Yak Attack

A place to unwind and spend some time yakking.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

So...how's it going? Emergency preparedness check.

After the clusterfuck in New Orleans last Fall, personal emergency preparedness received more of the attention it rightly deserves. Newspaper articles, blogosphere chatter and nightly news coverage popped up on our radar. Just as robustly, the preparedness flame flickered and dimmed to almost nothingness.

The need to be personally prepared in case of an emergency hasn’t diminished at all; it just got swept back under the rug, due to the newest, latest crisis and related coverage. Make no mistake about it, however, when The S (and I don’t mean sweetness and sunshine here) Hits The Fan (TSHTF), if you want to be able to survive with as much dignity, and as little duress, as possible, it’s all up to you Baby. The only knight in shining armor, on a white horse, will be the one you assemble, in advance.

Did you start putting together a preparedness strategy for you and your family, after Katrina hit the east coast? Maybe earlier than that? How are the plans playing out? I made some plans, like laminating instructions for turning our utilities off in an emergency and placing them, with the needed tools, at the shut off locations. To my chagrin, I admit I’m horrible at keeping preparations rolling. The plans unfurled as far as copying the instructions and placing them in ziplock bags (my temporary lamination). The instructions haven’t made it to posting locations yet. No proper tools have been located and placed strategically.

Years ago, I started a BOB (Bug Out Bag, or in my case a laundry basket) around Y2K, but over the years it has encountered much pillaging and received little replacement. I maintain a functioning first aid kit, and replace stuff in it regularly, but I haven’t checked expiration dates and taken full inventory in over a year.

In regard to food and water storage, I’m making progress. I’ve saved enough water for a gallon a day, per person, for 2 ½ days. That may not sound like a lot, but considering we have 6 people, a people sized dog, cat and guinea pig, that’s a hell of a lot of water.

Putting together emergency plans, in all seriousness, is a true “work in progress” venture. It morphs, expands and depletes as you learn new skills, as your life changes and sometimes you have to start almost from scratch if you move, because possible emergency scenarios change as your location shifts.

“Where to start?” is a valid question. What are the basics you need for sustenance? Food and water squeeze into the top spots. How about a light source, like candles and flashlights? Do you have a way to cook your food? Or do you have some food squirreled away that doesn’t need to be cooked?

I can hear it now, “Whoa, this is starting to sound expensive.” Yeah, it can add up to some major coin, but like the cliché, “Rome wasn’t built in a day,” neither are your emergency plans. Pick a spot and start putting your preparedness into action. Think of it this way—what ever you do, it’ll be better than not doing anything at all.

If you’re like me, and procrastination is a close companion, get off your duff (yes, I’m saying this to myself, too) and do something. The time to ponder where to start has passed. For real-- pick something and take care of it. I’ll post when I get my shut off instructions pinned up by the utility shut offs.


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