Posts Tagged ‘disaster preparedness’

Don't you need a disaster preparedness plan?

Saturday, December 17th, 2011

Trouble coming this way

When my wife and I were active duty Air Force medical officers we participated in disaster exercises and when I became one of the senior staff at various places I helped plan some of those drills. After we retired our only effort along those lines was accumulating a small supply of food and a few jugs of water. That was ten years ago and obviously the stock needed to be rotated or used on a regular basis, but it hasn't been.

From 1988 to 1991 I commanded a 150-bed Air Force hospital in Wichita Falls, Texas. We met with the local civilian disaster planning group for their yearly event. They were even better prepared than those of us in the military and, when I asked why, told me of the triple tornado that had merged and ripped though their city ten years before, an April 1978 event called Terrible Tuesday.

We lived on Keesler Air Force base in Biloxi, Mississippi next and I was the commander of a 325-bed medical center. During our two years there three hurricanes headed our way. Two turned away well out in the Gulf; one didn't until six hours away. By then I had called in Air Force planes and evacuated my patients.

Recently four friends told me of incidents where they or their  adult children were without power for four to nine days. One lived in Chicago, and having three young children wanted to be ready for a contingency. She put a grill in her fireplace for roasting marshmallows...or anything else. When a Midwestern snow storm took down power lines, leaving her without electricity for six days, she was prepared.

this could be the start of your emergency supply kit

After reflecting on these episodes, I dug out the old disaster file I once had used, found the Emergency Food in a Nutshell book a writer friend had given me, and started compiling a list of things we'd need. I've already purchased a few, high-priority items and stored them. I emailed a letter on the subject to nearly fifty friends; ten have already replied with suggestions.

Then I talked with another writer who suggested  I send a request out for my blog readers to cogitate on what they'd think of accumulating/buying.

Do we stay or leave?

When I have input from a variety of of you, I'll add items to my own list, send a copy of the updated version to each person who has contributed and then, hopefully,  publish an article with the list included.

Depending on where you live, you may face the potential threat of an earthquake, tornado, flood or hurricane. In 2003 great swatches of the Northeast portion of the United States lost electrical power. Potentially a disaster could be man-made. You may be evacuated to safety or you could be stuck in your home for weeks or even longer.

So let me know, if you want to join in this endeavor, what you'd want to have for a "very rainy day" or week or month.