What are You Going to do First?

Dear Fellow Survivalist;

imagesI want to ask you a question… that is, what are you going to do first, when a disaster strikes? This is an important question and I don’t ask it lightly. But I have found that few have actually thought this one through thoroughly enough. Even people who have extensive emergency survival plans may have overlooked this one important step, building their plans on some ambiguous point in time, after the disaster has struck.

I ask this question because the first few hours after a disaster strikes can be extremely critical for you and your family’s survival. There is a limited window of opportunity there, between the time the disaster strikes and the time that everyone realizes what’s going on. Once their eyes are opened, it might be dangerous to be on the streets. So you want to take your first actions before that can happen.

There are actually a number of things you should do, but first and foremost of them all is to gather your family together, so that you can put your survival plans into effect. Since disasters don’t show up when it’s convenient for us, that probably means gathering everyone up from their workplaces, schools and after-school activities.

Of course, the other part of this is getting home yourself. While that may seem rather simplistic, how easy will it be to get home if there was an earthquake and the bridge you normally drive home over is down? Is there another route you can use? What if the streets are jammed in traffic; is there an alternate way you can get home?

Actually, making plans to get everyone home might be one of the more complicated parts of your survival planning, simply because of all the “what ifs” that exist. At one end of the spectrum, it won’t be any different than a normal day of driving home and picking the kids up from school along the way. But at the other end of the spectrum, you’re looking at having to make your way home on foot, perhaps crossing a river, other natural obstacles, or even severe damage caused by the disaster.

This is both too complicated and too important an issue to ignore; especially since ignoring it includes the implication that you’ll be no better off than those sheeple who refuse to take responsabilty for their own lives. In too many cases, family members have been separated and have had to use precious time, energy and resources to locate one another, instead of focusing their efforts on survival.

There are two key elements in this process; communication and transportation. The first, communication shouldn’t be too complicated. In today’s world, where everyone has cell phones, we are able to be in instant communication with whoever we want. So, you should be able to call your family and give them the message that it’s time to put your emergency survival plan into effect and that they need to either make their way home on their own or be ready to be picked up.

But what if the phone service is out? A number of different scenarios, most especially and EMP, would take out phone service, along with anything else electronic. If that’s the case, you won’t have any way of getting into contact with your family. What then? How will you communicate?

The easy solution is to train your kids that when the phones and power got out, that’s an automatic indicator that it’s time to put your emergency survival plan into effect. But if you never tell them that, they won’t know. They’re more likely to think it’s just another power outage and listen to their teachers tell them to stay put until the power comes back on.

Then there’s the part of transportation. Unless you have kids who are old enough that they are driving themselves to school, you’re going to have to go to where they are and pick them up. Let me say here, that you don’t want them walking home on their own, even if that’s what they are used to doing. The changed situation could make it very dangerous for them to walk home alone. Better to have them wait for you to pick them up.

But what if you can’t? What if the cars are out or that bridge I was talking about earlier? Couple that with the phones being out and your kids won’t know what to do. That is, they won’t know what to do, unless you make plans for that as well. Your plan could be to wait until such-and-such a time and then they should try to make it home on their own. Or it could be to wait until the next morning, sleeping at the school, and then try to make it home alone. Either way, you need to make sure that you and them both know what it is they are going to do, up to and including the route they’ll take home, along with any alternate routes.

For that matter, every family member needs to know every other family member’s get home plan, including all of the alternate options. Then, and only then, will you have the information to make sure that you all manage to link up once again.

So, looks like you and I have a bit more planning to do… that is, unless you’ve already thought this one through. Even so, be sure to keep your powder dry and your survival equipment close at hand.

Dr. Rich

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