No matter what curveball Mother Nature decides to throw our way, there are always ways to get ahead of the game. September is National Preparedness Month, so whether you are trying to get yourself, your family, or work prepared, I've got a bunch of tips to help you get it started.
Get Prepped or Get Wrecked -Ronan F. (11 years old)
Some natural disasters have a bit of a geography preference, while others seem like they could happen anywhere. I mean, who'd expect an avalanche to roll in by the beach or desert. Tsunamis might not affect those living at high elevations, but they would impact those residing in coastal towns. When it comes to storms and earthquakes, they can appear unannounced, no matter where you are. Although earthquakes are often concentrated in specific zones, such as the notorious "Ring of Fire," their occurrence beyond these anticipated regions is not implausible. While we can not plan for every disaster, it is nonetheless possible to establish general contingency plans.
Droughts, in contrast, can manifest without geographic constraints. Case in point: this year's fires in Western Canada, burning for months and blanketing the upper United States in smoke. These blazes devour precious natural resources as they rage through extensive woodlands.
Even in tropical paradises like Maui, Hawaii, disaster can strike with unforgiving force as seen with the recent fires. Many people choose to jump into the ocean to escape the flames. The Maui fire is now the deadliest in US history with a death toll of 114 people so far. Unfortunately, there are hundreds still missing. There have been reports of a shortage of water, food, gas, and medical supplies. There is only a single road connecting Lahaina to the rest of the island, and it was severely damaged by the fires causing logistical issues for recovery efforts. Individuals from neighboring islands began bringing in supplies by boat.
Being prepared isn't just about stockpiling supplies; it's a whole mindset. If all my preps go up in flames, will I survive? I think I would. As tough as it'd be, prepping is what I do, it is my lifestyle—I'm a fighter who does not give up. Just knowing and being prepared allows for a sense of freedom.
Preparedness allows us to ACT vs RE-ACT! -Ola Griffin
Act is to take action vs re-act is to respond!
Maintaining a positive state of mind is one of the things that can help us get through a bad situation. Negativity often leads to bad expectations, which sometimes unfortunately tends to emerge. Keeping a positive and optimistic perspective will allow you to see a better outcome and help keep a calm composure during a disaster.
Modern radar and weather forecasting has given us the benefit of having time to get prepped or be ready for impending hurricanes or severe storms. How can we prepare our homes for such events?
Watch this video for insights:
Damage can be minimized by trimming tree limbs near the house, securing patio furniture and umbrellas, and fastening loose outdoor items. Personal protective equipment (PPE) such as goggles, sturdy gloves, and boots are essential. Functional batteries for tools like chainsaws, radios, and flashlights are a must. A solar or regular generator, along with fuel, is wise. Most important is to learn how to use these items beforehand and conduct test runs if unfamiliar, ensuring readiness for any scenario.
Tornados: Get Ready Before The Storm
We have seen an increasing amount of severe weather disasters over the last few years: the Buffalo Blizzard 2022, the Texas freeze of 2021, the 2022 California blizzard impacting the Sierra Nevada and San Bernardino Mountains, and the perilous wind-driven fires like the 2018 Paradise California Fire or the recent Maui Fire. These have showcased that having a plan for the unexpected is wise and not only will provide a sense of peace, but it can also save your life. Preparing for disasters doesn't indicate a desire for misfortune; rather, it allows the mind to act fast without overthinking during moments of urgency.
I wouldn’t live in Tornado Alley without coming up with a plan to take shelter if tornado sirens go off. What if you are just driving through that region though, do you know what to do if you are on the highway and have one in your path? You may not have time to google it on your phone.
Tornado Scenario #1:
Consider this scenario: while driving on an Oklahoma highway, you spot a funnel cloud materializing in a field ahead. Up ahead of you see a bridge, and behind you a small town you passed a mere 1 or 2 miles ago. Large cornfields flank both sides of the road. What course of action would you take?
A) continue to drive?
B) turn around and try to outrun the tornado?
C) pull over and stay in the vehicle?
D) get out of your car and jump into a ditch?
E) drive back to the small town and find shelter there?
F) drive to the bridge and take shelter there?
If you said to stay in your car or to take shelter under a bridge, you are incorrect. Tornadoes can effortlessly lift cars and even large trucks. Experts advise to avoid taking shelter under bridges as they can create a type of dangerous wind tunnel effect, causing debris to become missile-like projectiles. Trying to outrun a tornado in a car is not the best choice either. The rest of the options would be based on if I could safely return back to the small town or a place with a sturdy structure. If I can not turn around and get out of the tornado’s path the best choice would be to get out of the car and jump into a ditch while laying low and covering your head.
Most storms have warnings—converging clouds, hail, clear skies behind but tumultuous ahead. If I would see any of these signs I would choose to find shelter as early as possible and take a break from driving.
Tornado Scenario #2:
Consider another scenario: You are at a relaxing home at night with your family, when all of a sudden you hear sirens blaring and a notification on your phone that a tornado is approaching. You must quickly decide what is the best course of action to protect you and your family. In these critical moments, you may have mere seconds to decide what to do and which can dictate your outcome. If you do not have a game plan prepared, you are re-acting instead of acting.
According to CDC guidance, your optimal course of action is seeking refuge in a basement or an interior windowless room on the lowest floor. Shielding and protecting your head is what is most important.
To learn more and see what else experts say, visit the CDC website: Stay Safe During a Tornado | Tornadoes | CDC
This circles back to the concept of maintaining composure in the face of disaster. Given the impossibility of anticipating every variable, being mentally prepared to assess your surroundings becomes crucial. This helps you figure out the best ways to keep yourself and your loved ones safe. Remember the value of having a plan in place so you and your family can ACT.
This marks the beginning of our Emergency Preparedness Blogs. We're excited to assist you in getting prepared for any natural disaster that might come your way. Stay tuned for upcoming blogs on preparedness in the next few weeks.
Ola Dee Griffin
Long-Term Food Storage Expert
Customer Service Dept.
Safeguard Brands, Inc., DBA PackFreshUSA.com
YouTube Creator (14) Pandemic Prepsters - YouTube
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