I’m sitting high on the horse, watching Hardcore Henry, and eating pizza rolls. Right now, outside there are massive gusts of winds, rain is coming down in sheets and my family and I are safe, prepared, and ready to hit this storm head on. Am I a prepper or a survivalist? Sure you can call me that. I used to hate that label because, in reality, I am just practicing common sense. My hurricane preparation was no different than my tornado preparation, or my flood preparation.
That is the first building block to having a disaster preparation. Always have a plan. Hurricane Hermine didn’t come out of nowhere, but people certainly treated it like it did. I went to Wal-Mart tonight and got to observe the panic. People running back and forth, out of there minds. Bottled water was gone, batteries were gone, lamps and most flashlights were gone. and the chips were gone. I just needed some pizza rolls, and some frozen treats and a Red box movie. This was only hours before the hurricane was going to make landfall.
Proper preparation prevents piss poor performance. My wife has embraced preparing with me pretty early on in the relationship. My time in the Marine Corps taught me a few things. One of those things is that you always need a plan. Even the government advises you to keep at least three days worth of food and water in your home.
We have shelter
The next is being able to provide yourself and your family with a safe place to retreat or bug out to. My family and I had an alternative location where we could be safe with family. We even had a tertiary location if the secondary didn’t work out. Next, we made identified and recognized the threat as soon as possible and got ready for it.
Your shelter location can be a public shelter, with friends and family, a church, somewhere that is built well and safe enough to survive the storm. Your home may be the best option for you, so bug in, and batten down the hatches. Mandatory evacuations are put in place for a reason. Remember all the people who didn’t evacuate during Katrina.
Having a place to go is important, but so is actually getting there. Prepare to leave early, and be prepared early. The roads can become a nightmare of traffic and panic. A single accident can put you hours behind schedule. Move out early, avoid the last minute rushing.
We have the Gear
So we packed some clothes, a few guns, some ammo, and got ready to move. We grabbed batteries, flashlights, glow sticks, candles, and a car kit including a mini air compressor, fix a flat, and road flares. Enough to last us at least three days. Lastly, we grabbed valuables, the expensive things that could be stolen if we cannot access our homes for an extended period of time. Anything that could be affected by water had long been waterproofed. I know our gear. I know how long a flashlight will last. Each vehicle had a full tank of gas. This was all done the day before the hurricane hit.
The gear you bring is up to you. I can only suggest the basics. three days of food and water. Estimate a gallon of water day per person. Food can be anything from MRE’s to bread and peanut butter. Food is food. As long as it doesn’t require refrigeration this is entirely up to you.
Have a few good flashlights and a few cheapos as back-ups. I like the Streamlight Sidewinder and a few Cree Ultrafires. My cheapos usually go to the kids. I work in emergency management and found a box full of dollar flashlights can calm a shelter full of kids down in a heartbeat. A headlamp in the car is an absolute lifesaver when you have to change a tire. I also have a couple ‘tent’ lights. These mini lamps can be found at Walmart and perfect to light a room up after the power goes out.
I also advise changes of clothes and basic hygiene gear. A must have is a small med kit that can treat both non-emergency wounds and even some light trauma. Our’s has already come in handy when a friend stepped on a nail while securing the windows.
I also advocate choosing a few different battery platforms for lights and other necessary electronics. This makes initial logistics more expensive but makes you more flexible when certain types are sold out. I like lights that take CR123 batteries because people never seem to grab those in an emergency. Even better my TLR 3 takes C2 batteries, which are always abundant in the camera section.
In terms of bug out bags we left them alone. Our emergency packs are for less than an hours notice, so they weren’t disturbed. We tossed them in the car, but they were for absolute emergencies. If we started messing with them now, they may nor get repacked. If they aren’t packed properly we would be screwed when things really got bad.
We have a plan.
We did this stress-free, without having to panic or fret. This was the most important part of our prepping, survival-ism, whatever you want to call it. We had a plan, and we each knew each other’s responsibilities. Our plan was understood by both me and my wife and we undertook it with the same excitement and enthusiasm as unloading groceries. We even gave our son a job. He had to find all the phone chargers. He also needed to pack his toys. We loaded both vehicles in a few minutes since we’d staged everything the night before.
Notice there is no I in this game. We worked as a team. We made our preparation as a team. Preparation involves the food and water, the gear, and the right plan and mindset. We practiced beforehand, and we both understood our plan. There was communication on what we would need as a family. The decisions were made as a team. Right now I am listening to our local radios, and hearing people trapped in vehicles, some submerged, others stuck on the side of the road. Having a plan, and the gear, can prevent this from happening to you. If you wait to plan until the storms on you, you’ve waited too long.
Right now I am listening to our local emergency radios, and hearing people trapped in vehicles, some submerged, others stuck on the side of the road. Having a plan, and the gear, can prevent this from happening to you. If you wait to plan until the storms on you, you’ve waited too long.
Get what you need now. Have the water, have the food, batteries, flashlights, and whatever else you desire. Buy it now. Have a plan now. Be prepared to leave things behind. This could be a bug out bag 101 article, instead I wanted to stress the importance of being prepared. Not what the preparation is physically, but what it is mentally.
Featured image courtesy of Pixabay