Get Through Any Disaster – What You Need To Know: Keys To Basic Preparedness I
The short term disaster kit is nowhere near enough to keep you and your loved ones safe during the first few days of a disaster. You need a plan, and you have to make sure that all of the members of your family are aware of it.
Draw Up A Disaster Plan
Discuss with your family the types of disasters that are likely to occur in your area. Recognize that earthquakes are not only limited to California, but can occur almost anywhere in the United States. The same with tornadoes. When I was going to school it was taught that tornadoes could not occur in Canada. Now there are killer tornadoes here every year. The same with hurricanes. They are not only a problem for coastal areas, however if you're anywhere near a coast, be it an ocean or lake, recognize that flooding can occur quickly and be utterly devastating. Don't limit the planning to natural disasters. The economic disaster which is getting closer every day can create even more dire situations that your family must escape than any natural event. Unlike natural disasters where effectively the only human threats you might have to face is looters and opportunists, in an economic disaster you can absolutely be certain that there will be marauding gangs who will stop at nothing to avail themselves of your resources, food, and valuables. Remember that when it comes down to you or them, it's always preferable if it's them who get taken out. Survival means you and your loved ones are always first and foremost. When push comes to shove, anyone else is expendable. I know it sounds heartless and violent, but the aftermath of a global economic collapse will require those very actions. Put your squeamishness aside. You may be living in a Mad Max world. It will be anything but ordered, polite, considered, and civilized.
- Determine the best escape routes out of your house. Keep in mind that you may not be able to leave through the front door or even the ground floor windows. Do you know how to get to your attic and better yet, how to get out of the attic and onto the roof? If it is impractical to set up a trap door in your roof, figure out the best place to smash your way through the roof panels and have a nice sturdy axe in the attic waiting for you.
- Find out what your community has in the way of disaster warning signals, such as sirens and bells, and learn what each one means.
- Have a backup plan for your pets. They most likely will not be allowed in any public disaster shelter, and abandoned pets create massive problems in disaster situations.
- Have a list of important telephone numbers available including cell and home phones wherever possible for doctors, your lawyer, students and staff at the local school, and all your relatives and close friends.
- Have meeting places set up both inside and outside your home where everyone knows to congregate in case that they get separated up. Also set up a couple of meeting points in your local area, preferably on high ground and isolated.
- Set up a close friend or family contact who lives out of town, preferably in another state. Keep the lines of communication with this person open. Immediately after the disaster make this person your first call. You can coordinate evacuation or any other form of assistance through them. Ensure that everyone in your family has this person's contact info.