Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Making a List

He's got 'em on the list — he's got 'em on the list;
And they'll none of 'em be missed
— they'll none of 'em be missed.
- operetta Mikado by Gilbert and Sullivan
When discussing Emergency Planning, everyone wants a list. For surely if I buy everything on the list I'll be safe, right? Wrong. Every family will have unique needs depending on children and their ages, pets, elderly, medical conditions etc. Instead of a list of things I present a list of questions to help you plan on what you'll need if you must shelter in place or evacuate.

Bodily needs
   What will I drink?
   What will I eat?
   How will I stay clean?  Toilet & toiletries
   How will I handle medical emergencies/first aid?

Mental/Social needs
   How will I stay sane and reduce stress?  Toys for kids, Scriptures, puzzle books, ...
   How will I stay informed? Emergency Radio
   How will I communicate to others for help?  cell phone, whistle, fire

Environmental needs
   How will I breathe?  Face mask?
   How will I see in the dark?  Matches, flashlights, etc.
   How will I stay warm? Heat, fire, blankets, spare socks, coats, etc
   How will I avoid heat exposure in summer? Hat, sunscreen. sunglasses, water
   How will I stay dry?  Shelter, rain gear
   How will I sleep?

Bottom Line

The list should be fairly obvious but for one. Everyone overlooks the "How will I breathe" topic.
The idea of sealing yourself in a room with plastic and duct tape against a chemical spill or terrorist attack is great, until you run out of air and die. With 9/11 the air was thick with dust and asbestos so covering your face was essential. During blackouts people die from using a gas powered generators inside their homes and experiencing carbon-monoxide poisoning. So don't forget air.

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