September, 2010

10 Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Get Prepared

Our final question has to do with mobility. In your expected emergency scenarios, will you be stationary and remain where you are, or is it possible you will have to be mobile and relocate? Obviously your response may change based on the scenario or the duration of your circumstances.

Are you aware of all the implications and planning required depending on how you answer this question? There are so many potential scenarios, it is important to consider what is needed if you are preparing to be mobile and leave an established residence or hunker down in the homestead with intention to wait out the emergency.

What transportation options will be necessary and available? Where would you go is you had to evacuate or relocate right NOW? In a perfect scenario, where would you prefer to go IF you could get there? How much space and weight is needed to transport your supplies? Do you have enough fuel (do you now beforehand what fuels you need to operate the vehicle) to get to where you want to go?

Staying put comes with its own challenges. As was discussed yesterday, staying connected to the outside world and up-to-date with current emergency conditions may prove to be critical. Having enough food and water, proper first aid, clothes, etc. is all part of proper planning. Take the time to review your answers to the ten questions. Start getting prepared based on your potential scenario. You and your loved ones will be glad you did.

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#9 (Made Famous by the Beatles) Communication (Breakdown – Made Famous by Led Zeppelin)

Welcome back to our ten part series on preparedness. Today’s discussion centers on communication. Question nine is: What means of communication do you have available to you during an emergency and with whom do you need to communicate?

For most of the population a cell (also known as mobile) phone is their principle means of staying connected to family and friends. What if the cell towers are not functioning? Have you ever tried to dial out after an event when everyone else appears to be doing the same thing? If you have, you know it is nearly impossible to use your phone. Now multiply that by tens of thousands. Other two way communication devices such as satellite phones, walkie-talkies, short wave radios, and lets not forget the trusty land-line, can all be impacted by a natural or man-made disaster.

As you might understand, accurate information and updates can be essential for survival in certain situations. One-way communications from radio stations or emergency broadcasts are critical in a serious emergency.

What precautions have you taken to stay connected to the “outside world” to insure they know you are safe and you know they are safe? It is not uncommon for a loved one to be stranded at work unable to get home right away. Are you prepared for that?

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10 Must See Questions on Preparedness – #8

How did you survive yesterday’s discussion about money? We understand it may seem crazy to have a conversation about socking away money when many are living paycheck to paycheck and still are not making ends meet.  For some, today’s question may feel just as invasive: What are the special needs of yourself, family, or others you care for that might arise during the scenarios you find likely?

Important stuff – especially when one considers medical issues (prescription drugs for example), nutritional and dietary requirements, as well as physical and emotional limitations that may be prevalent in one’s situation. These only build and potentially become unmanageable in a long-term situation. Psychological, emotional, medical, and social impact can be catastrophic even in the best of situations, so it is imperative pre-planning occur in all cases.

Something people rarely consider is how families are separated during an emergency. Communication is often impacted and connecting on a timely basis becomes difficult if not impossible. It is important to consider your personal, family work, and community communication needs during an emergency.

Some people own pets. Dogs, cats, birds, and salt-water fish for example all need unique care. Those of you who do not own a pet consider the reality that they live all around you and you may be forced in a situation you may not have planned for.

Lastly, for some, their faith is their priority. Whether the spiritual factor be in preparedness planning and implementation, there are those who follow the guidelines of their Church. Some, such as the LDS faith, have excellent resources regarding preparedness and many come to rely on this prayerful approach. Tomorrow we discuss communication needs in depth.

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Question 7 – MONEY: Are you Prepared

Welcome back to our preparedness discussion.  How are you doing with your list? Have you been prioritizing what your needs are and discussing with family and friends your plan? Sometimes the resources we need are right under our noses so it helps to be in the emergency preparedness discussion with others.

Today we tackle a tough question about money during a difficult time in our current economy. Most have no idea of the potential financial impact an emergency may have on them. For example more than half of all the businesses impacted by a disaster scenario never recover and go out of business. It can be no less devastating to your families financial situation.

So here it is: Do you have an understanding of the financial implications of your projected emergency scenarios? This includes the costs of preparation, the ongoing financial obligations that may occur during and after an emergency, as well as understanding the choices needing to be made going forward to be adequately prepared.  With the recent earthquakes in Haiti, it was said those with money were able to get some of the things they needed while others could not.

For most folks it will be necessary to honestly assess the personal and family financial priorities during the preparedness process. Have you set aside enough cash or items for barter for any unforeseen emergencies? We encourage you to start, however small, to set aside a few dollars here and there. In no time, you will have built up a nice little emergency fund. During a disaster situation, keep in mind SMALL bills work best. Not everyone is able to make change and you might find yourself giving $20 for a case of water that only costs $6.

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10 Questions to Ask Yourself BEFORE You Start Getting Prepared – #6

Yesterday we talked about dependence, who are you depending on and just who is depending on you during an emergency situation. Question six fits like a glove in yesterday’s conversation and it goes like this: Do you have a list of essential or at least important supplies you believe will be necessary to have on hand during your estimated emergency?

There are numerous lists available in books, videos, and on various blogs that cover the emergency preparedness subject. If you have been following along this past week, you understand it is critical that your list be designed to fit your estimated scenario.

Do you have a list of the essential categories your supplies fall under and is it prioritized? For example, we know people can go much longer without food than they can water, or it is easier to go without that comfortable pair of shoes or a book, than it is food or a blanket to stay warm with. Survival classes often teach the most important tool is a knife OR a tool that contains a knife, as well as a can opener, etc.

We at MBC believe it is best to take an inventory of what you have on hand right now. No sense re-inventing the wheel. Set aside some food and water items that will keep well in a cool place (preferably a basement). There are numerous resources readily available that can provide you with a list of what you will need in an emergency situation. Check in with some of these resources to insure you have what you and your family need.

Tomorrow we will talk about money and the potential financial implications your circumstance may bring up for you.

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