It may seem like Monday morning quarterbacking, but we want everyone to think about what happened recently in the SE United States to prepare. When you prepare and plan ahead you limit the number of bad things that can happen to you and your family when a major storm or event hits your area.
The Urban Survival Center sent out an email prior to the storm reminding everyone to be prepared, but we know that everyone is very busy and the email was easy to over look or not read immediately. So we thought we would cover the topic in a little more detail and provide some information you may find helpful.
There have been two major winter storms over the past few weeks that created tremendous problems in the eastern United States. Even those living in Florida were affected by the cold, freezing rain and some snow. In each of these storms people were trapped in their cars for hours. In some cases, it took people almost 18 hours to transverse what was a 1 hour drive under normal circumstances. It was amazing to me how many people blamed the government for the travel problems and yet they showed no signs they were any better prepared for the winter storm.
There are many things you can so to prevent yourself from suffering when these winter storms occur. As with all prevention methods, planning is the key to success.
Thus, the first step is to have a Get Home Plan.
1. If you feel there is an impending storm, whether a winter or summer storm. Especially, if the weather sources are warning of a potentially dangerous situation in the near future. Thus, you have several days notice of the impending event. Then do not go out . Stay home and hunker down. This includes weather systems like severe thunderstorms, hurricanes, winter snow storms and ice storms.
2. If you do need to go out to work, school or for any reason then you need a Get Home Plan. As mentioned, in my article on Urban Survival, you should have several safe havens . Thus, as part of a good plan you should have access to several safe havens.
This means you and your family need to know the locations they can go to for safe haven. Whether it is your mom and dad’s house, brother or sister’s place, your office or even a friend’s home. These are locations that you have the key and permission to enter during times of emergency. This also makes it easier for family members to locate each other.
3. you need to communicate with your family. It is imperative, that you let them know where you are and your plans. This is vital. The extra strain of a family worrying and even taking the chances of going out and looking for you, places more people at risks.
4. If you get upset about your situation, then you will make bad decisions. It is very important in these untoward situations that you do your best to remain relaxed and think about your actions. For example, in the most recent storm in Atlanta, it took many people extended hours to travel very short distances. That can be very frustrating and cause you to be hurried and anxious. All which can lead to distractions and cause you to make incorrect decisions.
5. Finally, you need to have a Get Home Bag in every vehicle. This is essential to your safety in a natural disaster or storm, in particular when you might be trapped in your vehicle for an extended period of time.
Your Get Home bag can be a backpack, duffel bag or an overhead luggage case. It should be a container you can easily wear or carry if you need to be mobile. These all can be placed in the truck of your vehicle.
For your convenience I have listed the twenty essential contents of you Get Home Bag.
Get Home Bag Contents
1. Season appropriate clothing including shirt, sweater, pants, socks
2. Work gloves
7. Rope 50ft
9. Compass/GPS/Local map
12. Water/Gatorade/Juice x3
13. Snacks/Candy bars/Gum
16. Prepaid credit card($100)/Cash ($50)
17. Personal Protection supplies
18. Two days of medications
19. Toilet paper
20. Wet wipes
We hope this information will be of value to you and help you avoid being caught unprepared in an incidence like this again.
The best to all of you and be safe,
About Dan C: Dan has lectured in over 250 American Heart Association Advanced Cardiac Life Support Provider Courses (ACLS) and over 40 ACLS Instructor Courses, over 50 American College of Emergency Physician Basic Trauma Life Support Provider (BTLS) Courses and 20 BTLS Instructor courses and in over 30 American College of Surgeons Advanced Trauma Life Support Provider (ATLS) Courses, 5 ATLS Instructor courses, 40 American Heart Association Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) Provider and Instructor Courses and 30 American College of Emergency Physicians Advanced Pediatric Life Support (APALS) Provider and Instructor Courses. He has also lectured nationally at several national medical meetings on Trauma verses Medical Patient Assessment, Emergency Airway Management, Pediatric Resuscitation, Emergency Trauma Patient Assessment and Management, Emergency Cardiac Care, and Critical Care Aeromedical Transport.