Living in this day and age is definitely interesting.
Being prepared for emergency situations gives you a peace of mind and gives you a better chance of survival if the need arises.
Over the next week, I will be discussing reasons to be prepared, how to plan, BOB’s/to-go bags, and preparing your home and car.
What do you do if a flood is forecast, a wildfire is imminent, a solar flare causes power outages, or – God forbid – a full on collapse of civilization occurs?
Natural disasters happen everyday…tornados, hurricanes, floods, fires, and storms. The good thing is that most people that live in areas and are affected by these types of calamities know the risks and have taken proper precautions to protect themselves and their loved ones.
The problem is the ones that haven’t. For whatever reason the thought of preparing their lives and homes for an emergency situation – whatever it may be – does not seem necessary, and some even consider it foolhardy. And instead of putting together a simple pack and making a simple plan that might save their life, they would rather spend their time thinking of fun and comfortable subjects. They believe that either nothing will happen or if it does the government or government agencies will be there to take care of them and their needs.
If you or anyone you know thinks this way, here are a few fun facts about FEMA for you to think about.
Let’s say a disaster just happened in your area:
- Your Governor has 30 days to request help from the President
- The President must then approve the request and declare it a disaster. If you will remember, back in late December with all the big storms that affected the East coast, Maine had substantial flooding and damage – President Biden just declared that an emergency on March 23rd. (that’s a long 3 months!)
- Once approved or declared, FEMA is sent to help. Depending on what is being sent to help it can take days for that help to arrive. In 2005, during Hurricane Katrina, it took 4 days for FEMA to get on-sight.
- Not all FEMA programs are approved for every disaster.
- If you need to make a claim through FEMA it can take up to 10 days to hear back from them if you are receiving help – BUT this is after you have had an inspector visit. Who knows how long it will take to actually get to the inspector visit. Remember, you are just one of many people that are needing help. And all of their needs are just as important as yours.
So, what is the overall theme here – TIME, you will be waiting a long time for help to get to you. Yes, there are some disasters that they get help to you much sooner, but who know what’s going to happen. You may be waiting one day or thirty before help comes.
For those that still don’t believe that it pertains to them, I have a question for you…
Do you work far away from home? I’m talking 20+ miles.
hmm…here’s a couple more things to think about…
Zippia.com put out an article that stated that in 2023 “average American commutes 41 miles a day to and from work”. It also stated that 76% of those commuters are alone.
So, what if you were at work, and ________ happened – anything could fit into the blank – what would you do? Most people would look to head home. That’s understandable, that’s our comfort zone.
How would you do that?
Car, bus, train?
Now also remember, if this happens – your not the only one trying to get home. Depending on where you are, you could be looking at thousands, if not millions of others that are in the same situation that you are in. And just think, I’m not even bringing up the whole panic aspect of it. When something bad happens, people panic and make bad decisions, it happens, which makes everything so much worse.
Roads and highways would quickly get blocked, trains and busses would easily become overwhelmed and unsafe to use.
And depending on the event (solar flare, EMP, etc), they may not even work?
Then what? Walk?
Exactly how far do you think you could walk in a day? It’s a good question! I never thought about it until I started writing this post. For myself, I’m in good shape, but taking everything into consideration along with allowing for unknowns, mmm, I’d say 15-18 miles a day.
The website verywellfit.com states “that If a walker is well-trained and takes breaks, they can walk 20 miles in a day”. Thats a well-trained walker. You can also assume that they also have the correct clothing, decent weather, limited medical issues, and there is no need for protection – they are just walking.
So, what if you have to carry something? Or have kids, or a disability? Maybe you are in dress clothes, because you were at work? I don’t know about you, but the idea of walking 5 miles in dress clothes isn’t appealing, let alone if you have to walk 20+. What if you are feeling a little under the weather or have an injury? Maybe the way you usually go is through an iffy area, and it’s not safe. Then what?
That lovely idea of 20 miles a day quickly dwindles and a couple long days walking can easily turn into a week or longer.
That’s something to think about next time you are zooming down the interstate at 70mph to get to work!
So, what do you do?
Benjamin Franklin said it best…
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
You start by planning. I’m going to tell you right now that thinking about and preparing for bad situations isn’t fun. It’s uncomfortable, frustrating, tiring, and sad. You are thinking about something bad happening. But by doing a little bit now when everything is ‘normal’ you can save yourself, and your family a lot of pain and heartache down the road.
By doing this you will give yourself power over the circumstance.
- Identify the emergency you are planning for.
- Who’s involved in preparations. Only you? Kids? Family?
- Time frame to plan for. Most organizations say 72 hours is good to plan for, that’s only 3 days...
- Stay or go? Are you going to stay where you are at, or head somewhere else – if so where?
- Make a list of everything you need.
- Compile your needs.
- Make sure everyone that is involved knows what to do. If you are planning to head somewhere else (extended families home, etc), first – make sure it is ok with them, keep them involved in your planning process and you may want to have supplies stored where you want to end up. (Don’t make them responsible for your food and necessities when you get there.)
Good luck getting started!
On Wednesday, I will be posting about BOB’s (bug-out-bags) or to-go bags. They are the same thing, just depends on what you want to call them. And Friday, I will be posting about how to prepare your car and home.
If you are looking for a little more info on preparing, here are some great places to check:
- ready.gov/kit : Gives a good starter list, you can also do random searches online or on Pinterest and it brings up a ton of info
- Just in Case, by Kathy Harrison (it’s a good beginner’s book!)
- How to Survive the End of the World As We Know It, by James Wesley, Rawles
- SAS Survival Handbook, by John Wiseman
- SAS Urban Survival Handbook, by John Wiseman
3 thoughts on “Be Prepared…”
If one’s first instinct is to consider what “help” to expect from the government, ur doin ti rong.
exactly, you can only rely on yourself…
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