1. Assume that a disaster can happen. Don’t assume that it won’t. Survival is 90 percent psychology, so being mentally and emotionally unprepared lowers your survival odds.
2. Try not to panic. You will be scared during a survival scenario, but the act of preparing before an emergency will help you deal more effectively. Spread facts, not fear. Share survival training based upon sound human psychology and physiology from reputable sources.
3. Know your limits. Unless your family is a group of Special Forces soldiers, they will have specific needs during a disaster. Lack of physical fitness, forgotten medications, mobility challenges, and a host of other variables demand that you custom-create a survival plan for your family.
4. Know how to do more with less. The simple act of tent camping in the outdoors with a family will teach you more in a weekend about what is required to live simply and be happy than reading survival books in the comfort of your living room.
5. Keep it simple. Fancy preparedness plans and survival gear fail under the pressures of a real-life scenario. The less moving parts the better.
6. Prepare for whatever disaster is likely to affect your area. Not every place on the planet has the same needs.
7. Along with your home-based supplies, create a “bug-out” kit(s) for your family, containing mobile emergency supplies should you be forced to evacuate.
8. Act: Physically prepare and act upon your preparedness plan. Talk is cheap. Practice, practice, and practice your preparedness plan; and don’t be afraid to modify it as your needs change.
9. Do the neighborhood thing. Once your family is prepared, get your neighbors on the same page, similar to a neighborhood block watch.
10. When your preparation work is done, rotate certain survival-kit items such as food and medications as they expire, but live your life. Preparedness training that breeds fear and paranoia is counterproductive and the enemy of true, long-term self-reliance.
Lundin is the author of “ When All Hell Breaks Loose: Stuff You Need to Survive When Disaster Strikes ,” and the founder of the Aboriginal Living Skills School in Prescott, Ariz.