Prepper Lessons from Disaster Scenarios

Hurricane between Florida and Cuba

Many people look at preppers—those who are stocking up on essentials or planning to protect their families against man, machine, or natural disaster—as extremists. The truth is, situations occur every year in which people who are not prepared are put in extreme danger—some even die.

Across the world, those situations include war, famine, political unrest and upheaval, disease, and natural disasters. When looking at some natural disaster events of the last decade, it’s easy to see where better preparation could have saved families misery or even saved lives.

Hurricane Katrina – 2005

A reported 1,836 deaths in Louisiana and Mississippi are linked to Hurricane Katrina. While some deaths occurred during the storm, many occurred after as stranded survivors waited on a failing emergency response system for essential supplies, rescue, or medical care. One of the easiest ways individuals and families might have avoided facing such situations would have been to evacuate early.

While there are always some holdouts—individuals certain they can ride out a storm—many families in the southern part of both states simply didn’t have the means to escape the path of the storm. Instead, they relied on local, state, or federal governments to evacuate or shelter them; poor planning on the part of public agencies is what stranded many in the New Orleans Super Dome for so long.

A lesson to be learned from Hurricane Katrina is that your family should have an escape plan. Rely on yourself first, and make a plan that includes everyone—children, elderly relatives, or sick individuals may need special considerations.

Oklahoma Tornado Season – 2013


An extreme tornado season in 2013 left approximately 220,000 people homeless in the state of Oklahoma. Shelters bulged with people, and both government and volunteer agencies struggled to keep up with needs for clean water, food, and a safe place to sleep.

One prepper lesson that can be learned in looking back at that season is that families should not only stock their own supplies, but they should have a fallback plan if those supplies are destroyed or unreachable—often, that plan might be a second location outside of the immediate geographic area or a cash savings that can support the family during a recovery period.

Heat Wave – 2012


Natural disasters don’t have to be immediate and dramatic to cause issues for families. In 2012, a heat wave washed over much of the country. In areas already prone to hot temperatures, residents saw days of triple-digit heat. Electrical demands from homes and businesses attempting to cool interior areas caused grid failure in some areas, and there were reports across the nation of heatstroke death.

The lesson from the 2012 heat wave is that you don’t know when issues might befall your household. Some simple preparations, such as stocking up on water and having a generator, can make a big difference in any natural disaster.

Natural disasters are only one thing families should consider preparing for.

To find out more about the risks that may be looming for your family—and how you can prepare for them—visit Expert Prepper.