How to rescue yourself from a natural or man-made disaster

Washington, DC (TFC) – Preparing for a natural or man-made disaster is crucial. It must be done before the disaster strikes. Whether it’s a fire out West, a flood in Louisiana, a blizzard in the Northeast, a riot in Baltimore, a pollution-related disaster, or an all out civil war, you can prepare and you can survive. It’s up to you though. Every major incident in the last few years has demonstrated clearly that the government will not come to your assistance quickly, if at all.

Preparing to rescue yourself isn’t difficult, it isn’t expensive, and it isn’t time consuming. You don’t have to have to become a survivalist to survive. You just have to plan.

Zombies are coming: Assuming a lack of military training, the easiest way to put yourself in the right mindset is to picture yourself in a zombie movie. Using this teaching mechanism also allows you to discuss the plan with your family, friends, and children without scaring them. It becomes a game, even fun. If you’ve mentally planned to survive the rise of the undead, you’ll be able to deal with a flood.

A plan: What are you going to do? Where are you going to go? How are you going to get there? You need to develop two plans. One to shelter in place, and one to evacuate. Everyone needs to know what the plan is, what situations would activate it, and how to communicate any changes to the plan.

Paper maps: You need to assume a loss of power and phone service. You won’t be able to use Google or your GPS to find your way. Even if you know the route by heart, what happens when a bridge on your normal route has been washed out? Paper (or even better laminated) maps are a must.

Bug out bag: A prepacked bag full of the essentials you’ll need in the event of an emergency doesn’t take long to put together, doesn’t have to be expensive, and can be tailored to your specific needs. Bug out bag contents vary greatly. Some bags are designed to last for 72-hours, some are built to last 21 days, others have built bags that can last indefinitely. A basic bag needs to provide food, water, fire, and medicine for at least 3 days. Click here for an in-depth explanation of bug out bags, checklists, examples, and guidance.

The FifthDocuments:Most people lead a life that leaves a paper trail. Many of the documents are essential to restoring your life after a disaster. Birth certificates, IDs, bank records, and so on can be difficult to replace. Having a duplicate set in safe place, such as the location you plan to evacuate to, is a wise move.

$5 grocery trips: A major objection to starting to prepare is the expected cost. Adding five dollars to each grocery trip to pick up some medical supplies, bottled water, or food won’t break your budget. Within a few months you’ll be better prepared than anybody you know. Within a few years, you’ll be confident in your ability to survive just about anything that’s thrown your way.

Education is free: One of the most overlooked resources for material on how to survive in horrible situations is the organization best known for creating horrible situations: the Department of Defense. DOD publishes hundreds, if not thousands, of manuals each year. The Fifth Column created a master list of the most sought after, free-to-download manuals.

Weapons: The decision of whether or not to include a firearm in your disaster preparedness kit is a personal one. There are serious benefits and drawbacks on both sides. Prior to making your decision, read this.

Read more of TFC’s Tradecraft series here.