Archive | September 14, 2012

Plan. Prepare. BE READY!

We really have it good…for now.

Modern engineering marvels such as water sanitation plants, indoor plumbing, and refrigeration all have made the simple task of accessing food and water go unchallenged for most of society. With the audible click and hum, clean filtered water passes into a glass from the opening in the refrigerator door, the lifting of a handle on the faucet at the sink, and even the unscrewing the cap off of a fresh filtered bottle of water amplify just how easy it is to obtain fresh water.  However, we need to remember to always incorporate emergency planning regardless of how good things may be right now.

The opened doors of a refrigerator can usually offer the viewer a selection of beverages, fruits, vegetables, dairy products, and the like. For the majority, there is little to no concerns except to decide what to eat and drink for our next meal. Choices-it is nice to have so many choices. With a sea of fast food joints, restaurants, and even grocery markets at our calling, we usually have little to worry about when seeking food. How simple the chore of finding something to eat can be with so many choices.

We presently are blessed to see heaping shelves displaying the results of bountiful harvest as one navigates the aisles of fresh produce, meats, and foods in our local grocery stores. We are currently a country consumed with and accustomed to excess. So what happens when something unexpected comes to pass that disrupts this flow of milk & honey we have grown dependant on? Where will you be and will you be ready for what these events may bring?

Seriously, preparing for the threat of Zombies is not bad advice!

With current conditions being what they are, i.e., the abundance of food & water and easy access to it daily, it is not hard to see why most Americans take emergency preparation for granted.  This false sense of comfort or security is one of the main contributors as to why so many are not prepared for emergencies, disasters, or as the Department Homeland Security says; “ The Zombie Apocalypse”.  The Department of Homeland Security jokingly referenced Zombies in a recent article “Zombie Apocalypse: ‘The Zombies Are Coming,’ Homeland Security Warns” by ALICIA A. in the AP,  “Tongue firmly in cheek, the government urged citizens Thursday to prepare for a zombie apocalypse, part of a public health campaign to encourage better preparation for genuine disasters and emergencies. The theory: If you’re prepared for a zombie attack, the same preparations will help during a hurricane, pandemic, earthquake or terrorist attack.”  Seriously, putting all Zombies aside,  following the DHS advice for preparing is probably a good idea.  For most families, spending money to prepare for emergencies that may never happen is an after thought.  For them it may be very hard to justify spending money on surplus food and equipment only to see it sitting on a shelf in a state of “break in case of emergency”.

Think of it as an insurance policy.

What does it mean to be prepared?  Are you prepared?  Where do you start in preparing?  In order to start preparing you will need to change your perception on how preparing is an essential investment, not an optional luxury.  You will need to think of this as an insurance policy for you and your family’s safety and well-being in the time of a crisis.

“Proper planning prevents piss poor performance.”

In order to start to prepare you first need to establish what it is you want to prepare for.  You need to identify what you feel is the most dangerous threat closest to you.  There are many members of the 20 pound head club out there who have, at a great cost of money and time, attended some of the finest institutions in America to obtain degrees in order to tell us how to do risk assessment and threat assessment.  Guess what, we are not talking about National Security here!  But seriously, you can do your own simple assessments to help build your plan for preparation.  Benjamin Franklin once said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”   I am sure many have heard the old saying “Proper planning prevents piss poor performance.”

Conduct a risk or threat assessment.

In the military when confronted with a potential enemy we would do a simple test, something called a “Threat Assessment”.  We first try to identify the current enemy facing us.  Then we need to establish two things, what my enemies’ most probable course of action (MPCOA) will be and what our enemies’ most dangerous course of action (MDCOA) could be.  Understanding the enemy basically allows me to employ the right tools of the trade to try to defeat or survive my enemies’ attacks.  Having conducted an assessment will now allow you to focus your efforts in a more efficient manner when building your plan and conducting you preparations.

Do not be surprised if you actually come to the conclusion that you have multiple threats or risk that you want to plan to prepare for.  You can scour the internet and find all kinds of threat assessment tools and even pay good money for some of this stuff.  Below is an example of a simple assessment chart that can work as a template in creating your own threat/risk assessment tool.

Your assessments are not limited to just your home, they can branch out to neighborhoods and communities.  You may want to go check out the FEMA website and see more examples of family emergency planning tools and even community planning tools.

Spend your budget wisely.

Through the years I have crossed paths with many individuals that have invested large amounts of money in acquiring useless stuff in their efforts to be prepared. During a time of crisis, many of them came to the realization that a majority of the items purchased were a useless waste of money. Having the budget to prepare is a great start, but having the knowledge to ensure you spend it wisely will most certainly make your budget go a long way toward reaching your goal.

I recently attended the 2012 Survival Expo held in Las Vegas. I was completely taken back by the abundance  of poorly made items, useless items, and just garbage that was mixed in with the good stuff.  By doing your research and being informed, shows like this can actually be very productive in your preparations.  There are many deals waiting for you at trade shows, especially on the last day as the vendors will have items that they do not want to ship home.

Most importantly you need to be able to prepare by making smart purchases with the budget you have established.  Do your research and compile a shopping list to help you stay on your purchasing plan.  Plan to purchase quality goods that will last and if possible have multiple uses for your kits.  Spending your budget wisely, along with getting and staying informed, are critical processes in your ability to prepare well.

Build your emergency kits.

What are home emergency or disaster supplies kit?  These kits are simply collections of basic items your household may need in the event of an emergency.  Assembly of your kits well in advance of any emergency or crisis is critical to your success, as trying to prepare during an event will be too late.  In the event of a crisis you may have to evacuate at a moment’s notice and take essentials with you.  Having your kits staged and complete will save you precious time rather than trying to search for the supplies you need or shop for them.

You may need to survive on your own after an emergency.  This means having your own food, water and other supplies in sufficient quantity to last for at least 72 hours.   Your home emergency kit may consist of water storage, shelf stable food storage and other supplies to support you in your home.

In the event you have to move or relocate from your residence you will need to have the supplies to do so.  Ever more popular are 72 hour Emergency Go Bags, Bug out Bags, or Grab & Go Bags that were expressly designed for just that…Grab & Go!  Specifically, most of these bags are intended to meet the needs of one person for 72-hours.  When buying these kits it is important to know that they are not complete.  Kits of this sort will need to be tailored for the individual, i.e., medications, spare glasses, personal hygiene items, and etc.

As we can see our emergency plan will consist of several types of kits.  Some other kits to consider having ready are, a Vehicle Emergency Kit and Medical /First aid / Triage kit.  In the event a crisis happens the local officials and relief workers will eventually be on the scene of the disaster but they cannot reach everyone immediately.  There is potential that you could get help in hours or it might take days.

Additionally, your basic home services such as electricity, gas, water, sewage treatment and telephones may be cut off for days or even a week, or longer.  It is important that your emergency kits contain items to help you manage during these outages.

So in winding up today we can see there is a tremendous amount of information concerning emergency preparation.  The importance of getting the information and staying informed cannot be emphasized enough. We have seen today the significance to focus our efforts by doing a few simple steps; Conduct a Threat/Risk Assessment, Make a Plan, Budget for the Plan, Be Informed/Stay Informed, and Build Your Plan!

See you soon, PreparedToday.


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