Published on July 14th, 2021
Watching re-runs of Doomsday Prepper, or “bear Gryllis” will give you some basic ideas, however, these two instances are for the extreme and are really not for the average family. The Red Cross and Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) offer guidelines, both of these groups are really trying to normalize the whole of the United States by simplifying, and not drilling down into individual regions. When considering the start of your preparedness exercises, consider the following, in order;
- Your specific location. Each region within the country will have its own challenges, and this is what we structure our preparedness around.
- Any special needs you have. Whether it be time limited medication, or non-portable medical devices, ensuring that you have the correct needs covered is paramount to your success.
- Any special considerations you might have. The one I find most often overlooked is the preparedness for pets and animals.
Being prepared means sorting out the fear-mongering from the internet and determining the actual necessary facts for survival. It may involve using some mental relaxation strategies to get past what has been a challenging year, particularly here in the United States. In many cases it might be difficult to sort out the conspiracy theories to harvest the kernel of good ideas contained within. There is a substantial percentage of the published materials on the internet that are marketing tactics aimed at driving the “need” for their products, however, in my experience, there are some simple tips you can use to avoid these ad games.
Greetings to all my friends (both new and old), to my wonderful family, my fellow Alaskans, and my fellow Americans, wherever you are. Welcome to the Alaska Outlaw podcast, I am the Alaska Outlaw, thank you so much for joining me today. Today, I want to talk about avoiding the fear mongering splattered over the internet, and get down to the brass tacks about what you really need. The cool part is that we’ve already covered the bare bones necessities, and at the risk of sounding like “ole Blue the bear” to survive, we look for the bare necessities.
But, before we get after it today, I’d like to make sure that, for those of you who seek peace of mind and harmony with the world we find ourselves in today, or just need help in making sense of life, be sure to check out the Alaska Outlaw Forn-sidr podcast at http://forn-sidr.akoutlaw.com. After 30 years of spiritual searching and discovery, I have arrived home. Home to the ideology of of my ancestors. Home of a proud Germanic-Dane heritage. Some really good stuff for you there. Also, another second just to give a shout-out for our sponsors and affiliates:
Antennas Direct, Bad Ass Extension Cords, BrandsMart USA, Chewy, Chrome Burner, Connecticut BioTech, Ethos Preparedness, MediTac Kits, Power Systems, SunPower, Australian Native T-Shirts, Natures86 LLC, Sharesale, Survival Frog, and of course Google.
Shout out to all of them for supporting the mission here at Alaska Outlaw, we greatly appreciate taking a risk by supporting an “Outlaw” show. Please visit their links on our webpage and show them some love, they, like each of us, needs to pay their peeps.
Ok, let’s turn off the internet (after you download this podcast) and talk about what you need to thrive during one of the cataclysmic events. Now, we’ve mentioned your written plan, and cue cards (remember, we’re letting the brain focus on completing the steps, the cue cards were to initialize the next steps). Our first order of business is to get our “fab five” covered. Now, for those of you just tuning in, the fab-five really equates to the “rule of three”. The rule of three says;
- 3 minutes without breathable oxygen.
- 3 hours without moderated temperature (shelter)
- 3 days without water
- 3 weeks without food.
- Protective equipment/clothing (this is one I threw in)
So, our first objective is to get after those items defined as Immediate needs. Airway. Do we have protective masks or bandannas that each family member (including pets) have a clean one every other day. What if things get even uglier? Do we have any plastic sheeting and duct tape to seal windows and doorways? Are you aware of how to make a vapor lock doorway with the plastic sheeting? If not take a look on the internet, however, don’t read everything, just what it’s going to take to make the door. What about air circulation, and temperature control within the sealed areas? Without a fireplace and electric the plan should be a blanket fort, and close proximity (body heat). Double the layers of plastic sheeting on the windows, or place unused clothing between the sheets (for cold weather). For hot weather, even a light (manual) fan across wet skin will help reduce the temperature. Pets will be challenging in a warmer condition as they will begin panting (trying to cool themselves off) and exhaling a lot of warm air, trying to get them stabilized away from the humans a little will help here. In addition, remember, heat rises, so the lower you can get the better. Got any ice cubes in the freezer? Manually fanning air across them will help to reduce the overall air temperature a little, in a small area. Ultimately, your preparedness here simply looks at the necessities. I’m not sure if you noticed or not, but I included some basic temperature, as they pretty go hand and hand with the airway.
The next item on the immediate list doesn’t really start kicking our butts for about 48 hours after the event has occurred, unless we have pets. Water. Almost every source I’ve read says a gallon per day, per person. This should also include pets. Now, if you find yourself in a substantially warmer, or colder climate when this happens, my suggestion would be to ratchet that up just a little bit, so maybe a gallon and a half per day, per person, with a possible two gallons per pet, per day. Having an overage of water isn’t a bad thing, as it may be used to assist in the cooling operation. So, we’re now talking about storing water. We kind of have an idea how much, what we will want to do is make sure it’s rotated periodically. At most, quarterly, every three months is a good, safe number. In addition, look into filtration systems (portable), as well as purification functions (iodine tablets are fairly inexpensive and have been used by the military for decades). I also pack “Kool-aid packets, because treated water doesn’t taste that great.
Believe it or not, humans can survive without food for three weeks. Some can anyway. My wife being a type 1 diabetic would be in a little more trouble here, although still manageable, not ideal. So, while not the most comfortable idea, the reality is we can survive. Having a controlled diet which includes the maximum amount of calories (just as important is carbs and proteins) yet contains the smallest footprint for storage purposes. Being able to keep our energy up, especially during the initial 24 hours will be critical.
I’ve added protected clothing to my list of fab five, because it could include quite a bit, but more importantly, it will keep us healthy enough to be able to do the rest. By avoiding unnecessary risks, and protecting our extremities, we are much more likely to come out on top. Not exposing our flesh to the possible damaging environment, and could also prevent absorption through the skin of problematic things in the air.
Methodically is how we survive natural disasters, and although many will attempt to inject us with this vision of terror in order to get us to buy their products, the facts are that many of these disasters are easily survived when you have a plan in place to handle it. The key with managing the fear is to:
- Develop a plan BEFORE it happens in a cool collected fashion that includes baby-steps. Be sure to write it down and create cue cards for yourself and family members.
- Practice stepping through the order of the plan in a controlled fashion. There is no point in getting super frustrated and stressed out, it will simply make it more challenging to accomplish the objectives.
- Remember, you don’t need to plan for everything! Yes, with the whole idea of global warming creating some weird weather phenomenon throughout the world. Maintaining a plan to respond to your immediate surroundings should provide a solid level for just about anything that happens.
- Just know that natural disasters happen. Fact of life. Don’t worry about it, prepare for it. Both, physically and mentally by getting a plan together. Work with your family or roommates to encourage the use of each person’s strengths. If your wife is better at evaluating your home for structural integrity, then by all means assign that task to her. Be sure to have a contingency plan for that in case she’s not home when the disaster strikes.
I’ve had so many people tell me that they thought they were prepared because they had “all the stuff” to live without their community utilities, yet found themselves jammed up when their home partially collapsed, or flooded. Have contingency plans. This is really the best tool to reducing the fear and terror involved in these types of events. Being prepared is both a physical, and a mental boost that will be your overall best option for success.
Our family has kicked ass, and we are looking pretty at the end of the first week after the catastrophe, now we move into week two, and our extended needs. So, by now, this whole idea of not showering and minimizing the water use is getting a little old. More importantly, we need to start considering an idea of “resupply”. How, are we going to get a resupply when the local area is shut down due to this disaster? This is where the idea of a network comes in. By having teamed up with (possibly) an additional family member in another area of the country, the potential to get shipments into you location might be a little dicey, but there are ways to ensure that you can get your resupply shipments. Another consideration might be having a team member who is within driving distance that stores some stuff that you can trade with stuff you store for them. By teaming up with others, each team member has a smaller footprint, yet collectively enough to support the other. This works really well when you team up with another family with the appropriate dimensions as yours. By sharing the “extended” supply load, the elimination of dependence on the local community delivery resources better prepares you for success.
Getting back to the basics, being able to wash & rinse the masks (bandannas) we continue to minimize the airborne particulates we are breathing, maintaining a better state of health. How are your other items of the fab-five? Still good with temperature control, this is especially critical in extreme weather. Ongoing health maintenance will be another critical key to success here. By making sure everyone stays healthy, we reduce the chances of everybody getting sick, and eliminate the potential loss of necessary, beneficial resources. Hygiene will be critical to ensuring that everyone stays healthy, so be sure to follow up with the kids to ensure that they are following the guidelines for hygiene following their trips to the restroom, and ensure that any injuries are properly cared for, we don’t need a raging infection during those first couple of days when the medical system will be overwhelmed.
Another critical factor by now is your mental health. In your extended needs preparedness items, should be some forms of entertainment, such as a deck of cards, or some travel board games. You may be trapped at home (just like we were for the pandemic lockdown), so we’ll have our belongings around us. Make sure we book some time each day, to back away from survival needs to have a little fun and relax a little. Bullshitting with your significant other about things not related to survival will help pass the time, while maintaining your sanity. A good book that separates you from reality will fill this void as well. The key is to take a mental break from just surviving and have some fun.
Again, this is critical, by having a solid, skeleton plan will minimize the potential of fear building up. So, the key is to build your skeleton plan without the internet, then utilize the net to find products that meet your defined needs, and don’t believe anything else. Stick to your plan. Don’t get drawn in to the internet hype about planning for events that may never happen.
The next thing that may get blown out of proportion is your escape route and plan. There are a couple pieces to your plan that you need to plan out, and practice. There are three scenarios to consider:
- Public buildings, or places. When thinking about being in public, there are many different events that you need to consider, however, they all come down to a defined set of actions:
- Active shooter, or violent event. With these two types of events are very dynamic in nature, so having a plan that is adaptable is key. Get, and stay low. Move to a lower position to a safer place, being sure to be still if you find yourself in the crosshairs. Play dead while they are watching, move when they aren’t. If you are close enough to the shooter, you should be comfortable to take action. Remember to hit hard, hit fast. Your objective is to stun the shooter long enough to get a disarming blow.
- Large natural event is defined as being in a grocery store during an earthquake. In much the same way we prepare at home, we need to be cognizant of those things around us. What’s falling? We will want to stay in the middle of the isle and be ready to jump if one of the shelving units falls over. I know many of us think this sounds like common sense, let me remind you, common sense is a super power now-a-days.
- Personal residences or homes. Again, having safe places and interior defensive barriers set up inside your home. Remember no straight lines of travel from a door or window, methods of alarm, whether that be a dog, or a bell tied to a fishing line. Get the police enroute as quickly as possible.
- Vehicles. Same thing with vehicles. Doors are always locked when driving in traffic in case of attempts to carjacking. Everything you can do to keep you and yours safe.
Again, having a practiced plan before you need it does not make you a coward, it makes you prepared. Prepared people are less afraid of the real event, so they are already engaging their plans to getting out safely. This is the big reward for being prepared, not being afraid. Don’t let people (particularly vendors wanting to sell you something) convince you of being afraid of something that you don’t need to be. Know your threats. Plan for those threats. Keep it simple.
Finally, after a major event that you have just endured, we should always include in our plan, the extended reality moving forward, or what some call “the new normal”. The event is over with, the messes have been mostly cleaned up or stabilized, what are our next steps? If we had to relocate, can we salvage our old home? What damage is done? Can it be fixed? These are the assessments you are going to make as we ready ourselves to return to our lives. Having the resources and abilities to pick up all the pieces and move on is the way forward. Again, if we have planned for this, then it so go fairly painlessly. Small steps… moving forward.
As always my friends, I am humbled that you have taken the time to spend with us. I hope I have given you some food for thought that you consider when considering the broadcasted fear throughout the internet. By focusing our energies and resources on the basic principles of survival, we can better set up ourselves for success. Remember, be safe out there, keep your head on a swivel…. Peace.