Dear Extended Family and Friends,
First of all, thank you so much for your overwhelming and positive responses to my article “Be Prepared.” I would also like to take this opportunity to thank those of you who translated that article into other languages and reposted it for the benefit of others on behalf of JSMineset.
Due to your responses, requests and questions, I plan to elaborate on my previous article. Due to the volume, it is not possible for me to write individual replies to the huge number of emails. Your questions are important and the goal of writing about preparedness is to help spread the word so that we can take some prudent actions now, which may help us and our loved ones in the future.
Not all emergencies are end of the world scenarios. Just in the past few days people in Florida died and others were injured due to a weather phenomenon. Thousands were still without power yesterday in Southern Florida from weather, which wreaked havoc. We learned from Katrina that we sometimes need to be prepared to help ourselves. A government isn’t always able to act, or act quickly enough to save lives in an emergency. In the USA, FEMA was designed to keep the government in order, and in control. So, dependence on FEMA for personal survival may not be the highest choice in an emergency. With hurricane Katrina we saw massive destruction of an area in the USA in a very short period of time. The Katrina death toll is still undetermined. Hurricane Katrina is just one example of a natural disaster. Over 15 million people were affected. Katrina impacted about 90,000 square miles.
Emergencies occur everywhere. JSMineset readers are world-wide. I use Katrina as an example, but look at the disruptions in Paris after last November’s tragic attacks. Venezuela declared and economic emergency over their currency crisis. Goldman Sachs calls the past situation in Brazil an “outright economic depression” (Bloomberg) Consider things which can influence the availability of resources wherever you live. Plan to have food and water and consider other information in the original “Be Prepared” article. The need for preparedness transcends national borders.
Many of your questions have to do with an emergency scenario where you must remain in your present location. Many questions were also concerned with, what to look for in a desirable or optimal location. Although JSMineset isn’t a survivalist site, I will share my ideas and concerns for your consideration. These are things to consider. The information here are not suggestions or recommendations. Each person and family’s needs are different. No one but you can know and consider your needs; your exposure to risks; or how to use resources available for your highest good.
If you live in an area of known risk (floods, hurricanes, droughts, earthquakes, etc.) have an evacuation plan for you and your loved ones. If you can afford a retreat property, consider moving there so you are out of harm’s way. In the alternative, have an escape plan which is known by all loved ones without the need for communications systems. In an emergency, communications systems may be jammed up or unreliable. Having a plan in advance will not only save time, but reduce the stress and anxiety of trying to locate loved ones under difficult circumstances. Having an escape plan can be important for every family regardless of where you live. All areas around the world have different positive qualities and various potential hazards. Your escape may merely be from a densely populated area in a power grid failure or a transportation crisis. A trucking strike or other transportation problem could prevent food and other goods from reaching stores in densely populated areas. Have a plan to evacuate if you can, and a plan to remain where you are if you can’t evacuate. Then, hope you never need it.
Most of the Katrina deaths were older Americans, who couldn’t evacuate, or died from lack of assistance and essential services necessary to sustain life. If you are trapped in a place where you cannot evacuate, or have no other place to go, stock food and supplies, including medicines. Since power outages are often a problem, have a plan for some type of alternative heat and be familiar with all safety precautions for it’s use. A kerosene heater can not only heat your living space, but provide a means of heating food. Pure white kerosene can be stored and is shelf stable for 15 years. A filled 5 gallon blue container could be a good investment. Be completely familiar with the safety precautions for such a heater. These are ideas to consider, not suggestions for purchases. Explore your options. Working smoke/Co2 detectors and fire extinguishers are vitally important for any living space. Know how to refrigerate your medicines without electricity. In the USA, FEMA focuses most of it’s resources on evacuation and containment, and not to individual emergency survival training. You can probably obtain a brochure from your local Office of Emergency Management if you are in the USA. Many of our readers are outside of the USA and it is difficult to address any individual needs in one article. If you have medicine, like insulin which requires refrigeration you can make a refrigerator for about $5. $5 can save a life. Any boyscout knows how to make a simple refrigerator, yet most government sponsored emergency services don’t teach these skills. Know how to make a “Zeer Pot” and have what is needed available. If you Google “Zeer Pot” you can learn how to do this.
If you and your family are fortunate enough to consider a retreat location (permanent or temporary), there are some things you may wish to consider. Not everyone’s criteria will be the same… I would consider places with the following characteristics –
Not more than 20-30 minutes from a hospital with a trauma center. Google “EMS golden hour”
Not in the fallout zone of a nuclear reactor.
Not near a military base.
Not in a highly, densely populated area.
Less than 1.5 hours from an International Airport.
Location with food sources not dependent on trucking or other shipping/transport.
Clean air and environment.
Sustainable water supply not dependent on irrigation or piping from other places for water.
Continental shelf areas (research tech-tonic plates). Places where the ground isn’t unstable.
Not in an areas of high risk (floods – particularly tidal wave or tsunami, wind – tornadoes, etc)
High potential for natural disasters (hurricanes, tsunami, earthquakes, severe droughts/wild fires. Etc.)
Proximity to International borders.
Natural resources including abundant wild life.
Employment opportunity or opportunity for home bases businesses.
Quality and availability of school systems.
Access to services and utilities and reasonably reliable power sources or alternative heat/power sources.
Near others with skill sets, and farms
Near like-minded people.
Based on your interest and requests, it is my intention to share with you my thoughts on preparedness.
I realize I have not addressed many of your questions from the original article. I intend to elaborate on your other areas of inquiry. Since so much of preparedness relates to where you are, or where you could be in an emergency situation, this topic was elaborated on first. I hope this article is responsive in terms of what you may wish to consider.
Be positive, but plan. Take prudent and sensible steps and feel good about your preparations.
Have hope and be optimistic, but “Be Prepared.” As a global community we can share our ideas and thoughts which help us to support each other. We can plan and prepare and get through whatever comes. I write to you today to “Be Prepared.” When your remaining questions are responded to in future writings, I will write to you about opportunities and prosperity. Being prepared is a first and necessary step in that direction.