9 Ways To Prepare Your Family For Disaster

It doesn’t matter where you live, chances are that sooner or later you’ll face some sort of a disaster that could leave you without power, water, or access to buy more.

It could be a natural disaster like a hurricane, snowstorm, flood, tornado, or earthquake.

Or it could be a manmade disaster that has the power grid failing or requires you to stay put in your home for a few days or even weeks.

The world can be a harsh place and I don’t believe we should sit around waiting for anyone to take care of us.

We need to be prepared.

Obviously, your income will determine what type of preps you can make.

You may not be able to spend a lot of money at one time to prepare but little by little you can get ready for the next potential disaster that might affect your family.

Use these ideas for brainstorming how you will be prepared for what may come your way.

Related: How To Stay Warm In Winter If The Power Goes Out

Ways to Prepare your family for disaster

Things We All Should Do To Prepare No Matter Where We Live

No matter where you live, what your personal situation is, or what type of disasters you may be facing, there are some basic supplies everyone should have on hand “just in case”.

If you are just getting started aim for supplies that last you at least a week and eventually build on your supplies so they will last much longer.

In the case of a major weather event or other natural disasters, it may take a while for rescuers and supplies to make it to your area.

Again, you want to be independent so that your family is taken care of and you’re prepared to help your neighbors if they need you.

1. Drinking Water

Let’s start with the most important and most urgent item on the list – water.

You can make it a surprisingly long time without food, power, and all sorts of other stuff but you can’t make it very long without a reliable source of drinking water.

We’ve become so reliant on our faucets that it’s easy to forget that we should store water for a few days for whenever something happens.

One of the first things you can do as part of your prep is to store some water.

Store at least 1 gallon of drinking water per person per day.

To make that seem less daunting try buying 1 jug of water every time you go to the store.

It takes a lot of room to store gallons of water in your home so another option might be to purchase collapsible water storage jugs that you can fill up if you have advanced warning.

Another thing you can do is purchase the water BOB to use in your bathtub so you’ll have quick access to clean water for drinking and cleaning.

Also, should the water go off you’ll be able to use that water to flush your toilets. 

A water filter such as a gravity filter will be helpful if the water coming out of your pipes is contaminated.

2. Non-Perishable, Ready-To-Eat Food

While you can go a surprisingly long period of time without food, involuntary fasting isn’t particularly pleasant.

Keep extra ready-to-eat foods in your pantry at all times including peanut butter, crackers, protein bars, and canned foods that you can eat without heating.

It helps to stick with items that you eat on a regular basis, so you can rotate through this food store and don’t risk having it go bad.

Be sure to start stocking up as the time of year approaches where natural disasters can occur in your area.

If you have to evacuate your home don’t forget to take some of this emergency food supply with you.

3. Long Term Storage Foods

You may be able to get by on your regular ready-to-eat food for a few days but if you’re stuck in your home or taking care of others during a major event with power outages you will need an extra layer of food.

You want to be prepared so you aren’t going to the store during or right after the disaster.

Plus, the likelihood of you getting to the store and finding what you need is slim anyway.

What I discovered works best as your second layer is freeze-dried foods.

I’m not talking about the big plastic storage bins of foods (but those have their place in your preps, too ).

I’m talking about foods that you normally eat but have a longer storage life than canned foods and you can also use them regularly if you want to.

The best freeze-dried food I’ve found is made by Thrive Life.

Long term storage food

8 years ago a friend told me about Thrive and I bought 6 family-size cans of various fruits.

To test my preps recently I opened a few cans for the family to try and we ate up a whole family-sized can of apples in 2 days!

I was told since I originally bought my supply the company now has a different processing and storage system so the food tastes even better.

So I’ve made another purchase of foods that I plan to learn how to use regularly and will store some for future use.

My friend told me,

Buy food at today’s prices for tomorrow’s use. 

Wise words!

Check out Thrive Life here

Get 15% off and free shipping by signing up for the delivery service. 

Big Tip: Sign up as a consultant, order your starter pack and it will be shipped right away.

Then become your own customer, set up a delivery service, and get a 5% rebate on anything you order over $50.

(That is my husband’s affiliate link so he will get paid a commission and earn food credit but the price is the same for you)

Thrive - Long term storageable food


4. Communication

Aside from food and water, communication will be your next biggest concern in an emergency event.

You need to know what’s going on and you are going to want to get in touch with loved ones.

Start with cell phones and chargers.

They should be a high-priority item and you’ll want to keep a backup power supply or extra batteries within easy reach.

If you can’t afford it look into the solar power chargers.

Note: Be sure to keep a list of emergency contact information in a notebook as it will come in handy if the wireless system fails, or your phone dies.

5. Weather Radio

Don’t rely on your phone and the internet as your only source for information.

The network could go down or overload. This makes having a weather radio along with some spare batteries a very good idea. 

This is important because you will need the latest weather and government updates as well as news. 

We have a crank weather radio that also has a phone charger.

How to prepare your family for disaster 

6. Flash Light And Batteries

Things always seem worse in the dark, don’t they?

And not just that but it can be downright dangerous to move around outside, or even inside your home without a reliable source of light.

Candles will work in a pinch, but they also bring the risk of setting your surroundings on fire.

Instead, make sure you have several flashlights (with spare batteries) or camping lanterns where you can get to them easily get to them.

Headlamps are particularly helpful when you’re trying to move around to get stuff done.

Learn how to prepare for disaster

7. First Aid Kit

As you put together your prep things, include some first aid items so you can treat minor aches and pains as the need arises.

While you’re at it, throw a few wet wipes and some mouthwash in there.

Being able to clean up will make you feel much better.

The number of items you’ll need will depend on the size of your family.

Start with a standard emergency kit available at your local store and then add any and all medications you and your loved ones take and need.

Check your stash regularly to make sure you’re prepared.

I’d suggest putting it in a backpack so it’s easy to grab if you have to leave quickly.

8. Clothing And Bedding

If you are getting on the road or sheltering somewhere outside your home, it’s important to have clothing and bedding to make it until you can get back home.

Since many natural disasters can pop up quite quickly, it’s a smart idea to always carry a small pack of clothing in your car.

Throw in a couple of pieces of underwear, a pair of pants, a couple of shirts, and you’re good to go.

Remember, this isn’t your travel wardrobe. This is the dire emergency stuff you have in your kit “just in case”.

Adding a small pillow, a sheet, and a light blanket is also a good idea.

Keep it in your car when the situation warrants it.

Learn how to prepare for disasters

9. Miscellaneous Items

Ok, let’s talk about some miscellaneous stuff you’ll want to have. Depending on your money situation you may need to stock up little by little.

  • If you have babies: extra diapers, baby food, toys, and clothing
  • Toiletry items: feminine products, toilet paper, cleansing wipes
  • Disposables: paper plates, napkins, trash bags, and plastic eating utensils. 
  • If you have pets: extra food, pet carrier, and leash
  • Towels and blankets for covering windows and doors to keep cold air out
  • Waterproof boots for everyone in the family
  • Tent
  • Duct tape 
  • Tarps
  • Basic tools in case you need to fix a leak or broken window
  • Camping stove
  • Propane Grill
  • Generator

In short, be prepared and ready for anything.

Bottom Line

This is not an exhausted list but it will get you thinking about how to prepare for crazy weather events or disasters.

With all that is going on in this country, you would be unwise to think it couldn’t happen to you.

Don’t stress yourself thinking you need to do this all in one week.

It’s like reducing toxins even the little things you do each day will make a big impact on your future.

What About You?

Are you prepared? Have any other tips to add to this list?


Reader Comments

  1. Great information. You’ve thought of everything. Even if your medical records (and your pet’s medical records) are in an electronic database, take a picture of immunization records and medication records. It might come in handy in a pinch if you can’t access those Records.

    And be sure you’ve allotted enough extra drinking water for however many pets you have. 😍

    1. Stacy Russell says:

      Great items to add to the list.
      Which made me think of extra pet food, too.

  2. Well thought out list Stacy. Thank you for the great suggestions. One thing that I saw, duck tape, was something I had never thought of. Crazy since I didn’t because it can be used for so many things. Definitely adding this to my list. Thanks.

    1. Stacy Russell says:

      My husband needed duct tape for various things during our last storm. Like wrapping the pipes outside with a double layer of insulation.

  3. Great ideas — and having gone through that Texas storm, we were pretty prepared, but there definitely were some things that would have been nice to have on hand.

    1. Stacy Russell says:

      We were fortunate that we kept power and water but many of our friends didn’t. I learned some things from their experience for sure.

  4. This is really great information!!! I need to keep it mind in case it happens to us. Some of those things I knew, but there were some I would never have thought of, like freeze dried food!

    1. Stacy Russell says:

      Thanks for commenting. My friend who lost power during a snowstorm told me she wished she would have had some freeze-dried on hand to make soups for her family and for snacks. Evaluating my own food supply made me realize I needed to buy more than just the fruits since goal is to be as self-reliant as possible.

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