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If you search the internet, you will find many suggestions on how to prepare for the unexpected. Some of this advice is good and some isn’t.
Despite all the good recommendations, people continue to make mistakes when preparing. Many of these mistakes are so major that they completely defeat the purpose of getting ready for a crisis situation.
The purpose of this report is to share with you the top 12 mistakes people make when preparing so that you can avoid them. By following this advice, you’ll put yourself in a much better position to handle whatever comes your way.
Here are mistakes 10–12…
MISTAKE NO. 10: FAILING TO MAKE SURE THE KIDS ARE PREPARED
Some parents and grandparents don’t discuss preparedness until the kids are in bed because they don’t believe children should have to worry about such things.
They’re right when they say the young ones shouldn’t worry about it, but wrong for excluding kids from the conversation — assuming they are old enough to understand. Like adults, children will do much better in a crisis if they’re prepared for it.
Here are some core principles to teach children to prepare them for coping with an emergency:
WHAT IS AN EMERGENCY?
Calmly explain that an emergency is when something happens that we don’t expect and we have to act quickly to keep ourselves safe. It can be a storm, an overflowing river or a power outage. In some emergencies we can stay safe in place, while in others we might have to leave and go to a safe place.
SIRENS AND LIGHTS
Flashing lights and loud sirens mean help is near. The people driving ambulances, fire trucks and police cars help us in emergencies. The vehicles are bright and loud so that they can be seen and heard from faraway.
KNOW WHOLE NAMES
Teach young children their whole name and the whole names of caregivers. If you and your child become separated, they can share this information with trusted adults to help reach you.
ADDRESS AND PHONE
Helping your child memorize your phone number and address can quickly reunite your family. They might learn it to a song. If the address eludes them, another technique is to be able to name the nearest popular landmark to your home, such as a church, store or other distinctive public building. Rescuers can quickly get close and drive through the neighborhood until your child recognizes home.
There are people who will help keep us safe in an emergency. Police officers, firefighters, emergency responders, teachers and doctors all can help. Schools, churches, police and fire stations, government buildings and hospitals are safe places.
Choose local and out-of-town emergency contacts. A local contact can help with tasks such as picking up children from childcare facilities. An out-of-town contact may not be impacted by the emergency and can make sure you are all OK.
WHERE TO MEET
Select a central emergency meeting place where the family can gather if you can’t make it home.
One of the ways to bring kids into the process can be turned into a fun family project. It involves packing a family emergency kit in a sturdy box or bag. Keep the kit in a location everyone knows. Store items in waterproof plastic bags. Replace water, batteries and clothing every six months.
Let your child or grandchild decorate it and gather items such as the ones below:
- Copies of your family emergency plan
- Minimum of $200 in cash and coins
- Copies of family health records, list of prescriptions and dosages, insurance cards
- First-aid kit and prescription medicines
- Three-day supply of dry and canned food, plus a manual can opener
- Battery-powered or hand-crank radio
- Mobile phone and charger
- Flashlight and batteries
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Pet supplies
- Spare car and house keys
- Paper plates and utensils
- Trash bags
- Moist towelettes
- Change of clothes, rain gear and sturdy shoes or boots
- Sunscreen and bug spray
- Diapers (if needed)
- One comforting stuffed animal or toy per child
- Travel-sized toys, crafts or a book.
MISTAKE NO. 11: FAILING TO INCLUDE MORALE BOOSTERS IN YOUR PREPARATIONS
Of course, food, water and other essential items are the most important things to stockpile, but it’s amazing what adding some morale boosters will do for everyone’s attitude during a stressful experience.
I’m talking about board games, a deck of cards, crafts, movies, books, magazines and a variety of other entertainment items you would not necessarily connect with survival. Surviving will include passing quite a few hours in a manner that does not involve worrying about your predicament.
Another morale booster is what I like to call “comfort foods.” It’s important to keep your body healthy by eating nutritious food that will provide you with the energy you need. This is especially true during a crisis when you might be on the move and your stress level will be higher.
But giving your family and yourself an emotional lift once in a while with some foods you all love will do wonders for everyone’s state of mind. You can’t underestimate the value of keeping attitudes upbeat at a time when depression could easily set in.
What do I mean by comfort foods? I mean anything that goes down easy, tastes great, is easy to prepare and reminds you of a time when things were better. Are most of them “healthy” and “natural”? Probably not — although some are. Some are high in calories and carbohydrates, and some include a little too much sugar.
If a vast majority of the foods you are consuming are nutritious, you can afford to eat a snack once in a while that may be better for your attitude than your cholesterol level.
Here’s a list of foods that come to mind for me:
- Hard candies. My favorites are caramel and butterscotch, but you might prefer cherry, root beer, butter rum or other flavors
- Chocolate pudding. This might be the universal favorite kid comfort food, but adults love it too
- Mac and cheese. Another item that few kids will turn down. As a child, I always loved it when Mom added hot dog slices to my mac and cheese plate
- Candy bars. Yes, I know, too much sugar. I wouldn’t suggest living off of them, but once in a while, a 3 Musketeers, Snickers or Milky Way really hits the spot
- Peanut butter. Most people use this as a spread, but have you ever put a spoonful in your mouth and just savored it?
- Freeze-dried yogurt bites. I like these a lot more than I thought I would
- Granola bars. These are almost too healthy to count as comfort foods, but I’m including them because they taste great and are so easy to open and pop in your mouth
- Trail mix. Dried fruits and nuts are tasty, and I like the kind of trail mix that cheats by including M&Ms and chocolate chips
- Coffee or tea. For some folks, coffee is not a comfort food — it’s an absolute necessity. For others, it could be a pleasant reminder of more normal times
- Hostess Twinkies and Cupcakes. A nutritionist just rolled over in their grave, but as long as you don’t fill an entire bug-out bag with them, I think you’re OK.
MISTAKE NO. 12: TRYING TO DO IT ALL AT ONCE
One thought that discourages some people when they’re just starting to prepare for an uncertain future is how much they have to do. First, they read about how important it is to stockpile plenty of food, water and other essential items.
Then they read about how crucial it is to keep their stash in multiple locations. Then they read about securing their home better, practicing bug-out activities, creating a family emergency plan, etc. It seems overwhelming, so they decide not to do anything.
That’s a big mistake. The odds are that a major disaster will not occur in your area today, tomorrow, this week or even this month. But it could happen within a year.
By starting slowly and gradually building up your supplies and know-how, you’ll be amazed at how much progress you’ll make over time. You’ll look back one month from now and realize how much you accomplished. Three months from now you’ll be amazed at what your stockpiles look like. A year from now you’ll wonder why you didn’t start sooner.
The key is to stop putting it off and get started. It only requires a few dollars at a time. Just add at least one item to your stockpile and at least one piece of information to your mind every week and you will make significant progress in a short amount of time.
One easy way to begin is to get a survival food kit. Because none of us wants to ever rely on this or any government to feed us in a crisis.
Food4Patriots survival foods are made of the finest ingredients, grown and packaged right here in the USA. They taste great and provide the nutrition you need to survive a disaster.