Survival Survey: Picking up the pieces
One of my Facebook friends, Ellen, asked the following, and I thought it would make a great Survival Survey question.
I’m in Alabama, where we are still digging out from the April 27, tornados. There are so many miraculous stories of people who survived with devastation all around. If you and your family managed to survive (like the folks in their shower stall that was tossed into the neighbor’s rubble), and there was NOTHING left – car gone, 72 hour kit gone, bugout bags gone, your grab binder is in the debris cloud 40 miles away, there is not one brick on top of another as far as you can see, what do you do? Where do you start?
In this thought experiment, no fair saying, “I’d have a better shelter”, or “My stash is protected”. I’m talking about dealing with a disaster that wipes out all your preparation. These storms peeled pavement off the roads and carried giant trees for miles. How do you deal with it?
What a question, and yet, something we should all consider. It may not be a tornado that wipes out life as you know it, but all of us are vulnerable to something.
My own first thought is that my family would first rely on any and all help available, even though being dependent on others isn’t something we relish. Hopefully, family or close friends would be able to provide temporary housing and maybe even a short-term loan until we could access funds from the bank. My second choice would be asking our church for help, and a distant third choice would be staying in a Red Cross or FEMA shelter. Shelters require that you give up a lot of your basic rights, and that would rub me the wrong way. If we didn’t have a satisfactory living situation, I’d buy a big tent and camping supplies.
Transportation and communication would be two immediate needs. We would need to contact insurance companies and start the claim process as soon as possible, and then have a way to get supplies, provisions, and to and from our new living quarters. Additionally, I would get my hands on as much money as quickly as possible. We would need everything: clothing, toiletries, shoes, bedding, you name it, and we’d need a way to get to stores in areas unaffected by the disaster. We would also want to reimburse our family members/friends for fuel, food, and other expenses. It’s possible that a local church or charity would be able to help, but that’s not something I’m counting on.
As soon as we had a form of transportation and communication, we would start trying to track down our pets. School would be put on hold, but since we homeschool, that wouldn’t be an issue for a while. We would have to become accustomed to being displaced refugees until our home could be rebuilt and would probably end up living in a rental of some sort. My husband would start looking for work in order to bring in regular income again until he could re-establish his business. I’d start blogging as soon as I had a laptop and an internet connection! You would all hear about my trials and tribulations!
Our emotional and mental well-being would take a serious hit, so I would do my best to establish a routine, get the family active physically, and look for ways for us to have fun.
To tell you the truth, I’d also be so ticked off that all my buckets of wheat and Mountain House food was gone that I would probably need to take an anger management course! I also have to admit that there are catastrophes that are impossible to prepare for. The recent earthquake/tsunami/nuclear meltdown in Japan come to mind. A mile-wide tornado is another. All of us Survival Moms prepare for the worst, but we should all think about the ultimate worst case scenario: having nothing left but the clothes on our back.
How would YOU go about re-building your life?
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