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Unread 05-02-2010, 11:19 PM   #1
Realist
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Exclamation Emergency Preparedness

Some of this info is geared toward Oahu/Hawaii residents, so if you're elsewhere, just use Google (or Startpage with Tor Browser if you value your privacy). There's a lot of information out there, but I'll try to keep this as simple as possible. Comments, suggestions, and meaningful discussion are welcome. If you find any dead links, please let me know.

"Civilized life" gets us pretty distracted. So distracted, it's gotten to the point that some of us have absolutely NO idea what to do if a major event should happen. In fact, the notion of a remotely terrifying occurrence is not even on the radar. Maybe it's because of the over-reliance on others ("I don't have to do jack; the government will take care of us, 'cause it's supposed to"). Maybe it's because you think having a happy life means not having to think about bad things ("I swear, if Realist starts talking about some zombie bullshit..."). Whatever the case, you'd just prefer not to deal with it.

That ends now. Just by reading this, you can no longer claim ignorance. You can no longer delude yourself into thinking "nothing will ever happen here" or "I'll just raid Costco or Walmart" (along with the thousands of other people with that same idea). Believe me, living in denial is unhealthy. In creating this post, I hope to help you be more aware of the unfortunate possibilities that could happen in this paradise that we live in... and if something major happens, hopefully you'll be at least somewhat prepared. Let's get started.

This will be divided into 6 sections:
1) STAY or LEAVE
2) Bugout Bag
3) Tsunami
4) Hurricane
5) Earthquake
6) Resources

Note: It would be wise to save any emergency preparation web page you come across for offline access in case your internet connection goes down for whatever reason (just be sure to remember where you saved the file). There are also free programs like HTTrack which can copy full websites for offline viewing.

Firefox
: Firefox tab > Save Page As
Internet Explorer: Tools icon > File > Save As
Chrome: Wrench icon > Save Page As
Opera: Opera tab > Page > Save As
Safari: Page icon > Save As

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Whether it's a MAN-MADE DISASTER (pandemic, terrorism, war, riot, etc.) or NATURAL DISASTER (fire, hurricane, tsunami, volcano, earthquake, etc.), you have exactly 2 options in an emergency situation:

STAY or LEAVE

If you STAY, you'll need to take several things into consideration:
  • How much food & water (per person) do you have?
An average home usually has several weeks' worth of canned goods; that's not enough. 6 months' worth is decent; a year's worth is admirable. 1 gallon of water per person per day is recommended. If public utilities shut down, do you have any water in storage? How will you acquire water if the pipes dry up? To help with sustainability, do you have a home garden? Etcetera.

Note: 2 sources of drinking water if times get tough are the water heater & toilet tank (if you drink from the bowl, make sure to take a picture; it'll entertain me). For water storage in a pinch, you can use your blue recycling bin and your green compost bin (if kept clean). There's also a product on the market called the WaterBOB just in case you don't want to fill up your dirty bathtub.
  • Are you willing and able to defend your supplies, your home, and the lives of you & your loved ones?
If the shit hits the fan (SHTF), expect the worst of man. People have been murdered for less than a penny. If logic & reason don't work and the looter starts swinging or pulls out a weapon, how savage can you get if some desperate, violent stranger threatens your well-being? I'm no expert on the legal ramifications of self-defense, but you can read up on the Castle Law to get started. You're ultimately responsible for your own life; use your own judgment.

Note: If you think you can go Mad Max just to rape & pillage as you please, don't expect any sympathy when you come across somebody more skilled & more intelligent than you. Bad reputation lasts a lot longer than ammo; you can bet people will remember that as they step over your shallow grave.
  • How well do you know your neighbors?
If the shit hits the fan, look for the best of man. That phrase "lucky you live Hawaii" applies even in a state of emergency. Through the hurricanes & tsunamis, volcanic eruptions & earthquakes, Hawaii's people have treated others kindly for the most part. How's the sense of community in your neighborhood? When the SHTF, do your neighbors have your back? Do you have theirs? During hard times, your neighbors could possibly be your best friends. If you're under the delusion that you can survive by yourself long-term, get it out of your head; leave that to Hollywood & Bear Grylls' production team.
If you LEAVE, you'll need 3 things:

  • Emergency supplies
See "Bugout Bag" section below.

Have several hundred dollars in cold, hard cash in small bills. Hide some in your bag. Hide some in the footwear you have on. Hide some in your dirty underwear. If the system is still up, use your credit/debit card for purchases (be sure to pay it off ASAP; remember, debt is your enemy). Unless bartering becomes an option, "cash is king" in a temporary emergency, so save your paper for those rare moments.
  • A place to go
Do you have friends or family who will let you stay with them? Think about that. Is the extra stress & aggravation of dealing with people you don't get along with really worth it to you? If you don't have anyone willing to take you in, can you find a ho-tel, mo-tel, Holiday Inn..? Is there an emergency shelter nearby? What kind of services (if any) do they provide? Do they accept pets? Realize that if you head to a shelter, you give up a lot of your rights.
  • A way to get there
Are you traveling by foot? Motorcycle? Automobile? Segway..? How congested are the roads? Are there road blocks? What about alternate routes?
Note: It's a good idea to keep your gas tank at least half full when possible; you'll fill up more often, but should impending doom present itself, you won't have to waste your time at the gas station waiting behind the hundreds of other people who didn't prepare.
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* EMERGENCY BAG * BUGOUT BAG (BOB) * GO-BAG *

The Purpose, Planning and Packing your Bug-Out-Bag 1/3
The Purpose, Planning and Packing your Bug-Out-Bag 2/3
The Purpose, Planning and Packing your Bug-Out-Bag 3/3

Many of us have health insurance. Many of us have car insurance. With that in mind, you can think of a bugout bag as "emergency insurance". In my opinion, everybody should have one of these (kids & pets included). The Stadium swap meet has really cheap bags; you could buy a full-sized backpack for about $10-$12. When it comes down to it, building a bugout bag is a pretty fun project to do. If you really wanna pimp out your BOB with important documents, multi-tools, water filters, water purifiers & water desalinators (they're not the same), condoms, weapons and other gadgetry, Google (or Startpage) can help you out. However, as a BARE MINIMUM in an urban environment, an emergency bag should contain:
  • 3 days FOOD (high energy bars, MREs) & WATER (1 liter per day AT THE VERY LEAST)
Note: Rotate the food & water out every few months.
  • COMMUNICATION (radio, flashlight, batteries, mirror, whistle)
  • 1ST AID KIT (best to make your own; it could as simple as a few bandages, some pain pills & "necessary" medications)
  • FIRE (matches, lighter, firesteel)
  • SHELTER (i.e. emergency blanket, tarp, heavy duty garbage bag, bivvy sack)
  • Extra change of CLOTHES (hat, shirt, sweater, pants, at least 2 pairs of underwear & socks)
Note: Make sure the clothing is appropriate for the type of weather you're experiencing.

It would be pretty convenient having a BOB at home ready to go in case of an emergency. But the reality is that many of us spend a lot of time away from home due to work or other reasons. This is where the Get Home Bag (GHB) comes into play. It simply contains just enough supplies to get you home. Keep one in your car and/or at your work desk, and you should be all set.

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TSUNAMI

Tsunami 101
Anatomy of a Tsunami
Hawaii Tsunami Evacuation Zone Maps

There's this little thing called the Pacific Ring of Fire. Considering it surrounds the 50th state at almost all angles, it's no wonder Hawaii is known as the tsunami capitol of the Pacific.

There are 3 basic causes of tsunamis:
  • earthquake
  • meteor impact
  • landslide
While the earthquake-created tsunami tends to be the "smallest" of the 3, it's still a major threat to any coastline in its way. Looks like the skies are clear, so I don't think we'll have to worry about enlisting the help of Bruce Willis anytime soon, but the possibility of a deadly wave of catastrophic proportions still exists.

Enter the Mega-Tsunami.

Have you ever tried to knock down a tree... with a car... at full speed? Chances are the tree never budged, but you had a major headache after. Now imagine that tree being ripped clean off the earth it grew on. Back in 1958 (when Purple People Eater by Sheb Wooley was #1 on the Billboard charts), a wave taller than the Empire State Building swept through Lituya Bay in Alaska and destroyed everything in its path. A simple computer simulation doesn't do the magnitude of the wave justice, but you get the point.

I'm sure many of us have seen the Ultimate Tsunami video where a huge chunk of the Big Island falls into the ocean and creates a gigantic tsunami which begins to completely devour Honolulu in about 30 minutes. If February 2010's Chilean-earthquake-created-tsunami-that-never-was turned out to be a Chilean-landslide-created-tsunami-that-could-have-been, any wave watchers on Diamond Head would've been in serious danger.

Basically, if you hear the words TSUNAMI & LANDSLIDE in the same sentence, head to higher ground ASAP. In a landslide-created mega-tsunami, THERE'S NO TIME TO F*CK AROUND. Drop EVERYTHING you're doing, gather your loved ones, grab your emergency bag & GO.

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HURRICANE

Hurricanes 101
Anatomy of a Hurricane

Hurricane Safety
Hurricane Checklist (PDF)

Everybody remembers 9/11/01; it was a tragic day in history & I hope it never happens again. But there's also another 9/11 that has significance in my life; that's 9/11/92 (I was a high school junior at the time), the day Hurricane Iniki hit Hawaii. After spending the good part of the morning rearranging our yard & taping up windows in accordance with hurricane feng shui, I set out to record the events of the day with a camcorder in hand. In my festive mood, I enjoyed recording the swaying of the trees & the sounds of the radio emergency broadcasts in the background. Fortunately, that was as exciting as it was going to get for my family & I. Kauai, on the other hand, got a lot more up close & personal with Iniki.

I'm not sure how reliable the information was, but the radio mentioned one of the strategies in dealing with a hurricane was to close the windows facing the hurricane winds & opening the windows on the opposite side of the house; in theory, this would equalize the pressure to prevent the roof from flying away. The arguments against this theory claim that wind direction is unpredictable, but from my experience, the direction of wind on that day was fairly constant. If you're in doubt, close them out (I would've said 'close them all', but that doesn't rhyme). By the way, Mythbusters was right; don't open all your windows in a hurricane; walking around on soggy carpets is only fun for the 1st 10 seconds.

Hurricane shutters are a great option for high-wind protection. If you don't want the professionals to help you out, you could always do it yourself.

There's a website called Listening to Katrina that chronicles the story of a man's experience as the nation's largest natural disaster ravaged his state. It's preparation info interspersed with raw humanity and a good dose of humor. 3 major things I learned from this site are: 1) Survival is not a kit, 2) Lazy people do not prosper, and 3) The ultimate goal is to get home (the place you feel comfortable). In my opinion, it's not the prettiest website but it's one of the best single resources out there.

Speaking of Hurricane Katrina, we all should know about the failure of government & FEMA to provide relief to desperate civilians in a timely manner. This is why we need to take steps to prepare in advance for situations like this.

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EARTHQUAKE

Earthquake Science 101
Earthquakes 101

Earthquake Safety Checklist
Earthquake Home Hazard Hunt
Earthquake Preparedness Handbook

With a tsunami, there would be time to prepare 'cause the sirens would go off & you'd turn on the radio/TV/PC to get more info. With a hurricane, there would be time to prepare 'cause the sirens would go off & you'd turn on the radio/TV/PC to get more info. With an earthquake, there wou- *SQUIRREL!* . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

The point is, unless you pay close attention to the sudden & strange behaviors of animals (since we don't have an early warning system like Japan), you'd have no way of knowing if "The Big One" was about to literally shake the foundation of your life. There are basically 3 parts of earthquake preparedness: BEFORE, DURING and AFTER.
  • BEFORE
The best way to deal with an earthquake would be to prepare in advance. As long as the ground under you is not moving, that would be a perfect time to take a personal survey of your environment. In every room & area of your home/work/school, check to see if there are things that would be a hazard. Do you have tall furniture that could topple over? Are there any heavy objects, glass jars or ceramics in high places? What about any gas lines that could rupture?
  • DURING
Let's say the gRoUnD sTaRtS sHsHsHaKiNg. What do you do next? Stop, drop & roll? Sure, if you're on fire too. But if not, it's more like DROP, COVER and HOLD ON. There's also the controversial Triangle of Life method if you're in a 3rd world country or in a structure that was poorly constructed. I'm merely letting you know what the options are; it's your own responsibility to save your life.
I've seen several videos of people during an earthquake running around like a chicken with their head chopped off; don't be one of them. If you're indoors, just make sure to stay away from glass windows or anything that could bonk you on the head. If you're outdoors, stay away from buildings & utility wires. If you're driving, stop as quickly & as safely as you can away from traffic, bridges, overpasses, or anything that could screw up your paint job.
  • AFTER
There are several things to do after the earthquake passes. Aftershocks can happen anywhere from hours to months after the event, so in the meantime, make sure to help out people who're injured or trapped & provide 1st aid if necessary. Depending on where you are, a lot of dust, smoke & asbestos could get kicked up, so an N95 respirator mask would be great to have. Check your gas lines, water lines & electrical wiring. Be prepared for potential water shortages & power failures. Since we're in Hawaii, be aware of potential tsunami waves. If you happen to get stuck under debris, breathe through some fabric, try not to light any fires in case there could be ruptured gas lines, and tap on walls or pipes to be heard (metal on metal makes a lot of noise).
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Quote:
"Believe in miracles, but don't rely on them."
-- Life's Little Instruction Book
RESOURCES

Hawaii State Civil Defense
Emergency Info (PDF)
Disaster Preparedness
Emergency Preparedness by State

CHECKLISTS
Basic Disaster Supplies Kit
Preparedness Checklist (PDF)
Basic Emergency Supply Kit (PDF)

SERVICES
Earthquake Notification Service
Weather.com Mobile

INCIDENTS
Earthquake Map
Emergency and Disaster Information Service
Global Incident Map Displaying Terrorist Acts, Suspicious Activity, and General Terrorism News

BLOGS
Survival Cache
The Survival Spot Blog

FORUMS
SurvivalistBoards
The Survival Podcast
Zombie Squad
EDC Forums

STORES
SoulTrex
Be Ready Inc.

Last edited by Realist; 02-16-2013 at 03:36 PM. Reason: Monthly Maintenance
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Unread 05-03-2010, 07:01 AM   #2
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Wow! Very Nice, well deserving of a sticky!
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Unread 05-03-2010, 08:29 AM   #3
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cool!

lots of good info there! now i gotta go recheck all my supplies, water filters/purification tabs, etc...

i think i might need to change the clothes in my son's bugout bag - he's probably outgrown them since last year.
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Unread 05-03-2010, 08:56 AM   #4
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heh, I can't drink from the toilet tank or bowl since I'm using those chlorine tablets.

I have 2 different water filters, but never really saw the need for purification tablets. I have 2 gallons of bleach, which will kill the bacteria in A LOT of water. I guess the purification tablets are a lot more compact than either the bleach or the water filters (about the size of a sports bottle). Maybe I'll pick some up.

I've been trying to find out where I can go for first aid training more rigorous than the standard first aid classes. I know they have the EMT classes at the CC, but a ton of prerequisites and you need to be in the program. I have a pretty good first aid kit that I've been adding to when I can. Basically, it's the size of a duffel bag.

Last edited by posrx7; 05-03-2010 at 09:08 AM.
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Unread 05-03-2010, 09:44 AM   #5
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yeah, we've got a couple of those portable water filters, as well as a filter w/ a suction pump thing so that you can suck up water from ponds, standing water, etc... and filter that on the go.

i've also got some purification tabs that i take when we go hiking just in case something goes wrong with the filter (even w/ a pre-filter, trying to filter salt water is a good way to clog your filter). always keep some cowboy matches in a film container, so a fire can be started quickly in case you need to boil water you're not sure about. also, those emergency blankets also make good solar stills, if you have enough plant life to crush up and use in the still.

you can go for days w/o food, but you're in world of hurt w/o sufficient water to stay hydrated.
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Unread 05-03-2010, 09:46 AM   #6
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oh, i also replaced our mini maglites w/ smaller, brighter LED tactical lights - $19 for a pair of LED lights at costco, how can you go wrong? they're like 3x whiter and brighter than the mini maglites, lighter, and much easier on the batteries if set on the low power setting. they also have a strobe setting to make you easier to find for rescuers.
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Unread 05-03-2010, 09:52 AM   #7
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salt water is a no-go with these filters. They do make reverse osmosis filters, but their higher costs & upkeep makes them not as appealing as normal ones.

If it comes down to it, you can simply rig a tarp to the side of your house into a barrel and use that for water catchment.

Last edited by posrx7; 05-03-2010 at 10:00 AM.
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Unread 05-03-2010, 11:19 AM   #8
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My emergency prep kit:




everything else i can rape a pillage.
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Unread 05-03-2010, 03:54 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by posrx7 View Post
salt water is a no-go with these filters.
I forgot to mention desalinators; hell, we're surrounded by sea water, so it might be a good idea to get one in the future. Katadyn makes some.

I bought some water purification tabs from Military HQ one time but I forgot to check the expiration date; it was way past being good, so I just threw em away. Good thing Walmart got some.
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Last edited by Realist; 05-03-2010 at 04:14 PM.
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Unread 05-03-2010, 05:07 PM   #10
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if you need large quantities of H20 and live by the beach, i can see investing in desalinization.

for what we used to do when survival camping, a couple of simple solar stills provided enough drinkable water on the beach for a couple of days.
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Unread 05-03-2010, 06:03 PM   #11
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Nuclear War Fallout Shelter Survival Info for Hawaii with FEMA Target Maps
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Unread 05-03-2010, 07:05 PM   #12
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We're so screwed...
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Unread 05-03-2010, 09:14 PM   #13
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Fawkin' A. We're dead, man...totally wiped. I really think I should make this it's own thread, though.
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Unread 02-28-2011, 07:58 PM   #14
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I added an earthquake section to the original post.
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Unread 02-28-2011, 08:43 PM   #15
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Nice to see yah! Thanks!
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