Nobody likes to dwell on the possibility of a crisis occurring, but disaster preparation is a necessity. Earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, fires, and other disasters can occur with little or no warning. A disaster can cause even the most rational people to panic if they haven't taken the time to learn about emergency preparedness.
One of the most important aspects of disaster preparation is creating a disaster kit. This kit should contain the basic necessities that you would need in the event of a crisis situation. This includes at least three days worth of ready-to-eat foods such as canned fruit, peanut butter, granola bars, and trail mix as well as a large supply of drinking water. Basic first aid supplies, a change of clothes for each person in your household, necessary prescription medications, copies of important identification documents, and a small amount of petty cash should also be included in your kit.
Scheduling regular disaster drills is the best way to make sure everyone in your home understands the essentials of disaster preparedness. This type of disaster preparation may frighten small children, however, so take care not to go into any more detail than what is absolutely necessary. Young children need to understand escape routes from your home and where to go if a disaster occurs when they are not with you. Older children can be shown the location of the disaster supplies kit, taught to shut off your home's utility service, and instructed on how to operate a fire extinguisher.
When conducting a disaster drill, keep in mind that members of your family may not all be together when a disaster occurs. Phone services may not be available, so it's smart to have a disaster preparation plan for how you will reconnect with loved ones. Agree to meet in a safe place in your neighborhood, such as a church, school, or shopping mall. Choose a friend or relative who lives in a different location, preferably out of state, to serve as the person to receive phone calls when everyone is safe.
Knowing first aid and CPR is a great way to make sure your disaster preparation plan is as complete as possible. In the United States, you can contact the local American Red Cross chapter to register for a class that will provide the training you need in these areas. There are also various websites offering online tutorials that cover the basics of emergency medical treatment, as well as sites with free downloads that cover first aid essentials for children.