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72 HOURS IS NOT ENOUGH PREPARATION

 

 

November 21, 2012

Dear Friend,

 

After Superstorm Sandy, the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, the earthquake in Haiti, hurricane Katrina, the F5 tornado that tore through Joplin, Mo and the extreme flooding along the Mississippi River I realized preparing to be on your own during and after a disaster without outside help for 72 hours is not adequate.

 

Today, some folks in New York are still out of electricity three weeks after Superstorm Sandy moved on.

 

You must be prepared to survive and to do so on your own.

 

So how does a person prepare for a disaster?

 

Unfortunately, one size does not fit all. The potential source of a disaster depends on where you live geographically and how you prepare also depends on where you live physically.  In other words, someone living is a single family dwelling along an eastern coastline would prepare differently for a hurricane than a person living in a modern multistory building just inland from the coastline.

 

Here’s how I approached the issue.

 

I made two columns and titled one column ‘natural event’ and the other column I titled ‘manmade event’.

 

Next I began listing what I thought the potential ‘disaster’ threats were.

 

After that I ranked each threat according to what I determined the probability of it becoming an actual event in my lifetime would be.

 

As you’ll see I ranked a magnetic pole shift or an asteroid impact as the lowest probability, however, either event would require maximum survival skills. And I ranked a severe weather event as the highest probability but would have the lowest impact and that is simply because of where I live.

 

I live in the mountains of northern California and a severe weather event would be heavy rains and winds but not like a hurricane. But I had to give wildfire a realistic number as a potential threat and because this is earthquake country I had to give an earthquake a realistic number too.

 

If you live near a nuclear power plant you may want to increase the probability of a nuclear accident and so on.

 

THREAT LEVEL - 0=LOWEST - 15=HIGHEST

NATURAL EVENT

1. POLE SHIFT                            0      0%

2. ASTEROID                              0      0%           

3. VOLCANO                               1      6.7%

4. PANDEMIC                              1      6.7%

5. CLIMATE CHANGE                    1      6.7%

6. SOLAR FLARE                          1      6.7%

7. FLOOD                                   3      20% 

8. EARTHQUAKE                          5      33.3%

9. FIRE                                      7      46.7%                              

10. SEVERE WEATHER                  10     66.7%                      

                       

MAN MADE EVENT

11. NUCLEAR ACCIDENT               1      6.7%

12. NUCLEAR ATTACK                  1      6.7%

13. BREAKDOWN OF SOCIETY       2      13.3%

14. BIOLOGICAL ATTACK              2      13.3%

15. CONVENTIONAL ATTACK         3      20%

16. CIVIL UNREST                       5      33.3%                      

                                                 

Next I tried to determine what the potential results of any disaster I had identified might be and here is what I came up with:

 

An effect rated 1 would result in a three day disturbance in the everyday routine of living and may require an alternate source of electrical power, water and surviving on already stored goods. A 2 would be a greater result meaning more preparations and so on.

 

THREAT LEVEL EFFECT

1. SHELTER IN PLACE 3 DAYS – POWER & WATER SERVICE MAINTAINED

a. POWER INTERMITTENT

b. WATER INTERRUPTED

c. LOSS OF POWER AND WATER

 

2. SHELTER IN PLACE 1 WEEK – POWER & WATER MAINTAINED

a. POWER INTERMITTENT

b. WATER INTERRUPTED

c. LOSS OF POWER AND WATER

 

3. SHELTER IN PLACE 1 MONTH – POWER AND WATER MAINTAINED

a. POWER INTERMITTENT

b. WATER INTERRUPTED

c. LOSS OF POWER AND WATER

 

4. SHELTER IN PLACE 3 MONTHS – POWER AND WATER MAINTAINED

a. POWER INTERMITTENT

b. WATER INTERRUPTED

c. LOSS OF POWER AND WATER

 

5. SHELTER IN PLACE INDEFINITELY – NO POWER OR WATER SERVICE

 

6. ABANDON SHELTER

 

7. MAXIMUM SURVIVAL SKILLS REQUIRED

 

 

A number 1 would require different preparations depending on where you live. 3 days without power during the winter in Montana could be life threatening; however, it would be more of an inconvenience in southern California.

 

When I finished my Threat Matrix here is what it looked like:

MATRIX

THREAT

THREAT RISK

LEVEL

EFFECT OF ACTUAL EVENT

 

EVENT EFFECT RANKING DESCRIPTION

1. POLE SHIFT

2. ASTEROID           

3. MAJOR VOLCANO 

4. PANDEMIC

5. CLIMATE CHANGE

6. SOLAR FLARE

7. FLOOD      

8. MAJOR EARTHQUAKE

9. FIRE                            

10. SEVERE WEATHER                                       

MAN MADE

11. NUCLEAR ACCIDENT

12. NUCLEAR ATTACK

13. BREAKDOWN OF SOCIETY

14. BIOLOGICAL ATTACK

15. CONVENTIONAL ATTACK

16. CIVIL UNREST                   

 

 

 

0

0

1

1

1

1

3

5

7

10

 

 

1

1

2

2

3

5

7

7

7

3

4

4a&b

6

2a&b

1 - 6

1a

 

 

4

4

5 - 7

3

3

2 - 6

1. SHELTER IN PLACE 3 DAYS – POWER & WATER SERVICE MAINTAINED

    a. POWER INTERMITTENT

    b. WATER INTERRUPTED

    c. LOSS OF POWER AND WATER

 

2. SHELTER IN PLACE 1 WEEK – POWER & WATER MAINTAINED

    a. POWER INTERMITTENT

    b. WATER INTERRUPTED

    c. LOSS OF POWER AND WATER

 

3. SHELTER IN PLACE 1 MONTH – POWER AND WATER MAINTAINED

    a. POWER INTERMITTENT

    b. WATER INTERRUPTED

    c. LOSS OF POWER AND WATER

 

4. SHELTER IN PLACE 3 MONTHS – POWER AND WATER MAINTAINED

    a. POWER INTERMITTENT

    b. WATER INTERRUPTED

    c. LOSS OF POWER AND WATER

 

5. SHELTER IN PLACE INDEFINITELY – NO POWER OR WATER SERVICE

 

6. ABANDON SHELTER

 

7. MAXIMUM SURVIVAL SKILLS REQUIRED

 

 

PLEASE NOTE! I am not a preparedness expert and what I am sharing with you is so you can see how someone else approached preparing for a disaster. This is to show you how I tried to determine what level of preparation I felt was necessary since we have witnessed that 72 hours does not appear to be adequate.

 

You need to determine what your greatest realistic threat is and what the realistic effect could be and then prepare to your comfort level.

 

As a suggestion: If you know you will lose your home due to a major disaster, well there’s not much you can do to save it or its contents. However, you can make life easier when starting over by planning ahead and knowing what to take with you when you have to abandon your home.

 

What you’ll need is proof; proof of who you are, proof of what assets you owned and proof of insurance. You’ll need cash and credit cards. If your home and its contents were insured for the disaster, photos of each room in your home will help you remember what was destroyed so you can file a claim.

 

And remember, have it ready to go as you may not have much time to evacuate.

 

You can make copies of your bank account numbers, investment accounts, cover sheet on insurance policies with the number on it, driver’s license, health insurance cards, credit cards, birth certificates, wills, trusts, passports etc and seal them in a plastic baggie packed and ready to go.

 

This bag ready to go is commonly called a “bug out bag” or BOB and you should have one ready to go and you must remember every member of your family including your pets.

 

There are many sources on the Internet with recommendations regarding what should be in you BOB including Amazon and Wal-Mart.

 

Just remember, preparing is like buying insurance, you hope you’ll never need to use it, but if you do you’ll be glad you have it.

 

God Bless America

Bill

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READ CAL FIRE’S FINAL REPORT ON THE VALLEY FIRE

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ENVIRONMENTAL TERRORISM ANGORA FIRE - VALLEY FIRE

 

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