Sunday, September 11, 2005

Be Prepared

Jump kits are essential in any preparation for an emergency. As the recent experiences of people who lived in the path of Katrina discovered you had better be prepared to help yourself as you cannot count on the government under this assministration. However, regardless of the who is running the government and disaster services, failing to take responsibility for yourself and your own welfare is negligent and is stupid.

Important Rules

  • Wool is light, fire-resistant, and maintains its insulating properties when wet.
  • Jell-O is a brand of pre-packaged instant gelatin dessert. It's the perfect food for hypothermia. Make the liquid, drink it. Choose a flavor that isn't colored red, so that when the patient vomits in the Emergency Department folks won't think he's bleeding internally.
  • Plumber's candles contain more stearic acid than the regular kind. Very hard, burn a long time. Get 'em at a hardware store.
  • Rule of thumb: Two sources of light; two sources of fire.
  • In a survival situation you live as long as your feet do.
  • In an ambush the killing zone is narrow. Get out of it.
  • If you don't understand what's going on, back off until you do understand.
  • You can live to be ninety without a Rambo knife but hypothermia or dehydration will kill you deader'n dirt by this time tomorrow.
  • A terrorist attack is just a badly-placarded HAZMAT incident.
  • Half-a-tank of gas is empty. Refuel now.
  • Every time you refuel, check your coolant level, your oil level, and your tire pressure.
  • In a survival situation you'll be astounded by how far a car can go with no radiator, no oil, and no tires.
  • If you have an extensive kit in your car, one part should be detachable and easily portable in case you have to abandon your car.
  • Nitrile gloves are better than latex gloves because: Tape won't stick to 'em; there's less chance of allergic reactions; punctures produce large rips so you know they're breached; and they have higher resistance to HAZMATs.
  • Without a traction splint a femur fracture is 80% fatal. With proper traction splinting, it's only 20% fatal. Learn to make a field-expedient traction splint.
  • Alcohol and disaster don't mix.
  • Some situations are non-survivable. Think ahead. Stay out of those situations.
  • Never ignore a warning, even if it doesn't make any sense to you at the time.
  • Check the batteries in your smoke detector.
  • Brush your teeth, wear your seatbelt, quit smoking, wash your hands before eating and after using the toilet, and look both ways before crossing the street.
The above link to Debra and Doyle MacDonald's site will get you started and there are excellent links on the page to get you more information.
The first rule of emergency preparedness is to assume the worst and never forget Murphy's Law. If something can go wrong it will.

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