I Asked 10 Disaster Survivors for their Best Tips. Here’s What They Said.

Surviving a natural disaster isn’t just about luck – it’s about having a game plan and being as prepared as a squirrel stashing nuts for winter. We’ve gathered some golden nuggets of wisdom from seasoned disaster preppers who’ve (literally) weathered the storms.

Get the F* out of the way.

hurricane damage

When Marie and her family fled ahead of a hurricane, they thought getting out of the evacuation zone would be enough. But it turns out that even the tail end of a hurricane can do a lot of damage. They ended up being safe but could have done without the scare.


Have a plan for getting rid of MASSIVE amounts of soggy carpeting.

flood damage to homes

People like to hype up their cool “Tacti Pen” or “Stealth Umbrella.” But it turns out that the survival gear you need the most is a box cutter and trash bags. You will use them to get rid of flood-damaged carpeting in your home before it starts growing mold and destroying the rest of your property!


Use your laptop as a spare power bank.

phone charging on solar panel

Do this before heading to your car to charge phones. It’s better to have a drained laptop than a drained car battery!


Take it seriously.

Are you from one of those areas where everyone laughs off tropical storms, floods, or tornados? Like only new residents or idiots would heed the warnings?

Disasters are no joke. Sure, all those people might have gotten lucky… until their luck ran out, and they ended up dead because they didn’t evacuate. 

Too many people needlessly die because they didn’t take it seriously!


Manage your perishables.

If you know a storm is coming…

  1. Turn the temperature in your fridge and freezer wayyyy down.
  2. Fill all extra space in the freezer with bags of water.
  3. When the power goes out, bust out a cooler. Put all the items you will eat in the first couple days in the cooler. 
  4. Don’t open the fridge/freezer at all. Not even for “just one thing”!
  5. If the power is still out on day three, that’s when you open up the fridge and start cooking up perishables.

More people are hurt in the aftermath than the storm.

Just because you survived the storm doesn’t mean the threat is over. Assume that every single power line is hot. That every single puddle is electrified… 


Don’t stand in line to buy bottled water.

If you didn’t have the foresight to buy bottled water before the storm, don’t bother. You’ll waste time and end up frustrated. Instead, fill zip bags and pans with water for drinking and the bathtub with water for flushing the toilet.


Not being able to contact loved ones after a disaster will drive you insane.

It’s not life or death, but it does take a serious mental toll. So make sure you have your loved one’s contact info written down. If your phone dies, you will still have their info.


Make note of where you can find a landline.

Even if you had the foresight to pack an emergency charger, cell phone service is often spotty or nonexistent after a disaster. But, as one Hurricane Irma survivor found out, landlines still worked. Now, she has made note of landlines she can use in her neighborhood.


If you have a pet, keep them in a carrier

If things start going south and you need to evacuate quickly, you won’t have to waste a bunch of time looking for your pet.

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