Large Scale Natural Disasters, Like Hurricane Matthew, Can Bring a City to Its Knees. Are You Prepared?
If you live in the Southeast, this time of year is ripe for hurricanes. The Southeast coastline hasn’t been hit hard by a deadly natural disaster in many years. As you may know, Hurricane Matthew has already taken the lives of 280 people (updated 7 Oct 2016) in Haiti and the Dominican Republic and is heading straight for the continental US shoreline. Supplies, power, and infrastructure is expected to take a big hit as the storm approaches. Likely, there are going to be thousands without food and water. There are 7 million people to be expected without power when this storms hits the US.
Have you done anything to prepare?
What do you do in the event you’re not prepared for an emergency like this? What if you choose to ride out the storm? Your house may not be affected, but supplies are what is essential in this scenario. What if gas and oil lines are ruptured? What if grocery stores lose cooling and the food is spoiled? What if power lines are knocked out and you have no way to charge your devices?
These are questions you have to ask yourself if you live in any area affected by large scale natural disasters. In every case, being prepared is better than having no plan. Being prepared and having a plan is the best way to survive a disaster. If you don’t have either of these in place, we’re here to help.
Essential Items for Natural Disasters
You’ll need to have non perishable food on hand with a shelf life of more than 7 days. Likely, you don’t have any in your house. At least not enough for 7 days. In a disaster you’re going to be stuck inside your house for while. If power goes out, food will start to spoil in 2 hours. We’ve reviewed Food4Patriots before. For food storage during natural disasters, they are a solid company for getting up to 3 months of non perishable food on hand for years worth of disaster preparedness. Their kit comes in a lockable storage box for safety. If you’re on the fence, you can try it free.
In a disaster, cash is king. The entire economy hasn’t tanked and any affected area will still be able to use money. Plastic currency; your VISA, AMEX and Chase cards are obsolete. Plan on $50-$100 a day in reserves for a disaster scenario. In a disaster economy, prices rise. You need to be prepared to barter and wheel and deal and use your wits with cash. Keep in mind, local stores (if they’re open) will not be able to break large bills so keeping 5s, 10s, 20s in the mix is a good idea.
Emergency Contact List
If you have to leave town, you’ll need to know where to go and have a point of contact outside the affected area. Don’t rely on your phone either. Since mobile phone use has risen, no one ever remembers phone numbers of family or close friends. Keep a physical notebook and map on hand in a drawer or somewhere safe. If you plan on using a vehicle to leave, keep it in the glove box or in a bug out bag.
Do you know how much water you use daily? Drinking, cooking, washing and otherwise, one person can use up to 2 gallons a day – and that’s being conservative. It’s a safe measure to have 1 gallon of fresh water stored per adult per day when prepping for a disaster. Table top water filters that rely on gravity and no electronics are a good item to have as you can filter thousands of gallons of “dirty” water without needing to plugged in anywhere.
You can gain the ability to filter any water source (lakes, rivers, streams, or stagnant water) into fresh, drinkable water without boiling. One filter can easily produce 5,000 gallons of fresh water for you family in a disaster situation.
There are many table top, gravity fed water filters online and in stores. They are reasonably priced for what they can offer. From what we’ve seen, we recommend the AlexaPurePro Table Top Water Filter – Click here to learn more
Nearly everyone can stock up on supplies but when planning an escape route you’ll need to know where you’re going first. It helps to have contacts outside the disaster zone that you are expected to go to in the event SHTF. Do you know what routes you are going to take from your house to a contact on your emergency list? What are the safest routes to resupply areas, your kid’s school, the office and back to your house? Will you need to plan multiple routes in case a bridge collapses?
Take it all into consideration when planning routes. Keep digital notes on a back system like Dropbox in addition to having physical copies.
In the event you need to locate the closest shelter for medical care or locate loved ones that may have been moved into Red Cross shelters, be sure you know where the closest ones are. Check the RedCross website for locations near you.
Speaking of medical care, you should have a trauma kit on hand. Not only for yourself, but in the event you are a first responder to a person or family member in need, you’ll need to prevent blood loss, open air ways, or splint a broken arm to keep the person stable until you reach a sufficient aid station at a Red Cross shelter.
We just received the SOFREP Crate Club gear last week (which we’ll be reviewing soon). This quarter was the Wild Hedgehog SOFREP Tactical Medical Kit. You can read more about it visiting that link, we won’t go into details here.
You can also build your own medical kit. At a minimum, you need field dressings, ibuprofen, Advil, Immodium, scissors, para cord and a tourniquet.
Bottom line, you need to get the essentials if you haven’t already. If you live anywhere on the East Coast of the US, you should have the above items. History has proven that just because you live in the North East, doesn’t mean you’re out of range for a major storm like Hurricane Irene in 2011.