Disaster intelligence for emergency preparedness

Actionable intelligence (intel) in the midst of disaster can be the difference between making the better or the worse choice in a difficult situation. Think about this scenario:

A traffic accident on the interstate near your home includes a tractor-trailer rig that is carrying hazardous materials and is now leaking chlorine gas. The wind suddenly shifts toward your neighborhood and local authorities mandate the evacuation of the neighborhood immediately. You are likely familiar with how to get in and out of your neighborhood, but do you know how you will get out if the two major paths are completely blocked?

Through the use of disaster intelligence, you have likely been able to ascertain that both main roads are completely bogged down and you will not reasonably be able to leave the neighborhood either of those ways. With other information that you have gathered in your intelligence collection efforts, there is probably at least one other route that you have identified as a way out, even if it is through someone’s yard.

Survive later by gardening now

There seems to be almost endless websites, books, lists, forums, etc. that focus on emergency preparedness and all of the areas that one should master to become “completely” prepared for disaster. When preparing to survive the end of the human race, there are some inherent problems with these resources; the first problem is that having a list won’t actually accomplish anything (action is required) and the second issue being that it is hard to master these areas, let alone gain familiarity and experience with all of them.

It is also difficult to maintain a balance in life when trying to live now, while also looking toward the future and the unknown things that may happen. I’d like to highlight the fact that we can only make our best guesses as to what may actually happen and that, because we don’t know what will or will not happen, it is best to start living now how we want to be living later. This is regardless of whether or not something terrible ever happens.

Building a DIY self-monitored security system

There are many commercial options available for security systems and recent tech innovations have brought us DIY security systems that you can purchase and install yourself. While this option is great for providing many people with peace of mind and a sense of security, there are two common factors among these systems; they all require a hard-wired power source and they all require some sort of monitoring service. These two areas typically result in the need to be dependent upon others for your security. This is not an ideal scenario. On top of that, these systems

Minimal fuss DIY security components

Luckily, along with the above-mentioned options, there are other security components that can be easily installed with minimal mechanical or technical knowledge required. The specific options that I will outline below are all designed to be run off of batteries (no power grid required) and typically are light, compact and highly portable.

24 tips for living in a world without emergency services

There are many things that I consider luxuries that we have the benefit of living with in a modern society. Things like electricity, running water, cell phones, air conditioning, etc. are nice, but society survived for thousands of years without them. If they all disappeared it would suck, but a good number of us would be able to find a way to function without them.

One of the things that is worth considering for your emergency preparedness planning is how you would cope without access to emergency services. There are a few reasons to give this some thought because emergency services could potentially disappear in a major series of disasters, they could be so tied up that they cannot meet demand or you could live in an area where you will ultimately end up not mattering as compared to the urban need for these services.

The big list of survival and homesteading tools

There are probably enough lists on the internet that you could justify making the internet 2.0 out of these lists. With that said, I love lists for survival and homesteading. It makes it easy to check things off as you acquire them, identify items you need and take inventory to identify items that may need to be replaced.

One of the areas of preparedness that I often see overlooked are the tools that are needed to create and maintain a retreat or homestead so I thought I would put together the big list of survival and homesteading tools. Here it is:

Building and woodworking

  • Carpentry hand saws — two-man cross cut, rip and a one person cross cut for felling trees, etc.
  • Crosscut saw sharpening kit
  • Wedges — use for splitting logs and felling trees. Traditionally metal but there are modern versions that are plastic and work well

Preparing for all possibilities

There are several terms for the different types of survival kits out there. Most of these names line up with the designed purpose of the particular kit. As an example, an INCH (I’m Not Coming Home) bag has the sole purpose of sustaining an individual when they are not able to return back to their home.

While it is great to have a specific purpose in mind for a kit, it is not always practical to have several different kits. For the purposes of practicality, I like the idea of the “possibles kit/bag.”

I became familiar with the concept of the possibles kit about five years ago, and it was a concept that I immediately latched on to because of the flexibility that it offers. One of the things that I really like about a possibles kit is that it can be used for anything. It does not have to have an urban or wilderness focus, it can be geared toward everything.

Building community for long term prosperity

With every disaster comes a fork in the road. Do you rebuild or move elsewhere to start over? This was the question for thousands of citizens of the New Orleans and Gulf Coast area following Hurricane Katrina in 2005. To this day there are hundreds of homes that sit abandoned in the New Orleans area; left behind by those who chose to move elsewhere.

On the opposite side of the coin, there are those who decided to return to their homes (or who never evacuated… that went well) and rebuild the Gulf Coast into the community they wanted it to be. This was a happy outcome. It was great to see New Orleans come back from what could have been a much larger loss. It brings a big question to mind though, what would such an event do to your community?