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CHECKLIST: Home Emergency Kit

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  • CHECKLIST: Home Emergency Kit

    Anyone interested in brainstorming out a CHECKLIST of all the things a person should have set aside for their family in case of a very serious natural disaster, flu pandemic, or other such serious extended emergency?

    There should also be links and lists on the internet to help with this.
    Last edited by CosmoGTD; 03-31-2006, 09:09 PM.

  • #2
    FEMA site.

    You can find additional info at http://www.fema.gov/rrr/emprep.shtm.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by TesTeq
      You can find additional info at http://www.fema.gov/rrr/emprep.shtm.
      Most of the information at the fema url is generic. If you live in a place that has frequent hurricanes, your planning should be rather different from a place that has tornados, heavy winter storms, or forest fires.

      Some people are very worried about terrorist attacks, which could take chemical, biological, or nuclear form. Very little in "disaster preparedness kits" would be directly useful in such circumstances. Fortunately, natural disasters remain much more likely than a terrorist attack. Hurricane Katrina has given us all a good indication of how our government agencies would respond to the need to evacuate millions of people from a disaster site. Rather than focus on individual preparation, we should demand better planning by government at all levels.
      Last edited by mcogilvie; 01-25-2006, 08:11 AM.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by mcogilvie
        Hurricane Katrina has given us all a good indication of how our government agencies would respond to the need to evacuate millions of people from a disaster site. Rather than focus on individual preparation, we should demand better planning by government at all levels.
        That seems a bit counterintuitive to me... Government has shown it can't deal with the task, so focus on government instead of individual preparedness?

        It also isn't an either/or decision. There's no reason why I can't pressure my congressman *and* stock up on emergency supplies.

        The Red Cross has some good information, sorted by the type of disaster:
        http://www.redcross.org/services/pre...0_239_,00.html

        Katherine

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        • #5
          Heinrich von Kleist wrote a short story "Earthquake in Chile." It was really a work of political philosophy. Political philosophers used to write about the "state of nature" that existed prior to society. They would look at how humanity was before there was society and they would use that knowledge to theorize a society congruent to humanity's nature.

          Kleist created a story by looking at how people behaved after an earthquake removes all the trappings of society. Disasters are a nice conceit to find out someone's view of human nature.

          Survivalists tell us that in disasters we re-enter the state of nature. Social connections, which are artificial, not natural, dissolve, and we revert to our natural, atomistic, individualistic selves. We have no obligations to others and they have none to us.

          So, I live in my small Manhattan apartment. I can't fit six weeks of water in it. But let's say I did. Let's not leave out what is perhaps more crucial to me than food--weaponry. As society dissolves, I will need to protect myself from all those other crazed Manhattanites who lacked my foresight and have gone 4 weeks with no water other than the filth they lapped from the East River and the Central Park Reservoir.

          So I better have lots of weapons and ammunition to keep these crazed hordes out of my apartment stashed with food, water, and weapons.

          I incline more towards mcogilvie's perspective. I interpret his broader point to be that there is no human nature that exists prior to society. We are, fundamentally, social creatures. We evolved from bands and tribes. We survived and flourished by cooperating with other human beings. So having relations with other human beings is an essential characteristic of who we are.

          Accordingly, if we might endure six weeks' interruption of water and power supply, we need to plan for this community-wide.

          We might live in gated communities, but they are still communities. And these crisis situations will require community-wide solutions.

          Why is this discussion relevant to GTD? David tells us to sweat in peace or we'll bleed in war. David's key metaphor is that GTD is a martial art. If there is a war to fight, I want to have a well-organized, well-prepared army on my side. I am not going to be the only cowboy in Manhattan.

          Comment


          • #6
            Actually, communities seem to be pretty robust, even in natural disasters. The reports of antisocial behavior in New Orleans seem to have been vastly exaggerated, with government officials repeating rumors that they heard from media, all based on a handful of actual incidents that grew in the retelling. There were very few reports of lawlessness after the Asian tsunami, particularly in light of the scale of the disaster.

            If you seriously believe that it will take six weeks to re-establish connections with the outside world after a disaster, then you have no business living anywhere near a city. Few, if any, cities anywhere in the world can be self-sufficient for that long. (Pyongyang, maybe, as it's so highly militarized. Salt Lake City, maybe, due to the Mormon emphasis on self-sufficiency. New York? Los Angeles? London? Forget about it.) The larger the city, the more dependent it is on a steady flow of imported food, medical supplies, etc.

            But then, there are very few potential disasters that could break connections for that long. The first significant aid started flowing into New Orleans within a week, and we all agree that response was unacceptably slow.

            Katherine

            Comment


            • #7
              Your biggest disaster threat in Manhattan is probably a terrorist dirty bomb, in which case you might need to evacuate, and therefore will be unable to enjoy your 6-week supplies of food and water anyway. So don't sweat it

              Having something like a personal firearm, gas masks, etc. is likely more important.
              Last edited by slacker; 01-25-2006, 01:09 PM.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by kewms
                That seems a bit counterintuitive to me... Government has shown it can't deal with the task, so focus on government instead of individual preparedness?

                It also isn't an either/or decision. There's no reason why I can't pressure my congressman *and* stock up on emergency supplies.
                Consider my remarks in the context they were made, that of large-scale disaster, either natural or man-made. If you have to evacuate a city, the bottleneck is evacuation, not supplies. This is intrinsically tied to government planning. In the case of a nuclear threat, people would evacuate, no matter what they are told to do. We have much more uncertainty with a biological threat, but stockpiling water, for example, is likely of limited value. Furthermore, experience with the fallout shelters of the 1950's show that most people do not properly rotate stock; many of the emergency supplies of that period would have been unusable. Some of the information on the Red Cross site is similar to advice from the fifties which was parodied as "get under your desk, put your head between your legs, and kiss your a** goodbye."

                Comment


                • #9
                  Natural disasters are far more common than either nuclear or biological threats, so it makes sense to me to prepare for natural disasters first. (Earthquakes alone killed nearly 90,000 people in 2005. How many did all nuclear and biological threats combined kill?) Earthquakes don't give advance warning that would allow an evacuation. Hurricanes bring bad weather that makes evacuation difficult or impossible, plus hurricane tracks are so difficult to predict that many people are certain to either ignore evacuation warnings or evacuate in the wrong direction.

                  So it seems to me that the chances of a disaster area being fully evacuated before the fact are fairly slim, and the chances of being stuck at home without help for some period are fairly high. Which brings us back to the wisdom of personal disaster preparation.

                  Katherine

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by kewms
                    Natural disasters are far more common than either nuclear or biological threats, so it makes sense to me to prepare for natural disasters first. (Earthquakes alone killed nearly 90,000 people in 2005. How many did all nuclear and biological threats combined kill?)
                    Agreed.
                    Originally posted by kewms
                    Earthquakes don't give advance warning that would allow an evacuation. Hurricanes bring bad weather that makes evacuation difficult or impossible, plus hurricane tracks are so difficult to predict that many people are certain to either ignore evacuation warnings or evacuate in the wrong direction.
                    Once hurricanes make landfall, they weaken rapidly, so inland is almost always better.
                    Originally posted by kewms
                    So it seems to me that the chances of a disaster area being fully evacuated before the fact are fairly slim, and the chances of being stuck at home without help for some period are fairly high. Which brings us back to the wisdom of personal disaster preparation.

                    Katherine
                    If you live in a hurricane-prone area, yes. I live in the midwest, with occasional tornados; being localized, they do not require stockpiling of food and water. We also have a crustal fault in the bootheel of Missouri, the New Madrid fault, which produced as many as 3 strong quakes in the early 19th century. For example, people in St. Louis who live in brick house without wood frames do need to be concerned about structural integrity, although I think the chance of a large quake in my lifetime is low. Personal disaster preparation yes, generic disaster kit no.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by kewms
                      Natural disasters are far more common than either nuclear or biological threats, so it makes sense to me to prepare for natural disasters first.
                      I thought we were talking about Manhattan.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by slacker
                        I thought we were talking about Manhattan.
                        I thought we were talking about emergency preparedness in general. In any case, plenty of bad things can happen in Manhattan without the involvement of "evil doers." Manhattan gets its fair share of blizzards, and the models for a hurricane hitting Manhattan are just as scary as they were for New Orleans. Manhattan is also very vulnerable to any kind of disruption of its supply lines, whether the cause is malicious or not. I seem to remember a major blackout not too long ago, for instance.

                        Katherine

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          So why so many people want to live in Manhattan?

                          Originally posted by kewms
                          I thought we were talking about emergency preparedness in general. In any case, plenty of bad things can happen in Manhattan without the involvement of "evil doers." Manhattan gets its fair share of blizzards, and the models for a hurricane hitting Manhattan are just as scary as they were for New Orleans. Manhattan is also very vulnerable to any kind of disruption of its supply lines, whether the cause is malicious or not. I seem to remember a major blackout not too long ago, for instance.

                          Katherine
                          So why so many people want to live in Manhattan?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by TesTeq
                            So why so many people want to live in Manhattan?
                            Because the small risk of death or other bad outcomes is outweighed by the perceived benefits of living in Manhattan. You are, after all, more likely to die from cancer, heart disease, or a car accident than from natural or man-made disaster. At least in Manhattan, you can take the subway.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Rotating Stock

                              I live in Florida and evacuated 2x in 2004 for Hurricanes and sat two others out at home - after they had gone across land. We only lost power at home for 13 hours. We're on the same grid as the local water and sewer company. People at work had power outages for two weeks and more. Keep in mind that you cannot use propane or charcoal stoves or grills indoors and it's not practical to use them outside during wind and rain. Those minimum of three days of food need to be things you're willing to eat at room temperature. Crackers hold up longer than bread if you have an extended power outage. When you know a storm is coming, fit as many nearly full bottles of water in your freezer that you can - leave room for ice expansion. This ice will help keep the food in your freezer and refridgerator (if you move them) cold a little longer. Also when it's hot, an almost defrosted bottle of water, ie. cold water, is a treat.

                              I have a cabinet in a bathroom that I stock at the beginning of the hurricane season. Batteries, food, paper goods. This cabinet is also home base for battery powered radios, tv, lanterns and flashlights. At the end of the season, batteries go into the normal battery drawer, food into the pantry and paper goods into backup supplies. I try to make sure the food is almost all stuff I would use anyway, even if I wouldn't normally buy it canned. Since Hurricane season ends in the holiday season, any food we don't care to eat canned, gets donated to the local food bank. Then I'm ready to restock. We buy garbage bags in large quantities at a warehouse store in drum and outside sizes, so I don't stockpile those in my supplies.

                              When we camped, the bottled water just became camping supplies. I'll have to rethink that this year.

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