Prepare for a Calamity
Are you prepared for the next natural disaster or other calamity? If you are prepared congratulations; you are in the minority. If not read on.
Based on my experiences as a 30 year law enforcement officer most of which was spent as a supervisor I know that the majority of people are not prepared to survive on their own overnight let alone during a major disaster. People have become to accustomed to life with electricity and phones available. We can not even survive without a cell phone with us at all times. You need to be serious in your approach to being prepared for any calamity, disaster or being lost in the woods, know what to do and how to survive on your own. This web site will educate you about why you need to be prepared for any emergency and more importantly how to protect your self and your family in the event of a major calamity.
The first question you need to answer is, what are the possible calamities that you may have to face? Do you live in an area that is prone to earthquakes, tornado, hurricane, or other weather related disasters? Do you live in a Tsunami Zone? What about an act of war or terrorism? Do you need to prepare for that? Do you travel in the back country, are you prepared to survive (even overnight) should you become lost or break down? Once you have decided what type of calamity you need to prepare for you can set about the task of determining what supplies you need and in what quantity you need them.
According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) being prepared can reduce fear, anxiety and losses that accompany disasters or calamities of any nature.
You need to know what to do in the event of any calamity in your home, even a fire in your home or a wildfire or other calamity or disaster in your community.
You need to know where to seek shelter if need be and what the safest route to get there is. What are the alternative routes to this shelter? You need to consider this not only for yourself but for your entire household. Maker sure everyone in your household knows where they can find safe shelter.
Where do your kids go if you are away from home? Set up an evacuation plan not only for you house but from your neighborhood. Establish a meeting place for all your family members. This will save time and confusion looking for each other. This is especially important if you have small children in your home. They need to know where to go if they have to evacuate your home and remember, you may not be with them.
Establish contacts and make a plan with your neighbors in the event you are not home with your children so that they know what to do.
Make sure that you have a backup plan with additional neighbors so that your kids will not be forgotten or left behind.
As with all disaster plans practice them often enough to have your entire family and those neighbors that you have involved know what to do.
Establish a Communications Plan:
Establish a communications plan that each member of your family is aware of and knows how to implement. Establish an out of town contact to check in with in the event of an emergency and make sure everyone in you household knows how to contact them either by phone or email or both. This is very important for your family in the event that you can not find each other.
Make a phone list of all the important contact and make sure that copies are available to all members of you family and those neighbors that you include in your plan. Make sure that it contains all phone numbers where you can be reached, cell phone and work phone as well as any other numbers such as the gym where you stop to work out on the way home form work. Also make sure that it includes any published numbers for you local police, fire and EMS services as well as numbers for local emergency relief agencies such as the American Red Cross and your local or State Office of Emergency Services. With the use of cell phones and most everyone, including your kids having one, program all of these numbers into everyone's cell phone and you home phone.
The use of FRS and GMRS radios for each family member is a great addition to any emergency preparedness plan. Many community emergency shelters include the use of FRS and GMRS radios and have established channels to use. Find out about your local shelter plans and what they have included.
You should consider talking with neighbors and getting them involved in you communications plan. The use of FRS/GMRS radios will help you with communication around you neighborhood in the event of an emergency.
These radios are relatively inexpensive and easy to obtain and operate. In the event of a major disaster, commercial communications such as telephone lines and cellular towers can and will be disrupted. As with every part of your emergency plan, practice using the radios and make sure that everyone in your home knows where they are and how to use them. Consider purchasing radios that can supply their own power and also keep a supply of batteries available.
If you are interested in establishing long distance communications with others during a major disaster you may want to consider becoming a licensed Amateur Radio Operator. With amateur radio you can communicate locally with other licensed operators as well as world wide. You can find out more about amateur radio and how to use it in emergency situations here.
Practice you evacuation plans on a regular basis at least two times a year. Make sure your family knows what to do. Being prepared with a plan and having the entire family involved will save lives. Make sure you family knows where your plan is stored and what is in it.
You Need to be prepared:
Yes, we all need to be prepared for any calamity or emergency situation. Be it a weather related emergency, fire, earthquake or an act of terrorism, you must be prepared at all times to protect yourself and your family. Disasters disrupt hundreds of thousands of lives each year. The more you are prepared and know what to do the better your chances of survival will be.
If a disaster effects your community local, state and federal agencies will help, but help takes time for them to arrive and these agencies will be overwhelmed in the beginning. You need to be ready to help yourself and your family. Not all local agencies are as prepared as they should be. Don't rely on someone coming to help you quickly in the event of a major event. Be prepared to take care of yourself and your family.
FEMA recommends that you be ready and self-sufficient for at least 3 days. That means you need to know what supplies you will need and in what quantities. You need to have sufficient supplies available for each member of you family and it would be wist to have additional quantities of all supplies available just in case you have extra people with you when the disaster strikes. You have an obligation to be prepared. Your obligation is first to yourself and your family and then to others.
Learn what facilities are available and what plans are already in affect for you community. Tailor your plans to work within the available services for your community. Don't try to do everything on your own but be prepared to be self-sufficient if need be. You never know what is going to happen and what services will be available.
Above all things if a disaster strikes:
- Be calm and patient.
- Follow the advice of local emergency officials and local resources.
- Listen to your radio or television if available for news and instructions.
- Shut off damaged utilities.
- Confine or secure you pets.
- If possible, check on neighbors, especially those living alone, elderly or disabled.
- Prepare for possible evacuation.