Making a Plan
Prioritizing your Survival Plans
Just as a doctor must triage patients as they come into the ER, you must also prioritize your survival plan as well.
Level 1. Make sure you can take care of yourself according to the survival basics. These items should be relatively small and be able to fit into a backpack. These should be the bare minimum at first, and once you have reached level 4, you can look start bac over at level 1 and build it out more.
Level 2. Look to your family's needs, individually. This will add a level of redundancy in certain items that increases the safety of everyone when you are together, and also ensures that if the team is split up everyone will have what they need.
Level 3. Then you consider the needs of the family as a whole and your ability to evacuate. This includes supplies that meet your family's needs for a few days while you are on the road. Some of the supplies for your car will be to repair your car, and some will be survival items that are mobile enough to fit in your car. If your car is home then you can use those supplies if you need to shelter in place. But if you need to evacuate you can be out quickly ahead of everyone else.
Level 4. Sheltering in your home is the most likely thing you will be asked to do in the event of an emergency. Every level above is all supplies you will have in your home anyways. So once you have reached level 4 you should already have some good supplies. The difference is home supplies can not usually be taken with you if you do need to leave. Home supplies are items that you can use to repair windows or glass doors, extra food supplies, and larger water containers.
Level 5. This is a level most people don't get to but is becoming easier with technology. Apps like NextDoor help you meet your neighbors without leaving your home. Knowing who your neighbors are can save time when seconds matter when you need help or you can help others. First responders are not usually in uniform, there are those who are already around you. This is something I hope to help build a platform and guidelines for by forming Community Preparedness Clubs.
Planning & Practicing for Disasters
The best way to make a plan is to practice each scenario you want to be ready for, test the plan, update it, and retest. Don't create a scenario that you can't stop or end if the situation becomes unsafe. Prepare for the worst; practice in the best.
How to Make a Plan and Practice.
Make a list of the scenarios in your area in the past 20 years.
Order them by the most probable, and start at the top.
Once a month, take a day to practice that scenario by creating the situation safely.
For the day, take note of what you need, what doesn't work, and what would have been nice to have.
Get the needs first and the nice-to-haves after.
Retest the plan when you have any new supplies needed for the test.