you have a community that isn’t intact. Work on strengthening and rebuilding your community on the basic principles that will secure the above seven. Hint: Look at the Constitution of the United States as a good basic starting place.

If you have these seven questions answered, you will have done well in preparing for meeting the disaster. Future posts in this category will concern issues related to each of the seven mentioned above.

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