March has come in like a lion and here in Missouri, we’re only weeks away from tornado season. In fact, it is Severe Weather Awareness Week and the 39th Statewide Tornado Drill occurred March 5th. When I asked ChefBoy how it went, he gave me his “what planet are you from and what did you do with my mother” look and said, “What tornado drill?” Nice! Hopefully his school district will manage to conduct a proper drill before a tornado warning is actually issued.
I wanted to do this article because after a fairly calm Holiday season, meaning not a lot of snow, we just got hit with about 17″ a week or so ago. As always happens when a storm of that magnitude is predicted, the store shelves emptied of bread and milk and even bottled water. Yes, it surprises me that some of my neighbors would worry enough to grab water! Clint teased me about how Walmart and the National Weather Service are in cahoots in order to move product. And, actually, I usually agree with him that the storm isn’t going to be so bad. But I had my own bad feeling about this last one and insisted that we be prepared for the worst.
- Preparing for Disaster – Federal Emergency Management Agency
Regardless of how you “feel” about FEMA, this brochure is a great place to start when you’re thinking about Disaster Preparedness. The first step is to be informed! It is not FEMA’s fault that the citizens of New Orleans were not prepared for a disaster. It was screaming across the Gulf of Mexico straight for them and those folks didn’t lift a finger to protect themselves. They were not informed. They did not know what the procedures were for a disaster. Don’t make the same mistake!
This site is based out of California and focuses on an earthquake. I like this site because it’s somewhat interactive and breaks the information down into categories such as utilities and first aid. We’re also on a fault line here in Missouri, so knowing some of the things that need attention (such as how to turn off the gas) after an earthquake is great! We should learn from those who have experienced such a disaster!
What I like about this particular article is that it was a feature of the Mental Health section of the site. A lot of people get really depressed or anxious when they think about the possibility of a disaster striking! From the article:
“Individuals think that they have to do everything [advised by the experts],” says Michelle Hudgins, spokeswoman for the American Red Cross. “Everything is not necessarily right for you or your family. Individuals need to figure out what aspects [of the information] are relevant to their lifestyle.”
The other thing I like about this particular article is that at the end there is a list of things in your inventory that you need to keep fresh. They’ve included a list of items and how frequently you should replace them.
- Backwoods Home Magazine
This magazine has been a great source of information for many, many years and this particular article I’ve linked to was written in 2002. Things haven’t changed much! Most people are STILL not prepared for a major disaster. We see them on the television on an almost daily basis! Anyhow, I like this resource because it goes into detail about the things that have and can happen during a disaster.
During one earthquake in southern California, people were lined up outside hospitals to get Band-aids. They were so unprepared that they did not even have basic first aid kits, overwhelming medical personnel who were trying to deal with the severely injured.
- Be Red Cross Ready
arcbrcr.org is a great website to use to begin your preparedness plans! This site is completely interactive and lets you set up the information online and then send it to family members and yourself. If you’ve been putting off the planning, then this might just be the nudge you need to get the ball rolling!
By the way, we did stock up on foods that wouldn’t spoil or need to be cooked before the back to back snow storms that hit last month. We never lost power or water, so we didn’t need any of the extras we purchased! Now we have a small start to our own “long term” preparedness kit.
I want to leave you with a link to a great article called 7 Reasons People Refuse to Prepare for Disaster. My favorite quote is this:
I am certain that you have run in to people that are in what I like to call “Disaster Denial”. So what signs do these people display? (And no, I am not referring to the “I am blindingly stupid to reality” sign.)
Don’t be one of those “blindingly stupid to reality” people!!