Tips for emergency planning in an already dangerous time. (What else do you have to do today?)
Everyday life is a total drag right now, we're aware. We too are stuck at home with our kid, deeply mired in 2nd grade math, and worrying about friends and family.
And while we hate to be that person — the one you flee from at parties — it’s important to remember that things could actually get worse. Those “everyday” disasters haven’t gone away.
We’re entering hurricane season in the East and fire season in the West. You might lose electricity or (eek!), the internet. So now is the time to plan ahead.
“Everyday” disasters like floods & hurricanes haven't gone away. Covid-9 complicates things, big time.
As the governor of Louisiana pointed out in a recent article of the New York Times, “If you have a flood or a hurricane, it’s only a small part of the country that’s affected, so you can get the full attention of the government and … help from sister states. That’s not possible right now because this is in every state in our country.” Then he mentioned that he's also worried about hurricanes.
So forgive us, but your third viewing of the Tiger King can probably wait. There is no better time to do fundamental emergency planning. You're bored, anyhow, right?
Make today that day.
Here is our list of OTHER emergency-related things to think about…
1. What other emergencies should you realistically prepare for in your area?
a. Do storms often or sometimes knock out your electrical power?
b. Are you in a flood zone or hurricane-prone area?
c. Wild fires?
d. Packs of wild dogs? (Kidding… we hope.)
Now, couple that sucky scenario with Covid-19 and… what do you get? Do a bit of scenario role-playing. Then imagine ways to MacGyver through them.
2. Where would you go if you had to leave, today?
Nobody is really loving unexpected company these days. Not an ideal time for the pop-in. Where could you and your family go if you had to suddenly flee your toilet-paper-stocked abode? So talk to friends and family both in your local region and further away, and see if they would be open to you and yours suddenly showing up. (We'd assume you would make the reciprocal offer.) Not forgetting, of course, that older folks are the most at risk — so grandma’s house may officially be off the table.
3. Evacuation routes. How the heck would you get out if there’s a fire or flood?
The answer(s) is something that the every family member should know and be prepared for. We know you’ve been putting it off. So here goes…
a. If you had to leave your house or apartment immediately (because, say, of a fire), where would you all immediately meet up? You might choose a neighbor’s house down the block, or a specific street corner. And then PRACTICE DOING IT. Perform a few family drills, where everyone has to get out of the house as soon as possible and go to that meeting spot. Make it a competition, or call it that day's chance to exercise. Just don’t forget the social distancing protocols as you “flee.”
b. Figure out how you would escape the local area if there was a wildfire or flood or tsunami. Consider the streets you’d take on foot and by car. Practice that, too.
c. Decide the best exit routes out of a city or region. Remember that highways may be packed and alternate routes on smaller roads may be useful. Pre-marked paper maps might be your very best friends. Order them now.
4. About those go bags…
a. You’ve got an evacuation kit for each family member together, right? If not, please go to our go bag and evacuation section right now and get started, baby.
b. Know what’s a great way to kill an hour or two? Pull out that go bag and remind yourself what exactly is in there. Check life of the batteries; make sure you know how to put the tent up (and your partner and kids do, too); and that you know how the weather radio is on the right station, and so on. Open your medical kit, as well, and familiarize yourself. You may be surprised by the great stuff you find.
5. Prepare for the loss of electricity.
Losing power is a bummer at the best of times. Now is NOT the best of times.
a. All that frozen stuff you’ve got? Make sure your freezer is as full as possible, as a tightly packed space retains cold much longer. Might as well make extra ice and put it into freezer bags to fill up space, too.
6. And the loss of the internet…
Man, the internet is awesome about now, right? Our kids are connecting to school on it. And if you’re like us, we rely on it as the primary source of music, books, and TV, via sources like Spotify, Kindle Unlimited, and Hulu.
However, what happens if (and when) we lose all that? Because of storms or enforced outages to forestall wildfires, some of us will. So get ahead of it now.
That means, perhaps, downloading your songs and albums on Spotify; ensuring your kids have a selection of workbooks and lessons in actual paper book form (we like this one for our 7 year old); and even digging out that DVR player and seeing what ancient videos you might have. (OMG, is that a Betamax in back of the closet?)
Whatever the case, imagine ways of dealing with the world if you didn’t have the net… you know, like all of us only 10 years ago.