E019: All Hazards Preparedness
This week Rich and I tell you how to prepare for whatever comes your way!
Intro to Preparedness
What is “all-hazards preparedness”? It is the generalist’s preparedness model. It emphasizes:
Not over-preparing for one specific event,
Creating a system of preparedness that works over a wide spectrum of events and emergencies,
Being versatile of body and mind - begin adaptable, competent, dangerous, and physically preparing your body for difficult events.
1. Don’t Plan; Prepare!
Planning can lock you into thought patterns that preclude you seeing other ideas
SWOT Analysis: This will help you specify the objectives you are trying to achieve, and identify some of the internal and external factors that will help you achieve those objectives.
What Are You Preparing For? Regardless of where you live you face certain hazards for which you should be prepared.
Riots/Civil Unrest/Terrorism/Man-Made Disasters
Personal Disasters: loss of income, house fire, etc.
What Actually Causes Fatalities During Disasters? You need to consider this for your area and prepare for these specific threats! During disasters that Rich has managed the primary causes of death were:
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Lack of Medical Care
Motor Vehicle Accidents
2. Enabling Conditions
Physical Fitness. You should be basically physically fit. This will:
Help you move your body through adverse terrain conditions
Allow you to deal with inclement weather conditions
Improve your stress-coping ability
Being physically prepared also includes
Having adequate supplies of medications
Keeping your teeth in good repair
Defensive Capability. You should be able to defend yourself and your loved ones.
Firearms: firearms can help you defend yourself and harvest game
Ammunition: your firearm is worthless without ammunition, so have some!
Training: your firearm is almost as worthless without training and the ability to use it effectively.
Coalitions: Every additional person in your “tribe” is a value-added. The time to build these relationships is now, not after the disaster.
Being a part of a “coalition” is a two-way street; you also need to be someone your neighbors can count on.
Coalitions can help with security, safety, fire-fighting, repair, or really anything you may need help with.
3. Stay put
Ideally, we would all get out of the impacted area before the disaster occurs. This is not always possible, however. Sheltering-in-place during after the disaster has occurred is almost always the best option, if you were unable to get out of affected area before the disaster occurred. There are many reasons to stay put, including:
Access to more resources like food.
Safety and security
Being government-provided shelters is not ideal.
They WILL require that you be disarmed.
They LIKELY will not allow you to keep your pets.
They MIGHT require that you sleep separately from your spouse and children.
Again, our recommendations are to:
Shelter in place (preferred), or
Have the financial resources and personal networks to provide your own place to say outside of the impacted area.
4. The Preparedness Stuff You Need
Duration. You should be prepared to be self-sufficient for at least a short period of time. This makes sure you’re taken care of if resources can’t get to you. It also frees up first responders to worry about others.
3 Days: the 72-hour kit. This is the absolute minimum time period for which you should be able to completely on your own.
5 Days: This is where Rich and I recommend most listeners strive to be.
10 Days: This is ideal. It is still within the 80/20 principle, but gives you much greater resilience.
Water. Water is one of the first things you are going to run out of.
Know your own system.
Know how to turn your own water off.
Winterize your pipes.
Keep your water trickling in extreme cold conditions
Store water and have a water procurement capability.You need a minimum of 1 gallon, per person, per day. If you have three people in your home you will need 15 gallons of water for a five-day supply.
Bottled water. Bottled water is an extremely inexpensive and easy to way to store water.
Don’t forget water for pets.
You will need more water in hotter climates.
Bottled water does not have a shelf life.
Get creative with where to put it; put a couple gallons in your fridge. Loose water bottles in your freezer create awesome ice-packs, help keep your freezer temperature stable, and provide you with emergency drinking water.
The WaterBOB will prevent leakage through the drain.
The WaterBOB will prevent the water from coming into contact with soap, cleaning products, and other residue in the tub.
The WaterBOB will prevent the water from being stored “open air”, preventing things from falling in it and bacteria from flourishing on it surface.
The WaterBOB also includes a siphon to allow you to extract small amounts of water for flushing toilets, cooking, washing, etc.
Water filtration systems. You should have a way to filter water. If there is a flood it may release sewage into the drinking water. Water purification tablets will kill many disease vectors, but they WILL NOT REMOVE CHEMICALS AND HEAVY METALS!
Justin’s Pick: the Big Berkey Water Filtration System. It expensive but it removes pathogens like bacteria, viruses, cysts, as well as herbicides, pesticides, organic solvents, radon, nitrates and nitrites, and unhealthy minerals like lead and mercury.
Artificial Climate/Temperature Control. You need to control your body temperature.
Generator. A generator can run a window A/C unit, electric heaters, etc. A generator is ideal because it provides a massive capability. Because a generator is such a big purchase, we are not going to make specific recommendations here.
Kerosene heaters. There are lots of reasons to consider a kerosene heater.
They are inexpensive, generally costing $100 to $150.
Kerosene is relatively safe to store, inexpensive, and has a decent shelf life. Though they are expensive, you can even buy pre-sealed gallons of K-1 kerosene on Amazon.
Two gallons of kerosene will keep you warm for 8-10 hours. A five day supply of kerosene is generally 20 or so gallons.
Propane heaters. Another option that we did not discuss on the show are small, indoor-safe propane heaters. These can run off the green, 1-lb canisters used for camping stoves. Some models can be run from larger (20-30 lb propane tanks) with a hose/adapter assembly.
Wood heat. If you have wood heat you must have an adequate supply of wood.
Fire Extinguishers. With any emergency heat in use, your risk of a house fire increases. Make sure you have a fire extinguisher or two, and make sure your smoke detector batteries are good. For more information, refer back to our fire prevention episode.
Generators. We mentioned this one earlier, but generators are incredibly important. Some considerations for generators:
The time to purchase one is NOW! When disasters occur they sell out very, very quickly, are subject to theft and looting, and leave you vulnerable to price gouging.
Make sure you have a means to secure you generator so it doesn’t get stolen in an emergency.
You also have to lay in adequate fuel for a generator ahead of time.
Smartphones are the primary means, but you MUST have a way to keep them charged.
Training, training, training. Before you invest in any equipment, YOU MUST KNOW HOW TO USE IT!
At a minimum invest in the Red Cross’s First Aid class
This is universal human knowledge; medical training will benefit you and your family for the rest of your lives.
First Aid Supplies
Basic first aid kit
A supply of your prescription medications
Extra eye glasses, hearing aids, epi-pens, etc.
Don’t forget medical supplies for your pets!
Medical records/critical medical information for all family members
Insurance cards, drivers’ licenses, and other forms of identification’
Vaccination records for pets.
Make sure you have a manual (non-electric) can opener if you have canned goods!
You can also simply have extra supplies of the food you normally eat if you have a resilient way of cooking
Bleach, bleach wipes, and other sanitizers.
Soap. See Justin’s article on Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap.
Bucket with a tight-fitting lid
Paper plates, flatware, and other disposable items.
Batteries and lights
A battery organizer can make battery storage easier
Clothing and Personal Protective Equipment
Gloves (work gloves and nitrile medical gloves)
Ponchos, warm head gear
Keys, Computers, Passwords…
Backup keys to your home, office, vehicles, etc.
Backups of critical digital data
External battery packs
Currency. Money can solve a lot of problems for you in a disaster.
Cash. You should definitely have at least a few hundred dollars in cash.
Credit Card. A card with a significant line of credit can help you weather longer-term disasters by paying for hotels, food, fuel, etc.
Maps, GPS, and Navigation
You should have pre-selected and memorized evacuation routes.
There is no substitute for paper maps, since you may not have data coverage
You may also want to have a compass.
Camping Gear, Bedding, etc.
Vehicle - Your vehicle is your ticket out of a disaster area.
Vehicles should never come home with less than 1/2 to 3/4 tank of fuel
Vehicles should be in good working order; the ATP Vehicle Maintenance Logbook will help you keep your vehicle in good shape
5. Keep Your Body & Mind Prepared
Before and during a disaster make sure you:
Exercise when able,
Talk to friends and family,
Be confident in your plan and preparations.