Two things go directly out the window in a natural disaster. Atheism and environmentalism. I mention atheism because living through a cataclysmic event will either make one curse the supernatural or embrace it. I mention environmentalism because living through a cataclysmic event leaves a giant mess. Along with that giant mess comes necessity. The necessity of massive paper products, bottled water, batteries, trash bags and gasoline. In spite of all that, I think that one can avoid adding too much to the mess by having a detailed, well planned, and tested disaster plan.
I ain’t talking bout batteries, candles, and beef jerky, I mean a BIG plan.
First, know where the storm shelters are in your area. If you are way out in the way out, build one. Have one built. Buy an old school bus and bury it. Drive a tank into a ditch. Just have somewhere to go if an EF4 tornado comes through your pasture and obliterates your stupid trampoline.
Second, keep a list of numbers handy. Not just plugged into your cell phone, but in a safe. Something sturdy. Put all your important documents in there too sealed in a ziploc. (It may not matter, but at least you tried). Have the gas or electric company and water phone numbers. Call IMMEDIATELY when phone service is back up and get on a list for repairs. Don’t go a month without power because you waited two days to call in.
Third, have a closet (or storm shelter) stocked with a starter kit. Put all the candles, batteries, jerky, freeze dried food, etc in there. Also throw in a few creature comforts if you have kids. A little chocolate, or coloring books. Feeling normal helps ALOT. Keep a couple of flats of water bottles. A radio! Keep a mini kit in your car as well. Families often get separated during disasters so having supplies in a vehicle is smart stuff.
Fourth, become a survival nut. Throw all the notions about fuzzy wuzzy animal love out the window. Care for your own pets of course. But if the power outages drag on into weeks or months, you will need to have basic knowledge of the outdoors. Don’t starve to death reaching for your t.v. remote like some of your neighbors. Know how far it is to the nearest source of moving water. Learn how to filter that water. Have containers to transport it. If you have a well on your property, does it have an alternative way of getting the water out when the pump kicks off? If not, invest in a small generator to keep water flowing into your home. (Follow ALL safety intructions on the generator! Don’t put it anywhere near your house. YOU WILL DIE.) Know how to build a fire. With or without matches. Boy Scout Power! Have an area that is maintained and can be used as a fire pit. Learn basic hunting and fishing skills. Have a working knowledge of edible plants in your region. (Or get a book with VERY detailed pictures and info on plants.)
Fifth, kick it old school. A lot of “issues” come up when dealing with the “potty”. If power and water outages go on for very long, consider ditching the toilet and wasting water into the tank. (So you can flush) Have a shovel handy. Dig a pit. You get the picture. Learn to do as much as you can without electricity. Even if you have a generator, there is no guarantee that there will be gasoline. By all means, keep a barrel on your property. But if a tornado or a flood destroys your supply you will have to improvise. I am going to purchase the book Surviving Off Off Grid. I mean it this time. 🙂 I may get Kill It N Grill It, too. TAKE A HUNTERS SAFETY COURSE!! Purchase an old wash basin, some bars of FelsNaptha, Zote or washing soda, and a washboard. A clothes line and clothespins will be needed as well. Keep a couple of pairs of good kitchen gloves in your survival kit.
Sixth, forget about lookin purty. If everyone loses power for several miles, getting a nice hot shower will be something you dream about.(Don’t DRIVE an hour to get a shower! GAS people!) Prepare to be less than fancy. Your nails will be dirty. Your hair will be greasy. You will stink. But everyone else will too. Day three without power, you will see people drive by to rubberneck at your misfortune. You will think malicious thoughts or maybe even shout things like “Get outta here!!! It looks like you’ve HAD a shower!! Jerkface!!!” Just keep a big bag of baking soda and several jugs of vinegar. Use it on your wings and flaps as much as you can, but don’t go crazy. You’re in a mess, you ARE a mess. Oh, and dilute it, please or you will get an awful chemical peel.
Seventh, know how to use an axe, saw, or chainsaw. You will need them! Make sure they are maintained, safe, and again make sure that you know how to use them. Keep a bag of protective gear. Pants, boots, goggles, and gloves. Also have large bandages handy.
I will add more to this list as I think on it. I have a lot to think about so bear with me.
Love and Hugs,