Why is Emergency Preparedness Important?
Many people ask me: “why is emergency preparedness important?” For most of us, we live in America where so many precautions seem to be in place so we may have never really seen devastating circumstances. I’ve been reading about all those people affected by winter storms on the East Coast that I thought I better update this post from a few years ago.
In America, we have a lot of things set up in the event of an emergency. In fact, compared to other countries we don’t have a lot to worry about. Well, it seems that way on the surface.
The truth is that no matter whether we live in America or another country, being prepared for the inevitable challenges based on our location is crucial. Below, you will learn why it’s so important to be prepared for an emergency of any kind, but particularly those that are most common in your specific area.
What is Emergency Preparedness?
Emergency preparedness means that if there is a disaster of any kind, you will be better able to survive it. When there is an emergency, you can’t always rely on someone else, whether family, friends, your church, or even the government to save you.
Therefore, being prepared means that you have what you need to survive for days or weeks, after an emergency. Being prepared means you have supplies such as food, water, first aid kits, medication, light sources, cooking options, important documents, and more on hand after an emergency.
You don’t want to be rushing to the store hoping these items are still available and not wiped out. Trust me, the store shelves will more than likely be emptied in a hurry during a major disaster.
Critical Items To Have NOW:
- Big Berkey Walter Filter
- Butane Stove and Fuel
- Flashlights (battery)
- Flashlights (solar)
- NOAA Radio
- Batteries (Sam’s Club or Costco)
- Sun Oven
- Dutch Ovens (if you store fuel you can cook or boil most anything in one of these)
- Fuel: In case you missed this post, Emergency Fuel To Store For Survival
- Water: the most important storage item
- Food (store what you eat and those things with a decent shelf life)
- First Aid Supplies
- OTC Medications (this post now has a PRINTABLE ready for you)
- Wind and Waterproof Matches
Why is Emergency Preparedness Important?
Emergency preparedness is important for many reasons. The ultimate reason is for your immediate survival. However, even in smaller emergencies, being prepared is important. Here are just a few reasons emergency preparedness is important:
The Weather is Unpredictable
We may have meteorologists who can predict the weather accurately, most of the time, but sometimes they just can’t foresee everything. Often weather patterns change quickly and end up bringing more fierce winds, rain, snow, and other issues than anyone expected. Additionally, natural disasters such as forest fires, hurricanes, tornadoes, blizzards, and floods can leave us trapped in our homes, schools, and workplaces where we find ourselves stranded. Heaven forbid, depending on where we are, access could be limited for days to weeks before help can reach us.
No matter where you live, there is likely to be a weather-related threat to the area every once in a while. For example, California deals with earthquakes, mudslides, and fires. The Southwest has extreme heat, monsoons, and dust storms. The Midwest has the threat of tornadoes and floods, and the East Coast must be prepared for hurricanes and related floods.
Some areas have those nasty ice storms. These extreme weather conditions affect everyone at one time or another and can leave you without the ability to get food or water for days at a time, possibly weeks.
Emergency Resources Will Be Scarce After a Disaster
Most people assume that the government and community aid organizations and agencies will help immediately after an emergency. The truth is, in the case of a widespread disaster, there is no guarantee that the government or local organizations will have the resources or the time to help everyone, particularly in the short term, that’s when personal preparedness comes in.
Even resources that you expect to be available, such as police and emergency medical personnel, will most likely have their hands full. This means you will need to have access to your own medical supplies, food, and water.
Emergency items that will disappear first include food, water, toilet paper, and first aid kits, among other necessary items. Just to give you an example: When a recent hurricane was headed towards Florida, there was literally no bottled water left on the shelves even a week before it hit.
There Won’t Be Water
Our bodies are made up of 70% water. You can only survive for about 3-days without water. We have come accustomed to having clean, running water in our homes.
However, when there are major emergencies and disasters, in most cases you will find water to be scarce. In fact, even if you can get water to come into your home, it may not be clean or safe to drink. Water found in ponds and lakes carries bacteria and will need to be treated and/or filtered.
This bacteria can be deadly, which is why we have water sanitation treatment systems in place. When there is a disaster of any kind, it could be very hard to find clean water to drink and cook with. Please get a water filter you like.
The Effects Can Last Longer than a Few Days
The effects of any disaster can last longer than just a few days. For example, food prices will be going up each year due to flooding during the spring and summer which affects the fall harvests. An October blizzard that killed 80% of some food to be harvested in the midwest caused a number of food shortages across the country.
Although these things happened earlier in the year, we won’t see the effects until later. Obviously, when disasters such as flooding and blizzards wipe out 80% of a particular harvest, there is going to be a food shortage of some kind.
We can’t even begin to imagine the effects of this food shortage, but I can tell you it will last longer than just a few days.
You May Be Without Power
One thing we have become reliant on is electricity. We use electricity to bathe, cook, heat, and for entertainment. Think about it; how will you cook food on your stove if there isn’t electricity?
Even if you have a gas stove, most stoves use electricity to light the stovetop before you use the gas for the flames. Yes, you can start them with a match or lighter for the stovetop, but the oven relies on electronic controls to monitor the temperature settings. If you live in the North, how will you heat your home? Thermostats and fans run on electricity even though your home uses gas to heat it, in more cases.
There won’t be someone handing out blankets, firewood, or other ways to keep you warm. The stores could become completely depleted of charcoal, butane, propane, and other ways of heating your food.
You have to be prepared to live without any power and live as they did before the advent of so many modern conveniences. Sometimes you may be without power for two weeks or longer.
People will Be in a Panic when a DISASTER Hits
When something does happen, people often panic. Panic and fear can lead to someone getting accosted or even shot because they grabbed the last case of water from the shelf. This means you definitely don’t want to be trying to purchase items at the last minute. We all need to have a plan in place so we are ready when the unexpected happens.
Those who do not prepare will be scared, panicked, and overreacting. This is a common survival mode. You don’t want to be one of those people who is in panic mode.
You want to know that you have what you need, your family is safe, and that you don’t have as much to worry about and deal with. Additionally, you don’t want to have to be going anywhere that could put you in danger when the disaster is in progress or shortly thereafter.
How to Be Prepared for an Emergency
If you are just now realizing the importance of being prepared for an emergency, here are some tips to get you started:
- Start stocking up on food. Foods that have a long shelf life are in your best interest.
- Store 4-gallons of water per person per day in your house or on your property to last at least a week (bare minimum). Read How to Store Water for Drinking and Cooking to help you out.
- Set up a first aid kit. You may not have access to a hospital or doctor, so be sure to have enough in there for the injuries you can take care of yourself. Check out what you need to survive, here.
- Be sure you have your important documents in a safe place. Documents such as birth certificates, insurance policies, and social security cards are crucial to getting yourself stable after a disaster. Check out my Important Documents Emergency Binder.
- Gain knowledge. The more you read about being prepared and then putting a plan together, the more you can help yourself in the event of a disaster. Check out more posts on Food Storage Moms website to get you started on your journey to preparedness.
Final Thoughts: Why is Emergency Preparedness Important
Being prepared isn’t just something to think about. It’s something we all should do. Even if you don’t think there will be an economic collapse or a zombie apocalypse, it is always good to be prepared for an emergency situation.
Begin by having emergency essentials that will help you to survive for at least a two-week period. May God bless this world, Linda
Copyright Images: Storm Preps AdobeStock_4533494 by tracyhornbrook
21 thoughts on “Why is Emergency Preparedness Important?”
After an event there are Haves and Have Nots. As a man, father, husband, grandfather it’s my responsibility to do what I can to ensure the safety and welfare of those I love, care for and that I keep around me. You may feel the same as a woman.
You can either stand for yourself or be the slave of another.
Hi Matt, I feel the very same way. It’s my duty as well to prepare my family to be prepared. We need more people to feel the same. We cannot depend on others including the government to take care of us. It’s not going to happen. We will NOT be a slave to another person. Nope, nada. Good one. Linda
Matt is absolutely correct. Part of being prepared for emergencies is having the ability to defend yourself and your loved ones.
For me being prepared is part of my duty as a man, but the peace of mind I get from being prepared is beyond price.
I would, at a minimum, add wind and waterproof matches to your list.
Hi Ray, I agree, let’s hope others understand the need to take care of themselves whether it is food, water, supplies, or to defend themselves. I will add wind and waterproof matches to the list, thanks my friend, Linda
This article should be posted on billboards on every major highway in the country and on every media format. Right now, people who are not prepared are endangering their lives more than the threat of war. Matt and Ray are absolutely correct and I agree with what both posted. We are in the process right now of closing a few minor shortfalls of items in our supplies. While we are not as well organized as I would like to be, we are getting there quickly.
As I continually plead with folks, keep praying for our country and for the world.
Hi Harry, you are so nice, my sweet friend, thank you! I really hope people understand the mess we’re in. Are they oblivious? Do they think others will take care of them? Wheat has gone up 40%, inflation is at its highest in 40 years. I just shake my head. We are all tightening up our preps, we must. I totally agree, keep praying for our country and the world. Linda
Great article again.
Ukraine is a good example of what could happen in our cities. I like the idea of billboards. Being prepared is more than storing food. When the apartments were hit by bombs you would lose what you have stored. Would you even dare go back in to look. Planning other optional places would be important. Garages, a friend in the country side, a corner of a barn, even buried in the ground somewhere out of the way. It really makes me think of other options, lots of possibilities. Our government is weak and that makes us vulnerable to a lot of different problems. Don’t think it couldn’t happen here. So glad we moved to the countryside. One thing about mn is there is water, water, everywhere and not to deep. Very accessible. Easy to put down a hand pump if you want, lakes all over the place, lots of streams/rivers. Get a good filter.
HI Mary in mn, great comment! Thank you for your kind words. Our government is indeed weak, and I believe the world sees it in our leadership. Great tip about storing things in several places. I LOVE it! I’m glad you moved to the countryside and that you have a lot of water. Linda
Mary in mn, I too am in MN. Far east central, near north. An hour north of our biggest population center, the Twin Cities. What you say about our water is true: it ain’t hard to get water here but without electricity, it’s a lot of work, haha. I keep a hand pump, the sand filter borer and pipes necessary in my shed. Thought I’d put this in decades ago for my garden but simply didn’t. If no electricity, we can pound this into the ground, get pure water about 20 feet down. I don’t have farm chemicals going into my water table, thank goodness. And, let’s not forget our snowfall and rains which can be easily cached.
Hi Wendy, great comment! Linda
Wendy, Hey there neighbor. I’m a couple hours north, lake country. If I were you I’d get the well in long before I need it. It would be tough to do in the winter. it was one of the first things we did when we moved. You just never know what your health will be like when you need it. Our static water is at 26’ but we had a lot of rock and needed it put in professionally. They went down 70’ so we have about 45’ of water. Good to have if there is ever a drought.
This is one of my favorite web sites. It is always an interesting read. I’ve learned a lot.
Mary, my (electric)well is at 50′. I have sugar sand for soil where I live. No rocks, thank goodness. I’m 61, not in good health so I’d be telling any guys here how to do it. A post hole pounder is all a person would need. And, yep, it’s lake country where I live too. We have 20acres shoreline, next to the biggest owner of this lakeshore: the DNR.
Hi Wendy, nice to have 20 acres on a shoreline. Love it! Linda
One would think these past two years of a pandemic taught people a few lessons but I seriously doubt it. My husband and I were talking about this yesterday; how we’re fairly well prepared but several areas that are lacking-I want that Lavario and a Sun Oven! :o) However, we’re old enough that I’m not sure we want to survive a zombie apocalypse! I watch The Walking Dead – it’ll certainly be no picnic. And yes, I know there aren’t such things as zombies but wow, there are alot, and I do mean alot! of bad people out there! Yes, we have that area taken care of but I don’t know if I could really shoot someone. I hope I never have to find out. In any event, we can survive albeit maybe not like kings. Growing up on a ranch, coming from Norwegian immigrants, I’ve always been aware of what we have/want/need. I lean toward prepping naturally. I know the area we live in and what we’re prone to…fires (not too close, thankfully…so far), and snowstorms. We’ve had small earthquakes but I’m as prepared for that as possible. When we used to have large snowstorms (ah, those were the days!), truckers couldn’t get into the area as we live in sort of a bowl with 8,000+ foot mountain ranges around us. I’ve heard the area only has a 3 days supply of food in stores without restocking. Power used to go out alot-so we’ve always been prepared. We’re one of the lucky few who can legally have woodburning stoves. That’s a big peace of mind for me.
As mentioned above, yes, our government is weak, it’s the worst it’s been since Carter, and we’ve got three more years of this buffoon to suffer through. Everyone needs to be doing whatever they can, anything, to prepare. It’s only going to get worse.
Hi Robbie, yes, one would think people would get it. I believe a few have and more are getting on board. But not enough people are prepared. Boy, Carter, wow, that was a mess. Now we’re in another mess. You are truly blessed to have a wood-burning stove. I’ve never watched The Walking Dead. Those two things on your wish list are the best! Yes, there are a lot of bad people, but let’s remember there are a lot of good people. Not sure if it’s 50/50, but you know what I’m saying. Hang on and pray, my friend. Linda
I love this page but if the political comments keep up I will leave. I have never said anything political on any matter and I won’t because this is NOT about Politics but on food storage, or I thought it was. I seen what happened
on Facebook during the last election and I did not expect it here. No one knows my Political point of view and no one will but this is not the place to do it.
Hi June, I apologize if you saw something political. This is not the place, I totally understand, that’s why I rarely visit FaceBook, too much drama, and politics. Thanks for the reminder. Linda
Great comments here. I think there are too many people who have their heads in the sand! They refuse to believe that anything bad will happen to them or their loved ones. And that is scary!
Hi Paula, I agree. This is why I love our forum here to share ideas. It is scary that so many have their heads in the sands. Linda
i did find lamp oil at wally world over wk end ! 32 oz for 5$ !yep got 2 ! have not seen in awhile ! had some just topping off !
Hi Daphne, wow, that is awesome!!! I didn’t know they even sold it, thanks for the tip! Linda