Baby Step to Survival

It's one o'clock in the morning. BAM! It happens, the worse scenario you can imagined wakes you and your family. Yours and all the local lights are out. A never before heard silence suddenly engulfs you, as the traffic and other ambient sounds disappear. You feel that you have to get out of the house and fast! Chances are you do not even realize what happened yet.

You quickly grab that fancy bug-out bag and, and, now what? Where are you going? The shock of the moment won't let you think right. You are still standing there trying to get your thoughts organized and the emergency situation is growing worse by the second it seems. Your getting panicky and scared as would most people. Now what are you going to do? You need to leave, but where are you going to go? Our first impulse is to run to safety, but where is that? Perhaps you have children who are staring up at your face waiting for you to say something, to go someplace, to do something! You have in your hand that carefully thought out bag of survival stuffs, but what are you going to do with it right now?

Perhaps an earth quake has torn much of your and the immediate homes or office buildings apart and you survived. Perhaps a sudden flash flood has befallen you and the water is rising measured not in inches but in feet. Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps; The list of possible disasters is quite long for most of us. We hopefully thought about making a three day emergency bug-out bag, but what if disaster befell when you are at work? What about your family? What about when you take a little trip to the park or grocery store and can't get back home? What do you do? Where do you go?

You are now one of the perhaps hundreds of thousands of people now affected. The majority of Americans live in cities. It's hard for me to imagine you using that emergency fishing kit you so thought out and stored in your bug-out bag in a city culvert. What about that big knife Rambo ran around with and you just had to buy? Do you anticipate whacking away at telephone poles? Hmm. Perhaps it is time to re-think your items in the bag. Maybe a few Granola bars are more desirable and weigh less than that dinosaur-killing knife.

The idea of getting into those pretty mountains off in the distant and living off the land like our fore-fathers sounds great. What about all the thousands of others who have the same idea?

Ok, probably its best to stay close to home and go to one of the temporary emergency shelters with your family; but for now, your back to standing in the room at one o'clock in the morning, no lights and crazy silence about you, dazed and unable to think. What are you going to do? Where are you going?

The concept of a bug-out bag was conceived to allow you and your family to get to an emergency shelter and have the basics to live for three days until an "official emergency organization" can get on the scene, set-up shop, and start doing their part to help you through the crazy aftermath of the disaster. Sounds logical; however, ask the millions of folks who survived Hurricane Katrina and their opinion of Federal Emergency Management Association and their abilities to setup and start doing for people. Things did not go so "logically" and the pre-conceived idea of three days waiting for relief did not materialize in many cases. Having that grab-n-go bag today is an even more important item to have.

So getting back to standing there in the living room with that buzzing mind, how about opening that survival bag or its outside pocket, pulling out your little red note book and reading what you wrote when previously clear minded and calm concerning what to do? "In case X happens, grab bag and drive or walk to the emergency shelter located at Crazy Socks Elementary School. To get there, go down Foot Loose Road to the Stop-N-Rob store and turn right. If Foot Loose is blocked, use Flea Avenue." "If Crazy Socks School is damaged or closed, go to the church located at___" …

You are probably getting my concept. You do not have to write down every possible disaster before it happens, but think of what you 'probably can do' with all the details of when, where, how, whom, etc. Then list alternatives for each of the shelter locations, routes to take, etc. Write them down in a small notebook and, along with a flashlight, and toss it into your bag on top of everything else or in a side-pocket where it is very easily located.

Believe me, from my experiences I can say most people immediately after a disaster strikes are like shell-shocked soldiers for a time and can not think clearly. Many will walk in circles striving to comprehend what has just happened to them. Then what they should do or where they should go. They may have the finest equipped survival bag in their hands, but it is secondary to having thought out a plan of action before the disaster strikes to know how, where and when to use those items and most of all having access to that information. Trying to remember what to do when a disaster first strikes is guaranteed to be impossible. Reading simple instructions you have already researched and thought out, that is readily available and easy to get to will get you taking that first baby step in doing, in going. A small baby step which leads to your survival.

-Jerry B Blaine

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