How to survive rocket attacks

(Instructables photo.)

On the topic of preparedness, someone sent me a link to this “How To” guide for surviving a rocket attack.  Farfetched? The author lives in Israel, and says, “The intention of this instructable is not to be political but to offer a ‘How to Survive Guide’ in the event you might be under rocket fire.”  Instructions include:

Its important to pray for the best but prepare for the worst. We keep water and food handy. Israel also distributes gas masks to its citizens in the event of a chemical or biological attack.

It’s not necessary to favor one side or the other to appreciate the risks and necessity of preparedness for civilians in conflict areas everywhere. It’s also a reminder that preparedness is something we all should attend to, even for those of us whose dangers are less predictable and less frequent.

Pet preparedness

(Elh70 image.)

There are many good resources for preparedness. How much food should you store? What should you keep on hand for emergencies?  What to do in case of nuclear attack? (Seriously, that information is out there!)

But few of us think of preparedness for our pets.  How much food do we keep on hand for them?  Do we have basic veterinary first aid supplies?  Do we know what we’ll do with them if we have to evacuate to a shelter?

A reader emailed me about the Great Pyrenees Club of America, which has begun a committee to help people address issues of disaster preparedness for pets.

“Our mission is to provide helpful information enabling pet owners to prepare the family and family dog for the unforeseen disaster; to assist Great Pyrenees owners, should disaster strike, by providing necessary supplies, information and assistance.”

Education in this area is much needed.  We may have a year’s worth of wheat in storage, but we don’t have a year’s worth of dog kibble!

How much food?

“If we are to be saved in an ark, as Noah and his family were, it will be because we build it.” —Brigham Young

How much food should you have to be prepared for an emergency? The Mormon Church tells its members to store a year’s worth. You might think this excessive, but food in storage is like money in the bank– maybe better. It will sustain you not only in case of natural disasters or structuiral failures, but in times of financial emergency like job losses or illness. Considering the uncertainty we face in our future, stockpiling food may not be so crazy.

How much food does it take too feed your household for a year? Check out this handy food calculator. Also check out this page for another method of calculating. For two adults, they recommend 300 pounds of wheat, 100 pounds of rice, 80 pounds of sugar, 120 pounds of legumes, 120 pounds of dry milk (ick!), and lots more.

If, like my wife and I, you’re wondering where to put it all, see “Where Do I Put It All?“.  Yep. they’ve thought of about everything.

The 72 Hour Kit

( offers a 4-person 72 Hour Kit for $99.  This is a convenient way to go, but we made our own for less.)

One of the essentials of preparedness is the “72-hour kit.”  This kit is a duffle (or any bag or bucket) containing food, water, clothing, and supplies sufficient for each member of the family for 72 hours, in case there is an emergency in which food cannot be cooked.  It’s designed to be grabbed quickly in case evacuation is necessary.

We put MREs (“Meals, Ready to Eat”) in our kit and rotate them annually.  We also, over a period of months, build up a 72-hour reserve of essential prescription medications, again rotating annually.  Sweaters, first aid kit, blankets, solar/crank radio & flashlight, a fire starter, and a few other emergency items complete our kit, which we keep in an Austrian military surplus backpack in a closet near the back door.

What kind of emergency would require such a kit?  Natural events such as hurricane, flooding, wildfires, home fires, tornadoes, or earthquake.  Chemical or other hazmat spills.  Terrorist attack.  Mudslide or landslide.  There’s almost nowhere in the country (maybe the world) that is immune to such events.

One LDS (Mormon) site gives an excellent list of what should go into a 72-hour kit, including blankets, passports, and insurance policies.  The site also recommends geneological documents and scriptures— but lest you think this is a religious issue, the kits are recommended by various government agencies as well. Whatcom County, Washington, offers this list for a 72-hour kit for the office, in case a disaster strikes while you’re at work.

Like most people, such a kit seems like a good idea, but I’m prone to thinking that I would never need it.  And of course we all hope that’s the case.  But I also have to remember that one of our friends barely escaped with her life when the Santa Clara River near St. George, Utah, flooded a couple of years ago.  Her husband wasn’t as lucky.

Emergencies can happen anywhere, without warning.  That’s what makes them emergencies.  They only become disasters if we fail to prepare.