Finally, someone higher up is starting to get it!
For a very long time, the Prepper community has been saying this very thing. Better late than never...some of the mainstream folks are starting to see the wisdom in a few common sense plans. It's nice to know that even though they would never credit the Preppers, the small bits of information we have been trying to pass on for years may finally help to save someone from a lot of grief!
Common sense may finally be making an appearance in some mainstream media! Like I said, better late than never!
It's high hurricane season. Pack a "go bag" to prepare for … nearly anything.
Published 07:05 p.m., Friday, August 26, 2011
Published 07:05 p.m., Friday, August 26, 2011
Summer 2011 has become the season of the unexpected. While once-humid Houston gasped for rain, a freak earthquake rolled through the earth from Virginia to Detroit to Vermont. Now New York is battening down before outlandish Irene.
Natural disaster, in other words, has become the nation's new normal. It's a good time to adopt a survival technique that actually is considered normal in Japan, where nature's extremes are never far from anyone's mind.
Pack a "go bag."
Merely a duffel bag or knapsack with three days of essentials, a go bag should include clean, dry clothes, medications, money, light foods, water, a flashlight and hand-cranked radio. The idea is to be able to leave home for safety on a moment's notice. Yet the simple act of preparing that bag, emergency experts say, can dramatically shape an individual's fate in a hurricane, flood, fire or other crisis.
Most of the items in a classic go bag already lurk at home or the drug store. But when an emergency strikes, and families have to leave home in an instant, even a quick search in the closet or a run to the store to purchase something like blood pressure meds can be impossible. Consider Katrina, when houses filled with water in minutes and apparently unscathed pharmacies nevertheless couldn't fill prescriptions because they lacked electricity.
Packing that go bag is potentially lifesaving for other reasons. This exercise reminds us that we are our own first responders in any life-threatening natural disaster. "If you think it's not going to happen to you, you're wrong," said epidemiologist Russell Melmed, a Connecticut public health planner who specializes in preparedness. "If you think the government is going to do it for you, you're wrong."
The federal definition of a disaster, after all, is a widespread emergency that overwhelms local government's ability to cope. And if it seems this is happening more frequently in recent months, that's no illusion.
According to FEMA, Americans have endured an average of 50 major natural disasters a year in the past ten years. Last year alone, however, FEMA declared 81 major disasters. And so far this year, FEMA has issued no fewer than 65 disaster declarations - with more surely to come.
Rather than a dreary chore, however, preparing for the unexpected by packing a go bag should feel empowering. It's a practical way to shed the free-floating anxiety these strange seasons can impose. Go bags, and the mindset that attends them, after all, have been credited with reducing fatalities linked to the tsunami and earthquake catastrophes this spring in Japan. There, go bags and community disaster drills have been an ordinary part of life for nearly a hundred years.
Not that packing a go bag takes much to master. This is not the time to assemble pricey camping gear or save the wide-screen TV.
Nevertheless, experts and specific recommendations abound on the Internet. The most reliable lists come from governments: Try the Red Cross or www.fema.gov. Experts from different regions, meanwhile, recommend geo-appropriate variations. Bloggers, naturally, argue the fine points. How many socks are enough? Is it a "go bag" or "bug-out bag"? Regardless of the minutiae, however, go bag basics are always the same: water, meds, money, flashlight, ID and clothes. And the mental preparation that accompanies the packing is an invaluable part of the contents.
"Try to remember that this isn't about playing Sekrit Ninja," advises a blogger named Speedbird, a U.S. Army veteran and techno-savant. "It's about being able to take minimal care of yourself under circumstances that however hard to imagine, are never all that far away from any one of us."
I guess that we can all rest just a tad easier now, knowing that a lot of folks who will only believe what they read in the papers or see on television might be just a little better prepared. That means fewer of the "don't have" types knocking on your door, wanting to share some of yours!
Sure took them long enough to catch on, didn't it?
Coffee on the patio for all who want it! I'll share with everyone...for now!