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The Tentacle


April 22, 2008

This is NOT a Test! Part 2

Steven R. Berryman

Now that you have been exposed to the various levels of potential hazards hanging over us all like Damocles’ sword in Part 1 on yesterday’s TheTentacle.com, the onus to take action now lies squarely on you.

 

To be forewarned is to be forearmed, at least for those taking some personal responsibility in the realm of emergency preparedness.

 

So what can you do?

 

Be prepared.  Listen to your Scouter-kids. Take advantage of some advanced planning, or just pretend you want to be able to leave on a camping trip on a moments notice. Total outlay for you is about $1,000 and provisions and supplies can be built up over time.

 

Your goal should be long-term; be prepared to stay in your home, unassisted for a month without any support or services. In the short-term, please work on a week of total self-reliance.

 

No electricity, no gas, no phone, no computer, no lights, no heat, no running water, no ambulance service, no cops or rescue services. It’s on you now!

 

Faith? Have it! That helps, but it is also said that “The Lord takes care of those that take care of themselves.”

 

Here goes:

 

Ask yourself first whether you also care for anyone with special needs such as the elderly, the very young, or disabled. Then consider pet needs, too. Take them into the equation first.

 

Obviously your requirements are different if you have a farm vs. a suburban typical family of four, but here is a start for you:

 

*Establish a safe low area in your home to provision.

 

*Water – by far the most important commodity. Get a storage tank, or assemble multiple seven gallon containers. Treat it with one drop of chlorine bleach per gallon and it stays good for a year. Then rotate your stock. Boil it if suspect. Buy some “Potable Aqua” drops for added decontamination use. One gallon per person per day is typical usage.

 

*Food – Think dry and canned non-perishable. Stockpile items you like, including high-proteins like peanut butter, chunky soups, canned meats, dry rice, pasta, and beans. Buy crackers, canned fruits and cooked veggies. You can build it up over time, and rotate it into your normal pantry as it nears the expiration date.

 

*Food prep items – Camp stove and lots of gas for it. Beware the venting requirements in use, though!  Also get plastic serve-ware and plates. And a cooking kit.

 

*Sanitary items like toilet paper, and bags for disposal.

 

*Emergency flashlights with lots of extra batteries.

 

*A wind-up/crank radio can be had at Radio Shack for $39. They have weather band and Emergency info bands to get the latest news and instructions. Get one for car, one for home.

 

*Full medical kit, with large bandages, peroxide, etc.

 

*Medicines – Aspirins or Tylenol, and the like. Keep extras of your prescriptions. Dietary supplements like vitamin C.

 

*Blankets and sleeping bags.

 

*Key tools like shovels, hammers, hand saw, etc.

 

*Materials like sheet plywood, nails, sheet plastic, duct tape.

 

*Personal protection is very much a judgment call on your part. Some may choose a firearm, appropriately secured.

 

*Games, paper, books to keep everyone mentally sharp.

 

Lastly, make sure all family members are aware of where to meet up if you are separated and can’t get to your home.

 

You get the picture. The above is just a start and is incomplete, but it will be a good start.

 

The only downside for you in our exercise here is that others may think you overly cautious or even somewhat paranoid, a small price to pay, as they may be at your doorstep hat-in-hand someday.

 

You will get the peace of mind and sleep a bit better.

 

Think the unthinkable, and be a survivor.

 

For more help, see www.FEMA.gov and then click the link called “Plan Ahead.”

 

srbmgr@comcast.net

 



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