Hunker down or hit the road?

We’ve had some talk about perspective and why preparedness is universally applicable…now let’s get down to business.

What types of scenarios should you consider when you begin to plan or decide bulk up your current plans? Essentially no matter what scenario you consider, it can be placed into two categories: shelter in place or evacuation.

Shelter in place is just a formal term for “hunker down”. Under any of these scenarios, you either can’t or wouldn’t want to leave your home. Maybe you are snowed in. Maybe radiological  fallout has you thinking twice about setting foot outside. Whatever the scenario, you’ve made the decision that you can’t/won’t leave for a certain period of time.

Evacuation is self-explanatory. Get the heck out! Maybe you have time to calculate and make at least some decisions about what to take vs. leave (hurricane warnings equal planned evacuations). Maybe you are in immediate danger and you have to literally flee at a moments notice (house fire or flash flooding).

Preparing for these two scenarios can be quite different. What you would collect and have on hand for days on end during a shelter in place circumstance would be far more exhaustive than a “go-kit” for grabbing on the way out the door in the middle of a crisis. Shelter in place kits have usually offer more in terms of supplies, but then again they can cost more and take up more storage space. Go-kits by design have to be portable so they simply can’t contain as much weight or bulk as your shelter in place supplies.  

We can further break down these two categories into other types of specific kits. Think about where you spend most of your time. The answer will be different for everyone but there are some commonly accepted schools of thought regarding types of kits. Under shelter in place, we’ve discussed planning for the home, but what about work? Have you considered that your workplace is planning for emergencies as well (or they should be at least! You might want to verify that your employer is adequately addressing these issues). There could be circumstances where you would shelter in place at work. If that happened to you next week, what would you have access to? Food? Water? Medicine? First aid supplies? You can’t assume that your employer is going to anticipate or supply everything you would require.

Also consider that you should plan for situations that could occur while you are in your vehicle. This could be a shelter in place situation (winter weather – DON’T get out of your car in a snow storm to walk to safety. Safety in that situation is the car!). However, in a heat wave, you definitely wouldn’t want to hang around in the car. Then you would need a go-kit for the car.

So begin to consider these differing scenarios and types of kits. It is recommended that these kits supply for your needs  for a minimum of 3 days. Ideally, it is recommended that they protect you for 7 days. In upcoming posts I’ll discuss what these kits should contain in greater detail. Take care!

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