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A 4-Step Plan to Survive the Next Natural Disaster! Are you ready!

So, last week I’m watching TV and playing a game on my phone. I look up, hmmm, a loud rolling sound peaks and disappears. Was that an earthquake? My son is already down from his room, “Did you feel it?” We both head to the front door. Yep, the chandelier is swinging! We just had an earthquake! I jumped on my laptop and headed to the NGSS website to record, “Did you feel it?” And I was one of the first 10 people who “felt the earthquake.”

Then I stop and ponder, Southern Californians, yes, we have earthquakes, fires, floods, mudslides, and more, I think, cool, we do have all that. Yet why didn’t I follow my earthquake plan when I felt the earth move. I just sat there and thought, yep, an earthquake.

Am I ready for a natural disaster? What is my family plan? I’m a planner, a prepper, an organizer, and a list maker. I took stock of my disaster plan and decided to organize it into a 4-step plan for the next natural disaster. It is only four steps, but it does take planning, prepping, and practice. Californians need to be ready to move their family, react to the afterwards of a disaster, and pack accordingly.

1 Start Saving Cash.

Try this, every time you have a $5 dollar bill drop it into the envelope titled, Natural Disaster Emergency Fund. You would be surprised at how fast you can reach $100 dollars, then $1,000. So, keep those $5 dollar bills rolling into that envelope. As it grows, you’ll be more inclined to stash away more cash. The reason I choose $5 dollar bills is because in an aftermath of any disaster many businesses might run out of cash for a twenty dollar bill. In the end my disaster emergency fund is $1,000 comprised of $1, $5, and $10 dollar bills. This fund is kept out of reach and put into our fire safe.

2 Have a Plan

If you cannot get back to the house, designate where to meet.

Designate an out of state contact who can be reached to let others know of your situation. Many times, local cell towers may be compromised but out of state may function well.

Practice your plan just like the kids practice at school. Practice Grab and Go. What worked? What did you forget? Was your Grab bag in an accessible place? If you have small children keep the Grab Bag visible and place a “list” of what to grab and go. This isn’t all inclusive, inform yourself of other items to leave the home with or have available if a natural disaster occurs.

3 What to grab and go.

Where are the emergency supplies: Grab & Go bags, water, medications, First Aid, food?

Make Grab & Go bags for personal necessities, First Aid, Medications, food & water.

List relevant phone numbers.


Family in/out of state


Health Care, Pharmacy


Each human Grab & Go Bag includes first aid kit, masks, blanket, socks/underwear, (you know, comfort clothes) basic toiletries, something to read, cards, scissors, bungee cords, plastic bag, hat, pocketknife, flashlights, phone chargers, solar phone charger, Red Cross crank radio, and mirror.

Next, I inventory the Single Category Grab & Go bags; First Aid, Food, vital documents, and contact numbers. As I have these Grab & Go bags in various places in the house, I tie a red ribbon around the bag to indicate that it is one that needs to be grabbed. The term “bag” can also mean suitcase, duffel bag etc. what ever works best for the items to be stored in.

Pet's Grab & Go Bag

Keep things as routine as possible with familiar smells. Dogs can sense anxiety and fear. Help them to stay calm and they will help your worries ease too.

Food-can opener Water

Leash Medications

Food Toys

Bowl Bed and towels

Crate—great place for the pet’s Grab & Go Bag

3. Medications & Prescriptions

List all prescriptions for each family member including the name of the doctor, and phone number. Bring all prescription medication with you. Include medication for your pets and their vet's phone number.

4. Vital documents

Copies of life insurance, home insurance, birth certificates, driver’s license, passports, passwords, will/trust, investments, and retirement accounts. Have a general list of these documents to include, account numbers, phone/website, contact person, etc. The originals are kept in a fire safe.

"While natural disasters capture headlines and national attention short-term, the work of recovery and rebuilding is long-term." ~ Sylvia Mathews Burwell

Being a prepper is time intensive but worth the time. Expect to survive, as a family, without assistance for 5-7 days in a huge natural disaster. Revisit your disaster plan yearly and refill missing or expired items in your Grab Bags. Keep prescriptions and contact numbers up to date. Practice. Talk about being prepared with your kids enough times that it isn’t scary to them.

Be prepared!

See these resources for additional information:

 American Red Cross: www.redcross.org; Federal Disaster Assistance:

SK Simple Solutions can help organize your vital documents, Grab Bags, First Aid kits and Pet Prepping. Contact us now.

SK Out!


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