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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Are you prepared for a disaster?

Unfortunately, our own frailty and impotence against the terrible forces of nature were thrust in our faces this past weekend with the earthquake, tsunami, and now the threat of nuclear disaster. Are you prepared for emergencies that might befall your area of the country?

People have been without electricity, food and water for almost a week. Could you last that long? They have.

Although I don't live in an area with many quakes, I still know that the New Madrid Fault can affect my area. No, my refrigerator, bookcases, and other appliances are not secured, nor is the hot water heater.

Thirty miles from me is a nuclear reactor. I have a hard time thinking about an exodus from here, the congestion, fear, and meanness of angry and fearful people.

The worst hurricanes do for this area is spawn tornadoes by the dozen. A closet is my shelter. The only thing I worry about losing is my pictures and a few keepsakes. I am in the process of storing pictures digitally on sd cards and flash drives. They will go in the bank safety deposit box while I keep a duplicate.

There will be no floods at my home because I am on a plateau and the neighborhood is elevated, AND I am on a high spot there.

Okay, fire is my fear.

My only prep is some food and one gallon of water in the house. The water situation will be remedied this week. I can last longer than one week, food wise.

My car contains a backpack from a yard sale with some food, two changes of clothing, two hand towels and two washcloths. I have real utensils and two stainless steel tall cups. I forgot what two bowls or plates are in there. I am just one, but if I find someone to pair up with, I am prepared. Or, if someone insists on taking from me, hopefully I can keep one set of eating utensils.

The backpack contains a windup radio and flashlight. Both are cheap and from yard sales. When I first heard about tuna can stoves, I made two and some fire starters.

My backpack stays in the car. How useful will my preps be? I don't know. My preparations are certainly not complete.

I know how to cut all electricity and water off outside the house.

If disaster strikes where will I be? I don't know. But, I am marginally prepared, in some areas more so than other areas. I am alone. While that may sound grim, it's not. I don't have to take care of children or someone elderly. If I half tried, I could find a partner in misery...lol.

Preparedness should be for three eventualities--short term, moderate term, and long term. Short term would be overnight to one week. A moderate length of time is several weeks or months. Long term would indicate to me that a whole new lifestyle would emerge as the norm.

In either of the three cases, knowledge and prior preparation will be the key to survival. What do you need? Food and water, shelter, and warmth (tent, house, clothing, bedding).

Once I heard a man on an Internet video (LDS maybe) talk about how people planned to survive and eat in case of a disaster. He said the grocery store, relatives, neighbors, the government, and God were not the answers. We all need to take charge of how we survive and how those dependent on us survive. No, I am not a serious, long term type prepper who owns a gun, a bunker, a forest garden, and stashed survival gear with ammo. But, that all sounds good to me. Religion, fear, or paranoia does not drive me. It does not matter what drives a person to be prepared, just prepare.

I wanted a treadle sewing machine when I was eighteen-years-old in case there were a long period with no electricity. I felt and still feel the same way about a hand-operated can opener. I don't face life with fear, only uncertainty about basic areas. Skills, even for a short-term could make the difference in misery and relative comfort or even life and death. I have toyed with the idea of a solar oven.

Radiation is the most troublesome area in Japan. Then, there is the problem of food, shelter, and warmth. But, if any of the people had a solar oven and something to put in it, survival would be enhanced. Weak people cannot walk to safety or help themselves. I hope not to be weak or desperate in any situation.

Sanitation is surely at a standstill. Disease will follow quickly. Would you be prepared to keep your family healthy?

People in Japan do not grocery shop like we do. Daily shopping is more the norm. Obviously, shopping daily won't provide much of a buffer if the food supply is disrupted. Even the most prepared person who lost a home to the sea is not any better off than a person who did NOT store food.

Having a plan for disaster is as important for a household as having plans for our daily living. I don't have much of a plan, but it is a plan. Somehow, this all seems like a ramble.

Your turn
Are you prepared for short term, moderate term, or long term survival? Has the turn of events in Japan caused you to rethink your own survival of a similar situation? Do you think you need to learn more skills?

5 comments:

  1. I'm a survivalist type for lack of a better description, beyond simple prepping but not ready to go rough it in tne forest with a bow (though I have one!)
    I've been to Japan and you are so right about how they shop. They also rely on food imports so if they end up cut off, they are in real trouble. On the other hand, they know how to prepare mentally for what happened as well as how to react during the quake. Their government also was well prepared compared to say...how our own did in Katrina.
    I've lived through a large quake unprepared and relied on my luck which was good thankfully. Never again. Water, shelter, food and fuel. Thats my mantra.
    You are doing great yourself except for the water, but at least you are aware.
    I'm making one change now. I'm buying emergency food bars.

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  2. I saw a recipe for emergency bars. They were not fortified, just basically sugar, flour and water, I believe. But, they would not spoil.

    There is nothing wrong with survivalists. In an Amish area, I am sure your job will be much easier. (I read part of your blog)

    Oh, I forgot fuel!

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  3. I'm actually sitting here trying to develop recipe for the emergency bars. I have low blood sugar so energy bars that rely on sugar are the last thing I would need to eat unless to stablize my blood sugar. The supply houses have a huge backlog of orders, but I will place one and make someting in the meantime.

    Yes, very fortunate to be among tne Amish. I have learned alot from them. You are a rare person to have nothing against survivalist types! That is why I don't write about it that much.

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  4. I think we are prepared for short-term survival here at our house. I keep a stash of water in repurposed orange juice bottles, and I rotate it out, use it to water plants, and refill. We have a decent stash of ready to eat food, as well as enough pet food to last the two dogs and one cat a while. Having a big dog is a great benefit when it comes to warmth. Put them under the bedcovers with you and you have a great bed warmer. :)

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  5. LOL...I will NEVER be cold enough to put a dog under the covers! Besides, I don't have one. I guess we should all be aware and work on a bit more storage of food. It's great you checked. I need to work on water storage. My one gallon won't last long.

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