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We live in a stable but fairly fragile state. Emergencies happen all the time and all over the world. Those that think we are immune are living in a Hurricane Katrina denial fantasy.
I used to joke about people living in areas that are devastated annually with floods. I also had quips (that I thought were humorous) about tornadoes being caused by mobile homes communities. I even remember a comedian joking about famines in the desert, but not anymore. Our weather is changing whether we like it or not, and the world is growing much smaller in the sense that we get natural disasters piped into our homes nightly.
Being and Eagle Scout myself, I thought it would be cool to share some of my EP wisdom with the rest of you.
I recall just hearing about a huge meteorite that just missed the earth. I used to joke about having beach front property for when California slips off into the Pacific in the next big earthquake. Haiti should be a wake up call, and the firestorm in Columbia Village of a few years back brings it a bit closer to home. An East coast freak ice storm early this fall had some of my extended family stuck without most city services for six days. I also responded to the Challis Idaho earthquake a few decades ago, where two children died from a falling building facade, the fear was that there would be many miners stuck in mine shafts.
At Levco, we build with the thought of earthquake in mind, but the codes are far less stringent than say, California. Idaho has the honor of being the state which is the 6th most earthquake active state in the US. USGS earthquake site
Here in Ada County, we have the Department of Emergency Management. They have lots of good information and links to other sites that speak to being prepared. The essence is that although our government says it is, and will be prepared it doesn’t take much to overload the system. We need to be equipped with the proper knowledge and materials to successfully navigate those first few days on our own.
Things to be familiar with their operation:
Your husband (or the mechanical one of the household) may not be there, or may be incapacitated in the moment of need.
- Water shut off.
- Gas Shut off.
- Electrical shutoff.
- Emergency meeting location.
- Location of your emergency stash of supplies.
Things to be aware of:
When failures of a massive proportion occur, the government services are often affected too.
Are cell phones going to work? Maybe.
I recall that there was an estimate that the downtown streets would be covered in 6′ of rubble, Fires and floods are always a possibility and flood too. Lucky Peak … Hope it holds!
What to stash:
Containers of stored water & food, a heat source and fuel for it, blankets, shelter, battery operated radio, flashlights, shovel, money, a weapon, first aid kit, and personal medications. The list goes on the important thing is to have the basics. It could happen at any time of year.
Think about an automotive problem that leaves you stranded. There might not be a knight in shining armor out there for you. On-Star helps, but I like to say that taking a road trip off the beaten path is like doing a raft trip…If you don’t have it with you when you leave, odds are you won’t have it when you need it.
Every year, we hear about those that get stuck in storms. There once were some city guys that got stuck on horseback in the middle of winter, they killed and gutted their horses to protect themselves from the cold night. I now call horses “flat lander sleeping bags.” There are GPS units that are getting folks in trouble too. Turns out the shortest way between two places may be an impossible road for your transportation means in the given weather conditions.
My best advice is to keep your wits about you and be prepared within reason. Your best resource is your clear, calm brain, which is much more likely to perform properly when dealing with a crisis, any sort of an emergency or survival situation, rather than to reacting to one. Oh, and remember, “You don’t have to be a Boy Scout to be prepared”.