Emergency Disaster Planning

Chapter 1.4 & 1.5 Planning – the compiling of lists

4. How much preparation is necessary?
5. Where do you go in a disaster?

 Planning for an Emergency or a Disaster

How much preparation is necessary?

There are no simple answers to this question, because the unexpected happens daily to everyone, everywhere, around the world. A better question would be; how much preparation, given a set of circumstances, should you prepare for, and for how many people? Again, determine “what” you are preparing for – storm, earthquake, terrorist attack etc. Make ready for the most likely catastrophic event in your region, and then prepare everybody in your group, for that event. Remember to take into consideration the “who,” and the “what” discussed later under Preparing.

Here is an example, let us say you live on the West Coast, you are more likely to prepare for a wildfire or an earthquake as opposed to living in the Midwest, who would prepare for tornadoes or flooding, while the East coast would prepare for hurricanes and blizzards. Unfortunately, terrorism is striking us from all angles. Violent attackers are killing children in our schools; therefore, Classroom Lockdown Kits are essential for lockdown situations across the country.

Guardian Deluxe Classroom Lockdown Kit (web)A lockdown kit includes hygiene and sanitary facilities designed for schools and workplaces; they are an excellent waste containment system for emergency bivouac and camping situations. ISIS and similar extremists are causing global disruptions of civilization as we know it, and even the sun is throwing solar flares at us, threatening our electrical power grid. The answer to how much preparation is necessary depends on how comfortable you are with your preparedness or the lack of preparedness knowing that a disaster is probable.

You cannot prepare for everything, but you can limit how long that you feel it is necessary to survive after a disaster strikes. If your area is devastated by a hurricane or earthquake, it could take weeks or months to regain power to your home, it may take a week or longer for rescue teams to assist you. The current government recommendation is to be prepared with a survival kit with enough provisions for 3 days (72 hours).

Unfortunately, the East coast’s winter weather caused many areas to have blackouts that left people without power for a week or more during brutally cold temperatures. In our opinion, we recommend a minimum 5-day survival kit per person; but two weeks to three months would be optimal. Longer preparation for the more serious prepper or survivalist will include longer-term food, water, first aid kits and emergency essentials.

Survival kits, known as bug-out-bags, 72-hour kits, emergency kits and other names are kits containing emergency supplies that will provide life sustaining provisions and comfort items. You can build one yourself, but it could actually cost more and possibly be less complete than a prepackaged survival kit. We discuss the contents in the section entitled Preparing – “How much do you need.”

Where do you go in a disaster?

This part of the planning stage assumes you have a predetermined place to go, also known as a BOL (bug-out-location). A means of transportation to travel there and that there is not a travel ban induced by the government, pirates or electromagnetic forces that shut down vehicle computers, or any number of other deterrents that may prevent access to a safer place. If the area is closed to vehicles for whatever reason, including impassable roads, then traveling to your bug out cave in the mountains, which may be several hours away, and access to your supplies, is all for naught. A small group of individuals may not be able to arrive at the “safe” destination safely.

Ice Storm - MA Boy Scouts, MoheganAlternatively, you may have a plan to go to a relative’s or friend’s home or to a shelter. If this is the case, make sure everyone on your “who” list has the “where” (where all of you will meet) list. Include with the “where” list contact names, addresses, phone numbers and written directions. Have a prearranged meeting place on the “where” list because GPS and cell phone service may not be functional. If someone in your family or group becomes separated, you will have a start location for the search effort. FEMA and other government agencies recommend texting instead of calling your contacts because calling ties up the signals for longer periods. Some emergencies and disasters require sheltering in place some do not. Have a Plan “B” and supplies in two or more accessible locations if possible

It may be better to have supplies in two or more locations because if your primary BOL (bug out location) is unreachable or breached, you will have supplies in a second location. Remember to write the locations on your “where” lists. However, you may want to limit the supply location(s) on the “where” list in case the list is misappropriated or lost. Someone may find the list and beat you to your supplies. Once the initial catastrophe phase ends, you might be able to relocate to the primary BOL if necessary.

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