Many people think that all Preppers do what they do because they think that the end of the world is coming. While this may be true for some, many preppers also prepare for everyday events and disasters.
As I sit watching the news over the last few days, I see people who were killed and injured in a bombing in Boston. Then yesterday another explosion close to where I live in Texas levels almost an entire town, killing at least 5 and as many as 15, injuring hundreds and leaving thousands without a place to live. There were thousands that were told to evacuate in a matter of minutes. One lady didn’t even have on any shoes and was loaned a pair.
The first thing that came to my mind was how very grateful I am to have a Get Home Bag in my truck with me wherever I go. It really got me thinking how truly unprepared most people are for everyday events and disasters. Prepping is something that everyone should do to some extent or another. Events and disasters can happen anytime, anywhere and to anyone. Having some basic supplies and plans in place can mean the difference between survival, total chaos and death. That may sound somewhat extreme, but let’s see where this leads us.
In the town of West is a small community along I-35 between Dallas and Waco with a population of just under 3,000. There are few routes in and out of the town. When the fertilizer plant exploded most of the town was affected physically. Many surrounding emergency response agencies were coming into the town and residents were attempting to evacuate. Power in a lot of the town was not functioning. Streets were crowded with vehicles, people on foot and debris.
Now put yourself in that situation. Your house has been leveled, everything that your own is gone, and you have been told that you need to evacuate due to the possibility of more explosions and toxic fumes. What do you do? How will you get out? What can you take with you?
As I mentioned before, I always have a Get Home Bag with me. This is at least a three days’ supply of food, shelter, extra clothes, weapons and ammo. If I need to go somewhere in a hurry and I am not home I have my bag with me. I can get home and get other supplies. In this case “other supplies” were probably gone, but I have the means to survive for at least three days with what I can put on my back.
Next, how do I get to where I am going if my vehicle is running and I can drive? Do I already have gas? Most likely the availability of gas is going to be short. For this reason, keeping at least a half a tank of gas at all times should be normal. You can never count on their being gas available. Look at the long lines of cars waiting for gas before, during and after Hurricane Sandy. Cars were left where they were because they ran out of gas and there was none to be found.
A lot of the families in West were not together when the explosion happened. They were in multiple locations and the news was showing many family members trying to find each other. Do you have a location that is designated as your families Meet Up Spot? Do you have a secondary location in case the first is either destroyed or unsafe? This is a plan that you should not only have in place, but practice regularly. Children need to know where to go and wait for parents or older siblings. Have a plan in place that states how long to wait before going to the alternate spot. Stay together for safety and stick to your plan. Plans may have to be changed, but have contingencies planned and make those decisions as a family or group.
Do you have multiple routes to your Meet Up Spot and to get out of the area if needed? You never know if roads will be blocked by law enforcement, emergency personnel, fallen trees, landslides, or gangs. Make sure that you have planned and practiced the different routes and that everyone in your family or group knows them.
One last item that is very important is Documentation. Make sure that you have copies of sensitive documents; banks accounts, birth certificates, social security cards, insurance, and immunization records in a secondary location. If your entire house is leveled and you have to leave NOW, you will only have what is in your Get Home Bag or at your secondary location. These documents will be very important. Also, if you have the means, have some extra cash stashed in your bag. Last time I checked cash still buys things.
We never know when a bomb will go off, a tornado will pass through, a blizzard will happen, or another event or disaster will affect our families. These basic preparedness plans can make a difference to our families and friends. Plan and Prepare for the events that you feel may affect you and your family.
Plan, plan, plan then plan again, then have 10 contingencies for your plans.