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Safe & Ready April 26, 2011

Posted by acroanmph in Public Health.
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Are you prepared?

Alright, preppers and survivors! Based on my recent poll results, this post is dedicated to all of you who indicated Emergency Preparedness as one of your top three public health topics of interest. There’s a lot of ground to cover before the world ends, so without further ado…

I’ve avoided this particular topic in the past because there are so many variables. What kind of disaster are we preparing for? How long do our supplies need to keep us alive? Do we plan differently based on whether it is summer or winter? Is it a local, national, or global crisis? Will there be any resources available anywhere in the world? Is it a simple storm that caused power outages for several days, or is it a nuclear or bioterrorist attack which could draw out the “final days” for many months? Would it be safe to venture outside? The required amount of endless supplies would fill my garage, or my house even, so I think, “Voila! I’m prepared. My emergency preparedness zone is my house.” Which, as we all know, is a cop out. How to prepare, exactly, is a conundrum that makes my head spin and frankly, results in complete lack of preparation.

Alas, I have unearthed some tips and techniques to simplify the daunting task of Emergency Preparedness.

  1. Find out from a local agency which disasters are most likely to occur in your area and what type of community plan is in place.
  2. Use the AAP site to help create a family disaster plan, supply checklists and even family evacuation tips.
  3. Homeland Security offers blank contact cards and a family communications plan form, and a site for a putting together an emergency kit, making a plan and staying informed.

The likelihood of large-scale disasters is proving to be a sudden, increased cause of terror for many people. The manufacturers of Mountain House freeze-dried foods (you know, the pouches we love to take camping) are sold out! From the Mountain House website:

As you know we have removed #10 cans from our website temporarily. The reason for this is sales of #10 cans have continued to increase… We expect this situation to be necessary for several months although this isn’t a guarantee..Orders with #10 can foods or food reserve units are processing in about 28 business days due to the extremely high demand that has been caused by our nation’s current political & economic uncertainty as well as high inflation fears. We anticipate prices will soon rise as are all food prices worldwide.

Uncertainty of all kinds has prompted a renewed interest in readiness. From ancient to new age predictions, extreme weather and global economics, elevated threat levels, we are worried. The preppers movement has a network in every state for survivalists who depend on self-reliance, and a site that gets over 5,000 hits per day.

Stock up on your supplies, complete the checklist, devise a plan with your family and hope for the best. While even the most prepared of us wouldn’t stand a chance against a tsunami, wildfire or volcanic eruption, these calamities are rare. It is likely we would be able to sustain ourselves until the situation improves or help arrives, and that is the point.

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