When a disaster strikes, we all like to think we would be equipped to handle it. However, if you don’t plan ahead of time, chances are you will struggle with even the most basic of needs. Here are a few disaster preparedness tips to help you get on the right track.

1. Know the possibilities

The first step in disaster preparedness is to know what kind of dangers your state is prone to. For instance, hurricanes are just a part of life in Florida whereas wildfires in California are a big threat. You need to know what is most likely to happen in your state, so you can prepare according to the disaster.

2. Learn evacuation routes

When you are ordered to evacuate, it can quickly turn into chaos on the roadways. It is a good idea to learn your evacuation routes ahead of time. You can even go old school and print them out ahead of time, so you have one less thing to worry about in the event you have to leave your home behind. This is an important part of disaster preparedness and everyone should know it!

3. Have a plan for pets

Your pets depend on you for food, shelter, and warmth. It is your responsibility to keep them safe from harm. When planning for a disaster, a plan for your furry family members should be a major part of the overall plan. Make sure you know where animal-friendly shelters or hotels are located so you can take care of your pet. You should never leave your pets behind under any circumstance. Pets die when left to fend for themselves in storms or wildfires. You also want to make sure you have a kit ready to go for your pet with items such as a carrier, food, water, any medications the pet may need, and their shot records.

4. Prepare a go bag

Much like you need a bag of essentials for your pet, you need a go bag for yourself. In fact, it is a good idea for each family member to have a go bag already packed and ready to go in the event of an emergency. A go bag should include items such as any medications you need, clothes, water, snacks, first aid essentials, portable phone charger, and basic hygiene items.

5. Learn basic skills

It is also a good idea to learn a few basic skills as part of your disaster preparedness. For instance, everyone should know the basic of CPR or how to treat injuries because during a disaster, emergency services will most likely be suspended. You also want to learn a few basics such as tying a knot in a rope, how to safely use a generator, and tips for staying safe in flood waters like watching for downed power lines. The more you know about what to do in a disaster situation, the more likely you are to live to tell the tale.