disasters, disaster preparations, preppers
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Years ago, duck-and-cover drills were standard in schools and offices, and many buildings were equipped with fallout shelters to withstand an incoming bomb or an air raid. Since then, extremes like this have been reserved for movies and science-fiction novels. But with all of the unrest these days, are bomb shelters and gas masks due for a comeback?

Sadly, very recent events have shown that the U.S. and other major world powers are vulnerable to attack and, if not properly prepared, can fall with a devastating number of casualties. These days, all it takes is a push of a button to obliterate an entire country with a nuclear assault. Scarier still is the threat of bio-chemical warfare or an EMP attack, both of which can move quickly and undetected until it’s too late.

With the right gear and practices in place, you and your family can survive the unthinkable. When the grid goes down and civil unrest ignites, you can make your home a fortress to ride out any disaster. Fully stock your emergency supply closet and update frequently. Riots can be a frightening situation. Weapons and defense are important, but in the midst of the chaos, you must consider the legal ramifications of your actions. For added protection, consider installing a storm shelter or panic room, and hold monthly drills with your family. Everyone should have a job and know where to go and what to grab to ensure the safety of everyone in your party.

In some cases, leaving your home may be the best option. Mother Nature may come into play and compound the crisis. Major cities like New York and New Orleans have been brought to their knees because they were not prepared for natural occurrences like massive floods. Urban areas with dense populations are often not prepared with evacuation locations for their residents. Have a plan and secondary locations ready so you and your family can beat the masses and leave before things become hopeless.

If you and members of your family are not in the same place when the call to bug-out comes, it will be crucial for everyone to reunite at a designated safe zone. Practice your routes and your escape plan from various locations—at work, school, the mall, the gym, home or wherever your daily routine takes you. Keeping your mindset focused is paramount to your survival. Having the emotional support of loved ones is an integral part of that, so keep your team together at all costs.

When in unfamiliar locations, it is easy to become a target. Plan ahead and learn your routes and the area you’re travelling to, especially if it is to another country. There is nothing scarier than being stranded with no means of communication, transportation or funds when you don’t speak the language, whether the world is in a state of crisis or not.

Whether you’re on the road or in a disaster zone, you may run across hostile situations or medical complications. The number-one rule is to remain calm. Practice calming techniques as well as the actions you need to take to survive beforehand to make sure you get out alive. Having everyone in your group certified in first aid is a good idea. Remember, emergency services will not probably be available, and knowing simple medical care techniques could literally mean the difference between life and death.

So, you’ve got to ask yourself one question: Are you ready?

This article was originally published in the SURVIVOR’S EDGE™ Spring 2016 issue. Subscription is available in print and digital editions here.

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