When it comes to Emergency Preparedness, there’s a good chance that there are at least 5 things you may not have thought about. Sure, you know you need food and water and flashlights- maybe even a 72 hour kit. But, those will only get you so far in a real emergency. Let’s delve a little deeper, shall we? (Also, in honor of National Emergency Preparedness Month, don’t miss your chance to enter our awesome Nitro-Pak giveaway at the end of this post!)
1- How will you find your family in an emergency if you don’t all happen to be home at the time it occurs?
So, Yellowstone decided to erupt inconveniently on this breezy afternoon, just when you finished waiting over 47 minutes in line at the stupid DMV. Now your day is totally shot. The sky is full of black death ash clouds and you don’t give a flying crap if your registration is current or not now. It’s time to flee this forsaken place called the Department of Motor Vehicles, as they also just cost you your last chance of chowing down one last decent commercially prepared lunch. It’s oatmeal and dirty contaminated ash pudding water from here on out gang. Time to head home and let the family know the bad news: even the local McDonald’s just got pulverized by lava. The McRib is never coming back. Ever.
The power grid went down with a nice sizzle, the sky just turned dark as midnight except for the warm glow of the burning power station, and ash dust is everywhere. A few miles from your house, your car sputters and dies from choking to death on volcanic soot, and so now you get the privilege of walking the rest of the way home in flip flops which takes 3 hours and makes your big toe slots burn with fury.
Problem: When you get there, no one is home, most of the street is deserted, and you don’t have a clue where to look for anybody. Where is everyone?
What you probably haven’t thought of is where to meet when some disrespectful parcel of landmass with no quarrel with yourself decides to puke its fiery gut over the surrounding 17 states. As unforeseen as this may be, it’s important to have a pre-planned 2-3 places to meet in case mother earth has a messy disastrous blow out. One place other than your home that might work as an awesome meeting place might be WalMart. (Try hard to be the first one there. Don’t steal everything… but if you must, 60″ plasma TV’s are essential when doomsday happens, so try to run out with a couple dozen… ) So yeah, what people do at places like WalMart during a crisis is not exactly what I would call charitable, so maybe, if you haven’t already caught on to my sarcastic tone, you should avoid those places. A local church, park, or a nearby relative might be a better bet. Set certain time frames and certain options to gather at certain places if certain events happen at certain times with certain things that are certainly awful.
If the disaster is not quite so disastrous, as is more likely the case, it is wise to have a designated friend or family member who lives out of state, preferably, who people can call and give an update on their location and condition to if they come upon a means of communication, but can’t reach anyone local. Then everyone knows who to call to find out where and how their family members are. One of the biggest challenges of a natural disaster is reuniting families. Give yourself an advantage.
2- An earthquake, or Hurricane, or Tornado took out your windows and now hot or cold air is pouring into your house.
Well, hurricane Katrina’s unstable mother-in-law, Hurricane Betty, also decided to drop by and pay you an exciting visit, and like most mother-in-laws, overstayed her welcome.
Problem: What you might not have thought about is what to do when Hurricane Betty decided to remodel your house without asking your consent, rearranging your second story layout, and deciding to have all your windows shattered and removed. What you could have done before hand to keep things a bit more Betty-proof, or at least keep the micro-death shards of shattered glass from shredding your fine furniture into splinters is have a few inexpensive items and tools purchased and ready.
At first sign or warning that this uninvited cyclone is going to stop in for a visit, place wood sheeting on the outside of the windows and screw or nail them quickly in place in the wooden frame bordering the window with 3″ or longer screws or nails. Most people in hurricane zones know this. But, if you are in an earthquake zone you are not immune. After the disaster leaves, if there are any broken windows, it is wise to have a big roll of heavy 6 mil plastic sheeting from the local hardware store ready to staple up to keep the elements out, and to keep outsiders from seeing inside and stealing your 60′ plasma TV’s you fairly “recovered” from WalMart earlier that day. Even the local little league baseball team presents a risk to your windows, so you need to be prepared even if you don’t live in tornado alley or on the hurricane happy east coast.
3- How will you communicate with loved ones when the traditional forms of communication are down?
“Ok, sweetie. I’m glad things are going well at home. Dad and I are having a great time. I’ll call you back in a bit when…Oh my gosh, there’s Brad Pitt. I just drove past him. Let me turn this rental car around and snapchat you a pic of that hunka hunk of burnin’ luv real quick….Hello? Hello? Are you there? Can you hear me now? I don’t know if you can hear me darling face, but it looks like a comet just landed in Vegas… the world just started on fire everywhere honey, what a mess…Hello? Can anybody hear me? I guess we wont be seeing Donny and Marie tonight…”
Problem: Chances are whether it be Armageddon or a mild sun flare, our cell towers are going down with the slightest calling frenzy, and you will have no way to communicate.
In a true disaster, local towers might either be down, overloaded and/or unusable. We have programmed ourselves to depend on our cellphones to communicate everything. We use the GPS to help us navigate our trash barrels down the driveway to the street turn by turn, and even wake up in the morning and check our sleep pattern app. When these smartphone things go down, you will either keep pulling out your phone out of habit to check facebook updates to see if others… also can’t use…facebook… or better…you have an alternative ready.
A couple of cheap 2-way line-of-site radios are a start. (a very basic start) They can help you communicate with friends and family up to 20-30 miles away if no obstructions are in the way, otherwise a good healthy 1-2 miles might be all you get. But, better than a kick to the head.
Next on your shopping list, if your budget allows, should be some good high quality CB radios, short wave Ham radios, etc.
Proper training is needed for some uses of these higher powered radios, but in an emergency, those who know how to use some other forms of communication not reliant on the “reliable” 3g and 4g networks- or know someone who does- will not have their panties in such a wad when Siri can’t voice dial mom, dad, husband, or Pizza Hut. If all else fails, leave a note… or bread crumbs.
4-Things in town have gotten crazy and you would like to get out of town, but the highways are impassable.
Listen up folks, cruise control may help you stretch out the toes while cruising down the freeway, but when an earthquake and a tornado decides to stop in for a little tag team, chances are your smooth rollin’ express lane may be diced up a bit with parts of it laying in pieces a few hundred feet down the road because the overpass gave way. Kinda sucks when all you wanted to do was show up to your first day on the job on time and now your lane is blocked by northbound I-15 (Which is now permanent southbound.) If you’re like most women, you’ve already picked up one of these 6×6 rigs and you can just make your own detour. You’ll make it to work early with enough time to freshen up a bit. But if you just couldn’t seem to put your hands on a “6×6 Bugout Bronson-then, well…you’re screwed. 😉
(If you feel like you just can’t get by without one of these bad boy rigs, stop by planbsupply.com. I might know a guy who could help get your hands on one.)
Problem: How do we keep moving? Do you know other routes of travel to get to your destination in case the freeway falls in front of you, or if those charming construction men in bright orange apparel are holding a “road closed” sign and directing traffic into a new area of town you’ve never frequented? If you don’t, you’ll probably end up stuck in congestion until your car’s fuel tank empties itself of combustible fluid and then you, again, end up walking in those stunning high heels you chose today of all days to wear. Or…you could plan ahead, humor your husband, and both of you check out where some of those “other” adventurous roads may go. If you do decide to do this before your cell phone stops working, you can activate Google maps app satellite view and look from a bird’s eye view where other possible paths may get you to your destination. Nice thing is, if it’s night time, the satellite app is always in day view.
Practice finding alternate routes a couple times just for fun. No, really, it’s amazing what you can find off the beaten path sometimes. A new pizza joint, your rebel brother who ran away from home when he was 17, a stack of money, a dead body…completely fascinating sometimes. But seriously, practice looking at different routes, possibly dirt roads, and see if your Honda Civic can handle the potholes. Then, when you need to in a panic, you won’t freeze up and die of starvation 6 miles from the nearby Sizzler because you patiently waited for the Department of Transportation to never show up and build you a new exit ramp. Instead, you will arrive ahead of everyone and possibly save your life.
5- Who will have the first aid skills to save you or a loved one’s life, when medical personnel are spread too thin to help you?
Ok, I’m not a Doctor, Dentist, EMT, Chiropractor, or a Witch doctor. Therfore, if I get an injury of any significant magnitude, like a bloody nose, I’m a gone-er. And that is super sad. Oh…and I can’t heal you, much less put a band-aid on you without messing it up. I can pray. You probably should pray too. Pray you don’t get hurt…
Problem: People get injured in disasters, but you don’t have a clue how to help them. Calm down. I’m not saying we should all rush to college and start signing up to stare at cadavers, but maybe we could learn a few things about basic medical treatment, for instance:
-how to stop a bleeding gusher
-the importance of not moving people with neck injuries without proper braces unless absolutely necessary
-how to quickly evaluate a person
-and not poking ourselves with needles that were just poked into someone else
In a crisis or disaster, there will be lots of injuries. Knowing how to treat them can mean the difference between life and death.
My brother-in-law is an emergency room doctor, both for the military and for general hospital patients. He has seen some pretty gruesome stuff, including the damage landmine explosions can do. He once told a group of young EMT’s, that if they could just stop the bleeding and get the injured person to him, he could save them almost 90 percent of the time. But, if they spent too much time trying to diagnose and figure out what happened, the person could bleed out quickly leaving him powerless to help. The human body can take some pretty serious trauma sometimes, and a small amount of pressure in the right area by even a small child can stop the bleeding and save a life. Learn some basic injury treatments, bandages wrapping techniques, etc. Brush up on your CPR skills. You could be a hero someday, to your family or some stranger you happen upon. Buy a medical kit. Familiarize yourself with it and know how to use what’s in it. Be wicked awesome.
Hopefully you have learned something you didn’t know about emergency preparedness before, but please DON’T let fear and panic lead your preparations. Above all things, be a good person, stay close to God, pray for direction and guidance, don’t be mean to waitresses, ladybugs, or puppies. Don’t turn into a monster if bad shizzle happens and start treating the rest of humankind like complete garbage . Share. Protect. Nuture. Smile. Keep your chin up, and do small things everyday like work on your food storage, increase your skill base, buy a military truck, cheer up a sad soul, buy an extra pair of gloves and/or boots and throw them in the trunk of your Honda minivan along with some bottled water and some pop tarts. Strawberry if you can. They taste the best to kids when the world is falling down around them.
In talking about emergency preparedness, I thought we’d go ahead and do another giveaway to help get you started on your own preparations! The company hosting our giveaway is called Nitro-Pak. If you haven’t already heard of them, check out their website! They are one of the leading authorities on freeze-dried foods and other emergency preparedness gear and have been voted for the third time in four years as the ‘Best of State’ award winner in the “Preparedness Food & Supplies” category.
Here are a few of the positive points about Nitro-Pak I wanted to share:
· New Website and features just in time for National Preparedness Month,
· IRON-CLAD 100% Satisfaction Guarantee with 180 day no questions asked
· 110% Low price Guarantee, if you find a lower price we will beat it by 10%, some terms and conditions apply.
· Caring customer service
· 30 years in business.
· We stock 99% of every item we sell.
· We ship in one day or less on most orders, some shipping restrictions apply.
Now, lets get to this giveaway already! Nitro-Pak has offered 3 different items for 3 lucky winners! Click on the items below to read more about each one and then enter the rafflecopter giveaway below!
1.) 2-person 72-hour kit,
2.) 1-month food supply,
3.) 6-month food supply.