Whether it’s Sandy or Katrina, here’s what you can count on

  1. image by adria.richards

    Politicians will grandstand, race their way to be in front of the nearest camera, but any actual help that follows their speeches will be strictly coincidental.

  2. The saying, “We’re 3 days away from anarchy,” is accurate. The initial stage of shock wears off after a few hours, but reality is still at least another day away for most people. Once they realize how little food, water, fuel, comfort, and convenience they have, all hell can break loose, and that takes about 72 hours, or 3 days.
  3. No one, almost, thinks to store water. Not even FEMA.
  4. Those with the least suffer the most. Families with money or even just a credit card can afford to hightail it out of town or buy the supplies they need to get through a crisis. It’s the poorest families, though, who often have no choice but to ride it out and keep their fingers crossed.
  5. Fuel will be at a premium. If at all possible, store a car tank’s worth of gasoline. If nothing else, it should get you far enough from town to seek shelter somewhere safer.
  6. Even if you’ve prepared for The Big One, you may have to cut  your losses if your home is no longer safe. If there’s no running water, sanitation is becoming a problem (and this happens quickly!), if nearby grocery stores have run out of food, you have no electricity, and the sound of gunshots is becoming common, get out. Pack what you need, dress appropriately, and walk away.
  7. Disasters happen in diverse places. Even if you don’t live in traditional earthquake, hurricane, or blizzard country, learn how to prepare and survive in those disasters.
  8. A boil order (for water purification) could happen soon after a disaster strikes. You must have at least 2 ways to purify water, whether by boiling, using bleach, or some other method. The American Red Cross first boils and then uses bleach. Instructions from my book, Survival Mom: The American Red Cross
    1. If water is cloudy or contains particles, filter using a piece of cloth or a coffee filter to remove solid particles.
    2. Bring water to a rolling boil for about one full minute.
    3. Let it cool at least 30 minutes. Water must be cool or the next step in adding chlorine bleach will be useless.
    4. Add the required amount of liquid chlorine bleach.
    5. Let stand 30 minutes. If the water does not have a chlorine smell,  repeat Step 4. Otherwise, it is safe to drink.
  9. A boil order is pretty silly when people don’t have power to boil the water.
  10. Many people wait for opportunities just like a Katrina or a Sandy to victimize others. They know that law enforcement will be scarce, and there’s a very good chance that their assaults and theft will go unreported. Prepare for this. I recommend a shotgun and plenty of shells.
  11. Tarps and plenty of rope could make all the difference in the world between having to leave your home and staying put. Both are cheap and easy to store.
  12. Power will almost certainly go out. If you’re not ready for living off the grid, at least for a while, then you’re already a victim. Start now to stock up on light sources, communication (2-way walkie talkies are better than nothing), portable fans, and lots and lots of batteries. Solar powered devices are another good idea. Sooner or later, the sun will come out!
  13. If a disaster happens during the winter, it’s going to be very, very cold without any power. Don’t plan on relying on a generator to keep warm. Stock up on lots of blankets, gloves, wool clothes and caps, hand/foot warmers, and plan on everybody living and sleeping in one room until power is restored.
  14. Here’s a brilliant rule of thumb: Put a couple of bandaids in your purse before you get a blister. Now apply that concept to being ready for something a lot bigger than a blister.
  15. Churches, community centers, neighbors, family and friends out the blast zone (so to speak) may end up being far, far more helpful than government agencies. In fact, you can count on it.
  16. People will panic and do stupid things. If you find yourself having a panic attack, spend several minutes doing the 16-Second Survival Breath. 
  17. Refugees, aka evacuees, are safer traveling in large groups. If you find yourself having to leave home with the clothes on your back and, hopefully, a backpack or suitcase, join with others in the same circumstances and travel to safety together. See #10 above.
  18. Kids are going to be scared. When the crisis hits your home and your family, all the preparations you have made will allow you to hold your children tightly and say, “We’re going to be okay.”

There may be links in the post above that are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission, which does not affect the price you pay for the product. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. 

© Copyright 2012 The Survival Mom, All rights Reserved. Written For: The Survival Mom
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I'm the original Survival Mom, and have been helping moms worry less and enjoy their homes and families more for 5 years. Come join me on my journey to becoming more prepared to handle everyday emergencies and worst case scenarios.

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  1. says

    I reckon you’ll be seeing a lot more of me around these parts… especially after tonight’s election results. We must be ready for when the puddin’ hits the fan.


  2. countrygirl says

    I like 18, I guess that’s one big reason to prep.
    I’d also say the whole 9 meals to anarchy is so true when you think what a desperate parent would do for their child. When they don’t have food for their children and you do for yours. It would be a dark and scary place.

  3. J says

    Would someone clarify this?:

    4. Add the required amount of liquid chlorine bleach.
    5. Let stand 30 minutes. If the water does not have a chlorine smell, repeat Step 4. Otherwise, it is safe to drink.

    Does this mean that the water *should* have a chlorine odor to help determine that it is safe to drink?

  4. Alexis says

    Please answer this for me. If you have a Big Berky, what else do you have to do to your water to purify it? I know that if it has particles in it, it is best to filter it through something before you run it through the Berky, but do you also have to boil it or bleach it?

    • says

      If there are large particles of debris in the water, then yes, you should pour it through a filter, even stretched-out t-shirt fabric or a coffee filter before pouring it in the top of the Berkey. Otherwise, this debris will slow down the filtering process. Other than that, nothing else is necessary.

  5. says

    I like what you said in item #15. We need to understand that there will be little or no help coming from our federal government. We should not depend on them. Help will come from those close to us who truly care about us, including friends and family who have prepared. In fact, I started blogging so that I could let my friends know what I was doing to prepare myself for any emergency or even a collapse of society.

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