Emergency planning comes in many forms. The most recent blue-chip report on emergency planning I have read followed the recent terrorist bombings in Boston. For years I lived just up the street from the blast zone. As the article Emergency Planning Speed Saved Lives after Boston Marathon Attack explains, “The efficiency of the rescue reflected careful planning. Within five minutes of bombs detonating Monday afternoon near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, most victims had been wheeled to a massive medical tent…. Rescuer reaction was so instantaneous that it appeared to be rehearsed, and it was…. Two years ago, a citywide drill required Boston police, fire-department workers, hospitals and emergency medical service personnel to react as if bombs had been detonated across the city.”
It is hoped that you and your family will never be involved in such a catastrophe. Unfortunately catastrophes can rarely be predicted, but you can be prepared and have a master plan in place to protect your family from a worst-case scenario. To be honest, adequate planning is difficult to effect to the fullest. Inertia works against us all. Time, reading and not inconsiderable expense are involved. I have been working on my emergency plan for a long while, yet I still have more to do. I have found that most people decry such effort, so it’s an up hill battle in terms of support.
Early on I decided to divide my complete plan into phases from the easiest and least expensive grouping first, ending with the most difficult and expensive. To get you started here is a menu of five simple tasks that will get you off on the right foot.
(1) I keep my cars and motorcycles full of gas. And I have located a handy local gas station that has a generator, so that when the juice goes off, as it does often here, I can refuel if needed and fill up any of my many five-gallon gas containers that may require topping off. Keep your vehicles gassed up!
(2) When the juice goes off, cash becomes king as ATMs and credit card machines will not function. Safely stash away a store of fives, tens and twenties. How much is an individual issue, but having too much cash beats too little.
(3) Fresh water security is a list topper. In my case, I have installed a well and a manual pump. To be honest, the whole affair has been a royal pain and certainly not cheap. Talk about fighting inertia. I am fortunate to live near a quasi-fresh water source. As such, I have in place water carriers and storage containers as well as plenty of Clorox to help with water purity. Boiling water is always a useful strategy. Thus I have an outdoor wood fire grill and plenty of wood.
(4) Solar lanterns, cell phone chargers and a solar/crank radio are all an easy security add on for everyone.
(5) A satellite telephone—fully charged at all times—is a must. I have had to use mine on a few occasions and have been darn happy that I was prepared. In one uncomfortable setting—with no cell service available—I was the only one of a fairly large group with such a phone. What a blessing and comfort it was.
Coming next, my second five must have list. In advance, you will benefit from How to Survive The End Of The World As We Know It by James Wesley Rawles, Made From Scratch by Jenna Woginrich, and Eat Where You Live by Lou Bendrick.