While most are prepared with survival foods, goods, tactical gear and weaponry most individuals have not actually put in the brain work for establishing a local emergency preparedness plan. Emergency preparedness plans include what the family will do during various natural disasters; whether to evacuate or to hunker down as well as extraction points throughout town in case major roadways are inaccessible.
Local Emergency Preparedness Plan
Emergency preparedness plans also include extraction points with different area of operations (AO’s) that include over watch positions and sentry points. Natural resources, wildlife and vegetation are also scouted during hikes and camping trips done before an emergency ever occurs. Finally an emergency preparedness plan also includes researching the surrounding populaces of your home so that you may understand the potential dangers of having to evacuate during riots and/or protests. All this can be done easily with the entire family participating by establishing a command post and reviewing proper planning techniques.
Basic Natural Disasters: Tornadoes, Hurricanes and Severe Thunderstorms
Basic natural disasters such as tornadoes, hurricanes and even severe thunderstorms are often already prepared for by those who reside in areas prone to these events. For the most part it is safe to say that many of these natural disasters are already a part of the family emergency preparedness plan. However, these natural disasters are capable of reaching such intense degrees that even the most prepared may not be able to withstand them and evacuation will be necessary. Be sure to add these possibilities to the family emergency preparedness plan as well.
Nevertheless it is still a necessity to pre-prepare and to continuously monitor extreme weather forecasts even if you live in these already prepared areas. From tropical storms to severe weather threats below are some reliable resources to better prepare you and your family. Some resources are in fact fun to research such as tracking live buoy readings during hurricanes and even monitoring the live earth wind map.
Earthquakes and Volcanic Danger Zones
Be sure to use an updated map of your surrounding location in conjunction with resources that display your area’s unstable points during events such as earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. For example, parts of Tacoma, Washington are prone to lahars during a Mt. Rainier eruption and extreme flooding from nearby rivers as well as even Seattle, Washington just around 60 miles away. Parts of Southern California are prone to unimaginably high magnitude earthquakes due to the San Andreas Fault that could begin shifting at any time.
See a video example of the Mt. Rainier Danger Zones by Alden Morris here:
Surviving a Mt. Rainier Eruption by Alden Morris:
Using different colored highlighters map out these danger zones so that they are easily differentiated from. Having this strategy pre-prepared will save your family in case an exit route needs to be found during such an event. Ensure that these maps are up to date and cross referenced with the different resources available. Below is a link to the USGS site for tracking earthquakes in conjunction with relative volcanic activity and danger zones.
- U.S. Geological Survey
- Live Earthquake Map
- Live Emergency and Disaster Information Service (RSOE EDIS)
- Flood Zones, Sinkholes and Landslides
Ensure that the area you live in is not prone to sinkholes and/or landslides. If parts of your hometown are, evacuation will be high priority during a natural disaster even if your house is not affected. When large landmasses are moved, such as the Oso Landslide event in Washington State in 2014, septic systems are exposed as well as large sewage systems. This means the surrounding populaces have to be evacuated due to exposure of biological and chemical agents that can cause severe sickness and event death.
Research your terrain and its potential dangers. Map your terrains’ sea level as well in case of extreme flooding. The higher above sea level the safer against flooding by overrun waterways from local lakes, streams and rivers. Below are some helpful resources to check your area’s flood zones and even a climate interactive graph.
Local Populace, Freeways, Highways and Exit Routes
During an evacuation, especially in an emergency evacuation, more than likely civil unrest will occur. For those who do not partake in rioting or looting than immediate evacuation will be there foremost goal. This means gridlock, bumper to bumper traffic and roadblocks at every major intersection, highway, freeway and basic roadways.
Using a local map trace major routes for common exit strategies. Map uncommon back roads through neighborhoods to help navigate from town to town until away from the threat of a large populace. Much of these roadways can be traced up to date using a simple search engine from a live GPS map. Be sure to also check your local census bureau to see the most recent count of your local populace. For every square mile you must travel there will be an average amount of people you will encounter during a disaster. For example. Lakewood, Washington 2010 Census Bureau Report stated there were roughly 33,000 people for roughly 3,100 square miles. Now figure the math for a Lakewood, Washington resident to find his or her family out of town on foot without encountering potential danger from dissidents for every square mile.
Surrounding Terrain, Natural Resources and Determining Safe AO’s
Before bailing out of town with your family and a backpack full of survival foods be sure to scout your surrounding locations for potential extraction points. Take a day trip to hike these areas in search for local vegetation and wildlife. Become familiar with the terrain so as to not find yourself stuck in a marsh, thick shrubbery or upwards terrain covered in ivy. Scout natural resources such as clean running water from glacier melt or large bodied lakes. The further you travel and memorize your locations the safer your extraction point will be against oncoming strangers.
Determining a safe AO (Area of Operation) will ensure your family’s long term survival. Survival foods and goods are the hype but they will not last years. Only knowledge and know how regarding hunting, foraging, water filtration techniques and building shelters will ensure survival. Take the time to hike, camp and likewise scout locations further and further inward off trail and in remote hard to reach places to properly plan your safe AO.
Proper Planning Techniques and Establishing a Command Post
Some proper planning techniques are not to boast and showboat details of your plan. This will keep the lazy reliant upon you in case such an event were to ever occur. Instead keep the details to you and your family. Do not settle on just one AO either. Be sure to map out several extraction points in case one AO becomes disrupted or exposed. Ensure each AO also has a sentry point for guarding or setting up a blockade as well as an over watch position so that intruders can be seen coming from a distance.
A command post is easy to establish and takes very little room. For example a wall in any part of the house can be used to pin maps of your hometown and surrounding towns. These maps can be used to take notes of distances that must be traveled to collect each family. As well as rendezvous points that the entire family can fall back on. These points can be codenamed as to establish proper planning techniques. Example given; Alpha One, Bravo Two, etc. These maps can also be easily taken down and stored during a disaster. This activity will include every member of the household and will even help develop different strengths that each family member can contribute to the emergency preparedness plan.