The Compasss DeRose Guide to Emergency Preparedness: Quick Start
This page tries to reduce preparedness to a short list of checklists. It gives almost no information about the things it mentions -- rather, it assumes you're in a hurry and can either figure things out yourself, or refer to other materials. This page would be most helpful as a first cut at planning, or a check to help make sure you're not forgetting things.
This page was written in early 2003, and last update 2003-04-23 by Steven J. DeRose.
Who do you want to protect?
- Immediate family
- Additional relatives
- Friends, neighbors, or a survival group
What disasters do you want to prepare for?
- Power loss (how long?)
- Flash flood or tidal wave
- Airborne biological or chemical hazards
- Waterborne biological or chemical hazards
- Nuclear fallout (distants nukes or nearby radiological bombs)
- Nuclear blast and pressure wave (nukes maybe 10 miles away)
- Nuclear fireball (forget it)
- Societal collapse and anarchy
When will you prepare?
When a disaster happens, it's too late to do much preparation, and you're reduced to "expedient" methods: in other works, making do with what you've got. Even a warning of possible danger quickly strains supplies of bottled water, food, flashlights, batteries, plywood for window coverings, and so on. If you're going to do any advance preparation, make a plan and a budget, and do things in a sensible order: get the most important things, and the things most likely to disappear quickly, first.
Where will you go? To run or to hide
How will you decide which to do? How will you decide when it's time to do it?
Either way, how will you meet up with your group and get to the chosen place?
Where will you go?
How will you get there?
- Car in good shape
- Spare gas
- Excellent maps (topo maps such as for orienteering, not just plain old road maps. Compass. Maybe GPS. Navigation capabilities
- Off-road capability (4WD)
- Protection until you get there (gas mask?)
- Emergency equipment in car
Assume no gas will be available, and most or all roads will be hopelessly jammed.
How will you surmount any potential obstacles?
- Traffic jams
- Tree/debris blocking road (go around, use chainsaw and winch)
- Bridge out
- Contaminated areas
What's the backup plan if you can't get through to your goal?
If hiding (using a shelter, at or near home)
How will you get there if you're not there already?
How long do you want to be prepared to stay? Several hours for a big storm? 2 weeks for fallout decay? A year?
- 10CFM per person (how pumped in, how escapes?)
- How much cleaning/filtering?
- How will you protect against blast waves (say, 30PSI shocks)?
- How will you power any cleaning/airflow system?
- Most poison gasses are heavy and collect in low areas
- 1 gallon per person per day, minimum. Rotate supply
- Chlorine for purification
- Filtering supplies
- Where will waste water go?
Food supply (assume it will be too late to buy anything)
- balanced diet
- long shelf-life (peanut butter, grains, canned goods,...)
- Go through your bathroom and list everything you truly need
- Waste disposal
Cooking, heating, and lighting
- Batteries? Not for long. Bulbs?
- Candles? Not for long, and use air?
- Propane and stove? Venting?
- Utensils and cooking tools?
- Generate/recharge power?
- Non-battery-dependent radio
- Antenna on outside of shelter?
- One-way or two-way?
- Radiation survey and dose meters
Passing the time
- Compact but flexible games (cards, etc)
- Reading and writing materials
- Some means of exercise -- jump ropes, bicycle (with generator?)
Other detailed pages
Back to home page of Steve DeRose
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