Sunday, May 1, 2011

In light of recent events, my thoughts on being prepared.

As I sit here and catch up on news reports from the past week or two, I see an overwhelming majority of them are comprised of two things; the wedding of William and Kate, and the tragedies being dealt with across our country as a result of tornadoes and flooding.  The former I am not very concerned with, it is the latter that has been weighing on my mind.

As I take a quick look around my apartment and do a small mental inventory, I am a bit surprised at how SOL my wife and I would be if a disaster occurred here.  I couldn't even find a cold drink when I came home from the range today, non-the-less find something to drink if we lost the use of utilities here.  Sure, we have a few food items here but not nearly enough to last even 3 days if we needed to survive for that long.  I am only thinking of basics, such as a snow storm that closes down the city for a few days, or a storm that causes the lose of power that can not be restored for some time.  I can not imagine what would happen in the event of a larger natural disaster.  Had we been hit with the tornadoes and flooding that some others sustained, we would be up a creek without a paddle in site.

I asked myself a few simple questions before deciding to write this post:  how long could I survive taking most things into consideration.  Food, water, warmth, basic first aid, emergent first aid, and safety are the most immediate things in my mind (feel free to suggest others) that would need to be addressed in the event of an emergency.  I am prepared to provide exactly none of these things to myself and my wife at this moment in time.

We do have a first aid kit, it is stocked with bandaids, and maybe some ointments, but not much else is in there.  We have no bandages to deal with heavier bleeding, or to wrap limbs in the event of a strain or sprain.  We have some anti-inflammatories, NSAIDS, anti-pyretics etc etc (think Aleve, Tylenol, Ibuprofen and other things that you might take for fever, pain, swelling), as well as things like Tums and Pepto.  We have nothing available for more emergent care and in that case, especially if emergency services are tied up, as would be the case in a disaster situation.  We would be in a lot of trouble.  Luckily my wife, nor I, take prescription medications.

I addressed the food and water issue, we simply do not have it.

In regards to warmth, we have plenty of blankets, but we do not have an alternate heat source in our apartment. If we lose power, we also lose the heat.  I am sure we could survive for awhile with blankets, but eventually the cold would get to us even in our apartment.  I think, in a pinch, some of those reflective blankets would help and when combined with those 12 hour hand and feet warmers, we could survive a bit longer.

Where safety is concerned, I have a limited supply of items in order to keep us safe.  Needless to say I need much more.  I do not want to delve into what I am lacking because it is a security issue, and I am not going to divulge where there are weaknesses here.  Suffice it to say, I can hold off a band of marauders for a time, but not indefinitely.

So what does all of this mean for me?  Well, it means that if tomorrow I was in a disaster situation this would probably be my last blog post.  This also means that I am going to begin preparing our home for an emergency situation. This means getting a food supply (canned goods, MRE type products), bottled water and water purifying items, first aid items, and items to help with basic comfort needs such as keeping warm, clean and dry.

I plan to make a series of posts to chronicle my research on these topics and to show how I begin to prepare. My hope is that I can get the supplies needed to survive for at least 3-5 days, as well as medical supplies that can be transported. I hope that this can also be a resource to others that want to be a little more prepared.


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