Monday, April 15, 2013

Thoughts on Disasters

I hear the experts say this will be a heavy hurricane season and wonder if that means more tornados also for the areas of the country that normally get them?

But we also know there can be flooding, quakes, ice storms, and other heavy winds like just went through areas of the south west and Midwest.  Drought can be considered a disaster along with all that.

Where we live we have danger of earth quakes and volcanos.  There is an earth quake fault that runs down the Clearwater River in Lewiston Idaho for those that don't know that.

When MT St. Helens blew they have several inches of ash here.  And our home has slews of volcanic rocks all over the ground and just below the surface.

* Do you have back up plans in case of no electricity or rolling blackouts?

This would be for things like cooking, boiling water and or having a way to purify your water. 

Really I like the saying 1 is done and 2 is one.  If you have one way to do something important and life saving like this and you have one and it is damaged or lost in some way you end up with done. 

 Matches anyone?

I know having a place and a way to go to the bathroom and hold sewage is another.  Do you have even a 5 gallon bucket with trash bags to line it with for going to the bathroom? 

Do you have a good supply of trash bags?

I know places like have toilet seats that sit on 5 gallon buckets and oh so much better then trying to hold yourself up on a bucket.  Or a way for someone to cut a hole in aboard or nice heavy piece of plastic to sit on a bucket?  Yes I know not things we like to think about but so very important.

It is still quite cool and cold in some parts of the country right now do you have a alternate way of staying warm?

Extra blankets, sleeping bags, pads or blow up swimming floats work if you have to sleep in the same room and that's where its the warmest.

Or the other end trying to keep cooler when its hot, that is a hard one.  Learn to rest in the hottest part of the day.  Have water you can wet a rag with and wipe yourself or family down or some spray bottles you can spray yourselves with.

Do you have hand kitchen tools, can openers, a cast iron skillet that can be used over a open fire if need be and the utensils that will be needed?

A set of metal plate and cup sets or scout camp set for each family member.

And don't forget the extra things that will be needed for babies.  Pick up some cloth diapers, diaper pins, a small trash can with a lid for a diaper pail and plastic pants.  (If you have to hand towels can be used) You may be able to buy disposables for awhile.  Don't forget bleach.  I always but a 1/4 cup of bleach in a diaper pail and had it 1/4 full of water to soak diapers in and keep down odor.

Do you have formula or powdered milk and extra baby food that can be rotated once a year?  Make sure you buy replacements and then use the older up.  But never use what's stored in the meantime for everyday because then when you need it the most it wont be there.

Do you have foods that can be readily eaten or with very little heating or cooking?  Think even 2 weeks worth? 

In a lot of places it has been 2 to 4 weeks before electricity was restored after severe storms.

What if you or a family member is caught away from home when something happens?

Do they have a 72 hour kit in the car with a pair of sturdy walking shoes, even a set of tennis shoes?

I know it can be a hassle to make sure the people in the car have these but it can be very necessary and you will sure wish you had one when it comes time and you or loved one are caught away from home.

Do you keep simple things like some water in the car?

I learned the hard way. About 16 years back (ack how time flies) we went to a sons state track meet 6 hours away in Boise ID.  Ok this was just a day trip no big deal right?

Okay its late afternoon and we are headed home now with son and his girl friend.  He went down by bus and we brought her.  We get half way home and guess what there had been a rock slide a couple of miles outside of Riggins ID.  All the way across the road. 
No one was going anywhere on either side of the road.  We back tracked to a rest stop where we had to spend the night in the car. 
No extra clothes, (for women at a certain time of the month this can be a disaster) no blankets and etc.  Nothing to wash up with or even brush our teeth the next morning.

I vowed never again would I be caught like this.  I have a small back pack in the car that holds a couple wash clothes in plastic bags, soap, 2 toothbrushes, tooth paste, a hand towel or 2, lotion, a couple of food bars and a couple of other items.  We also throw in a 72 hour kit just in case with a change of clothes in it as well which is supposed to be in it anyway :).

Do you have a small back pack 72 hour kit for each of your children?  Include a toy or book depending on the ages with the clothes and their favorite food bars or what is best for them along with the clothes.

I guess I have gone on long enough but I can't stress enough on how important this is for you and your families safety and well being.

Comments welcome.

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