A few thoughts on emergency preparedness

Much is being said about emergency preparedness these days, and for obvious reasons we all should be paying attention.  There have been more wake up calls since Y2K became a non-event than any other time frame in my life. (As I type this I am 64 years of age). Hurricanes, tornadoes, Southern California wild fires, earthquakes, droughts, heat waves, and more recently blizzards.  Some very good web sites have been raised with great recommendations about how to prepare for each type of disaster – natural or man-made.

There is some great advice available about things like Family Disaster Plans, Emergency Communication, Family Survival Kits and what should be in them. It would take a month of typing to even scratch the surface.  The bottom line is that a ton of potentially very valuable information is available to us – and if you aren’t spending a little time focusing on it – you just might be robbing your family of an opportunity to survive a bad situation.

Being able to hang in there during a bad situation doesn’t have to be all that hard – but if you are unprepared it can rapidly become impossible.

I recently read an article about a family that was completely snowed in and lost electrical power for 6 days which outlined their reaction. After everything was over, they looked back on it as a week-long vacation spent luxury camping at home. It struck me how much more prepared a family of campers are for such situations over those who spend their free time mastering the latest video game or traveling to the newest theme park. Not only are they more prepared with equipment, food & water stores, etc. – they are prepared with necessary skills.

The basics of survival involve shelter, water and food.  Guess what the basics of camping involve?  When we top off our propane bottles for heating/camping/cooking, when I snag a few more bags of coals and store them out in the shed – it isn’t for survival, its in anticipation of fun – but it sure helps my family be prepared for the next disaster.  Taking up camping and outdoor cooking should be done for the sheer fun and relaxation of it – the associated improvement in your family preparedness for an emergency situation is a very important additional consideration in my opinion.  So there it is… 😉

Here is a thought for the folks that have RVs and routinely empty all of the water out of them preparing for travel to save weight/wear and tear.  You haven’t seen “wear and tear” until you have run out of fresh water.  I keep 80 gallons of fresh water stored in our 5th wheel and consider it an emergency prep.  Just something to think about, (along with the inherent need to periodically flush, treat, refill the system).

Here in San Diego – a very good site is “ReadySanDiego.org” – the information there is extensive but well presented, and its kind of neat to read it with these old camper’s eyes and as someone who enjoys outdoor cooking.

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Five years later – February, 2015 – nothing much has changed.  We *are* a lot more ready than when I originally wrote the post above, and could get by with what we have for a lot longer.  I have upgraded our camping gear as time has gone on, and added some to it.  Same for our outdoor cooking gear.  Constantly looking at our plan and trying to poke holes in it is all part of the process.  In the mean time, we have enjoyed some GREAT camping, sharing with our kids and grandkids along the way.  A lot is being said about “bushcraft” and such these days, and its all good, but I’m still trying to get folks interested in becoming campers.  You never know when that gear and experience may be handy in getting by a disaster of some kind.  Its worth pondering.  Dave

This entry was posted by dave on Thursday, February 18th, 2010 at 10:59 pm and is filed under Off-Topic . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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