When it comes to getting prepared, we don’t have to just be prepared for the zombie apocalypse. In fact, it’s just good common sense to be prepared for those everyday emergencies that can happen to anyone, at any time.
Below I’m going to talk about 10 everyday, common emergencies and how we can be prepared for them.
Car accidents or car trouble
We can’t predict if or when we get into a car accident or have car trouble. We can do everything we can to try to prevent them, though.
- Keep up with basic maintenance. Know how to perform basic maintenance tasks, as well. Such as changing your oil, changing a tire, changing your battery, etc.
- Be a defensive driver. We all get road rage, but it helps literally no one. Take a breath and take your time to get to your destination. There’s no rush. Even being late for work doesn’t matter; your life matters.
- Keep emergency items in your vehicle. Such as basic tools (know how to use those tools), nonperishable foods, water, flashlight, gorilla tape, multitool, first aid kit, map and compass, fire extinguisher (made specifically for a vehicle), battery backup and cable to keep phone charged, extra clothes or blankets.
- Be ever aware and vigilant. Drive a safe distance from other vehicles. If you see someone driving erratically, slow down and move away from them.
Whether a fire happens in your home or a fire threatens your home from the outside, there are ways we can be prepared.
- Evacuate before it’s too late. If you think an outside fire has the chance of reaching your home, get everyone to safely as quickly as possible before it’s too late. Even if the fire never reaches your home, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
- Know how to extinguish different types of fires. The way you put our a grease fire is different than putting out a wood fire. Know the difference and be sure to have the appropriate fire extinguisher(s) in your home.
- Make sure all smoke detectors in the home are working properly.
The lights can go out for any reason, for any length of time. My parents were without power for a week because of a freak snow storm that passed through their area. You don’t want to be left standing in the dark unprepared.
- Make a blackout kit.
- Keep a NOAA weather radio handy.
- Keep at least two weeks of food and water in your home.
There are many reasons why your septic or sewer system is no longer functioning. I’ve heard of people being without a usable toilet for a week or more…they still had to go to the bathroom somewhere.
- Stock an emergency toilet such as a camping toilet
- Keep extra soap and hand sanitizer
- Stock extra cleaning supplies
- Don’t forget to stock up on toilet paper
- If you are friendly with your neighbors, consider asking them if you could share their bathroom if you were ever in need.
There have been many instances in which city water has been contaminated and citizens have had to boil water before drinking or forgo the tap water all together.
- Keep at least 2 weeks worth of stored water at home.
- Store a few ways to purify water or be prepared to boil water every time.
Illness & Injuries
An illness or injury could happen at any time during your everyday life.
- Keep a well stocked first aid kit in a variety of places, such as in your vehicle, in your desk at work, at home, etc.
- Know how to treat basic first aid needs.
- Take a CPR and first aid class
- Wash your hands regularly and/or use hand sanitizer
- Stay hydrated
- Use preventative measures to prevent injuries.
Cold & Hot Weather
People succumb to illness and even death if they aren’t properly prepared for cold or hot weather.
- Stay hydrated, even for cold weather. Keep a water bottle with you at all times.
- Keep appropriate clothing in your vehicle for cold and hot weather. Extra jackets, blankets, shorts, pants, etc.
- Keep sunscreen and bug spray around and use it often
- Keep a hat on during sunny days
- Get shade or AC as often as possible during hot months
- Prevent sweating in the cold months
- You need to sweat during the hot months
- Keep and take electrolytes during hot months
- Wearing cotton in the hot months is good, but not a good idea in the cold months
- Keep hand warmers handy during the cold months
Locked out of house
Don’t get locked out of your house. Use preventative measures. Avoid being locked out.
- Give a spare key to a trusted neighbor or friend.
- Keep a spare key hidden in a secure, secret place (do not hide under rock or other obvious area)
- DO NOT leave any windows or doors unlocked “just in case”. ALWAYS lock your windows and doors.
- Make it a habit to physically hold your keys in your hands before opening your door to leave.
- Lock your door on the outside, after you’ve exited and closed the door, instead of locking it from the inside.
Roads can be closed for many different reasons. Sometimes with advance notice, sometimes because of a car accident. If a road were closed, what would you do? Outside of rush hour traffic, you don’t want to get stuck on the road for any long period of time.
- Know alternative routes without having to use GPS/Google Maps
- Take a look at Google Maps before you leave to see if you’ll need to plan your route differently.
- Always keep your gas tank at half full, AT LEAST, just in case you need to be stuck in traffic or need to take a longer alternative route.
Job loss may not be an ‘everyday’ thing or even that ‘common’, but it’s definitely something we need to be prepared for. There have been many stories of people being laid off or fired out of absolutely nowhere and they’re left without a savings, without food and without a way to pay their rent.
- Start a savings account now. Even saving just $20 a paycheck will add up quickly.
- Stock up on food and water. If you’re without a job and have extra food and water, you can save on grocery and water bills.
- Get out of debt. Do whatever you can to get out of debt. Even if it’s adding just $20 extra to the monthly bill, it’ll help. Debt will only be a stressor when it comes to job loss.
- Start a side-hustle now. A side-hustle can help give you some extra money now as well as when times are tough. Driving for uber, selling things online, giving plasma, etc.
- Learn to live frugally. Make your own hygiene items, reuse old clothes and old food jars, don’t let anything go to waste, etc.
- Keep your resume up-to-date and always build your professional network. Get on LinkedIn and build your network. Go to local business meetups. Start a blog. Keep your name out there in the business world so that you’ll be able to find a new job sooner rather than later.
Keep your head on a swivel. You never know what could happen at any time, maintain situational awareness at all times by staying off your phone while in public and while driving, and be aware of your surroundings, know your exits and keep an eye on those around you.
We can be prepared for everyday emergencies if we have some forethought by using the above tips. Stay safe, by staying prepared.
Conquer tomorrow, by preparing today!