Avoid These 7 Mistakes of Emergency Preparation

Avoid These 7 Mistakes of Emergency Preparation

by Brandon Hunt

Making mistakes is bad…despite what you have been told.

I know. It goes contrary to what we are told.

Well, hear me out for a moment and you’ll see why.

We’ve always been told mistakes are okay. It’s one way we learn and get better, and that mistakes pave the way to success in our efforts. Or something along those lines. 

The value of mistakes depends upon context, the situation you are in. It’s like Batman leaping from a building, only to realize he didn’t wear the cape that turns into a glider. A costly mistake due to the situation.

In the context of emergency preparation, you want to avoid mistakes, because they can make the situation worse or injure someone. The middle of a disaster is the last place you want to learn what you should have done.

Fortunately, you can avoid costly mistakes by preparing now. It’s a lot like learning from the mistakes of other people — you’re learning what not to do. That’s good, right?

So, let’s go over some of the more common mistakes made involving emergency preparation.

Mistake #1

Lack of Planning: Not having a plan in the first place is a costly mistake when a disaster strikes. During a disaster your stress levels will rise, which in turn hinders your thinking, increasing the chances of making poor choices. Plan ahead while you have time. Make one plan for gathering emergency supplies, and then create an action plan detailing what to do in an emergency. A plan will help clarify your thinking and give you priorities during a situation.

Mistake #2

Thinking Emergencies Happen to Other People: We’ve all thought that at some point. We think, “Ah, that will never happen to me.” Only to be proven wrong. Just because a disaster occurs far from where you live, it doesn’t mean you're immune. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that something won’t happen to you. You never really know, do you?

Mistake #3

Failing to Educate Yourself: Educate yourself about which natural disasters occur in your area. Knowing this will help you build your plan and preparations. You don’t have to become an expert survivalist. Just spend a little time teaching yourself basic skills, view prepping videos, or search blogs for tips. A little knowledge goes a long way with preparation.

Mistake #4

Ignoring Your Instincts: It’s that gut reaction you get when you’re about to make a choice, like on a multiple choice test: your head says A and your gut says C. Listening to your instinct is a very fine skill. Too often we regret not listening to that little warning whisper. So, even if you have planned and prepared, don’t ignore your instinct when it tingles. More often than not, if you listen to your gut instinct, you’ll have made a good choice.

Mistake #5

Expecting Help to Arrive Quickly: In a disaster a lot of people are going to need help. There’s also a chance that any emergency responders will face obstacles trying to get to people. Preparation increases your chances of survival until help arrives. It’s best to plan on the fact you may have to wait some time until help can get to you.

Mistake #6

Not Having Enough Food: Don’t assume you have enough for everyone. Do your best to calculate the amount of food you need for each person in your household. Also avoid storing food you don’t like, food that is bulky, and food that is difficult to prepare. You don’t have to go all out on several years worth of food storage. Enough for a month is sufficient for most cases.


Mistake #7

Not Having Enough Water: I probably should have put this one before food. You can last longer without food than water. Not only will you need water for drinking, but for washing and cooking. As you build your water supply, consider that each person will need about 1 gallon per day. 


I could add more to the list, but I don’t want to make this too long or overwhelming. The truth is with planning and preparation, you’ll avoid making these mistakes. 

I’m a big believer in preparation, not just for emergencies, but for so many situations in life. Yes, the mistakes we make are powerful teachers, yet as I mentioned earlier, some circumstances exist in which you want to avoid mistakes. 

Basically if you avoid the first mistake on this list and make a plan, and you follow through with the plan, you’ll be okay.

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