There are three simple key steps as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Red Cross:
1. Get a Kit
Gather emergency supplies such as water supplies, food supplies, and disaster supplies kits for you and your family.
2. Make a Plan
Develop a family disaster plan, families can cope better with a disaster by preparing in advance and working together as a team.
3. Be Informed
Learn how to ‘shelter in place’, understand quarantine and isolation and maintain a healthy state of mind.
These three are good key starter points to remember for crisis prepping.
I want to add a little on these with my own advice, but keeping it simple and brief enough, so that you can really get the very general information you really need for most crisis scenarios, without being overwhelmed.
Assume that a disaster will eventually happen. Do not assume that it will not happen. Survival is 90 percent psychology, so being mentally and emotionally unprepared lowers your survival odds.
Panic that is natural during a survival scenario can be minimized by the act of preparing before an emergency, this will help you deal more effectively. Spread facts, not fear. Share survival training based upon sound human psychology and physiology with friends, neighbours and family.
Know your limits. You and your family are likely to have specific vulnerabilities during a disaster. Lack of physical fitness, forgotten medications, mobility challenges, and a host of other variables demand that you custom-create a survival plan for your family, and of course prepare, prepare, prepare.
Prepare for whatever crisis is likely to affect your area. Not every place on the planet has the same needs. Remember, however, that most disasters will disable the power grid to your home.
Keep in mind that some disasters are different to others and tailor your plans accordingly. A nuclear strike or solar storm are two possibilities that may permanently knock out your electrical devices (not just temporarily because the power grid is knocked out) including those not connected to the power grid. This may even include your vehicle (it is not known for sure if modern cars would be knocked out as their bodies may act as a Faraday Cage). Speaking of Faraday Cage, it may be prudent to make your own or obtain Faraday Cage and put in it your most survival essential electrical items. A microwave oven can act as an emergency Faraday Cage in a stitch.
Make sure you have essential tools, equipment, and supplies. It is easy to purchase kit online that will help you with what you need.
Together with your home-based supplies, it is very important to create a “bug-out” kit(s) for your family, containing mobile emergency supplies should you be forced to evacuate. See our bug out bag section for much more about these.
Physically prepare and act upon your preparedness plan. Talk is cheap. Practice, practice, and practice your preparedness plan; and don’t be afraid to modify or add to it as your budget or needs change.
Talk to your neighbours about potential disaster scenarios. Once your family is prepared, get your neighbours on the same page, similar to a neighbourhood block watch. Neighbours who do not prepare at all may come knocking at your door and potentially take your own efforts from you, for example your food, equipment or shelter.
Given the possibility of some of your neighbourhood not preparing, it is prudent to have the ability to defend in some way, yourself and your family. You may not be able to rely on law enforcement and government depending on the severity of the disaster. For more on this, see our survival self–defence article.
If your budget and situation allows it, consider building a bunker, this is the best protection from most disasters. A small bunker may not be as expensive as you think and can even be made by yourself if you have the time.
When your preparation work is done, rotate certain survival kit items such as food and medications as they expire. Do not get complacent, crisis can strike when you do not expect.
Read our related article, Tips for the Beginner Prepper, if you are new to prepping.