Saturday, March 26, 2011

Preparedness - Are you ready, What's your plan?

Are you ready? What's your plan? If you are sitting there shrugging your shoulders thinking, "I don't know," it's time for a plan. Disasters can strike anywhere at any moment be it flood, tornado, earthquake or man made events causing our world to change, all in a heart beat.

I work for a company that specializes in disaster preparedness, setting up processes to have emergency products ready to distribute across the world at a moment's notice including a continuity plan in the event the offices are affected. Yesterday they distributed some very good information- a three step plan to deal with emergencies so you minimize the chances of being caught off guard or if you are away from your home.

Our plan is always head home, assuming home is the safe place. In our plan, you don't let the school keep the kids- even if you have to break the law to get them out. We have a duffel ready and waiting in the event of a disaster. Even so, I neglected a few items that I need to add.

1. An abbreviated car kit: personal water purifier, a first aid kit, emergency food
2. A roll of plastic sheeting
3. Copies of important documents
4. Extra pair of glasses
5. List of phone numbers- mine are all stored in my phone
6. Extra shoes, even if only flip flops - how did I forget this?

Now that the kids are no longer home, how do we make contact if phones or internet is not operational? Do we know anyone with a ham radio? Get a CB radio- everyone can use these. What arrangements will you make for pets if you can't stay in your home?

Are you well stocked with canned and dried food? Watch what happens to the grocery stores when there is even a slight chance of snow accumulation.

What if there is a disruption in the transportation system? To reduce costs warehouses are often on a "just in time" basis, stocking only a few weeks of product, assuming the vendor will supply them on a regular basis. If you only knew how difficult it was to get trucks in after Katrina you would appreciate my advice to stock up so much more.

Dried beans
Dried milk
Dehydrated Potatoes
Canned vegetables (you can use the juice to cook the beans/rice)
Raman noodles- how many college kids survived for 4 years on this?
Dehydrated tomatoes or canned paste at minimum - supplies your vitamin C (avoid scurvy LOL)

The average tornado warning sounds 13 minutes before touchdown (
Yellowstone National Park's supervolcano just took a deep "breath," causing miles of ground to rise dramatically, scientists report. (
The upper Midwest, the Deep South, the Northern Plains, the Ohio Valley and parts of southern New England are experiencing flooding now or are highly vulnerable to flooding this spring. (USGS CoreCast)

• What if you are in your car? How will you reach your home?
• Is there a route you can take that avoids bridges that may have sustained damage?
• Can you survive a few days while you make your way home?
Where will you find safe water?

Things you might not think about:
Sunscreen- very important. We make this too and I can assure you that you need to reapply every two hours regardless of what anyone says.
Trash Bags- store items, keep dry
A manual can opener- ever go camping and forget the can opener?
Purchase a Leatherman multi tool- or a Swiss Army knife. Lots of tools! Get a good one- don't go cheap on this.

Do you know how to cook, the old ways? Or, do you purchase ready made dinners, fast food, microwave entrees? This may not work for you in an emergency situation. Learn to cook like my grandparents did- we're doing that now (see prior posts)

Depression Cooking Tutorials

Make sure you have STRIKE ANYWHERE matches,coat them in wax to waterproof them. (remember your float trip days)

I added one more thing- my Pieta Prayer Book. If disaster comes, I'll need it.

None of this will hurt to have in place. If you avoid disaster, you just have a bunch of food and some good plans. Hopefully we won't need to use this.

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