Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Disaster Plan

We don’t all live in tornado, hurricane or earthquake areas and certainly not war torn areas but there are things that can and do happen, unfortunately, everywhere. And with winter in full force now there are power outages. Nobody wants to hear natural or man-made disasters but things happen and it’s always better to be prepared ahead of time. So…do you have a disaster plan and a kit?

Around the house there are some basics like working and tested smoke detectors, candles and matches, flashlights and extra batteries, first aid kit, food you can eat with no cooking, water enough for everyone in the house (1 gallon minimum for each person for 3 days). In addition, you may want to have games, books, etc. to pass the time till the electricity is back on. If your area has lots of power outages you may also want to have a hand crank radio. Also be sure to have gas non-sparking wrench.

In addition, I keep my camping stove and grill where they’re easily accessible if I do want to cook (like if the power outage is longer than a day or so). If you have power outages a lot you may want to invest in a generator. Our power was out for over a week and the outside temperature was below freezing. Think about and try to prepare for as many possibilities as you can feasibly do.

Then if you live in an area where there are things like forest fires or whatever and you may have to evacuate…if that is the case you will want to have a BUG OUT bag. This is a set of stuff that you can take and run (hopefully in a vehicle and not literally running). I would repack it at least twice a year if not more.

Things you will want in this emergency bag are:

· Contact information for those you care about and where you plan to meet in case of separation, take ID and copies of important papers and Bible, notepad and writing implements and cash

· water (at least one gallon per person for 3 days) long term you’d want some kind of water purification/filter – if you’re a camper you may just keep this in the trunk anyway

· tent, sleeping bag/emergency blanket
· emergency radio (hand crank – check out Red Cross ones)
· lights (I like a LED head lamp – small and extra batteries)
· first aid kit (know how to use and have a first aid book)
· search & rescue (whistle, compass, reflective tape, etc.)
· emergency food (heat and cold can destroy many things, you might want to consider high calorie food bars – they’re not good but they’ll keep you alive or MREs) plus tea bags, drink mixes, sugar, salt/pepper
· snacks (nuts, hard candies, gum) that can help put off hunger pains and depression (not chocolate – it melts), peanut butter is good, though
· knife (fixed blade and multi tool), camp stove, camp dishes, camp towel, duct tape, fire starting materials (matches-dip in paraffin to waterproof store in old film canisters, laundry lint stuffed in egg carton with paraffin melted and poured over makes good tinder and magnesium fire starter kit)
· in winter I put in sweats, hats, etc, in summer I add shorts, t-shirts
· extra clothing like socks and under clothing all the time
· medications (anything you must have)
· work gloves, hard hat, safety goggles, bandana, poncho, dust mask
· toilet paper (in zip type bag), feminine items, soap (maybe in sock to hang on branch), hand sanitizer, tooth brush & paste, other personal items as needed
· possibly want a crow bar, small shovel, saw, etc.
- if you have pets have appropriate supplies – leash, food, water, shot information from vet

Make your bug out bag specific to your area. My brother in Alaska would want a mosquito netting for his hat in the summer. Remember sunscreen in the summer. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but it could save your life or at least make it more pleasant in the event things get nasty. Prepare for the worst, hope for the best and pray to God that the worst never happens.

Here are some decent web sites you can use to help more than my meager efforts.
http://www.sba.gov/services/disasterassistance/disasterpreparedness/index.html– business preparedness
http://www.aspca.org/ – pet care
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: http://www.bt.cdc.gov/preparedness/

You can buy many of the items listed in this blog from sporting-goods stores, hardware stores, Army surplus stores, and the following sources:

Adventure Medical Kits, 800-324-3517; http://www.adventuremedicalkits.com/
Brunton, 307-856-6559; http://www.brunton.com/ very high end dollar
Campmor, 888-226-7667; http://www.campmor.com/
Eastern Mountain Sports, 888-463-6367; http://www.ems.com/ 
Nalgene Outdoor Products, 800-625-4327; http://www.nalgene-outdoor.com/
Snow Peak USA, 503-697-3330; http://www.snowpeak.com/
SOG Specialty Knives and Tools, 425-771-6230; http://www.sogknives.com/
Survival Resources, 845-471-2434; http://www.bepreparedtosurvive.com/
REI, 800-426-4840; http://www.rei.com/

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