If you have experienced events like Hurricane Katrina, the Los Angeles Riots of 1992, or other major disasters, there is always an element of chaos that can threaten you and the safety of your loved ones.
Here is how you should prepare and survive a catastrophic event that would usually lead to chaos and even worse. Things like mob beatings. Robberies. Rape. Murder.
Being prepared for chaos
Preparation is the most essential part of survival. In fact, those who don’t prepare will often be the first ones to perish or suffer tough losses and injury. To begin with, you have to imagine that all the conveniences of communication may be down: phone services (landlines and cellular), internet may be accessible but finding a WIFI connection may be difficult if the electricity is down and cafes are closed. In addition, streets and major thoroughfares will be either shut down or jam packed with traffic.
Business including stores will be closed or closing fast with doors locked tight, so if you don’t have the essentials, you could be hurting pretty quickly.
A family plan
Having a family plan is important. Where will all of you meet? Will everyone be reunited at home or at a relative’s home that is more conveniently located and safer? Having a “meeting point” is crucial if communications are unavailable. You might also plan to meet at your children’s school. These are the first places “first responders” go and are often planned centers for food and water drop off areas.
A drop box
Explain to friends and family where the “drop box” is located. Perhaps it’s in a far corner of a back yard or field, hidden in a small hole next to a tree, with pens and paper so that the first people passing by can leave notes for others who may be delayed by a couple weeks.
Securing your property during chaos is always important but will vary depending on where your home is located. Looting is sure to follow and can be more heavily centered around the cities or more crowded areas. If you live in the city, having deadbolts on your door and secured gating is always important. Also, you want to let people know that you are there. Abandoned looking properties are great targets.
Having a good storage of canned food, water, and basic medical supplies such as bandages, aspirin, and batteries for flashlights are really important. Storing canned foods is easy to do since they last quite a long time. Other non-perishable foods are also wise to have on hand – just remember to refresh what’s in your storage when certain foods are meeting their expiration dates before any disaster strikes. Water and heating is also essential – as well, like food, be sure to refresh water stores before disaster strikes.
Remember, your gas service might be down, so having charcoal or wood piles would be important. As well as a good saw, axe, etc.
Avoid people who pose a threat
In the city or other heavily populated areas, the best way to survive during a social chaotic time will likely be to simply avoid people.
Sometimes, desperate people who feel threatened can be very unpredictable. “Good people”, when placed in a corner can do some pretty crazy things also. (Apparently a disaster may be when true character shows itself.) The less people who are around you and your family, the better the situation is for your safety, your food and water supply, and opportunity for any type of aggression made towards you.
Take your time to plan and prepare for disaster
Preparing for a natural disaster or the ensuing social chaos should take more than just a single day. It may even take a few weeks. What’s important is that you spend your time on it, and prepare for contingencies. If something unexpected occurs, what’s your back up plan? If you have all your supplies in your garage, and your home goes up in flames because a gas lines explodes in the neighborhood, what will you do? Perhaps it would be good to have some supplies in the trunk of your car, as well as a garden shed away from the house.
Simply storing extra canned food, water, candles, charcoal, sleeping bags and tarp does not have to be so difficult. Simply picking up a couple cans of food, extra water, candles, and survival item (flashlight, compass, flint & steel for fire making, etc.) each week (in the months leading up to disaster) can enable you to assemble all the “essentials” for emergency preparation.
The family might consider pitching in and buying a power generate, which may help if power goes out. Those families with young children, elderly parents, or disabled individuals should consider getting some type of power generator and fuel storage. Having a couple of old school radios around will also be very helpful to hear the latest news and information.
Staying up to date on prescriptions and always having extra medication on hand, during this time is essential to many people’s survival. Insulin and other medications are things that many people cannot live without.
If you live in the city, such as in a high rise building, townhouse, or apartment, providing your own power can be difficult, but you can still make do with battery power. In addition, if you are unable to leave, make sure that you have food, water, and supplies such as candles and batteries too.
Regardless of who you are with, you should consider making teams of people, responsible for various tasks. This will help reduce conflict within your group and increase productivity.
As humans, we thrive on routine and predictable systems, however, we know that in life things happen – from natural disasters to attacks on our own soil. There are a lot of interesting books out there that can help you with this including the Social Chaos Survival Guide, which contains a number of detailed (and easy to implement) ideas that may just enable you and your group to come out of the disaster ok.
All the experts say that preparation is the most fundamental thing. So, keep stocking up – and watching re-runs of television shows such as Discovery Channel’s The Colony might help too!