Quick Reference Manual Regarding Disaster Survival and Recovery on the Road- Part 1, by J.P.R.

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Preface

I wrote this manual for those family and friends who don’t believe we need to be prepared for anything huge happening. I still feel responsible for these people in my life and wish the best for them as they travel about in our uncertain world. The other reason I wrote it was to subtly introduce them to the impact of what may occur in each scenario in an effort to ignite their personal journey towards preparedness and independence. I hope many more find it a useful tool in helping others handle adversity with knowledge rather than fear.

TRAVEL REFERENCE ONLY

Dear Family and Friends,

In these uncertain times, it is important to remain vigilant and prepared. The likelihood of one of the following unpredictable events has continued to grow over time, and my primary goal in getting this information into your hands is to offer you knowledge that could be of aid if we were ever to have to deal with a disaster personally. If you think this manual could be useful, keep a copy in each car, as well as at home. I do hope you take steps ahead of time to be as prepared as possible for any of these possible events.

Wherever my wife or family travel, local or distance, we always travel with the thought in mind that a day may come when we will have to return home on foot. Keeping some basics in each car, like a gallon jug of water, walking shoes, blanket, and flashlight can come in handy for daily needs or help save you in the case of a disaster. Our rule of thumb is to always leave the house dressed for being stuck outdoors for several hours to a full day, and on a trip carry $200 or more in cash.

#1 Disaster Response: National Bank Failure

A financial panic has ensued, the banks have closed, and you cannot get cash out electronically or over the counter. The news is saying the government has declared a bank holiday for a short period, and then they will reopen. This is a full-scale economic breakdown in progress. Know that for a period of time there will be shortages of things, and it could last for days, weeks, months, or years. When the bank reopens, your deposits will still be there, but they will be valued differently in the market, and prices on most goods will likely skyrocket overnight. As soon as you are aware of what is going on, be sure to take the following steps.

IF IT HAPPENS ON A TRIP:

  • If you are on the road, stop and fill up your tank immediately! If you can buy and haul an extra can of gas in the trunk, do so now! Do not allow your tank to go below half full. Keep refilling along the way in case supply runs out.
  • You need to stock up on food and water immediately. Two to three days from now (or less), stores and restaurants may close due to lack of supplies. Prepare for this. Don’t wait for a few minutes or hours, stop and stock up now!
  • If you are on a trip, call home and let family know where you are and what route you plan to follow. If your home is in a vulnerable area and will be unoccupied, make plans to get help or turn on lights until you arrive.
  • Do not stop along the way unless you have to. Plan to drive straight home as quickly as possible. The longer you’re away, the more likely you will be delayed from getting back, and the complications of this will begin to multiply.
  • Avoid major highways through big cities. Try to stay away from heavily populated areas, and plan to take smaller highways on the way back. Seek out news sources to know what you are driving into.
  • Drive cautiously and stay alert. Other drivers are likely to be distracted or emotionally stressed. Avoid accidents and altercations, as much as possible.
  • Keep yourself calm. Pray with your family. Get focused on God’s work in and about your life at this time. Recognize and accept that you and everyone else is in uncharted territory, and determine to move ahead.

#2 Disaster Response: Electrical Power Failure

The main problem with a power failure is that you suddenly may not have any access to information. This is why you need to know about the three levels of power failure that could happen, because you need to respond differently to each type.

A. LOCAL, REGIONAL, OR MULTI-REGIONAL POWER FAILURE

Identify Level of Failure

  • Your land line phone still works
  • Your cell phone may still work
  • Your car still runs
  • You find out through someone who has access to news that the power outage is local or regional

This kind of disruption may last for a few days to several weeks. You need to prepare accordingly, and if it is winter, you need to seek shelter with a heat source.

IF IT HAPPENS ON A TRIP:

  • If you are on a trip, begin with cautious driving, and check your gas gauge to determine your plans. Unless you find a gas station with a generator for the pumps, there will be no gas available in the grid-down areas.
  • Try to determine the area of the outage and how close you are to unaffected areas.
  • Try to make a call to let a loved one know where you are, your plan, and your route.
  • Avoid congested areas with many traffic signals. If you are stuck in one, shut off the engine if you are in a traffic jam and just sitting. Avoid using the air conditioning if you think your fuel will run low before arriving home.
  • If you can’t make it out of affected areas and you know someone nearby and can contact them, go there to wait it out. Otherwise, check into a hotel and wait it out.
  • Remain extra cautious, if you plan to travel at night. You must have sufficient fuel, food, and water. Understand that emergency response services will be strained already if you were to have a problem, and things are not what they usually are without traffic signals. Traveling at night, in the winter, raises the odds against you.
  • As soon as the power comes on, gas up and get home. Plan for additional interruptions on the way home. Keep your tank half full or more, and keep your family supplied.

B. MODERATE EMP (ELECTRO-MAGNETIC PULSE) ELECTRICAL FAILURE OR TERRORIST ATTACK ON THE GRID

Identify Level of Failure

  • The power grid is down
  • Your cell phone is dead
  • Your land line may or may not work
  • Some electronic devices work or are impaired
  • Your car may still start
  • Battery-powered radio works
  • News says it was an EMP

This is a different event than a regular power failure. In this case, the power grid and many electronic devices have been permanently damaged by an electromagnetic pulse of energy. This is more serious than a power grid failure, depending on whether it is in a small or large area. You may not have any access to communications, and if it is due to solar flares, the damage may still increase. Wherever you are, you need to prepare as your survival may depend on it. If it damaged a large area, you will not have power restored for a longer period of time. If it is winter, seek out a shelter with a heat source, like a fireplace or woodstove.

Check to see if your car starts. If so, you’re going to need to make some choices: prepare, stock up and stay, or go to a safer unpopulated location.

IF IT HAPPENS ON A TRIP:

  • If you are on a trip, begin with cautious driving and check your gas gauge to determine your plans. Unless you find a gas station with a generator for the pumps, there will be little to no gas available in the grid-down areas.
  • Avoid congested areas with many traffic signals. If you are stuck in one, shut off the engine if you are in a traffic jam and just sitting. Avoid using the air conditioning if you think your fuel will run low before arriving home.
  • Seek out additional food and supplies as soon as you see them. If stores take cash, purchase extra water, food, protection, and cooking supplies first.
  • If you know someone nearby and can contact them, go there to wait it out. Otherwise, check into a hotel and wait it out.
  • Remain extra cautious if you plan to travel at night. You must have sufficient fuel, food, and water. Understand that emergency response services will be strained already if you had a problem, and things are not what they usually are without traffic signals. Traveling at night, in the winter raises the odds against you.
  • As soon as the power comes on, gas up and get home. Plan for additional interruptions on the way home. Keep your tank half full or more, and keep your family supplied.
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