Is it on that ever-present, ever-too-long to-do list of life? Can you bring it up in the queue?

This week I did a segment (above) where I showed my actual emergency kit and talked about ways to start making your plan. But really, this isn’t just about the kit. It’s about preparing your family for unexpected events. Fortunately, terrible-nesses like Katrina, the Japan Tsunami, large earthquakes, volcanoes erupting, and tornadoes are rare. But prepping your family for unexpected large events may really help in prepping for smaller ones like a family illness, accident, or power outage. Knowing what your risks are specifically (what is the biggest risk on your block–a flood, transportation issues/bridges/tall trees/earthquake) is also a great start.

In prepping, I bet you’ll never be sorry you got to know your neighbors (I hope), stashed water and emergency medications, put aside clothing and a first aid kit, and put in place a plan for how you’ll reunite with your family during a moment of chaos.

Watch 6 minutes for a 3-day kit. Although I admit it will take you far longer than a few minutes to make a plan and a kit (I’d set aside 10-15 hours to get it done top to bottom)…
Start today with buying water and a embarking on a communication plan.

Make An Emergency Communication Plan For Your Family:

  • Teach your children age 4 and up a contact cell phone number for Mom or Dad. Once they master those, try for additional contacts like Grandma or neighbors. Try it out with your precocious 3-year-olds in school, as well!
  • Designate a location, outside of your home, that you will meet if your home isn’t a safe place (local park, fire station, community center, school). Inform all family members, babysitters, nannies, and relatives where you’ve selected.
  • Make a card for your wallet, your child’s back pack, your partner’s wallet, and your daycare and/or school with your out of state contact number (the MIL or a favorite trusted friend). Call your friend (or MIL!) and review with them their role in case of an emergency.
  • Remind everyone in your communication plan to try to use text messaging if cell phone use is difficult. Text messages don’t use as much bandwidth and may go through when a call doesn’t.
  • Remind everyone that often in times of natural catastrophic emergency, 911 is not always able to respond immediately. Having a good plan for your family can be a great start to put you all at ease and keep you safe. Practice your plan; quiz your kids!
  • In the next week, get to know 5 new people on your block if you don’t already know every one. Even Boo Radley…. Tell them you’re creating a kit and plan. Ask them if they have one. Make a new friend. May come in handy for a less tragic moment, like needing an extra egg for that cake you’re baking.
  • Get 3 gallons of water for every human and animal in your home. Put it in an easy to reach area like a shed, garage or porch.

Tell me if you’re in the works making a plan and a kit. How much time it is taking you? How does it feel to assemble this kit and what struggles have you had?