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By Kellene Bishop

Natural Disaster photo c/o history.com

Natural Disaster photo c/o history.com

Typically when I mention emergency preparedness to someone they automatically think of “food storage” or “the Mormons.”  Unfortunately, a focus on either will not save your family in a time of crisis.  There are actually ten vital areas to being prepared for an emergency whether it be a natural disaster, act of war or financial collapse.  Food is only one component that we’ve addressed recently.  So let’s take a look at all 10 areas of being prepared.

I’m listing them for you in the area of importance.

  1. Component of Emergency Preparedness #1: Spiritual. This category has everything to do with your belief system.  It’s where you draw on peace even in the midst of chaos.  It’s also where you draw on knowledge and understanding of that which is to come.  Your spiritual preparedness needs to be fed on a regular basis.  It will be incredibly invaluable in a time of great need, such as a catastrophic emergency.  If your spiritual preparedness is lacking, not much else you focus on will be of benefit to you.
  2. Component of Emergency Preparedness #2: Mental. This category has to do with your knowledge level, skills, and mental rehearsals for chaotic scenarios.  This area requires constant nourishment, education, and deliberate thought.  Unless you mentally prepare for a situation such as self-defense, or mass chaos, or the fact that all hell can really break loose, then you will be physically and emotionally paralyzed from being a leader and a protector to anyone, let alone your family and loved ones.  The mental preparation is what prepares you in spite of the crazy looks and comments you get from friends and loved ones.  Immerse yourself in movies, books, and conversations relevant to emergency preparedness (see #5).  Expose yourself to as much learning experiences as you are able.  Work that mental muscle as much as possible.  It will serve you well in a time of crisis as well as long-term survival.
    The key to your mental preparedness is Attitude, Skills, and Knowledge. Fortunately all three of these aspects can be obtained without monetary cost as there’s so much available through classes and online.
  3. Component of Emergency Preparedness #3: Physical. This area covers a great deal.  Physical preparedness has to do with your physical strength and ability to maximize your physical strength, such as the
    Exercise photo c/o healthspablog.org

    Exercise photo c/o healthspablog.org

    use of wagons or wheel barrels, your ability to protect yourself and your family, as well as planning for any necessary travel needs.  Keep in mind that your physical strength will be your primary asset when it comes to travel.  Since most of us aren’t trained extensively in military tactics and maneuvers, firearms are a key consideration for physical self-defense.  Make sure you have tools like small wagons, bikes, wheel barrels, etc.  You can strengthen your physical preparedness by adjusting your diet now to avoid foods that impede your performance or you won’t have access to later.  And no, I’m not going to rattle them off because you already know what you’re doing wrong in that regard.  Exercise is critical for your physical preparedness as well.  You will inevitably be called upon to be more physical in your survival efforts in an emergency.  Perhaps you will need to trek 30 miles.  Or perhaps you will need to do some heavy lifting to create a suitable shelter.  You will also need to function without air conditioning or heat like you’re accustomed to.  Take precautions now so that you are better physically prepared later.

  4. Component of Emergency Preparedness #4: Medical. This includes having what you need for first-aid, solutions for your existing medical needs, as well as sanitation.  First-aid needs includes bandages, a field surgical kit, pain relievers, herbs and essential oils, as well as the knowledge to use such items.  Your existing medical needs will be a challenge since most individuals can’t get a year’s supply of prescription medicines.  If I were you, I would make sure to study up on alternative options available, such as herbal nutrition, essential oils, homeopathic care, etc.  Recently, as a result of my goal to be more prepared medically, I set a goal to eliminate all of my prescription drugs.  I started the New Year with seven prescriptions on my nightstand, and I’m now down to one.  The most recent I was able to get rid of was my thyroid medicine by incorporating quality nutrition products into my diet instead of my thyroid medicine.  While my doctor wasn’t happy with the approach, he did acquiesce just this last Friday that my blood tests showed that I was no longer in need of my thyroid medicine!  I feel much more independent and capable now.  While I can’t supply a years worth of pharmaceuticals safely, I sure can keep a year’s supply of various nutritional products.  (Just FYI, I elect to use Reliv products.  No, I don’t sell them but you can locate them easily online.)
    As far as sanitation is concerned, you have to be sure you’ve thought this one through.  Digging a hole out in your back yard will not do.  You’ve got to have the chemicals on hand to break down the waste.  I assure you that if the hole in the back yard was everyone’s strategy, everyone within a 50 mile radius will be dead within 30 days!  The holes have to be dug deep.  Plan on using some type of a disposal breakdown chemical regularly.  Disposing of the waste, keeping it covered, and minimizing its location and effect on everything else around you will be critical in a time of emergency.  Understand that this aspect of preparation will not be simple.  You should expect a lot of diarrhea initially as a result of stress, different foods, and drinking less liquids.
  5. Component of Emergency Preparedness #5: Clothing/Shelter. This category is a higher priority than food and water.  Many folks really overlook this critical area.  While being able to survive in your own home is ideal, it’s not necessarily possible for a myriad of different reasons.  Be sure that you’ve got SPARE clothing available for all of your children’s ages and have it readily accessible.  This may mean you need to go to a local thrift store and purchase clothes for a year in advance of your children’s sizes right now.  Sturdy shoes will be critical—especially if you have to walk long distances to get to safety.  Also, be mindful of your clothing and your shelter accommodating either warm or cold weather.  Be sure to have hats and gloves for everyone—spares so that there’s no chance of them “getting lost” in the event of a crisis.   Even if you are able to survive in your present dwelling, be sure you have tools on hand to reinforce it, such as hammers, nails, sheeting, duct tape, and even some plywood.  (My preferred sheeting is purchased at Costco.  It’s twice as thick as others, you get twice as much, and it’s less expensive.)  Be sure that you don’t have to rely on electricity and batteries for the use of your tools as well in the event of a solar flare or an EMP attack.
  6. Component of Emergency Preparedness #6: Water. Let me be perfectly clear on this.  A two week supply of water is NOT sufficient.  That’s short-term.  I hardly EVER address short-term preparedness in my articles, and am almost always focusing on long term.  As overwhelming as it may sound, you need one gallon of
    Water Barrel Storage photo c/o homelandpreparedness.com

    Water Barrel Storage photo c/o homelandpreparedness.com

    water, per person, per day.  That’s 365 gallons per person.  Yes, that’s a lot of barrels.  But that’s just the MINIMUM.  You’ll be using water for drinking, cooking, cleaning, sanitation, and bathing.  There are a myriad of different ways to conserve water, but you’ll want to employ those even if you do have the 365 gallons per person.  Water is the only thing that will keep your organs functioning properly.  You need water just as much in the cold as you do in the heat.  Your kidneys process hundreds of gallons worth of water each day.  You do not want to treat your kidneys like a teenager treats their oil filter, right?  You’ve got to continue to give your organs new water in order that they will not shut down.  Your body uses flavored water very differently than it does real water.  You use more energy to benefit from the flavored water than you do just straight water.  In addition to storing enough water, I also store a lot of paper goods that I can use that won’t require cleaning afterwards.  I also store cleansing cloths.
    You don’t need to treat your water before storing it if you’re using tap water.  Plan on treating it afterwards if necessary (8 drops of Chlorox for each gallon of water).  You can rotate your water once every 5 years and be just fine.  Stale water can taste a LOT better if you simply aerate it—such as pouring it back and forth from one container to another before serving.

  7. Component of Emergency Preparedness #7: Food. As I’ve shared in the last 8 part series, be familiar with the food that you’ve stored, be prepared to cook it without electricity, and be sure that it’s nutritious.  90 days of food is SHORT-TERM.  It’s not the end result.  One year of food supply for your family is absolutely necessary.  Also be sure that you have all of the tools on hand you will need that don’t require electricity.  Be sure you have nothing in your equipment stores that you have not used yet.  (In other words, don’t just buy that solar oven and put it in your basement.  Use it.)
  8. Component of Emergency Preparedness #8: Fuel. Your fuel should be usable on as many tools as possible, and every responsible member of the family should be familiar with its use.  I store butane for my small oven, propane for the grill, and kerosene for my lights, heaters, and another stove.  I also have some
    Butane Stove photo c/o manventureoutpost.com

    Butane Stove photo c/o manventureoutpost.com

    charcoal and some wood for other forms of cooking.  I’ve experimented with my cooking fuel coupled with my pressure cooker and have learned that I can cook 2 meals a day for 3 weeks on one can of butane.  It’s critical that you know how much fuel you need for your family.  It’s also critical you know that the lights you’re relying on can actually put out enough light.  We bought these “100 hour candles” only to discover one night that they barely put off enough light for us to see the match and the wick so that we could light the next one.  I recommend to all of my clients to try a day or two without electrical lighting.  I also recommend that they go a whole week without using any electricity to prepare their food—including the refrigerator.

  9. Component of Emergency Preparedness #9: Financial.  Financial preparation isn’t just about having debt.  Most of us will have a mortgage if nothing else.  I recommend my clients pay their utilities and their taxes in advance whenever possible.  It’s also critical that you have goods with which to trade such as wheat, sugar, and other stores that will be in high demand.  Anything more than $500 cash on hand is a waste, in my opinion, as a crisis will quickly make money worthless.  If you don’t already have what you need, you will NOT be able to buy it amidst a mob of crazy people who are unprepared. 
  10. Component of Emergency Preparedness #10: Communication. All of the other areas of preparedness I discussed are focused on you and your family.  This is the only area of preparedness that focuses on reaching out to others.  In order to be prepared for communication in an emergency, you should have a very specific plan of communication with you family and friends.  You should have a specific point of gathering agree upon for everyone to meet in the event of a disaster.  Additionally, plan on other forms of communication such as a HAM radio, accompanied by the license and skill to operate.  Also plan on good old fashioned message delivery.  (Another good reason to employ physical preparedness.)  Being able to coordinate with the outside world will become important during and after your initial crisis reaction.

Don’t get overwhelmed with all of this.  Just put it on your radar and start chipping away at it.  Look for opportunities to learn and strengthen your spiritual and mental preparedness first and foremost.  Everything else will appropriately follow.

Copyright 2009 Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.  All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.

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The Aftermath
By Kellene Bishop

Yesterday we discussed the reality of an EMP attack on the U.S. and today we will bring the aftermath of an EMP attack a bit closer so that we can mentally go through the various ramifications.  If you mentally prepare, even little by little, you will be significantly better off.

Ford Bronco photo c/o bringatrailer.com

Ford Bronco photo c/o bringatrailer.com

The Aftermath Reality #1: Since an EMP essentially fries anything electric, this means most automobiles post-1970 will be useless.  This may explain why my husband’s dream car as of late is a 1967 Ford Bronco. 🙂 As early as 1970, key components of automobiles were made with electrical parts.  You’re well aware that some models today brag about being completely electrical.  This will be problem with an EMP.  If you’re driving your beautiful Cooper car when an EMP strikes, you won’t feel the road rattle.  You won’t hear a noise.  Your automobile will simply stop dead in its tracks.  Be prepared mentally for alternative transportation.  For me that’s “hoofing it” so I have a couple pairs of good shoes in storage, and made sure that my bikes have several tire repair kits to go with them.  You may also want to consider having a “li’l red wagon” or something that you can easily push and pull with supplies or your passengers therein.  This is not to say that you will have to flee where you are when an EMP hits, but as the aftermath becomes a way of life, you will have to travel at some point even if it’s just a mile or so.  Personally, I will want to be able to travel so that I can check on other individuals and deliver any aid I may be able to.

HAM Radio photo c/o blind.org.uk

HAM Radio photo c/o blind.org.uk

The Aftermath Reality #2: The most vital services that will be destroyed in an EMP attack are communications.  Telephones, radio, walkie-talkies, etc.  Can you imagine what life will be like in the aftermath without these luxuries?  And to think we mock individuals who don’t have texting abilities nowadays. 🙂 This is yet another reason why you will want to make sure your walking shoes or your bike are ready for use—delivering messages.  

While your challenge will be wide scale, without proper communication you’ll feel like you’re on you very own little planet.  One of the recommendations I make to prepare for the aftermath is to take the time to get your HAM radio license, appropriate equipment, and THEN be sure that it’s kept out of range of an EMP strike.  This can be accomplished in different ways, but the most popular is a Faraday cage.  

Faraday Cage photo c/o scientifica.uk.com

Faraday Cage photo c/o scientifica.uk.com

You can easily create a Faraday cage which will protect most electronics from an EMP attack.  We’ll talk more about Faraday cages later in this series.  (Sorry, I haven’t found a contractor yet who can do this to my whole house.)  You can actually obtain a Faraday cage from a business that’s going under that has been using one for their server room.  I’ve even found decent sized Faraday cages on E-bay.  Then again you can also use materials of your own for such storage with aluminum foil, mesh copper or brass sheeting, a cheap “space blanket” made of Mylar, or even an oversized stock pot!  There are Faraday blankets available as well.

The Aftermath Reality #3: The banking industry will be destroyed with one pulse.  No ATMs, folks.  You will be unable to buy any goods without cash.  (We’ll see how long human nature allows such civil transactions to take place before burglary and looting commences.)  You will be unable to fill your car with gasoline, even if it is an older model.  Gas pumps are operated electronically nowadays.  Your home security system will be useless.  You won’t be able to rely on the television and video games to entertain your children.  And you’ll have to be sure to have an alternative way to cook your meals—as well as the knowledge necessary to cook in such a manner.  There will be no refrigeration.  So either keep your freezer and refrigerator closed for as long as possible, or start canning meats and such and eating the foods in the freezer first.

Medication ©2006 Publications International, Ltd.

Medication ©2006 Publications International, Ltd.

The Aftermath Reality #4: Lastly, consider the medical implications of an EMP attack.  Obtaining medications that we are accustomed to using will be virtually impossible.  Those individuals who rely on medical technology to survive in their homes will be at the highest risk in the aftermath of an EMP attack.  Unlike our food supply which relies on a three day delivery cycle, our medical supplies largely rely on a one day delivery cycle.  So what can you do to prepare?  First make sure you have as many medical supplies on hand that you can obtain such as pain relievers, cough and cold remedies, anti-bacterial creams, hydrogen peroxide, rubbing alcohol, cotton balls, heat packs, essential oils, and your own medications.  (Just so you know, since I use coupons, I get the majority of these items really cheap or for free!)

Next, do all you can do now to get as healthy as possible without medication.  When I started out this year I had a stark moment of realization.  I looked at my nightstand and saw 7 prescription bottles.  I knew that such reliance would hinder me dramatically if we were to encounter a true emergency, so I made the goal to get healthy so that I could eliminate all of them.  It’s been 6 months and I’ve eliminated all but one of them by focusing on the use of high quality nutritional products.  I may not be able to store a year’s worth of medications properly, but I CAN store a year’s worth of nutritional products that help me replace the chemical alternatives. 

To recap, prepare your mind and your body for the aftermath of an EMP attack, and you won’t end up being the star of your own Armageddon story.

  • EMP 101: Part I–The Likelihood.
  • EMP 101: Part II–The Aftermath.
  • EMP 101: Part III–Prepare Medically.
  • EMP 101: Part IV–Faraday Cages.
  • Copyright 2009 Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.  All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.

    Subscribe to Preparedness Pro today and never miss a thing!