Don’t Get Left In The Dark

Today I’d like to talk about the importance of making sure you have a reliable battery or hand crank powered radio in case of emergency. In any type of emergency situation having as much information as possible about what’s going on around you is critical. Ask anyone with a military background and they will tell you that information and good situational awareness is key to winning any battle. Or, in this case, keeping yourself and your family safe and hopefully Out of any battles.

The first thing you’re going to want to determine if disaster strikes near you is whether you should stay put in your home or if you need to bug-out. Without any more information than what you can glean from the rumors in the neighborhood you’re unlikely to make the best decision here. Being able to tune into local radio stations that are using the emergency broadcast system will hopefully give you all the information you need. At the very least there should be some solid reliable data points that you can factor into your equation.

While you’re deciding if you should hunker down or hit the road you’ll also need to determine how dire the situation is in your broader region. Disasters that are localized in smaller areas of the country pose less of a risk since help from non-affected areas is probably just a few days away. Having this information helps you determine how badly you need to conserve food, water, and other supplies.

As these pieces of the puzzle fall into place you’re going to need to form an opinion as to how serious your personal response to many different situations will need to be. Let me give you a couple of hypothetical yet probable scenarios for us to work with.

In example “A”, A decent size earthquake hits your part of the country and your town seems to have taken the brunt of it in the form of property damage, power outages and water main failures. However, just thirty or forty miles away from you the damage is minor and neighboring cities are mobilizing their police, firefighters, and medical staff to come to the rescue. People are frightened and some even start to panic but you know that the worst will pass in the next few days and this is certainly not The End Of The World As We Know It.

In example “B”, the earthquake is much larger and has damaged major parts of your region. Power is nearly completely out across your state and even in neighboring states. Every city near you has its police and firefighters spread thin. Some don’t show up for work as they deal with their own family’s problems. Others can’t get to work due to downed bridges and damaged roads. While it’s not TEOTWAWKI you can tell it’s going to be weeks or even a couple of months before things get back to normal. At least some of the S has HTF.

So what do we see here? For one thing you have a better idea of how to ration your supplies and how much you can afford to share with others. In example A it should be clear that you’ll hardly need to tap into your emergency supplies at all so you should use what you need to in order to make those around you as comfortable as possible. On the other hand example B has you wondering when the next delivery to your local grocery store will be able to make its way to town. In this instance you’re going to be much more conservative.

Perhaps most importantly you’re going to have a better idea of how worried you need to be about your physical security. In example A there doesn’t seem to be much more to worry about than on any given Sunday (which, of course, means you’re still very cautious). Perhaps you’ll keep a shotgun closer at hand than you ordinarily would or you might consider making use of that Concealed Carry Permit you worked so hard to get. But otherwise you’re not changing your routine too much in this area.

On the other hand, example B has you quite worried. Things are going to be dicey for a while and those who are not well prepared could get panicky. If the power stays out for too long you’ll find city dwellers making their way to the suburbs and all kinds of trouble could start. You might consider using that plywood you have in the garage to board up your front windows. You’ll certainly want to be extra cautious around strangers and you’re pretty much on high alert.

In both examples you can see how important it is to have the correct information. If you’re living through example A you needn’t go blasting away with your AR-15 at the first stranger that steps onto your front lawn. If you’re trying to cope with  example B it might not be a bad idea for that same stranger to hear you chambering a round…

~ Butch

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