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Posted: Sep. 8, 2002
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Question of the Week: 101 - 3/3/2003
Have You Made Any Extra Security Preparations?
Faced with the potential threats of terrorism and/or war, many governments have asked their citizenry to ‘be prepared’. Have you stocked up on any items? Do you have a first aid kit? How’s your plastic to duct tape ratio?
Should you ever have to vacate your home and you could only take ten (10) items with you, what would these items be?
If you are trained in outdoor survival skills, medical emergencies or in other related areas, what advice can you share with us on how to be prepared in case the unthinkable does come to pass? What ten things do you think everyone should have on hand?
| Reponses: There are 85 responses posted to this question.
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| All Hail Eris, All Hail Discordia ||Mar 4th. at 5:26:32 pm EST|
|Bittersweet (Western New York) ||Age: 29 - Email - Web|
I always wear clean underwear, so no worries there....
1) Lots of hairbands. You could probably link 50, 000 of them and make a rope strong enough to hold a 250lb. person.
2) A spatula.
3) A TI-85. I hear you can rig these up to act like ATMs and food dispensers.
4) Those little unbrellas they put in fancy mixed drinks.
5) My ferret. (He speaks Vulcan.)
6) Standard-size security envelopes. There must be a reason they're called "security" envelopes.
7) Instant vegan jello.
8) A #2 pencil. (You never know.)
9) My plastic Dungeons & Dragons paladin that looks just like Kirk Douglas from Spartacus.
10) An ironing board.
| Where You Are. ||Mar 4th. at 6:52:58 pm EST|
|tedd savage (Everetts, nc) ||Age: 51 - Email |
If you live in a large city, the ten things you should take, would relate to getting as far away as possible. If you live where I live, then either I have what I need already or I kiss my ass goodby.
| I Would Bring... ||Mar 4th. at 7:02:29 pm EST|
|Lunar Man ("New Yawk") ||Age: 45 - Email |
9) More Beer
| "Extra" Precautions--- No ||Mar 4th. at 7:12:22 pm EST|
|Running Wolf (Ohio) ||Age: 45 - Email |
Everybody should, all the time, be prepared for emergencies. In my family, we each have an emergency kit kept in the car, and there is an emergency repair kit for the car as well. Each kit gets inspected and repacked once per year. I have taken my children camping, where we pretended our car had broken down in a remote area and we had to survive the weekend just on what was in the car. At home, we have spare gasoline (for the car) , a kerosene heater, a portable stove, canned foods, and other items that allow us to live comfortably and safely in our home for up to a week, even in the winter.
As far as the current terrorism hysteria goes--we have and will not make any special preparations. We are not going to allow fear to rule our lives. If we do that the terrorists win. Their aim is not to kill or destroy: there is a reason they are called "terror" -ists.
That said, there is one thing I have not seen mentioned in previous posts. Several people have very good ideas for emergency supply items. But suppose you have to leave your home? Whatever items you decide to have on hand, they should be as portable as possible. Have the most needed items packed in a backpack or handbag, ready to grab-and-go at a moment's notice. I advocate keeping your emergency kit in your car, so you will have it wherever you are.
I also strongly believe in Red Cross first aid training and certification. It's affordable, and since you never know when proper first aid knowledge will be needed, there is no reason not to be trained.
Ok. I just decided to get wordy here. Chemical and biological weapons are on everybody's minds, so: I have been told by someone claiming knowledge (i.e., works in the field) that bioweapons work much better in the lab than in the wild. The problem, apparently, is the delivery. Methods that work well for spreading gas (like artillery shells) tend to kill germs. They also have a limited shelf life once loaded into the dispersal mechanism. I may have been misled here, biology is not my strong point, but it seems reasonable to me.
Chemical weapons are another story. Chemical weapons are scary. Anyone who has read of the horrors of World War I and seen the pictures can appreciate this. Part of the reason for the horrific casualties of that war was that the troops were living in trenches, and war gases tend to be heavier than air. For war gases to be effective they have to be employed when enviromental conditions are right--or at least not wrong. A light breeze--going in the right direction--is good; a strong wind is not. Rain is bad. Etc. Most gases are not persistant--they dilute or decompose within hours or at most a few days. Any surface contaminated with chemical agents will become safe to handle faster if exposed to the weather. There are some exceptions; some chemical agents leave an oily residue. Just about any contaminated item can be rendered safe by burning it--just remember to stay upwind.
If you are in an area that may have been exposed to airborne chemical agents, the best thing to do is run away. Hold your breath, determine which way the wind is blowing, and run as fast as you can at a 90 degree angle to the wind. DO NOT run downwind or upwind!! Your goal is to get out of the noxious cloud as quickly as possible, which you do by running crosswise to the wind. If you are, in fact, exposed to an agent, even just a little, get medical attention as soon as possible. You may not need it, but getting checked over never hurts. (Several years ago, when I was visiting a chemical manufacturing plant, all visitors had to read and initial a document detailing what to do if there was an "accident" during your visit, before being allowed past the security checkpoint. The instructions basically boiled down to, "hold your breath and run like hell".)
At home, in my opinion, covering your house with saran-wrap and duct tape is just plain dumb. The average house has so many crevices and other openings that air (or nerve gas) can get in that you will never find them all. Feeling more secure is not the same as actually being more secure. But it's great for the plastic wrap and duct tape companies.
Another point; while there are gas masks available to people to work in certain industries, these are not things you can just go into a store and buy. Military gas masks are not available to the public. If you find a gas mask at a surplus store I can just about guarantee it's worthless. And gas masks do not protect you against substances absorbed through the skin. Protective clothing used in the military is also not available to the public.
Finally, don't take everything I've written here as gospel. I'm not an expert, all I know is what I learned in military training. If you are really concerned, educate yourself. I am not taking any extra precautions because I don't feel the need. And I am not going to cower.
| Thanks To All For The Great Responses ||Mar 4th. at 7:24:44 pm EST|
|KITTYMAN (Auburn WA) ||Age: 45 - Email |
Wow, I actually learned some things here reading all your posts. Thank you all for responding.
Having survived two major level 5 & 4 Hurricanes when I lived in Florida....I found the most problematic thing was all the looters, I expected them, but I was overwhelmed at their overwhelming numbers. Even having been prepared for the devastation and destruction, you never know..... Just something for you all to think about.
| Duct Tape Is Pretty Pointless, Really... ||Mar 4th. at 8:56:18 pm EST|
|Meghan (Vienna, Virginia) ||Age: 15 - Email |
I think it's a good idea for everyone to have a first aid kit lying around somewhere, but other than that, I haven't made any special precautions for terrorist activities. Think about it - being cautious will not help unless someone puts a ticking suitcase right in front of you. It's not like you're going to be able to see a bomb coming and run away. Chemical attacks? If you seal a room with that plastic and duct tape they keep telling you to buy, you'll only have enough air for about five hours. Unless you plan to avoid cars, roads, tall buildings, amusement parks, and all public places until terrorism is non-existant, there is no way being 'prepared' will really help you. Terrorism is not a conventional way of fighting - it's unpredictable. You can't be prepared for something that you can't predict, unless you create an hermetically sealed underground shelter to hide in for the next decade. Buy a first aid kit and some spring water and stop worrying about it.
| There's No Point In Fussing ||Mar 5th. at 6:28:51 am EST|
|Silver Raven (Jo Marriott) (Nottingham, England) ||Age: 20 - Email - Web|
There is no point in getting so worked up about terrorist attacks. We are all going to die one day and none of us know when, so how is the threat of terrorism any different? I actually envy people who have terminal illnesses - obviously they are suffering greatly, but they actually have some idea of when they are going to die, they can stop worrying about life and just make the most of what time they have. Far too many people suffer from stress, because they worry about everything and anything, making mountains out of molehills. LIFE IS TOO SHORT. And too precious. Everyone just enjoy what you have, enjoy life in the here and now. Make plans for tomorrow, but don't obsess about what MIGHT happen!! Blessed Be. xx
| Use Ancient Pagan Knowledge! ||Mar 5th. at 8:17:27 am EST|
|Jay Rufus (Ireland) ||Age: 50 - Email |
If you are a committed pagan and not just a fluffy-bunny 'into' it for fun, you will have spent years studying the ancient knowledge gained by humankind over thousands of years of survival on this planet. Whether we get virtually wiped out by a sudden nuclear strike in war or by a comet strike from space, any humans remaining on Earth will need the skills of the stone age to survive. In oter words, the skills and knowledge of our pagan ancestors are super-important. Battery radios - fine as long as the batteries last and someone out there is transmitting & transmitting the truth - but .........will that REALLY help your survival? Yes, by all means put by as much SENSIBLE stuff as you can, but also take care to guard The Ancient Knowledge. In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. If you, as a good pagan, are skilled in herbal knowledge, growing things etc., you could literally save humankind as well as your own family, if civilisation itself breaks down in your area. Start revising your backwoods skills NOW. Learn what the witches, druids and shamans of old knew and remember those facts. In the chaos of war, the government & the army of your own homeland won't be looking after you, you'll have to do it yourself. To them, civilians are just a nuisance. THE MOST USEFUL SURVIVAL AIDS OF ALL ARE COMMON SENSE AND THE VITAL KNOWLEDGE STORED IN YOUR OWN BRAIN - IT'S PORTABLE AND DOESN'T NEED A BATTERY! Best advice I can think of in a disaster situation is STAY OUT OF SIGHT AND KEEP SAFE! Good luck to us all!
| Prepared For What? ||Mar 5th. at 9:14:10 am EST|
|Mada Rua (peggy) (Council Bluffs IA) ||Age: 42 - Email |
Why should any body do anything ever again? We are reacting just as they hoped. We are running around with Alert Colors, duct tape and plastic wrap, constant coverage of "The Attack on Iraq" and The Goddess knows what else. We must be very entertaining to our kin in Northern Ireland or Isreal. I don't mean that in a negative way, folks. Just an observation. I, for one, feel like we are hamsters in one of those plastic tube things running around in circles.
My Mate is a "Survivalist" and we have food and other supplies laid in. We will be able to defend ourselves and feed ourselves if need be. But we have always been that way. If we have a roll of duct tape, I don't know where it is. That's a "Guy Thing"! hehe As was already pointed out, what will you do if the hunting grounds at Wal-Mart and Albertsons are closed? Do you know an edible plant outside of the Produce Department? Or an herb outside of a bottle? I'm not trying to sound wiser then anyone else, I'm not 100% certain of most of that myself! Remember the old phrase "Nuke 'em back to the Stone Age"? That keeps running through my head. Can we survive that lifestyle? Or will we have to? There were rumors going around my place of employment yesterday about how we need to pull our money out of the bank. We will destroy ourselves in our fear of being destroyed. Take out the finanical system and the country will fold. Hope all this makes sense, it's still to early in the morning for me.
| My Family's Preps ||Mar 5th. at 10:41:07 am EST|
|Raven Nightwing (San Antonio, TX) ||Age: 36 - Email |
So far we have stocked up on extra medical supplies, brought in food to be stored like water in gallon jugs, food that can be eaten without cooking, and just some general supplies like flashlight batteries, oil for the oil lamps etc.. we are also working on a better food storage program so that we could feasibly live off of it for at least 6 months if need be. Since we are a family of 9 that makes for a lot of food and first aid supplies, so we are tackling it in small amounts each time we go to the store. I know it sounds a little paranoid to be stocking up for 6 months, but the Mormon church requires at least a years worth of supplies per family, so I can't think of why a pagan family can't do something similar:)
I have been trained in emergency medical response, communications, and am working on a nuclear response program through the self-study program from FEMA. I have also worked on learning some skills that might be helpful in the event of loss of power, like building a generator from an old lawnmower, and some pioneer-type skills like making leather, candlemaking, and herbal medicine.
As to the ten things:
1. food- includes pets too :)
2. water- 1 gallon per person per day (don't forget the animals :)
3. medical supplies and any prescription meds you might be taking (at least a month's worth, if you can get it)
4. flashlights, lamps, oil and batteries
5. extra warm or cool clothing (depending on the season)
6. duct tape (the million-use item)
7. plastic sheeting (won't filter out everything, but some is better that none)
8. some sort of air and water filtration (HEPA filters are expensive but worth every penny)
9. I hate to say it, because so many of us here are against it, but some sort of home defense item, be it a firearm or a club. In the event of looters, you want to be able to meet them with something other that your ritual knife (harsh reality folks.. THEY won't be unarmed)
10. if you get a gun and learn how to properly use it- ammunition. Ask at the shop what has the best stopping power. You want something that isn't going to just hack off the perpetrator so he comes back even worse that he was before. Remember, this is your home and family you are protecting:)
Well, that's about it for us. Hope I didn't step on anyone's toes, but if the worst happens, I for one am going to be prepared.
| Not Afraid ||Mar 5th. at 11:08:30 am EST|
|Etain (Ohio) ||Age: 31 - Email |
My family has not made any special preparations and will not in the future. We have a first aid kit & we know first aid, but that's about the extent of it. I'm studying herbology and plants but thats out of enjoyment and self knowledge....not as a survivalist skill. There's a new movie that opened up a couple of days ago called "Bowling For Columbine" by Michael Moore. I think every American should see it. It's about Americans and how we have become a paranoid, fearful society. The media has a lot to do with our fears being perpetuated. But in the end, it seems that we've done it to ourselves. Although I'm not in denial about the power and destruction of bio-chemical warfare, I choose not to live in fear. I live my life day to day and I am happy I have the priveledge to do so.
| Doing Without... ||Mar 5th. at 1:42:34 pm EST|
|lyric (Virginia) ||Age: 49 - Email |
I live midway between Richmond and Charlottesville. I live on a very small farm and on it (no need to sing along) I have horses, hens, rabbits, a greenhouse, tons of seeds, a well, a pond, woods that can be utilized for heat, a woodstove and a fairly good working knowledge of how to use these things to live and live well. My greatest concern is not bombs, or viruses, my greatest concern is that the supply lines could be destroyed, grocery stores emptied out and utilities interrupted. My guess is that the cities would self destruct in a matter of days if these basic things were not provided. Then what? Does everyone migrate to the outlying areas? Could I possibly find myself in the position of defending a chicken with a shotgun? Could I possibly find myself having to decide whether to turn someone away or let them in? Could I possibly be forced to turn over the resources I have for the "greater good"? I really can't dismiss anything as a possibility. I have seen the way people have reacted in the past to natural disasters that have left homes and businesses open to looting. I have seen people become very nasty when the local grocery is out of their favorite brand of something. People have been known to kill each other over possession of the television remote. I think that in the event of the type of disaster that would force us to use survival skills, the greatest threat we would face would be each other. Anyone read "Alas Babylon"? We would probably react just about like those characters do, sane and nuts. Stocking up: first aid kits are necessary, but don't forget aspirin, antihistamines, cough medicine, antacids, alcohol and peroxide. A simple cut could be a disaster if not treated. How about prescription meds? Can you get an extra? It's one thing to say that if it's going to happen, it's going to happen, quite another to have a sick child and nowhere to go for medicine. During the Y2K thing, one person said that if all of the stocking up she was doing was a mistake, at least it was a mistake she could eat. Finally, speaking as the mother of three who has spent years stocking up on underwear, socks, notebook paper and pencils, this thing just sort of comes naturally to me!
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