Today’s lesson… How Long Should I Prepare For?

I don’t want to turn you into a nutcase doomsday prepper. Some of those people are crazy, paranoid, and scary. It’s hard to tell which ones aren’t the crazy ones too.

What I want for you is that you’re PREPARED. I want you and your family safe in emergency situations.

With that said, if you want to go from Prepared to Prepper, get in touch. I can teach you how to do it safe, sane, and in secret so you don’t get lumped in with the crazies.

Now that I gave you that disclaimer, let’s get to answering the question, because it’s a simple one.

72 Hours

72 hours, or 3 days, is how long you need to be prepared to sustain you and your family in an emergency situation. It’s what we taught people when I worked for FEMA and then Homeland Security.

In general, in an emergency situation, you need to plan on a three day timespan before significant government resources are on hand to manage the incident, get it under control, and help you.

I’m talking about ambulances, police, fire, National Guard, Red Cross, and whoever else is needed. With that, we’re talking about them handling chemicals, looters, shelters, food, water, medical treatment, and all the other stuff that goes into it.

As a matter of fact, it’s how long we packed for when we deployed to emergency situations as a rapid response team.

As a response team, we usually arrived at the incident within 24 hours, but that was more for checking things out and determining what other resources would be needed. Even we had to be capable of taking care of ourselves for three days before our other resources showed up.

I’ll cover all the specifics as we move through these emails (I covered water yesterday), but there are several key areas I want you to be thinking about as you get PREPARED.

  • Water
  • Food
  • Clothing
  • Shelter
  • Heat
  • Medicine
  • Hygiene

You need to consider all these for each and every person in your house AND don’t forget your pets!

While you think about how PREPARED you need to be, go ahead and start analyzing what you’d need for your household in these areas.

Real Life Case Study: Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans LA

Welcome to New Orleans LA, well into the 72 hour window for emergency help. Katrina is perhaps one of the best case study examples for needing to be PREPARED for 72 hours.

It was several weeks after the hurricane devastated the lower part of Louisiana before my team went in, and it was still a very active disaster site.

Overwhelmingly, across the board, I met only one or two people who were PREPARED to self-sustain for three days without help. Entire local governments were caught not ready to take care of themselves.

Here’s the lesson to catch from this- the people (police, fire, EMS) who were supposed to help others couldn’t even help themselves.

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