Whitecaps

Commentary and information about public safety and security, intelligence and counterintelligence, open government and secrecy, and other issues in northern Idaho and eastern Washington.

Name:
Location: Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, United States

Raised in Palouse, WA. Graduated from Washington State University. US Army (Counterintelligence). US Secret Service (Technical Security Division) in Fantasyland-on-the-Potomac and Los Angeles. Now living in north Idaho.


Tuesday, December 28, 2004

If We Had Only 60 Seconds...

Suppose we were faced with an onrushing disaster and had only 60 seconds to grab and go with everything we would need to sustain our bodily life and then to recreate our economic life after the disaster had subsided. Could we do it?

The tsunami that hit several south Asia countries has reminded us to be sure we could. Fortunately, it is much easier for most of us than for those who were caught in the Christmas eve tragedy in Asia. Unfortunately, most of us don't take the time to do it.

The first step must be taken long before disaster strikes. Plan.

Identify what we need, absolutely need, to keep us alive and help rescuers locate us in the United States. That will usually include medications, water, a flashlight with fresh batteries, a whistle, and limited nourishment. Depending on where we live and on our post-incident ability to get to a public emergency shelter, it may also include clothing and blankets and a portable radio with fresh batteries. If we take medications or have allergies or medical conditions, we should wear a Medic Alert bracelet. It can provide emergency responders access to vital medical information about us even if we are unconscious. It can also make identification of our bodies easier should we die.

Planning also includes ensuring that copies of all our important financially relevant documents (insurance policies, birth certificates, bank account numbers, credit card numbers, passports, etc.), documents we will need to recreate our financial life to its pre-disaster condition, are current and in two locations. The first location is in a grab-and-go bag along with our keep-us-alive stash. The second location is with someone trusted and well beyond our geographic area. This might be with a distant trusted family member, an attorney, and accountant, etc. Why two locations? We may not be able to get back to our grab-and-go bag. We're not likely to carry it with you everywhere we go. If disaster strikes and we are separated from our records, our distant custodian can help us get things back in order after the emergency passes.

The second step is simple: Execute! If disaster strikes, if we must immediately evacuate in the face of an oncoming disaster, assemble the family, grab the grab-and-go bag, and go. Difficult as it will be, we may have to leave pets and family memorabilia behind.



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