Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Prudent Prepping: Planning for the Likely Disaster

The dust has settled and the First 72 Hours have passed. Now we concentrate  on what to do in, and how to plan for, the long term via Prudent Prepping.

Planning for Disaster:
What if the emergency you have
isn't the one you're prepared to have?

Since the contributers to Blue Collar Prepping live in different areas of the United States (with a bit of overlap), our topics will of course vary according to regional necessity. However, we all have a common element of planning for our families and friends, as shown below:
  • Erin (Florida) has hurricanes, tornadoes and fires.
  • Tim and Renee (Midwest) have tornadoes, low temperatures and fires.
  • Lokidude (Utah)has low temperatures and fires.
  • Evelyn and I (California) have earthquakes, landslides (if it rains enough) and fires. 
See anything in common?

What if you hear "Fire!"?
Let's get one thing out of the way right now: I am not going to be putting out any fires bigger than a Weber BBQ, even if I have larger than normal extinguishers available.

That is not my first job.

When my planned disaster (earthquake) hits, my first job is to get family and neighbors out of the area, then secure our gear, then alert the authorities and then maybe think about fire fighting. 

The best way to fight fires is to fight them before they happen:

  • Secure all appliances to prevent movement that might break gas lines or wiring. 
  • Look at ceiling fans and suspended light fixtures. Make sure the proper fan brackets are installed and are rated to support the weight of the fan. 
  • Store all flammable liquids in an area where they will be contained and less likely to be crushed or fall off shelves and spill. A cabinet door with an eye hook or slide bolt is a good idea. Don't forget your stove fuel or propane cannisters! 
  •  Know where your fuse panel is located.
  • Don't overload wall sockets or run extension cords everywhere. This is a Very Bad Thing!
Don't be this person!
  • Know where the gas meter and electrical meter can be found, and know how to shut off both services. The same goes for external propane tanks. 
  • Gas powered equipment, motorcycles, and boats need to be stored where fuels spilled in a disaster will not easily add to the danger. 
  • If you are in a wildfire area or could be in an urban fire zone, then clearing away bush, overhanging tree limbs, grass and even leaves out of your gutters can help prevent a fire from damaging your property.

    Putting Out the Fire
    Even though I said I'm not fighting a fire, there are times when that will in fact be the best course of action. If I have a flaming pan on the stove, I'm grabbing my ABC rated extinguisher like this one to use on the fire. I also have one of those in my bedroom and a small version like this one in my truck. It just barely fits under the seat! One item I have always wanted to see and get are the fire blankets used to place over flaming pans.

    If the fire is anything bigger than the previously mentioned Weber BBQ, I'm not going to attempt to put it out; I'm going to exit the building, taking all items I can and then let the professionals put things out.

    Other considerations
    • If you are on the second floor, having an escape ladder is a necessity. One of those would have made getting down from the third story to the second story mentioned in this post much easier.
    • Practice getting out FAST and have a meetup spot planned. Practice regularly.
    • Check your smoke and Carbon Monoxide detectors often.

    And as always, if you have comments, suggestions or corrections, please post them so we all can learn. And remember, Some Is Always Better Than None!

    NOTE: All items tested were purchased be me. No products have been loaned in exchange for a favorable review. Any items sent to me for T&E will be listed as such. Suck it Feds.

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