As you build up a supply stockpile, make sure they are securely stored and protected from rodents and insects. Be careful not to "part out" your supply cache. It does no good to stockpile food, batteries, tools, gasoline, etc. if they are all missing or "used up" when needed.
4. Similarly, think about the critical relationships you'd need to call upon if something bad happened. Maintain a list of phone numbers and contact information on paper and on your cell phone. Examples include the fire department, insurance agents, veterinarians and someone to help restore electricity or rebuild.
Don't forget about children and others who need care. Make sure you've thought about who might care for them for a day or two while you're busy getting things back in order.
Planning takes positive actions. If you pick a hazard or two and plan for it, you'll find that many actions will apply whether you're dealing with a fire, flood, blizzard, tornado, or even an animal disease outbreak.
As a final note, don't forget about protecting vital business records and personal information. This includes financial data, photographs, and family memorabilia. Recovering from a burned building or a silo that's been blown off its foundation is something that your insurer and contractor can help you recover from. But, recovering forever-lost business records or items of sentimental value is impossible. Luckily, we now have ways to secure digital information in alternative formats off-site or in the "cloud," making recovery a mere inconvenience instead of a life-changing and sad event.
Take time NOW to prepare for the predictable. You'll be glad you did!
Shutske is the associate dean and program director for Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension.