Friday, June 2, 2017

Surviving a Disaster

I would argue that most Americans would not survive one jobless week without having to dig into all of their savings, take on debt, and/or sell something of value. And those methods of income are simply not long-term solutions.

What about facing an even greater catastrophe? Would we be prepared? We probably all remember the devastating aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. People had to wait in line for two hours just to purchase a gallon of gas to power their generators. It was a scary and uncertain time for many people who had to make due with what they had for several days until help could arrive.

How many of us are prepared to lose our jobs? Lose power for a few days? Or face a state-wide disaster?

I know I'm not.

But that doesn't mean we need to start digging holes in the backyard and creating bomb shelters. According to Jack Spirko of The Survival Podcast, you should prepare in the order of likelihood that the disaster would occur. That would be an individual disaster (losing your job or someone in the family becoming ill/passing away), neighborhood disaster (such as a power outage), a regional disaster (such as severe flooding), a national disaster (such as a depression), and finally a global disaster (such as a nuclear war or worldwide famine).

On the individual level, having extra food and cash on hand are always helpful. If you lose your job, not having to spend as much on groceries and having enough money to pay for gas and rent/mortgage for a few months will relieve a lot of stress as you search for a new source of income. If someone becomes ill, also having to spend less on basic living and having more money for medical bills or other necessities during that time also relieves some of the stress.

If there is a power outage in your neighborhood, having the food and cash mentioned above plus some water and a small power source would help get you through a few days or a week without power. Having a simple blackout kit and 72 hour pack (enough shelf-ready food to survive for 72 hours) would also help.

The preparation for larger disasters does not change significantly from the two scenarios listed above. Having more food and water, more cash, and extra gasoline are always helpful in times of disaster. If you want to go above and beyond, have a homestead where you are growing some of your own food and have some animals that could be eaten if times ever got that slim.

The bottom line, though, is to have something. It is not a matter of when a disaster will strike your family but when. The more prepared you are to survive it, the easier it will be to bounce back when things get better.

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