While there are meteorologists who are able to predict many natural disasters, they cannot foresee everything. The forest might suddenly catch fire, the ground might suddenly shake, a massive asteroid might hit the planet — disasters often happen on short notice. Additionally, natural disasters like forest fires, blizzards, hurricanes, tornadoes and floods can leave you stranded for days to weeks before help can reach you.
Many people have become accustomed to having clean, running water. But in a major disaster, people manning the water treatment plants will likely be too busy looking after their families. If for some reason water continues to come out of your faucet, it may not be clean or safe to drink. Without an emergency plan, you're risking dehydrating yourself or contracting a waterborne disease.
There won't be enough resources for everyone when SHTF. Even local and federal assistance will be rare, as officials like the police and emergency medical personnel will most likely have their hands full. Therefore, you need to have your own food, medical and power supply, as well as first-aid and self-defense skills in order to survive a disaster. The first things to disappear during an emergency are canned foods, camping and survival gear, medicines, thick clothing, sanitation supplies, water filters, flashlights and batteries — in short, all your survival basics.
The effects of a disaster can last longer than just a couple of days. For example, food prices might go up in the wake of a hurricane and remain high months later. In worst-case scenarios, the effects of a disaster can last for more than a year. When that happens, you should have enough supplies to tide yourself over the year.
It's hard to live without electricity. You use it to bathe, cook, heat and light up your home. Some people also have medical conditions that require electric medical equipment. Unfortunately, natural disasters like hurricanes and earthquakes usually take out the electricity. To make things worse, stores might become depleted entirely of charcoal, matches and other ways of heating. Take note that power outages might last longer than a day or two. You have to brace for long-term blackouts. (Related: The savvy prepper's guide to surviving a long-term power outage.)
Expect chaos when SHTF. As resources run dry, people will likely resort to violence to get that last can of food. The good news is that panic is perfectly preventable. How? By being prepared.
Take a look at the following emergency preparedness tips:
Heading into SHTF without a concrete emergency plan will put your life at risk. Prepare for emergencies now to avoid the perils during and after SHTF.