The past few days have been a bit scary. First the major earthquake in Japan. Then the tsunami. And now the explosions and the potential meltdown of up to three nuclear reactors. What’s a gal to do? Especially a gal on the west coast of the US of A in an official tsunami zone? (The picture of the sign was snapped yesterday.)
Well first of all, I am thankful that I started to stockpile food, water and supplies. And while I am happy that I don’t need to use my stashed stuff (yet), I am simply horrified at the tragedy occurring 4,800 miles across the Pacific.
A certain degree of my personal distress comes from the knowledge that Japan, like the US, is considered a highly modernized country, with strict building standards, an educated population, and a sophisticated economic stature within the global community. This is not some third world country with an impoverished populace. And yet no matter the sophistication, it was no match for mother nature and the internal forces of planet earth.
So while I am appalled at the extent of the destruction, I am further dismayed by the lack of food, water, and warm clothing that was put away “just in case” by the segment of the population able to return to their homes. As one young man in Shin-Urayasu, Japan said:
“We’ve been provided some water rations but only about one to two liters and still not sure when we are to get more,” he said. “The city has told us we are able to take a bucket to the local elementary school to obtain some water, but the wait is about three hours.”
I would like to believe that my readers have at the very least initiated steps to stockpile their own storehouse of emergency supplies. I, for one, have been pursuing my pepping with an almost religious fervor since I started at the beginning of the year.
But this last weeks events have given me pause to think beyond the basics and to entertain the what if the unthinkable happens? How can I prepare?
Here is my quick and dirty list.
1. Purchase a supply of Potassium Iodide Tablets.
Potassium Iodide (KI) helps shield (or block) the absorption of harmful radioactive iodine by the thyroid following a nuclear emergency, which include: Spills, Leaks, Melt-downs or Terrorism. The recommended dosage for adults is 130 mg.
I highly recommend you read, print out and save the Potassium Iodide FAQ found on the FDA Website. I printed my copy and put it in my emergency first aid box.
One more note: Online sources are selling out. I meant to place an order on Saturday and found my preferred supplier sold out by Sunday. As of this writing, I was able to make a purchase. I also called some sources in the Seattle area and same thing: sold out or on order.
2. Order a supply of N100 Respirator/Filtration Masks or possibly P100 Respirator Masks.
Commonly used by asthma and allergy sufferers both of these industrial strength masks supposedly protects against radioactive materials such as uranium and plutonium. For $25 or $30, consider it cheap insurance.
3. Practice using less electricity – a lot less. You got it. Less electricity. Whereas most of the power here in my area is generated by hydroelectric generators placed in dams, hydroelectric power represents only 7% of the nation’s electrical use. About 20% is generated by nuclear facilities.
My hunch is that public sentiment and fear will force the PTB to scale back on nuclear production. We are going to see stringent inspections and yes, perhaps some shut downs of existing sub-par facilities. We all know that our President is in favor of nuclear expansion. I say not a chance, no chance in h*ll.
4. Get over the fear. If mother nature strikes, there is not a darn thing I can do to stop her. The best I can do is to plan for the worst and hope for the best. A cliché, I know. But that is the truth.
5. Hug the ones I love, and love the ones I hug. Share my bounty with my neighbors and my kindness with the world. Life is precious and at the end of our time, it won’t be the fancy cars, the elaborate home, or the diamond rings that count. It is will the feeling of peace knowing that I have lived well with love in my soul and compassion in my heart.
Not to get preachy but times like this provides a wake up call to get on with life in the best and most human way possible.
In the coming weeks I will be planning to share my thoughts on the following topics as part of my series on getting prepared, one week at a time.
- The Emergency Wardrobe: How to staying warm, clean and perhaps teensy bit fashionable even when the S.H.T.F.
- How SurvivalWoman and her husband have stockpiled prescription drugs (not an easy thing to do)
- Cooking outdoors and eating well using emergency supplies and nothing else
- Suddenly off the grid without warning. Putting my prepping tools to work for one long weekend
As always, be well and be safe.
Enjoy your next adventure, wherever it takes you!