Take Your First Disaster Prep Baby Steps

Take Your First Disaster Prep Baby Steps

I came here to chew gum and hype you up, and I’m all out of gum (due to supply chain disruptions caused by a multi-year pandemic and partial collapse of the global economy). ARE YOU READY TO GET HYPED UP?

Since the answer is obviously YES, it’s time to begin your journey to disaster preparedness.

"I'm not ready" GIF
You don’t have to be ready. You just have to try.

Firstly, you are doing a great job.

  1. It’s time to acknowledge the exhaustion that has hounded you since the day you started doing extracurricular activities in elementary school. We didn’t know then that we were headed for a world that would demand full throttle effort every week for the rest of our lives, but we’re much older and wiser now. There’s just too much to do, and not enough time to do it.
  2. It’s also time to forgive yourself for all the things you want to do, but haven’t yet. You don’t need to feel bad that your life looks nothing like your Pinterest boards, or that you don’t even have the energy to pin inspiration pics anymore. Staying alive is a really amazing accomplishment, and having an old couch that doubles as a scratching post doesn’t take anything away from your success as a fully alive human being.
  3. Doing things perfectly is overrated. How many times have you heard that the best way to get really good at something is to do it badly for a long time? It was the truth when you were learning how to talk and it’s still true now. Trying is a great way to start.

Secondly, you are probably overthinking this disaster preparedness thing.

  1. You don’t have to do it all at once.
  2. Doing literally anything to prepare is better than doing nothing.
  3. It can be really fun, especially if you like shopping.
Fashionable shopaholic woman with many shopping bags
These bags are full of multitools and emergency blankets. Showstopping, spectacular, never the same.

I’m going to start carrying around a bag of stickers that all say “My Perfectionism Doesn’t Control Me,” so I can hand them out to all of the people who are avoiding doing things because their standards are too high. The disease of perfectionism is rampant and I’m not totally convinced it’s not contagious.

Disaster preparedness is a pass/fail course, and the only way to fail is to give up before you start.

And there are so many ways to start!

  • If you have ten minutes to think about it, buy one pre-packaged Go Bag and pick a spot for it in your house.
  • If you have thirty minutes to think about it, buy a pre-packaged Go Bag for every member of your family and make copies of your important documents.
  • If you have an hour to think about it, write down your emergency communication plan, with or without your family’s help.
  • If you’ve got an afternoon to go shopping just for fun, snag some durable outfits for your family’s Go Bags. Look good while the world burns down around you. It’s not a crime to be chic.
  • If your teenager wants to do extra chores to earn some money, send them to the store to buy 25 gallons of bottled water, a bag of beef jerky, the big box of raisins, and a few jumbo jars of peanut butter to jumpstart your Stay Bag. No one said you couldn’t outsource some of this prep!

With a few hundred dollars and a few hours, you could secure all of the gear you need, write some totally passable emergency plans, and maybe even practice putting your cat in a carrier to test her evacuation stress levels.

Grab those minutes where you can and just get started on whatever feels right. Reading about disaster preparedness is a great start in itself. The more knowledge you have, the easier it will be to finish your preparedness tasks on the fly.

Half of Americans aren’t prepared at all. Take those first disaster prep baby steps and drag yourself into the half that’s trying. We’re still exhausted and sitting on couches that are utterly bedeviled by cat terrorists, but we’ll have a fighting chance when disaster strikes.

destroyed building post disaster
Your hand crank radio will be worth its weight in gold when the power is out and the cell towers are down.

About the Author

Writer, editor, and professional joker with an environmental science background. Like most trivia nerds, she's an ardent admirer of Only Connect competitors, but more at home on the QI field.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *