With all the wildfires happening this year, if anything is for sure, is that disaster can happen at any time. Maybe you got lucky this time – but how can you be sure you’ll be alright in the event of another California fire or a random flood?

Unfortunately, there’s no way to know for sure. As such, the best thing you can do right now for you and your family is prepared. It might not seem necessary, but you’ll be glad you took the time to learn about disaster preparedness when an emergency strikes.

Here are four things you can do to make sure you’re ready if a disaster comes your way.

1. Always Keep a Few Easy Meals in the Pantry

The last thing you want to do in a time of crisis is getting groceries. It’s better to have some easy meals on-hand so you can focus on getting everyone out of the house safely and all of your important belongings.

Plus, no one likes to go to the grocery store when they’re frazzled. Keep some ready-made soups and other non-perishable items in the pantry for when you really need to grab them and go.

2. Make Sure You Have a First Aid Kit

Food and medicine should be at the top of your list of priorities in an emergency. You don’t need to have a whole pharmacy with you, though. Just make sure you have the basics in a first aid kit and grab all the prescription medicines you and your family will need, too.

Avoid wasting time to measure things out if you can. Grab the whole bottle of supplements/pills and try to keep things like insulin shots and other more specific medicines well-stocked for you and yours.

3. Have an Evacuation Plan

The other main priority during a disaster is safety. You need to know where you’re going the second you get in the car.

It’s good to have a few different evacuation routes planned out ahead of time. This gives you options when disaster strikes, and the chance to pick a route without having to worry too much about things like traffic or blocked roadways.

Include a rendezvous point in your evacuation plan. This way, you can easily tell your spouse who’s at work or your child at soccer practice to meet you at the location you’ve all previously agreed upon.

4. Bring Important Documents and a Change of Clothes

Don’t forget to grab your important documents before you walk out the door.

You know, things like all the family’s passports and even birth certificates or immigration paperwork if you have them on-hand. You don’t want to lose such files to a natural disaster, because there’s no telling when you’ll be able to get replacements for them.

A few special pictures wouldn’t hurt to have, either, but these aren’t the main thing to be concerned about.

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