This past week has been a tough one for those of us living in the Carolinas with Hurricane Florence. Fortunately, here in Columbia we weren’t impacted much at all. But others have suffered a lot more with floods and road closures that are still getting cleaned up.
Even though we didn’t have a heavy impact personally, it was a good reminder that a disaster can strike at anytime, and the best thing to do is to prepare BEFORE the disaster comes rather than when it’s happened. That’s why I’m devoting today’s post to the need for disaster preparedness. There are two things you can do to prepare to survive a disaster today.
First, you should prepare your body. One of my underlying principles of fitness is that regular exercise should prepare you for the Activities of Daily Life (ADL). To me, Activities of Daily life include the things you love to do. This means training for the sports you play, being fit enough to travel, being in good enough shape to run around and play with your grand kids, etc.
Now, I’m not going to provide a workout or a boot camp to prepare your body for surviving a natural disaster; but without a doubt, regular exercise will prepare you for survival. Just imagine – something happens, and you have to flee your home and travel 5 to 6 miles on foot with a 40 pound bag on your back. Could you do it? If you’ve made it a practice to walk for 3 miles, three to four times a week with a balanced strength training regiment 3 days a week, then it should be no problem for you. It’s not something we consider when thinking about our exercise routine, but maybe we should reflect on this aspect of how regular exercise impacts our lives.
The second thing to prepare is a go bag. Ready.gov gives a basic list of things that should be in your Go Bag. From the site:
A basic emergency supply kit could include the following recommended items:
- Water – one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
- Food – at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert
- First aid kit
- Extra batteries
- Whistle to signal for help
- Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Manual can opener for food
- Local maps
- Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery
You can find most of these Go Bag supplies on Amazon, some even already prepared for you. What we’ve done is use our existing camping and outdoor gear to put together our bags.
Whatever you decide to put in your bag, you want to make sure it’s something you can carry and is easily accessible.
None of us want to live through a disaster, but preparing now can help alleviate heartache in the future.