Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Your Survival Community

When TS hits TF, who will you rely on? Do you know who makes up your survival community? Here they are:
  • You. When it comes down to it, you really have only yourself to depend on.
  • Your immediate family. If you have family (spouse, kids, cousins, etc) living in your immediate vicinity, they will usually be your first "go to" people during a disaster and vice versa. Some pre-planning and pre-preparing with these people is a good idea.
  • Your neighbors. In many disasters, the people that you will be in it with, what ever it is, will be your immediate neighbors. It's good to know a bit about your neighbors. The information you want to ascertain about them can range from who has a generator and who is elderly and would need checking on after a disaster, to which neighbors you personally know to be reliable, responsible, and preparedness-oriented.
  • Your friends. Friends will play a part in your survival whether they live near or far. If they live near you, they will be able to come to your aid or vice versa. If they live far away from you they can be equally valuable by acting as a central communications point for your family, as your bug out location, or in some cases they may be able to swoop in and rescue you if need be.
  • Your survival team. Some people have gone to great effort to gather like-minded, survival-oriented people and create survival teams specifically for the event of a local, regional, or country-wide disaster. Usually the teams meet in person or online and focus on a wide range of disaster preparedness topics including resource typing, training, drills, etc.
  • Your co-workers. Depending on the type of job you have and the type of co-workers you have, these people may be an excellent resource during a disaster. Some workplaces have a comprehensive preparedness plan, some may require you to come to work (first responders), while others don't intend or expect for you to come to work after a disaster and really have no plan in place should the worst happen.
  • Your community. Before a disaster, you can connect with the Red Cross, the Department of Emergency Management, or other disaster preparedness groups in your community. These groups usually offer disaster skills training and the opportunity to network with like-minded people. After a disaster, many of these same agencies will be responsible for search and rescue, setting up shelters, and providing other needed information and services.
  • The Feds. These are the last people on the list for the reason that they may come eventually but depending on the type and extensiveness of the disaster, your area may be first or last on their list to provide assistance to.

In order to connect with any of the people listed above, you usually have to take the first step. Discussing what to do before, during, and after a disaster with your family and friends is often the simplest way to get started. You may also want to talk to your employer about their company disaster plan, sign up for training with local disaster preparedness agencies, participate in survival/preparedness forums, meet ups, and other groups.

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