Medium-Term Disaster Preparation

March 16th, 2012

Short-term scenarios (lasting a few days at most) are easy to prepare for.  The power might go out and you’ll probably get a few free “vacation” days from work to tend to your home and family.  With a basic emergency kit, you should be able to weather the storm with ease.

What if something bigger hits?  A medium-term scenario, lasting a week to a few months, is a whole new ball game.

Photo from NASA

A medium-term scenario can start out looking like just a short-term scenario.  Think of Hurricane Katrina, for example.  As the storm was finding its way through the Gulf, many of the residents of New Orleans thought it was just another storm to batter down the hatches for, pack up the kids, and visit their out-of-state relatives for a few days.  Little did they know how much of an impact the storm would have on the city.  Those who lived through the storm and its aftermath found themselves without basic infrastructure like power and clean water for weeks.

There are many ways a medium-term scenario could manifest.  For example:

  • Major natural disasters
  • Pandemics
  • Terrorist attacks

Any event whose effects last for more than just a few days can cause quite a bit of discomfort for those who aren’t prepared.  Like a short-term scenario, the basic infrastructure we depend on could stop working for days or weeks at a time.  What would you do if you lost access to any of these for more than a week?

  • Power
  • Heat
  • Clean water
  • Transportation
  • Communication

Photo from Mel Silvers

A pandemic, for example, could limit your ability to move (Transportation) or see your family (Communication).  A terrorist attack could knock out the Power or disrupt the Clean Water supply.  We depend on these basic infrastructure needs to live our comfortable modern lives, but they could be taken away from us at any time.

Once a major event occurs, things could start going down-hill pretty fast.  As soon as everyone catches on that their situation won’t improve for a few days, there will be a stampede for the local supermarkets in a mad dash to grab as many candles and as much canned food as they can.  Tempers will flare, stock will dwindle, and some may be left without the necessary means to survive.

Let’s not partake in that, OK?

Preparing for month(s)-long self-sufficiency will take a lot of preparation and dedication.  It’s not just a matter of buying a couple canned goods from the grocery store.  Supplies are only one part of the equation:

supplies + tools + techniques + fitness + awareness = preparation

What will you do if the electricty is out for more than a week?  What about food, water?  How will you figure out what the heck is going on?

For short term preparation, all one needs to do is get a few supplies, some handy tools, and read a book for a week to pass the time.  Medium- and long-term scenarios call for a whole different ballgame.  You will need to learn techniques of self-sufficiency and will have to be physically fit enough for your body to endure.

The focus of this blog will be preparing yourself for a medium-term emergency scenario.  We will share tools, techniques, thoughts and news about how you can prepare.  We’d also love to hear from you about your thoughts on what it means to be prepared.  Getting yourself ready for a medium-term scenario will also make a short-term scenario a cake-walk, and a long-term scenario (TEOTWAWKI) more manageable.

Next up: Bugging in? Or bugging out?

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