Sunday, November 4, 2012

What We all Should Learn from Hurricane Sandy

Ok, it's taken me a couple of days to pull my thoughts together before writing this post.  I know that people are suffering and that saddens me greatly.  I also want to start off by saying that no matter how prepared we are, misfortune can befall us, and we can find ourselves in desperate circumstances that are not our fault.

That being said, there is a lot we can learn from Hurricane Sandy.  I suppose it's human nature to assume that nothing bad will happen to us and we will always have time to prepare.  However, history has proven otherwise.  Over, and over, and over, again.

I read with some dismay about how many people had decided to stay in harms way and were running out of food within only a couple of days after the storm.  Many had to be rescued and others had to sit around waiting for the govt to come in with food and water.  What a horrible, avoidable, position to be in.

When the unfortunate happens there are two kinds of people, those that are dependent on others for their survival and comfort, and those that can take care of themselves.  In most cases the only difference between the former and the latter is preparation.

I read a good article called False expectations add to East Coast disaster angst  In it they give some realistic information should you be caught in a disaster:

"It could be a week before you get help," he said, adding that the division has been telling residents in Utah for years to be prepared for any situation. It advises having both an emergency kit that can be grabbed quickly, in case of evacuation, as well as a stock of longer term resources at home.

"At the very minimum, you should have a week's worth of food and water storage, as well as other necessities," Dougherty said."

Preparation is not a "Mormon" thing, or a crazy "Apocalypse" thing, it's simply acknowledging that our futures are uncertain and we prefer not to be victims, and not to have to wait on others for the care and well being of our families.  Who knows when help will come?  It may never come.  We are responsible for our ourselves and should plan accordingly.

So, what can we do right now?  If you haven't already, here is a priority list.  Start with number one, and when that is done, do number 2, etc:

  1. GET WATER!!  In almost every natural disaster scenario, clean water is an issue.  Buy 50 gallon barrels and fill them up.  You should have 14 gallons per person available to you.  That is roughly a 2 week supply.
  2. Get 72 hours kits together.  One kit per person with food, water, clothing, shelter, and cooking utensils for at least 3 days. Put in a backpack or something portable in case you must evacuate.  Oh, and if you know a storm is coming and you are told to evacuate, DO IT!
  3. You should ALWAYS have at least 1 week's worth of food on hand but you also need to build up a 3 month supply.  This could be used if you had to shelter in place for any reason.  These should be shelf stable foods in case you lose power.  Also take some time to think how you would cook without power.  You could lose power for a week or more.  In other words, don't store up 3 months worth of microwave dinners in the freezer.  :)
  4. When those are done, work on a year's supply of long terms foods.  To many people this seems overkill but I would rather have food I don't need, than not have food I do need.  Also, I can use this food to help friends and neighbors that might need it.
  5. Lastly, don't forget to stock up on other necessities like toothpaste, TP, hygiene items, fuel for cooking, first aid stuff, etc.
You don't have to do everything in a day, but do SOMETHING. Today.

Let us be wise and learn from the experiences of others so that when our day of challenge comes we can not only help ourselves but help those around us as well.