Hi there! I have been reading this site for a while now and I have recommended it to several dozen people. A few of them have said there is way too much information about the TEOTWAWKI. I thought about that and realized most people start out small and when they realize just what is going to happen as far as supplies and people in a disaster then they understand this site better and they go back to reading it.
I have been thinking about this for a while and have decided it might not be a bad idea to merge multiple ideas. I have a background starting from the Boy Scouts from wayyyyyy back when! I then became a firefighter and started helping Red Cross and the departments teach all about prevention and preparedness. I have taught it to adults as well as middle schoolers. It was a very satisfying feeling when you could see the light bulb go on and you realize ahhhh they got it!
Soooo There is no better place to start than at the beginning. Let’s start with basic planning, because as my old SAR coordinator said “If you don’t have a plan, then you are planning to fail!” I will separate this article into multiple parts…..hmmm unless people tell me to not bother! I will then add more detailed information as time goes on.
The first thing I tell people is to look around where you live. Then they need to look at the three aspects of Emergency Preparedness
- What are some of the possible disasters in my area? (keeping in mind that disasters mean different thing to different people) Floods, Earthquakes, Wildfires, House Fire, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, Snow and Ice Storms, and just plain old Power Outages. I always bring these up; emergencies in the home, and on the road. Not Solar flares, melt down of the economy, martial law, nuclear war, or EMP. I always start with the basics.
- Am I ready to protect myself and my family if any of these happens?
- What can I do to make my home safer? Do I need to clean my stove or fireplace because I haven’t used it in years? If there are earthquakes how do I strap my water heater in or keep the books and mirrors on the wall?
- How can I minimize the damage to both the building as well as my family?
- What do I need to do to help us in the event of a disaster? First Aid kits, food, water, extra blankets, etc.
- What training do I need to have? First aid? CPR? How to cook on a wood stove or camp stove? Where do I go and who do I talk to get this information?
- How do I react after the crisis? Who do I call? Will the neighbors need help?
Let’s cover 3 basic examples of possible emergencies.
Example 1) First Aid
You are at home and the kids were outside playing in the yard and the nine year old fell out of the tree. They come inside and crying and looking scared. The nine year old is holding his arm but you can see it is bent in a strange angle. What to do????
You are at a local pizza parlor with some friends. Suddenly the man sitting next to you starts choking and turning blue. What to do?????
The reason I bring these up is because to some people this may be the biggest crisis they will ever have. (hopefully) But if they know what to do they will be less inclined to panic. They realize that they can help someone have a favorable outcome just by spending 1 weekend learning the basics of First Aid and CPR. Not even necessarily getting certified, just learning this will help a situation. If you have the training you will be more inclined to either gather or buy a first aid kit, and know how to use it! A basic first aid can have just the following items in it
Example 2) Home Emergencies
You are at home and the fire alarm starts beeping. What do you do? Do get out? Or do you go see if somebody might be cooking? It all depends on how comfortable you feel looking for a fire. Will your comfort level change if there is smoke? What does the rest of your family do?
Every family can prepare with a plan for how to escape a house fire. This plan is a plan that can be expanded on in case of an earthquake or tornado. You always pick a spot that you can go to meet the rest of the family. Sounds like a good plan huh? I also always advocate going to the nearest door or window to get out instead of trying to crawl thru smoke! Remember that roll-up ladders may be needed for 2nd story windows. Are you planning on fighting the fires? You will need fire extinguishers. And always ALWAYS test your smoke detectors with some type of smoke. Just because they go beep when you press the test button doesn’t always mean they are actually detecting smoke!
Example 3) Car Emergencies
I know! I know! Kind of a silly premise huh? I have my car with all my gear. But a lot of people don’t carry that equipment. When I bring up the potential of a motor vehicle accident and ask what do you do? They say call 911. Well where I used to live the cell phones didn’t have real great reception. I asked them what about until the ambulance gets there? They just stared at me! How about basic first aid? Should you move people injured in a car wreck?
Other potential problems are weather related. What about being trapped in a blizzard? Or stuck in a desert? Should some basic supplies be kept in the car? I then tell them make sure the car is at least half full. Know your route and not just on the GPS! Pack food, water, medications and extra clothing(appropriate for the seasons and weather) Keep a first aid kit, and flares in the car (although be careful with flares in the summer time in regards to starting a wildfire)
In those 3 examples I showed how to Recognize, Prevent and React to different emergencies. Now remember these are for lay people that do not deal with nor have worried or studied about major emergencies and disasters! Until next time have a great day! And keep preparing!