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   Emergency preparedness...are *you* prepared?
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sguido
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Emergency preparedness...are *you* prepared?
« on: Dec 1st, 2017, 11:57pm »
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Once upon a time I was active on these boards.  Then things got hectic...and I ghosted.
 
So did my posts, apparently.
 
Well, since I’m currently living a nightmare where I have some down time, I figured I’d pop back in.  Seeing as how my original post disappeared, I’ll make a relatively quick one:
 
Whether it be a natural disaster or something man made, you can’t count on help to be there right away if you call.  A smart investment that will pay out immensely if ever needed is to have a 72 hour emergency kit in your home.
 
What to put in?  Basically, anything that *you* will need to keep you safe for a minimum of 72 hours.
 
Everybody’s needs are different, but there are common denominators:
—food and water.  Keep a couple of cases in your basement, along with food you and your family will eat.  I used to recommend camping or military IMPs and MREs, but have read too many accounts of kids refusing to eat the “yucky bag food”.  So see what kinds of long life foods your family will eat and store them.  Rotate them through your pantry on a regular basis.
 
—prescription medications.  Ideally you should have a week’s worth to float you through an incident.  
 
—over the counter medications.  Pain meds appropriate for your family make up; Gravol for nausea, Benadryl for allergies (two Benadryl equals one sleeping pill should the need arise); cold & cough medicine like NyQuil/DayQuil; laxatives for when someone needs to go, and Imodium for when someone needs to stop.  While at the drug store, grab some bandages, gauze, medical tape....or a pre made first aid kit.  Know how to use first aid supplies and don’t go above your skill level...leave the suture kit to those who know how to put in a nice stitch.
 
—flashlight and spare batteries, one for each person in the house.
 
—personal hygiene supplies....toilet paper, tissues, wipes, Purel.  Maybe the water has been cut off...search online now to learn your alternatives when flushing isn’t an option.
 
—personal sanity kits, one per person, tailored for that person.  If you’re without power for a few days, and you’re cooped up, distractions you enjoy may prevent fights.  Books, electronics that don’t need online access (powered by rechargeable batteries and a solar panel cell), cards, board games, colouring books...whatever will keep people busy and not at each other’s throats.
 
—warm blankets and such to bundle up and stay warm.  Don’t be the person that runs a generator inside and kills their family with the exhaust.  If you have a generator, know how to safely operate it.
 
—full tank of gas in the car.  You may need to relocate, and a tank riding on “E” won’t get you far.  While you’re at the car...chuck some thermal reflective blankets in the trunk, along with a folding shovel...heavy boots...candles.
 
—keep your phone charged.  Use texts instead of voice calls so as to not overload the system, which just might be on the point of crashing.
 
—if you have pets: food and water, medication, and hygiene supplies for them too.
 
Post any questions in this thread and I’ll answer when I can.
 
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Re: Emergency preparedness...are *you* prepared?
« Reply #1 on: Dec 19th, 2017, 12:11pm »
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sguido
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Re: Emergency preparedness...are *you* prepared?
« Reply #2 on: Dec 19th, 2017, 11:55pm »
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Uh oh...we need to get out.
 
Again, whether by natural or other causes, you may have to leave your home.  For this, you’ll need a “go bag”.  (Also known by many other names, including bug out bag.  Bug out...like from M*A*S*H.  No?  You don’t know that show.  *sigh*. I’m getting old...)
 
Anyways.
 
A go bag is your mobile version of your home emergency preparedness kit.  One per person, tailored to their needs. (Pets get theirs too....but a fact you must understand is that while efforts will be made to accommodate pets, in an emergency it might not be feasible.  As an animal lover I hate this fact but understand it.  Just please don’t argue with the people who are trying to save your life if they say Fido and Fluffy can’t go.)
 
So.  A go bag....let’s start with basics.  It’s a sturdy, well constructed backpack with two straps.  (Two straps better ergonomically than a sling bag over the long haul.). It contains what you need to get by on that you or your family member can carry.  I can’t stress that enough.  You can’t load yourself up like a burro and expect to last long without exhaustion creeping in.  And it’s not fair to pile it all on the strongest family member.
 
Inside, you’ve got a couple of changes of socks and underwear.  Your feet get cold, you get miserable.  There’s probably a thesis out there to back it up.  Keeping your feet warm and dry will prevent issues later.  Change of underwear is hygienic, since we’re going to pretend this is a week long evacuation.  
 
You’re also carrying your medication, one litre of water, and snacks.  (A sturdy water bottle is a must, last thing you want is your water to soak your bag should it be dropped.)
 
Your meds and anything else that can’t get wet is inside good zip lock bags.  (Even that sturdy water bottle may break...). Not cheap sandwich bags...sealable ones that are waterproof.  (Well, water resistant.  Nothing in the world is anything-proof...but you catch my meaning.
 
You’ve also dryly packaged hard copies of your essential identification: Health Card, Driver License, Passport, insurance, ownership.  You have that on a flash drive?  Well, no one in authority is going to plug a non-issue USB drive in a laptop to verify your identity. Print them out now, and keep it secure in your bag.  You’ve also got a print out of phone numbers and addresses that you need...and while you’re at it, copy of prescriptions.  Sorry, but in an emergency people won’t just take your word that you need those meds.
 
What else is in the bag? All the items from your home kit detailed in the earlier post.  Extra batteries for your goods.  Maybe some expanded first aid items, like tensor bandages, moleskin, eye drops.  Mylar emergency blankets, flashlights, whistle, small pocket knife with scissors.  A debunked roll of toilet paper.  (Wiggle the cardboard centre out and squeeze.). Earplugs, as if you have to be at an evacuation centre, it will be noisy.  (You and your family/friends will sleep in shifts to keep your stuff safe from covetous individuals who didn’t take the time to prepare their own stuff.) Eyeshades to facilitate that sleep when it’s your turn.
 
Parents, you’ve also got a few surprise comfort items for the kids.  They’re going to get bored of what they brought, and eventually will drive you and everyone else crazy.  Prevent drama with a surprise toy/activity to buy you at least another day of sanity.
 
Fear is normal.  But do your best to stay calm.  When people are calm, things get done, even if it takes a while.  Screaming and violence will get you special treatment....at a detention facility.  And special in this case does *not* mean a good thing.  Keep calm, and wait your turn.  If it’s not life threatening, there is no reason to insist you get special attention.  At this point in a disaster we are all humans, period.  Doesn’t matter what you do, how much money you have...every life is equal.  (If you have pertinent skills...health care...then help out if you can.  Offer, but remember, unless you have proof you’re a doctor/nurse, those in charge aren’t going to take your word for it.  They can’t afford the risk.)
 
You’ve got your go bag....and are headed out the door.  Make sure you’re dressed for the weather, in layers to regulate temperature.  Sturdy, comfortable clothes, and closed toe footwear you can walk long distances in.  You’re not in a fashion show...leave the fancy designer wear home.  It’s going to get grubby relatively fast, and dingy, smelly, sturdy comfortable clothes are what you need...not the name brand that ripped once exposed to a harsher environment.  You’ve got a hat, sunglasses, and gloves, appropriate for the weather.  You’ve got your fully charged phone, plus chargers, maybe a spare battery.  House and car keys, securely buttoned in an inside pocket, maybe even safety pinned inside.
 
Lock the doors, go with whomever is evacuating you, and try your best to keep a positive attitude.  If not for you, for those around you.  Panic is contagious, and we’re gonna get through this.
 
Together.
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Re: Emergency preparedness...are *you* prepared?
« Reply #3 on: Dec 20th, 2017, 12:19am »
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Editing the go bag post put me in iPad crash territory, so pretend this is part of that post too.
 
Add nail clippers and a file.  Spare eyeglasses with your prescription printed out.  Contact lens and solution.
 
Two weeks supply of your meds.  You know what you need.  You can barter with OTC things like Gravol, Benadryl...just don’t do it with your prescription stuff.
 
They might have to resort to feeding you with “army food”. (IMPs, MREs, etc.). Drink lots of fluid or risk first hand knowledge of why one MRE nickname is “Meal Refusing to Exit.  You might also want to pack a small bottle of hot sauce...ketchup...mustard...mayo.  Salt, pepper, sugar packets.  It’s your palate, you know what you like!  Maybe kool aid or the like, as water can become boring.
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