One of the very first steps in working through your disaster plan is to take a look around you. It’s a simple (and free) step, yet it’s one of the most important things you can do. This does not have to be a dull grinding exercise. You can plan some local trips, have some picnics and take some hikes, while doing your research. This will make it more fun, involve your family (and possibly friends) and give you better motivation to get through it.
Questions To Keep In Mind About Survival
Some of the questions to keep in mind are:
- Are there any dangers, such as chemical plants, nearby?
- Are there defined evacuation routes and if so, where do they go?
- Are there secondary evacuation routes, even if not official ones, that you can use instead?
- Where are the various service facilities (gas stations, stores and so on) near you and along any evacuation routes?
- Are there things blocking your way, such as major power lines, rivers, canals and so forth
These are a few of the questions you should keep in mind as you scout out the area around you.
A good place to start is to pick a disaster that could happen and think it through while looking around your area. Start local to your own home and work out. How do you get out of your house in a hurry if you must? If you live on the ground floor this might not be such a problem, but for those living higher, say ten stories up, it might become a real issue.
Work outward from your house and work and any other place where you reside normally.
Besides evacuation routes and possible supply stops, some things to noticed as you are scouting include:
- Chemical plants – these can pose major hazards in any disaster, and can, in fact, be the cause of their own disasters. It’s critical to know where these are located so you can avoid them in a disaster, and can make a decision about if and how fast you need to move if a disaster occurs.
- Nuclear power plants – in spite of what the rabid anti-nuclear clans think, nuclear power is very safe; however, as Japan found out during it’s recent magnitude 9 earthquake, even very safe can become a disaster quickly under some conditions. If you are within, say, 50 miles of a nuclear power plant, you might consider purchasing a few boxes of iodine tablets. These will help prevent radiation poisoning.
- Rivers and canals – These could becomes blocks to travel in the event of a disaster. Bridges can collapse and even if they don’t can become chock points restricting your ability to move.
- Major power files – Be aware of the location of major power lines. These can block your ability to travel if they damaged.
- Police and fire stations – Useful to know if you need help.
- Dams and flood control basins – You need to know if you are downstream from any dams or other structures that could release vast amounts of water quickly in a disaster.
I hope this has been of some help. It’s useful to know what is in your area and could effect you in the event of a disaster.