Although the need to survive a zombie apocalypse is unlikely, there is no denying that the world is becoming a much less predictable place. The importance of having a plan to deal with a variety of unexpected emergencies is more pressing today than ever. So what can you do to prepare yourself for whatever might be coming your way?  Planning ahead is essential! Here are a few simple tips that will put you ahead of the game the next time a crisis happens.

1. Keep Yourself Informed

When things go wrong, information is priceless. Find out how your state and local authorities plan to communicate with you in the case of an emergency. Most government agencies today have websites where you can find these answers.  Be sure to sign up or subscribe to receive emails and text alerts in an emergency.

Make sure you own a battery-powered radio so that you can stay in the know even if the electricity goes out.  Consider investing in a UPS – uninterruptible power supply. A UPS can give you vital time to reach out, charge your phones or do research on the computer, even after you’ve lost power. Staying informed will let you plan successfully for what steps to take next.

2. Put Together an Emergency Kit

Every home should have a well-stocked emergency kit. The list of possible items to put in your kit is extensive, but all should include a good first aid kit and flashlights, along with extra batteries.

The most important items to stock up on are safe, clean water and a source of unperishable food items.  You should have enough supply so that each person in your home can have food and a gallon of water every day for three days at least. You can invest in dedicated emergency meals if you choose, or there are plenty of canned and packaged foods available at your local grocery store that will do the job.  Canned foods such as tuna or beans, jars of peanut butter or packages of dried pasta and rice are all great choices to put in your emergency kit.

3. Restock Your Medications

Never let your essential medication prescriptions run too low! Doing without a multi-vitamin for a few days isn’t a problem, but running out of crucial medications such as insulin, heart pills or mental health medication can be disastrous. Most medications can be refilled three days before the current supply runs out, but exceptions are frequently made for certain medications. If you have a prescription that is critical to your health, you can talk to your doctor or pharmacist to ask if you can be allowed to have an emergency supply to keep on hand, or request that you be allowed to refill your prescriptions earlier than the normal refill period. In this situation, thinking ahead can keep a snowstorm from becoming a life-threatening event.

4. Stay Calm

Dealing with stress is difficult in the best of situations, but in a crisis, it can be near to impossible. The danger of stress, anxiety and panic in an emergency is that they reduce your coping and problem-solving skills just when you need them the most. Poor stress management in an emergency can be downright dangerous!

There are simple stress management techniques that anyone can use to help you manage your emotions when things go wrong.  Mindfulness meditation is easy to learn and can help you keep focused.  EFT can be learned in a few minutes and is gaining recognition as a legitimate way to deal with emotional distress.  Simple deep breathing can work wonders when anxiety threatens to overwhelm you. If you invest a little time now in learning a simple calming technique, you will reap the benefits not only in a crisis but in your daily life as well.

No one wants to think about things going wrong. Unfortunately, that is why so many people find themselves in serious situations when disaster strikes. Staying safe, sane and healthy during an emergency is achievable; the key is to plan for a crisis before it happens. Follow a few of these tips each day, and you’ll find yourself prepared to weather any storm.