Learn how to be prepared by making a plan for emergency & bug out bag
with tips and suggestions from an emergency plan
designed by a former Green Beret medic.”
An emergency preparedness plan created by Lance Jones, a former Green Beret medic, is described in his video above. He goes through the details of the plan he has implemented personally to assure that his family and loved ones have a plan for emergency in the event of a disaster.
This video covers a detailed plan of how to be prepared, including how to find loved ones that you may be separated from during a disaster. It’s quite possible that you may not be together with your immediate family when a disaster occurs and it is important to pre-designate a few meeting places and develop a system to communicate with each other in the event that your meeting place has become unsafe and it is now necessary to move to a new location.
One of the most common things to occur after a disaster is that phone lines and cell phone service often goes down and phone communication is lost. Very often local calls may be jammed, but outgoing calls to numbers out of the area can still be made. So be sure to have a contact person who lives out of the immediate area to assist in communicating to other family members.
Other means of communication you may want to use in an emergency situation are various types of radios. A ham radio is a good choice because ham radios use repeaters, or stations, which are located outside of the area and can broadcast in many different directions. One deterrent for a ham radio is that a license is required, which means you need to go through classes and learn how to operate them.
Most other radio types, such as a walkie-talkie, are based on a “line of sight” and cannot communicate if anything is obstructing the radio frequency, preventing a clear line of sight (for example a mountain).
A third option for a radio discussed in the video is a CB radio (or Citizen’s Band radio) which can be plugged into your car. A license is not required in order to use CB radios.
Both ham radios and CB radios provide access to up to date weather reports and disaster reports.
One helpful radio tip shared is that you should designate which radio frequency you will use and write that on each radio ahead of time so each family member will be tuned to the correct frequency/channel in order to communicate with each other.
Among the many emergency tips shared was where you can access water after a disaster, for example the water contained in your home’s water heater or inside the toilet tank (the upper tank portion before it dispenses into the toilet bowl).
Highlights of tips and examples on how to be prepared for a disaster can be found below:
Emergency Preparedness Plan
Make a written plan that should be kept inside your Bug Out Bag or To Go Bag. Be sure to keep this plan in a waterproof bag or container. If desired, have the list laminated to help protect it from water damage.
Your written plan should include the following:
Write down your contact names and numbers in case your cell phone is lost or damaged.
- Determine 3 Meeting Places In Case Separated After Emergency
Designate three locations for your family to meet after a disaster. Typically the first meeting place is your home. Two more locations are suggested because it’s possible a meeting place may be damaged or unsafe.
These meeting places should be within walking distance of each other because if a natural disaster has occurred roads may be inaccessible and you may have to walk.
- Plan of Action Immediately After Disaster
Contact Family Members
Attempt to contact family members/loved ones in the event you are apart from each other by utilizing one of the methods below:
Attempt to make contact via cell phone with your family.
Previously determine which radio frequency you will use.
(Tip: Write the frequency to be used on the back of the radio.)
Immediately after a disaster, turn on your radio or walkie-talkie to the pre-determined frequency.
Leave your radio or walkie-talkie on for 2 hours, then conserve batteries by turning it on for a total of 10 minutes on the hour and half hour.
- Go to Pre-Designated Meeting Place(s)
Note: If you are unable to drive to your meeting place remember to bring your bug out bag and car charger from the car.
Go to the first designated meeting place and stay as long as you can to wait for other family members to arrive.
If the first meeting place is damaged or unsafe, leave a message on the door for your loved ones to let them know you have been there and are proceeding to the next meeting place. Suggested ways of leaving a message at meeting places are: tying a color-coded ribbon (or plastic engineer’s tape), notepad, magic marker, or other means. These items are kept in the bug out bags; however, if you don’t have your backpack use your imagination and tear a sheet or towel and tie it somewhere prominent or find some way to communicate that you have been there and left for the next meeting place.
Proceed to the second meeting place and do the same thing, leaving a message if you need to move on to the third location. In each location stay as long as you can and only leave if the meeting place is damaged or unsafe.
If you find it is necessary to go to a place that was not pre-designated leave a note informing your family members of the new location.
Bug Out Bag / To Go Bag
Make a “To Go Bag” to be kept in everyone’s car containing the following items:
- Your written emergency plan in a waterproof bag or container
- Emergency contact list with numbers for each family member/loved one,
- Food & water supply for at least 3 days (snack bars, canned meats, etc.)
- Photos of each loved one and pets to assist in locating each other
- Walkie-Talkie / CB Radio / Ham Radio & Instructions on how to use the radio (place in waterproof bag or container)
- Flashlights / Head Lamps
- Glow sticks
- Batteries and car chargers
- Spare eyeglasses (if applicable)
- Cash in small denominations (in case ATM’s, banks, or stores are inaccessible)
- Pens, permanent markers, and paper (placed in a plastic bag)
- Pocket knife
- Leatherman’s tool (folding pliers, screw driver, multi-purpose tool)
- Colored plastic ribbon / engineer’s tape (one color for each family member)
- Terry cloth towels
- Baseball cap or wide-brimmed hat
- Dust masks
- First aid kit
- Latex or surgical gloves
- Spare clothing
- Sturdy shoes & socks
- Work gloves
- Nylon cord or rope
- Waterproof matches
- Space blanket
- Plastic drop cloth
- Toilet paper (in waterproof bag or container)
- Reading book
Note: Be sure to keep items that may be damaged or ruined by water in waterproof bags or a waterproof container.
Adjust Bug Out Bag Items To Suit Your Needs
The above list of items are things Lance Jones included in his emergency kit. You’ll want to adjust bug out bag items to fit your particular needs.
Review Emergency Plan and Bug Out Bag Every 4 to 6 Months
Review your emergency preparedness plan as well as your backpack contents with all family members and loved ones every four to six months. This will help everyone to remember the plan. It’s also important to check expiration dates on food ad water items and replace as necessary.