Be Prepared: Planning

emergency preparedness

Welcome to week 2 in our be prepared like a normal person series, where we take on emergency preparedness with a solid dose of common sense.

Week 1 was stash some cash and prepare important documents.

This week we tackle planning.

Emergency Preparedness Planning

These preparedness tasks aren’t about imagining all the terrible things that can happen in the world. They are about planning for reasonable risks and knowing that your family will be protected no matter what.

It’s like insurance – it’s pain in the ass to take care of and to pay for but it gives us a sense of protection.

This week’s task is to get organized. Sit down with your thoughts and some good old paper and pencil. We’re going to figure out if you and your family are more likely to stay put and hunker down at home in an emergency or if it’s more likely your family would be evacuated and be on the move.

In preparedness circles packing up and heading out is called “bugging out” and staying home is called “bugging in”. All this bugging happens in response to SHTF (sh!t hits the fan) or TEOTWAWKI (the end of the world as we know it). It’s totally ok to sing that end of the world bit in REM style, song and humour always help and when I sing it’s always funny.

Super prepared families are prepared for both bugging cases and ultimately that’s a good goal. But we are a one-step-at-a-time operation and so we are going to do one-step-at-a-time. Let’s decide:

Will You Stay or Will You Go Now?

You can sing along there too.

Assess your area. What kind of natural disasters have occurred historically? Is evacuate a reasonable risk in your geographic area? Do you live in a flood plain?

Assess your house. Does your home provide adequate protection? Are you on the 14th floor and will roast in the heat of the summer without air conditioning? Will you stay warm in your home during the winter months without heat?

Assess yourself. Which emergency option makes you feel more comfortable? The decision to stay or go comes down to what you feel is most suitable for your family.

We can’t plan for every eventuality, pick one and get to work.


Each week the tasks will be divided up into basic, advanced and overachiever so we can work toward preparedness with baby steps and not overwhelm ourselves. If you have someone at home in the business of earning merit badges this week’s tasks will earn a few.

Basic Task:

  • Plan a fire escape route and safe meeting place for your family. If the meeting place is a neighbours house, talk to them about it.
  • Discuss flood/earthquake/tornado/fire safety with your family.
  • Decide if you want to plan for staying put or travel.
  • Have a local map, know your way out of town.
Advanced Task:
  • Research your geographic area, find water sources and emergency shelters in your neighbourhood.
  • Know the emergency detour routes in your area.
  • Organize packs or containers to store your preparedness supplies.

 Overachievers Task:

  • Write emergency to do lists, what each capable family member needs to do and organize in a few minutes time.
  • Begin packing your emergency travel packs with extra clothes and supplies.


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