Emergency planning

4 Lessons from living through a severe water shortage

I wanted to share with you a learning situation my family and I had the weekend of Thanksgiving. We have been working on our disaster preparedness over the last few years, but this situation helped to show us some kinks in our armor. We live out on 5 acres with a well for our water supply. One day I walked out into our garage to find water gushing out of the pressure release valve on our water storage tank. The …

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11 Lessons the Joplin Tornadoes Taught Our Family

Guest post by Kris. We “woke up” two years ago after an F-5 tornado obliterated our hometown: Joplin, MO.   What we learned in the wake of that disaster has been unbelievable, miraculous, heart-wrenching, but ultimately, extremely useful.  And while we were extremely lucky to miss the storm by about half a mile, we were all deeply affected on an emotional level.  I know it’s true whenever the sky turns gray, as it has this week.  Here are some valuable lessons …

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image by dougww

A mom’s guide to getting ready for winter travel

Guest post by Kris. Flashback to 2001, when my husband and I were traveling 4 hours to visit family for Christmas.  Out of nowhere, mild snow flurries became a full-on snowstorm so fast that the road crews couldn’t keep up.  We were stranded on the interstate at night—along with hundreds of other travelers—with no forward movement for over two hours.  As newlyweds it was a small inconvenience and an excuse to kiss between Christmas carols on the radio. Flash forward …

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Survival Diary from 3 Hurricanes & Lessons Learned, Part 3 of 3

Survival Diary continues, telling the story of surviving 3 different  hurricanes. Get caught up by reading Part 1 and Part 2! Swimming Pools (This section written by my friend, Jim Winburn) Pools come in very handy when the power is out. Besides the obvious advantage of being able to cool off and wash up, I discovered you can take your sweaty grimy shirt and socks into the pool with you and let them sink to the bottom while you cool …

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Survival Diary from 3 Hurricanes & Lessons Learned, Part 2 of 3

Survival Diary from 3 Hurricanes continues from Part 1… Electricity I used a Honda generator (4500 watts rated, 5000 watts max), and it performed flawlessly. It will run approximately 8.5 hours on a tank of fuel with enough left over to make sure the tank is not run dry. In the time the power was off, I went through approximately 26 gallons of gasoline. At today’s prices, that’s less than $100 worth. If I had it to do over again, …

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Survival Diary from 3 Hurricanes & Lessons Learned, Part 1 of 3

Notes from Hurricane Frances (and then on to Hurricanes Charley and Jeanne) This is compiled from notes that I, Stephen McGehee, took during and after the hurricanes that went through here in 2004. Since it was written in a diary format, some conclusions in the first part are changed by the time we get to the end. Be sure to read all three parts of this article. Background Hurricane Frances came through last weekend. Today is Friday September 10, 2004, …

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Real-life Survival: Train Wreck Topples Town

Guest post by Janet Spencer. I live in Montana where it is often bitterly cold in the winter. In February of 1989, it was 29 below zero, and a long train was crossing the state and heading up the Continental Divide just west of town. When the over-worked heater went out in the engine, the engineers stopped the train in order to swap engines so they could have heat. They set the brakes, disconnected the train, swapped the engines, and …

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“Gone In 60 Seconds”… Do You Have a Disaster Prepared Mindset?

Ashes fell like rain and smoke drowned out the fiery red sun on our cozy Southern California beach town in October of 2007. The news reported that 1500 homes were lost in what is considered the worst fire disaster in San Diego County. At the time, I was a local non-profit chapter director and was receiving numerous calls and emails from eager volunteers looking to help. The American Red Cross already had boots on the ground and evacuation centers and …

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How to Assemble a 72-Hour Emergency Kit

image by twiStbarbie Tornado season is upon us and already there has been an outbreak of twisters across the heartland of America. Are you ready for this or some other disaster? Now is the time to either check the supplies in your 72-hour kit or pack one. It’s estimated that it takes 3 days for relief to get into an area where a natural disaster has occurred. Your 72-hour kit could mean the difference between life and death in an …

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Power-less in Seattle: A first-person report from a winter blizzard

I was sent a link to this first-hand report of a Seattle resident, Dave, who lived through this week’s blizzard.  I lived!!! As anybody who doesn’t live in a cave probably knows, the Seattle Pacific Northwest this week was hammered by winter storms, knocking out juice to what amounted, at the high point, to over 300,000 households, which affected around 1.2 million people! In this case, it was actually predicted that there could be scattered power outages.  News on Wednesday …

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