For those of us starting out preparing our families for whatever emergency comes our way, it canbeing overwhelmed is quite the norm. There is so much information on what needs to be done, and the tendency is to just give up before we’ve really started because it is too daunting of a task. My focus is always how I can prepare my family for our own ‘end of the world’ scenario. I can’t get wrapped up in world ending crisis because just losing one of our jobs would be crisis enough for us – so that’s where I focus. The rest will come.
Just start with something small, knowing each day you can accomplish a little more. Go to the library and check out a book or two on emergency preparedness like The Survival Mom: How to Prepare Your Family for Everyday Disasters or a book on canning like the Ball Complete Guide to Home Canning.
Just starting? Make a small goal for today – gather up your important papers and put them in a folder in a safe spot. This way, you can grab them in case you need to evacuate quickly.
Make a Plan
If you have a plan, it’s easier to see where you are accomplishing great things to keep you motivated. Just a small plan at first of things to accomplish this week or this month to get you started. Having it down on paper is less daunting than all those crazy plans running around in your head. It gives you a box to tick when you’ve done something, and gives you a feeling of confidence that this is something that you can do!
Just starting? Make a meal plan for the next month, then buy what you would need to make it 3x. You can store the extras for your emergency stash to build your food storage. Or create your emergency contact list – info on who to contact in state and out of state in an emergency (or to check in), your doctors, utility companies, family work numbers, etc. Take the Meal Planning Challenge to help you get started! It’s absolutely free!
Involve Your Family
Having everyone involved in some way makes it less stressful on you to accomplish it all. Your husband probably has great ideas of his own on how to plan for small emergencies or large. Your kids will be helpful in gathering items, organizing, and having information that they’ve learned in school about Fire Awareness (stop, drop & roll), etc.
Just starting? Give your kids the task of keeping the pet’s emergency bag ready, have them help plan, have them drill each other on emergency evacuation routes out of the house. Enroll them in a first-aid class for kids. Or if they are older, have them create the Family Contact Sheets for you. Here are some other ideas to help your kids embrace preparedness.
Don’t Stress Out
It’s so easy to begin reading information on emergency preparedness and becoming completely stressed out about all of the potential dangers in the world, all that you have to buy to feel prepared, and all of what everyone else says has to happen for their standard of ‘preparedness’. Remember, you are preparing YOUR family for YOUR needs. Don’t try to prepare for a global thermonuclear war (remember War Games?). Try to prepare your family for the most immediate concerns you have now. Someone getting hurt, someone being locked out of the house, your car dying on the side of the road in winter. Prepare for those emergencies and you’ll find you’re already on the way to preparing for the bigger ones.
Task to Accomplish Today!
Today – I want you to be sure you do these two things. they are easy to do, take no time, and can get you started on basic emergency preparedness.
- Water for your Car – enough drinking water for each member of your family in case you get stuck.
- A list of Emergency Numbers – make sure your kids know how to dial 9-1-1, know how to get you and your husband on cell phones/work phones, and to contact a neighbor for help. Keep these numbers posted clearly.
- Begin a Family Emergency Binder — take advantage of everything you probably already have at home and your printer, and get started on the road to being a little more prepared.
- Get Started Here — if you’re ready to take a few more steps, get started here!
- The Survival Mom
- Food Storage Made Easy
- Common Sense Homesteading
- Prepared LDS Family
- Family Preparedness Group
You can do this!!! It’s important for us to make sure our families are prepared for the little emergencies and the big ones. Each step you accomplish to the small one is another step you’ve already accomplished towards the big one – every step counts!
Katy Willis is a writer, lifelong homesteader, and master herbalist, master gardener, and canine nutritionist. Katy is a preparedness expert and modern homesteader practicing everyday preparedness, sustainability, and a holistic lifestyle.
She knows how important it is to be prepared for whatever life throws at you, because you just never know what's coming. And preparedness helps you give your family the best chance to thrive in any situation.
Katy is passionate about living naturally, growing food, keeping livestock, foraging, and making and using herbal remedies. Katy is an experienced herbalist and a member of the CMA (Complementary Medical Association).
Her preparedness skills go beyond just being "ready", she's ready to survive the initial disaster, and thrive afterward, too. She grows 100% organic food on roughly 15 acres and raises goats, chickens, and ducks. She also lovingly tends her orchard, where she grows many different fruit trees. And, because she likes to know exactly what she's feeding her family, she's a seasoned from-scratch cook and gluten-free baker.
Katy teaches foraging and environmental education classes, too, including self-sufficient living, modern homesteading, seed saving, and organic vegetable gardening.
Katy helps others learn forgotten skills, including basic survival skills and self-reliance.
She's been published on sites such as MSN, Angi, Home Advisor, Family Handyman, Wealth of Geeks, Readers Digest, and more.