Periodically, I like to perform what I call a “walk around” inventory. In the simplest of terms, what that means is that I walk around my home, garage and yard with an eye peeled to deficiencies that need to be corrected to insure my safety in the event of a natural disaster. Here where I live, that primarily means an earthquake or winter storm but in fact, it could mean anything that disrupts my normal way of life.
In addition to my walkaround inventory, I go over my preparedness checklist so that I can re-familiarize myself with the things that need to be in place at all times – things that I may have allowed to go slack for one reason or another.
With hurricane season upon us, I thought it would be a good idea to uncork the preparedness test as a reminder that even though a it has been almost seven years since the last major hurricane in North America, we still need to be aware of the supplies and skills we need to have at hand to stay safe.
According to USA Today:
Six years, nine months and 30 days have passed since Hurricane Wilma came ashore with 125-mph winds near Naples, Fla. — the longest period the nation has gone without a hit from a major hurricane since the government began keeping records in 1851.
Whether you are a seasoned prepper, a newbie, or just a concerned citizen, I encourage you to take the Preparedness Test this weekend and see just how ready – or not – you are for a disaster such as an earthquake or hurricane.
THE PREPAREDNESS TEST
1. Has your family rehearsed fire escape routes from your home?
2. Does your family know what to do before, during, and after an earthquake or other emergency situation?
3. Do you have heavy objects hanging over beds that can fall during an earthquake?
4. Do you have access to an operational flashlight in every occupied bedroom? (use of candles is not recommended unless you are sure there is no leaking gas)
5. Do you keep shoes near your bed to protect your feet against broken glass?
6. If a water line was ruptured during an earthquake or hurricane, do you know how to shut off the main water line to your house?
7. Can this water valve be turned off by hand without the use of a tool? Do you have a tool if one is needed?
8. Do you know where the main gas shut-off valve to your house is located?
9. If you smell gas, do you know how and would you be able to shut off this valve?
10. Gas valves usually cannot be turned off by hand. Is there a tool near your valve?
11. Would you be able to safely restart your furnace when gas is safely available?
12. Do you have working smoke alarms in the proper places to warn you of fire?
13. In case of a minor fire, do you have a fire extinguisher that you know how to use?
14. Do you have duplicate keys and copies of important insurance and other papers stored outside your home?
15. Do you have a functional emergency radio to receive emergency information?
16. If your family had to evacuate your home, have you identified a meeting place?
IF AN EMERGENCY LASTED FOR THREE DAYS ( 72 HOURS) BEFORE HELP WAS AVAILABLE TO YOU AND YOUR FAMILY:
17. Would you have sufficient food?
18. Would you have the means to cook food without gas and electricity?
19. Would you have sufficient water for drinking, cooking, and sanitary needs?
20. Do you have access to a 72 hour evacuation kit?
21. Would you be able to carry or transport these kits?
22. Have you established an out-of-state contact?
23. Do you have a first aid kit in your home and in each car?
24. Do you have work gloves and some tools for minor rescue and clean up?
25. Do you have emergency cash on hand? (During emergencies banks and ATMs are closed)
26. Without electricity and gas do you have a way to heat at least part of your house?
27. If you need medications, do you have a month’s supply on hand?
28. Do you have a plan for toilet facilities if there is an extended water shortage?
29. Do you have a supply of food, clothing, and fuel where appropriate: For 6 months? For a year?
The Final Word
No matter how prepared you think you are, it seems as though there is always something new to do. Whether a new skill, some updated gear, or simply an update to your survival mindset, it is good to stay fresh and stay current.
Every time I take this test – which is about every 6 months – I come up with a new checklist of preps. After all, being prepared is a work in progress that will never end. With a fragile planet, a global financial mess and an ongoing threat of man-made, terrorist activities, this business of prepping is here to stay for a long, long time.
Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!
Bargain Bin: Getting the goods you need to in place to be comfortable during a major disaster when the grid is down can be daunting when you are just getting started. Always, start with food then branch out from their. Here is a list of some gear to help you along the way.
Ambient Weather Emergency Solar Hand Crank Radio: This is becoming a popular choice with Backdoor Survival readers. This unit is a Digital AM/FM NOAA Weather Alert Radio and a powerful 3 LED flashlight, with smart charger, all in one portable package.
AA and AAA Solar Battery Charger: Another popular item. This unit will charge up to 2 pairs of AA or 1 pair of AAA batteries via USB or solar power.
EcoZoom Versa Rocket Stove: Burning twigs and pinecones, this stove will cook a big pot of rice in under 20 minutes. The stove is solidly built and will burn charcoal as well. There is also a version that only burns biomass for slightly less money.
Coleman Rugged Battery Powered Lantern: This sturdy Coleman has a runtime of up to 28 hours on the low setting and 18 hours on the high setting but does require D cell batteries. Personally, I have both a battery operated and propane lantern. Of course by now you know that I like redundancy with my preps.
Dorcy LED Wireless Motion Sensor Flood Lite: Don’t let the $20 price lead you to think this wireless flood light is wimpy. I have two of these (so far) and feel that these lights are worth double the price.
Chemical Lighting aka Light Sticks: These are inexpensive, portable and easy to use. These come in a number of colors so take your pick.
In one of the best deals I have seen in a long time, this month Emergency Essentials is selling a complete 55 gallon water barrel kit for $94.99. The kit includes a 55-Gallon Barrel, a Barrel Buddy II, Aquamira water treatment, 2 bung caps and an emergency siphon. Prices lately have really come down recently – I paid about $165 for a similar kit back in early 2011.
Click here for other Emergency Essentials Monthly Specials.
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