November 12, 2012

Are You Prepared?

Filed under: Probable Cause — Bill @ 11:22 am

Hurricane Sandy should be an eye-opener for all of us.  While we don’t see hurricanes in our immediate area, some people will remember the Mt. St. Helens volcano eruption in 1980 and then Firestorm ’91.  Many will also remember Ice Storm 1996.  Though the most recent of these was 16 years ago, they show that our area is susceptible to disasters that are at best uncomfortable and inconvenient and at worst, fatal.

One of the ongoing lessons being taught by Hurricane Sandy is that some people were personally prepared and so have been able to better adapt to the discomfort and devastation associated with relocation and the loss of personal property.   Their personal preparation helped them survive.   Instead of relying entirely on the federal, state, and local governments as well as non-government organizations such as the American Red Cross, they had some form of plan and had made some level of preparation to better help them survive. 

There are two overlapping phases of emergency planning:  emotional/psychological preparedness and then plan preparation and execution.  Both are equally important.  Each phase feeds and reinforces the other.

There are a bazillion websites and publications to help people who want to devise their personalized family emergency preparedness plan.

I’ve looked at two good publications which address the emotional/psychological phase especially well but from markedly different perspectives.  Then they both provide unusually comprehensive lists of things to think about and address in developing a plan to survive.

The first online publication is the US Air Force Search and Rescue Survival Training Manual, AF Regulation 64-4, Volume 1, dated 15 July 1985.  Chapters 1 through 6 are devoted to the emotional and psychological preparation to survive in friendly or hostile environments and among friendly or hostile people.

The second online publication is the 2011 LDS Preparedness Manual.    The “practical logistics” of surviving are discussed throughout the manual, but a more sociological approach to discussing the emotional/psychological preparation begins about page 129 with the topic “Ok, But What Do I Prepare For?”    This manual is far more comprehensive and informative than the Air Force SAR manual, and it is far easier to read and more practical as well.

Neither of these manuals is the end-all and be-all for family preparation.  They are good starting points, good food for thought, to help families organize their own personalized preparedness plans tailored to each family’s particular needs.

Be prepared.



  1. You forgot about the floods of 1996 and 1997, in North Idaho.In Febuary,of 1996 the weather warmed up significantly, and caused massive flooding esp. in Kingston and St.Maries,Id. There was water up to peoples window sills in Kingston and some lost homes in Benewah county.The Dike Rd.around NIC was almost breached by the flooding. The Tubbs Hill parking lot had alot of water on it.

    The question is:”Are you prepared”? My family has been into food storage for 35 years now. I know of some people who have bought alot of food staples for a impending disaster like wheat etc. Some even think there will be civil disobedience in the country some day. Hard to imagine but, things could turn sour if the economy keeps going south.

    Comment by kageman — November 12, 2012 @ 2:08 pm

  2. kageman,

    Thanks for reminding me. Yes, I had forgotten about those.

    Even the snowfalls in 2007-2008 and 2008-2009 caused some serious problems.

    We rarely have earthquakes here, but they are possible as well. I was living and working in Los Angeles when both the Whittier Narrows (1987) and the Northridge (1994) earthquakes hit. It is hard to imagine houses being shifted completely off their foundations and 15-foot diameter steel-reinforced concrete freeway support cylinder pillars being crushed endo as if they were aluminum cans.

    Good for you and your family for thinking ahead and being prepared.

    Comment by Bill — November 12, 2012 @ 3:27 pm

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