In the wake of the recent events in Haiti , one question keeps popping up in my mind. What would I do in a disaster? Does our family have a plan? My answer, unfortunately, is a resounding no.
However, people seem to be more and more aware that in a disaster, outside aid can often be slow, inadequate, or unable to meet your immediate needs. In October of 2009, the Popular Mechanics cover story was about how to survive various catastrophes. It included inspiring stories of people who met their challenge head on and were prepared for the worst. But it also mentioned the friends and acquaintances of these 'preppers' who weren't so lucky. So with that in mind, I'd like to pose a few questions, and provide a few resources to get you thinking... you never know what may come your way.
Question: If you and your family find yourselves in a situation where you must quickly leave your home, could you leave, and be okay?
Resource: It is recommended that you have at least a 72-hour survival kit. You can either make your own and put it in the car. Or, there are many for sale that come pre-packed with a handy backpack.
Question: Could you survive at least two weeks in your house, without electricity, running water, nintendo wii?
Resource: The Mayo Clinic has a great resource to get the ball rolling, or perhaps re-enforce that you do have the ability to take care of yourself. It touches on a few things that you may not initially think of, like local maps should your gps die, and hearing aid batteries. Also, just because you're stuck in a disaster area doesn't mean you should give up on your wii. With a deep cycle battery, and a few solar panels, you'll be wii bowling in no time.
Question: If a disaster happens in the dead of winter, would you freeze?
Resource: One of the things I wish our house had is a fireplace. However, there are alternatives, such as a pellet stove. While this may not be the cheapest option, after the initial investment these types of heating solutions are very efficient.
Be safe out there. It's a crazy world, and I know that if disaster strikes, I want my family to be able to survive.