Plan for Natural Disasters

Plan for Natural Disasters

For the general public, the term “Prepper” conjures images of people in bunkers full of tinned food waiting for a doomsday that will never come. There are some preppers that believe a worldwide cataclysm is about to occur. However, the majority of us have either lived through or witnessed localised cataclysms. And it is these events that we prepare for. However, even the eccentric preppers are ready for the localised disasters that may occur. Whereas the person who hasn’t prepared has prepared to fail. As we approach storm and bush fire season we should ask “What is my plan for natural disasters?”

What do you do when disaster strikes? 

There are only two responses to any disaster. You’re either going to bug-out or dig-in. Otherwise known as evacuating or sheltering-in-place. If you’re bugging-out, then you’re leaving your home to get to a predetermined safe location outside the danger area. If you’re digging in, then you’re doing so because staying home is safer than leaving. Usually, digging in will the optimum choice. All your supplies and belongings are at home. Staying home is comfortable and secure. Realistically, the only reason to bug-out is if your home is in the direct line of a disaster, such as a major flood, storm, or fire. Your plan for natural disasters needs to account for both options.

Digging-In

How do you successfully dig-in? This is the essence of self-reliance. How reliant on the grid are you? During Cyclone Yasi, Ergon Energy shut down the power grid to Townsville. The damage Yasi caused to transmission lines in the area prevented them from restoring power for nearly a week. How many meals can you cook without electricity? You may have electric hot water, this would mean a lot of cold showers. However, maybe not. The water grid also uses electricity. If there is no power for a week, then there is no main water pressure for that week also. How much water do you have stored for drinking, cooking, cleaning?

Bugging-Out

Bugging out is a completely different problem. To bug-out, you need to carry all the supplies you will need to get from the danger zone to the safe zone. This will include food, water and medical gear. As well, as protection from the elements, and any other dangers you may face.  You’ll also need a solution for taking your family and pets with you. Lastly, if you’re bugging-out, it’s likely you and your family will be stressed, maybe panicking. Therefore, you should practice your bugout plan multiple times before needing to do it for real.

Bugging out also requires a destination. You can’t reach a destination you don’t have. Your local council will have evacuation plans in place and they include evacuation shelters. However, this plans are very basic and may not take you far enough out of the danger zone. Other people who are not prepared will be relying on Government services to provide for them and they will be strained. 

Emergency Kit

Every government around the country has recommendations for Emergency Kits. Here is a link to the Queensland Government’s one. https://www.qld.gov.au/emergency/dealing-disasters/prepare-for-disasters/emergency-kit

I’ll be working on my kit, to prepare for storm and bush fire season. So, expect a few articles coming up on how I set it up. Also, keep in mind that, your emergency kit is not set and forget. Start off with the basics, and keep expanding. If you try and get everything all at once then it will cost prohibitive. However, I priced most of the gear on the Coles website for less than $100. So you could very easily set up a kit in a Coles shopping bag and leave it on a shelf for when you need it. They’ll even deliver it that day. However, it does demonstrate that you can get most of what you need a piece at a time, on your regular shopping days. 

Your Plan for Natural Disasters

Do some research into the natural disasters you’re most likely to face. These could be storms, bushfires, floods, cyclones, or whatever mother nature feels like sending your way. Put together a very basic kit that will keep you warm and fed until help can arrive. Then, expand your kit to improve your safety and comfort during a disaster. Find out your evacuation routes, in case you can’t stay home. Also find alternate routes to get home, in case you’re not home when disaster strikes. Put this information into your Plan for Natural Disasters. 

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