Are you interested in emergency preparedness, but completely at a loss for how to get started? I’ve broken it down in a very actionable 10 Easy Emergency Preparedness steps plan that will help you on your journey towards being prepared!
Each of the steps includes an area of preparedness, a goal timeframe, an estimated budget, and a place for you to set your own personal deadlines and task list to help you make actual progress along the way.
Plus, don’t miss the free printables at the bottom of this post!
Why We Should Prepare for Emergencies
If you need some motivation to get started with your own emergency preparedness efforts, I really enjoyed this talk by President Nelson which explains a why better than I could.
We don’t know what the future will hold, either for us individually or in our communities, countries, or the world as a whole. Taking steps to be prepared will give your family peace of mind and security and the ability to overcome whatever challenges come your way.
President Russell M. Nelson “Embrace the Future with Faith” Oct 2020
Admittedly, the Lord has spoken of our day in sobering terms. He warned that in our day “men’s hearts [would fail] them” and that even the very elect would be at risk of being deceived. He told the Prophet Joseph Smith that “peace [would] be taken from the earth” and calamities would befall mankind.
The Lord told us how (we are to deal with the somber prophecies about our day) with simple, but stunning, reassurance: “If ye are prepared ye shall not fear.” If preparation is our key to embracing this dispensation and our future with faith, how can we best prepare?
For decades, the Lord’s prophets have urged us to store food, water, and financial reserves for a time of need. The current pandemic has reinforced the wisdom of that counsel. I urge you to take steps to be temporally prepared. But I am even more concerned about your spiritual and emotional preparation.
As turmoil rages around us, we need to create places where we are safe, both physically and spiritually. When your home becomes a personal sanctuary of faith—where the Spirit resides—your home becomes the first line of defense. A place of security is anywhere you can feel the presence of the Holy Ghost and be guided by Him.
The adversary never stops attacking. So, we can never stop preparing! The more self-reliant we are—temporally, emotionally, and spiritually—the more prepared we are to thwart Satan’s relentless assaults.
I am not saying that the days ahead will be easy, but I promise you that the future will be glorious for those who are prepared and who continue to prepare to be instruments in the Lord’s hands.
I promise that as we create places of security, prepare our minds to be faithful to God, and never stop preparing, God will bless us. He will “deliver us; yea, insomuch that he [will] speak peace to our souls, and [will] grant unto us great faith, and … cause us that we [can] hope for our deliverance in him.”
Step-by-Step Plan for Emergency Preparedness
Follow along with preparedness with this guide to help you easily walk step-by-step through planning. These steps make it easier to jump in with starting your own emergency preparedness.
Research & Plan
Time: 1 Week
Cost: No Cost
Research what geographical factors, natural disasters, and social and political concerns you may be particularly susceptible to in your area.
What specific things are most important for you to prepare and plan for. Make evacuation plans for specific destinations you could go within your neighborhood, city, state, and outside of your state.
Practice, when appropriate. Create a printable identification card with photos, names, addresses, and other details.
Continue: Practice, update, and revise plans
72 Hour Kit
Time: 2 Weeks
Cost: No Cost – Gather what you have on hand. Budget $20-50 per kit for add additional supplies
Gather and prepare a 72 Hour Kit grab ‘n go bag for each member of your family. Start with the basics of food/snacks, water bottles, a change of clothes, and a small medical kit. Add additional emergency preparedness supplies as available. Look for sales and promotions or add one like item a month to each kit. Source your home for supplies!
Continue: Update food and clothing 1x/year
Don’t Miss our 72 Hour Kit Ultimate Checklist
(and printable) to make this step even easier!
Time: 2 Weeks
Cost: $10/per person. 55-Gallon drums can be purchased for about $35 used or $100 new.
Buy 1-2 cases of disposable water bottles, per family member. These are easier to grab and go, rotate, and important for short emergencies to keep on hand.
Store a minimum of 14 gallons of water (120 water bottles at 16oz) per person for a 2-week water storage. Consider adding 55-gallon drums, water bricks, or other water storage solutions.
Continue: Increase water storage and rotate
Short-Term Food Storage
Time: 6 Months
Cost: Will vary but plan a budget and add what you can! Maybe $50-100 per person/per month.
Pick 15 (2x/ month) or 30 breakfasts and dinners your family likes and eats regularly.
Write out all ingredients as a shopping list. Purchase 1-month worth of extra recipes supplies to store. Freeze, can, or use long term alternates for meats and produce.
Continue: Use and rotate monthly!
Time: 2 Weeks
Cost: No Cost – $5
Make copies of important papers such as: Birth and Marriage Certificates, Passports, Driver’s License, other IDs, Bank Accounts, Bank & Credit Cards, Investment Accounts & Beneficiaries, Insurance Policies, Coverages, Card, Will, Trust, Power of Attorney, Etc.
Store a copy in a secure safe, secure digital file storage, in your 72 hr kit. Consider sharing a copy with a trusted family member.
Continue: Update and replace 1x/year
Long Term Food Storage
Time: 6 Months
Cost: $500+ per person
Purchase and store a 1-year supply of long term (25-year) food storage supplies. These are staple items such as wheat, beans, sugar, and salt that you don’t need to rotate, but may choose to utilize. Start with the very basics, add as the budget allows.
Continue: Add variety such as fruits, vegetables, and protein as possible. Learn to use the basics such as wheat.
Fuel, Heat & Light
Time: 6 Months
Consider how you will cook food, heat your home, and add light. This might include batteries, propane, natural gas, generator, wood, kerosene, etc. Include a backup plan. Safely store a reasonable supply.
Continue: Rotate, update plan as needed
Time: Varies. Set specific and realistic goals such as paying off debts or increasing supply of meds.
Cost: Varies by Personal Needs
Gather information, resources, and a plan to help with the variety of other needs you may face in an emergency, including:
- Financial (Emergency Fund & Debts)
- Sanitation & Hygiene
- Prescriptions & Medicine
- Self Defense & Protection
- Babies & Children Needs
- Clothing & Shelter
- Physical, Spiritual, & Mental Readiness
Pick a deadline to meet a goal in a specific area of emergency preps and stick to it!
If you need help getting started with finances, see my Family Budget Worksheet and series of additional financial helpers including a debt payoff planner!
Learn a Skill
Cost: Much can be learned online or from others free!
Increase your readiness by learning new skills. Follow your interests. Some ideas:
- Ham Radio
- CPR/First Aid
- Tying Knots
- Auto Repair
- Home Maintenance
Set a goal for taking action to help you be more accountable! Find a friend to join you!
Practice, Rotate, and Teach!
Cost: Minimal costs. Use your normal monthly budget to replace old items and use the outdated up!
Practice your plans such as try living like there is no power or grocery stores for 1 week. What did you learn? What do you need to improve upon in your preps?
Keep an updated inventory and rotate expiring food, too small clothing, etc to keep your supplies ready for use! Use what you have learned to help others get prepared! Lovingly encourage and help others around you prepare in small and big ways so they are ready for the unexpected.
Commit to teach someone or a group!
10-Step Emergency Preparedness Planner Printable
I shared all of these steps in a printable with my ward at an Emergency Preparedness Relief Society activity. It was a huge hit and I think it’s a wonderful resource to help you work through your own preparedness journey!
This printable is a 5-page document with each of the steps outlined and a place for you to fill in your own personal goals and deadline and mark off your progress along the way! You can choose to print the full page or half page option, whichever best fits your needs!
Use Terms & Policies: This document is being offered as a free printable for individuals only. You cannot replicate, share, distribute, or upload this file to any other locations. If you’d like to share this file with another individual or group, please just share the link to this post directly. This helps protect my copyright and gives them the full details and other helpful resources that go along the printable.
Full Page Planner & Checklist
This option includes 5 pages that utilize the full sheet. You can print all 5 pages or skip the 1st and/or last page if you decide you don’t need them for your purposes.
Half Page Planner and Checklist
I really love this half-page style because you can see everything you need across 2 pages and can easily print on both sides of the paper and fold it in half to make a little booklet! Just print flipping on the long edge.
Head over to this post next to get our Emergency Preparedness Action Plan printable and more tips!
Have I missed anything in this Emergency Preparedness Planner? What else would you add?