Why Should I Prepare?

Flooding on the Cambridge Turnpike in Concord, Mass.
Flooding on the Cambrdige Turnpike in Concord, Mass., during the Spring 2010 flood. March 31, 2010. Photo courtesy U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District
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A lot of you out there probably wonder why you should bother getting ready for an emergency. I mean, you probably won’t have to really worry about that sort of thing happening to you. Right?


At some point, you will be faced with some sort of emergency.

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Here’s a short list of some of the emergencies that I have been faced with

  • Numerous tornadoes, a couple of which knocked out power for a week or more, disrupting roads (due

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    to debris in roads and downed power lines).

  • Ice storm knocking out power for over a week (this happened right before DD was born).
  • Stupid raccoon getting into a transformer and knocking out power to water pump station…resulting is water boil order for 3-days.
  • Three hurricanes – including two evacuations and one staying through the hurricane (should have evacuated that time too).
  • Floods by various rivers.
  • Wild fires in CA – included two evacuations and nearly having our house burned down.
  • Earth quakes – these were small, so they were OK.
  • Both adults of household being laid off for extended period(s) of time.
  • Mom (me) being laid-up in hospital with pneumonia and really sick for three weeks.
  • Whole family being desperately ill with flu.
  • Blizzard and/or blocking traffic to entire town for a couple of days.
  • Major income-earner of household becoming ill and subsequently disabled for a really, really long time.
Wow! There seems to have been a lot of weather-related emergencies in my life. But not all of my emergencies were weather-related. Some were economic, or related to illness. Some of those emergencies were related to stupid stuff…like the raccoon that essentially knocked out water to a good portion of the KC-metro area for several days.

Images from the Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Disaster (April 7, 2011). All shots taken in the area of Miyagi Prefecture.
In this photo a train is pushed up a long set of stairs and through a cemetery on a hill. Headstones, soul tablets, and family plots have been plowed over. The massive force of the water had an enormous amount of energy.
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As you can see, there are all kinds of emergencies that can happen. It is just a matter of time.

And, if you still need some convincing, here’s a little video by FEMA.

How To Start

Now I know that preparing for Hell and High Water can seem like a daunting task. Or, it might seem that you have to be either a Mormon or a wack-job to do it (not that Mormons are wack-jobs). But those are just stereotypes.

Preparing for future difficult times only makes sense. That was how people used to live their lives. It doesn’t take much of a problem for a network of on-demand supply chains to become disrupted. And, the way the world works these days, you can’t depend on the government or anyone else being able to help you right when you need it most, if at all.

Preparing for an emergency doesn’t have to be very difficult or expensive. A lot of tasks are simple common sense. Sometimes, it can even be fun.

Here are just a few steps to get you going.

    1. Check out FEMA’s emergency preparedness web site, READY.gov. It has LOTS of useful information on emergency/disaster preparedness.
    2. Print out FEMA’s brochure “Prepare for Emergencies Now: Information to Get Ready” (PDF – 382 Kb). It gives you an easy to follow plan of action.
    3. Print out this Emergency Supply List (PDF – 253 Kb) from FEMA, and start following it.
    4. Here’s a Printer Friendly Family Emergency Plan (PDF – 1.04Mb). It will help you get lots of necessary information together in one place.
    5. Take Sharon Astyk’s Food Storage Class. Even though this class started a week or so ago, you can still jump in (its on-line). This class, inter alia, will help you disc
    6. If you're ready for a zombie apocalypse, then you're ready for any emergency. emergency.cdc.govover what resources you have now, determine how you want to be more independent and prepared (in general), and in addition helping you acquire goods, helps you learn new skills that are good to have in hard times.
    7. Prepare a 72-hour kit for yourself and each person in your family (including pets). Or, if you don’t have a lot of time and want one now, consider purchasing one from Emergency Essentials.  They have lots of pre-made kits to suit a variety of needs. Also, they have a lot of supplies that you might find useful in a 3-day emergency.
    8. Click on the Zombie Apocalypse button to go the CDC’s emergency preparedness site.
    9. Read the CDC’s graphic novel, “Preparedness 101: Zombie Pandemic.” It’s pretty fun. You can also download the novella on Google books hereExternal Web Site Icon or click on the image below, or download a printable pdf versions here.

This is just a little to get you going. Check back for more on Preparedness all month long.

Emergency Essentials/BePrepared

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