Most people consider their family pets to be members of the family, so some thought should be given to them during any critical situation. Like humans, pets will have need of water,
food, first aid, and shelter during an emergency. When you are stockpiling food and water, make sure that you have sufficient supplies for your pets.
You will also need extra kitty litter if you have cats. Dogs should be kept on a leash or harness at all times during an emergency, and cats should be kept crated except to use the litter box. Be prepared to take your pets with you should you need to evacuate, dogs and cats are not able to take care of themselves if simply turned loose.
During times of emergency or disaster, human behavior can change and become erratic. Probably a majority of people will try to help others, or at least keep to themselves, but when social restraints have been loosened, some people will turn to looting, burglary, or worse. At times like this, you will not be able to depend on a fast response from law enforcement, and you should take measures ahead of time to ensure the safety of yourself and your family.
The first thing to see to is that your home is as secure as possible. Many homes have doors and windows so ill-protected that a child could break into them. The first thing to do is change any old locks on windows and doors. A dead bolt lock is a good idea, since it is hard to jimmy open, but a good kick to the door near the lock is usually enough to tear the lock right out of the frame. It is possible to reinforce the frame of the door where the lock is situated to prevent this from happening.
You should also have some way to defend your family in the event of a break in. Various non-lethal methods of self-defense are available. These would include pepper spray, mace, stun guns, or Tasers. There are restrictions on many of these products as regards the state in which you reside. Probably the most effective of the non-lethal weapons are pepper spray and Tasers. Mace will not stop someone who is drunk or on drugs, and you much actually get right up to the criminal to bring the stun gun to bear. Pepper spray, on the other hand, will stop anyone or anything, and Tasers administer their shock at a distance.
Guns, of course, are the ultimate self-defense tool. Guns, however, are dangerous to you if not handled properly. If you are unfamiliar with gun use, take instruction in their use when you purchase one. Speak to the gun shop employee about which weapon will best suit your needs. Generally, a shotgun is recommended for its complete stopping power, but a larger handgun will also serve. Remember, if someone breaks into your home and you threaten them with your gun, you must be prepared to use it if they do not leave. Do not keep telling them to go away, then allow them to approach you – a person like that will simply disarm you and then use the weapon against you.
Some Final Advice
Although it may seem like a huge project to get your emergency plan into effect, taking it a bit at a time will make it easier. It is unlikely, in most cases, that some emergency will happen tomorrow or even next week. However, remember that all members of your family should keep quiet about what you are doing. No one outside your family should know about your
food and water supply. Instruct you children to say nothing to anyone about your preparations – desperation can drive nearly anyone to try to take what is not theirs.
If possible, have copies, at least, of all important documents. You can keep some of these in a safe deposit box, but make sure that they will be accessible if you need them. Also, have on hand some of that which makes life easier – money. Even several hundred dollars can make a real difference in an emergency, but once again, caution everyone in the family to be quiet about this.
Once you have started on your project, you will find that you feel more relaxed and confident about the future. When your emergency plan has been completed, you will be able to sleep better at night. And, here’s hoping that these preparations will never be needed.