How to prepare for a disaster
You can never prepare yourself for the shock of hearing about a war breaking out, no matter if the signs were already there. No amount of breaking news and special programs prepares you mentally when war actually starts. The invasion of Ukraine by Russia was a shock for me as my heart sank seeing people preparing for the confrontation while others fled to neighbouring countries. My heart even sank more by the prospect of war reaching the UK. The price hikes in fuel and other things due to the sanctions imposed on Russia are one thing, but being involved in actual war is a whole different story.
Am I prepared for war or future price hikes when things start getting hard to come by? This fear was what got me worried. We haven't faced a war on our soil for decades, so we are never prepared for war. In most cases, general preparedness always comes in handy, so better prepare for war too.
Let’s discuss our best tips and guidelines to be prepared.
1. Learn to Identify Risks
The first step to preparedness is to know the risk factor of the area you live in and be aware of infrastructure failing in case of war. Subways would be used as bunkers but wouldn't be safe for travel. Flyovers might be damaged and render that area useless. Knowledge about your surrounding is necessary to have an exit plan, so research your region or city.
2. Community or Family Disaster Plan
Always check if your community or city has disaster plans. Just like a family plan, you need to know who to call or meet when disaster strikes. In most cases, a shelter or bunker should be near your vicinity, and you should be aware of it. You should know the nearest border if you plan to flee the war area and who would welcome refugees.
3. Practice Your Plan
Most institutes and companies perform disaster drills at least once a year to keep everyone in remembrance. In the case of a family, practice a gathering point, steps of communication, and how to precisely respond to different disasters and even war. Continually learn and practice the evacuation process in fires and other extreme damages in your region if ariel strikes occur. An evacuation plan is vital for people living in houses when roads can be blocked or in the case of apartments where you need to know which side of the building are the emergency exits.
4. Building a Disaster Kit
Keep a disaster kit on your car or home that must include rations, first aid kits, torchlights, etc., which come under the most basic survival items. You can store these supplies in a waterproof container and place them somewhere within easy access. A disaster kit is an allrounder for most disasters and may come in handy in a war situation. Specifically for war scenarios, keeping an army knife or a firearm in this kit is also intelligent; you never know when you might need to use it.
When it comes to food items, always store non-perishable items like canned veggies, tuna, or protein bars. Depending on the situation, you may also need to include diapers, pet food, prescription medicine, and even maps of your local area. Keep in mind that your safety kit should last you a minimum of 3 days or a maximum of up to 7 for more drastic situations.
5. Teach Young Kids
Have fun activities for kids to discuss disasters and what to do when something happens. War is a terrible place for kids, and such a big calamity would most likely be devastating for them. Playing out with kids is the best way to learn and not freak out when something happens.
6. Learn CPR and How to First Aid
We recommend taking a course for basic CPR and first aid protocols. You can contact your local chapter of the red cross or ask the safety or HSE personnel for more information and training. It might seem a small exercise, but it can be life-saving for a family member in critical situations and can support your region's war effort if, for some reason, they run short of paramedics.
7. Listening to Local Officials
Most countries have systems set to inform the residents about any impending natural disaster, which can be paramount in wars and conflicts. Most of the time, timely alerts can help people evacuate in time or move into protection shelters and bunkers to ride out the calamity in safety.
War isn't something you prepare for in general, as in this day and age, physical wars are a thing of the past. But the recent Russian invasion says so otherwise. It is hard to stomach how similar invasions have been happening in African and Gulf countries for decades, but it is actually happening near our borders hits home hard.