Preparedness in Three Baby Steps at a Time

April 2, 2014

Does any of this sound familiar?

8.2 Magnitude Earthquake Hits Northern Coast of Chile

Small Earthquakes and Aftershocks Shake Up Southern Californians

Yellowstone National Park Rattled by Largest Earthquake in Years

Death Toll Climbs in Washington Mudslide

Global Economic Crisis Looms

Obamacare Increases Cost of Healthcare for Millions

These and similar headlines clutter websites and newspapers everywhere. Though bad things have always happened to good people, indications are that new and more intense threats now face Americans, and we would all be wise to prioritize our personal security by planning for home and family preparedness.

Image: Breezy Point residents return after Hurricane Sandy and a massive fire during the storm that destroyed over 100 tightly packed homes.

The Power of Three Plan [PDF] is a preparedness model designed to help individuals and families fulfill achievable objectives as they work to reach the goal of optimal home and family emergency preparedness. Emergencies are not always sudden. Prolonged illness, for example, can bring about conditions that require a form of emergency preparation. The sudden loss of employment can present a shocking change in circumstances that requires long-term adjustments and planning. The Power of Three plan covers all the bases, from “minutes-to-spare” evacuation scenarios to years without proper employment.

It starts with the first three MINUTES of an emergency where you may have to evacuate your home quickly (earthquake, wildfire, flood, mudslide, ice storm, etc.). Make sure the following are easily accessible and stored in a backpack or waterproof bag.

For the first three HOURS during an event which will require evacuation or emergency measures to secure your safety you should have:

The first three DAYS during which you may be settling in to a damaged home, a community shelter, camp, or you may be on the move, you should have the following stored in portable kits such as backpacks, rolling crates, camping boxes, etc.:

The first three WEEKS following an event you may be displaced or coping with inadequate or unavailable facilities in your home or neighborhood. Community shelters or camps are notoriously filthy and can pose health risks without proper sanitation. To prepare for an extended period of displacement or the absence of regular services like water and electricity you should have:

The first three MONTHS up to ONE YEAR following an emergency event, displacement, or societal upheaval you will likely be settled in one location and will benefit from extra supplies of the things you already have, but will require for the long term:

Each individual and family differs in their capacity to prepare for short-term emergencies and long-term crises situations (think about the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy and those in New York and New Jersey who struggled for over a year to get adequate shelter and other necessities). But every little step counts and will bring a measure of peace of mind to anyone who conscientiously makes and follows a preparedness plan. There are three key factors that even those with meager budgets can do easily and which will yield huge benefits during the good times and the bad. They are:

You may live in a bustling urban center, or a remote corner of the Southwestern Desert, but you can take simple measures to ensure you and your family weather the uncertain tempests that seem especially foreboding today.

by Marjorie Haun  4/2/14

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