When You’re Not Ready

Consider the amount of time that you’re out of your home and in an office or work environment. Some of you are “work-a-holics.” You go into work extra early and/or come home past rush hour. On top of this, consider the time in which you’re in your car. Now how about the time you’re in another location other than your home…family visit, the mall, grocery shopping, church,  the doctors, etc. OK. Now look at an average week and add up all of the time in which you are AWAY from your home and the preparedness supplies you have located there. I did this just this week and realized that even though I work intensely from my home, I am still gone over a third of the total hours of my week! In your case, if you work outside the home or are a stay at home mom, you may be surprised to see how much of a chunk of your time during the week puts you in a vulnerable position—vulnerable in the event that a catastrophic event may hit. So, in the name of being prepared and peaceful, instead of panicked, let’s make sure we do our best to get you back safely to your family and the majority of your supplies.

Decide on a family meeting place. tulsapartners.org

Decide on a family meeting place. tulsapartners.org

First of all, educate your family members. Make sure that everyone knows where they are supposed to go when “it” happens…whatever “it” is.

Next, make sure that you have survival materials for your kids at school, in your car, and at your place of work. The chances of something happening when you’re away from your home is significant. So be prepared for it.

In your car you need blankets, flashlights, water, a first aid kit, and some no-cook, easily accessible rations like granola bars, etc. Think of these supplies as another 72 hour kit. You also need a pair of walking shoes. Ladies, we occasionally leave the house in heels. Wouldn’t it STINK if the trumpet sounded and we had to hike 2 miles in those same heels? Simply be prepared with an alternative pair of shoes in the car so you can always be as stylish as you want. This is also the reason why I suggest that you never let your gas tank to go below half. A spare gas container, anti-freeze, and windshield washer is a great idea to have as well.

I recommend a Concealed Firearm Permit and having your firearm with you at all times. Photo c/o http://www.buzzle.com

I recommend a Concealed Firearm Permit and having your firearm with you at all times. Photo c/o http://www.buzzle.com

A scenario such as this is also just one more reason I believe that folks need to get their concealed firearm permit and have a firearm with them at all times. I know, I know. Some of you are a long ways away from accepting that one… If so, just ignore and read on to the rest of the stuff. :) (By the way, my husband is teaching a UT Concealed Firearm Permit class this Saturday morning (10/31) in Orem if any of you are interested. It’s only $50 and includes the fingerprints and photo. No, I’m not teaching it, I have a baby shower to be to at. Babies or guns… that’s a tough call for me. Hee hee)

The same needs to be said for having a 72-hour kit at your workplace. It wouldn’t kill you to experiment with how you would get home if your public transportation or automobile were unavailable either. I know some people have a LONG commute everyday. Let’s be realistic. You’ll be far ahead of the game and much more safe if you’ve mapped out a walking trek home from work rather than be a part of the mass of mediocrity who have no plan or believe they are going to panic and try to walk across the freeway.

I usually have 2 granola bars in my purse and some water with me at all times, “just in case,” obviously. I’m also trying to be better about carrying a little bit of cash on me. (Considering I once had to write a check for thirty-five cents at a toll-booth in Maine, you may appreciate just how tough that is for me to get in the habit of.)

Dwight's sword: one of many weapons from his personal arsenal

Dwight's sword: one of many weapons from his personal arsenal

I’m also very realistic when it comes to the need for self-defense everyday and during a time of disaster. I have my pepper spray, knife, asp, and handgun along with the skills and fortitude necessary to use any of the above. (Now that I write this, I feel a little bit like Dwight from “The Office”—emptying out my purse would be a little bit like him emptying out his desk. *belly laugh*)

One thing more you should be aware of. Being truly prepared for such a scenario will naturally put you in a position of leadership. During a disaster, everyone is running around with their umbilical cords hanging out desperately looking for somewhere to plug it in. When you are prepared you will stick out like a Babe Ruth in a swimming pool. (Sorry, couldn’t resist that scene recall from “Caddyshack.”) Your confidence and sense of direction will be very noticeable. So plan on having to give orders, guidance and direction. It’s just part of the territory. I tell you this so that you can take a few minutes now to not only be very clear on what your plan is when all heck breaks loose when you’re not at home, but also so that you are competently able to verbalize appropriate plans and directions for others.

Let’s do a better job of planning for preparedness away from the home as well as in the home so all your bases are covered.

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Great advice. I remember a year or two ago, there was a big snow storm. Traffic was stopped all along the freeway. Some people ran out of gas on the freeway. One school tryed to take kids home on the school bus, but couldn't get anywhere, so the kids were returned to the school, and had to spend the night there.

We can't depend on being home when the big one hits, or being all together.

Thanks for all of your ideas.

Snowmagaddon in DC.

Good insight! I loved the umbilical cord comment! I work for a state agency downtown where weapons are verboten although my 2.75" H&K Ally knife is legal according to state law even though with a concealed carry permit, policy prohibits us from keeping a firearm in a personal vehicle if it is parked on state owned or leased (parking lots) property. I keep a backpack under my desk for emergencies or long road trips. When a small electrical explosion inside our building shut down power to the lights, computers and phones and in one of the 2 fire towers, I said “Let’s get the hell out of here” before the fire alarm sounded. My coworkers were amazed when I produced 2 working flashlights to aid the walk down from the 7th floor.

Good post, that's why I have my E.D.C. (it's called a purse!), 72 hour stuff in the car, and 72 hour stuff at work (this one is minimal, need to beef it up). I want to be able to have some peace of mind no matter where I am, although my home is my best safe haven. I'm in the process now of getting my car "winterized", put new wiper blades on, filled up windshield fluid, need to get new tires next and a tune up oh yea and fix the clock.

It is scary to think of this. It is also hard to think of how to prepare when you will be in a large group. For instance, my husband and two other people work at a workshop for mentally handicapped adults. And how is he supposed to prepare? It is for sure that he would be prepared, but do you deny other people when they have nothing? Or, kids at school. Most likely, a teacher would have serious issues with a student who was eating when everyone had nothing. It's very hard to think about these things. We should encourage schools, workplaces, etc. to prepare. But a lot of places will argue they have no where to store that much food, water, and emergency supplies. It is an uphill battle. Thank you for pointing out the thing about ladies shoes. I don't think a lot of women think about that.

What is asp? Where do you suggest to get pepper spray? Is there a certain kind?

An Asp is a telescoping metal baton. I use the red-dyed pepper spray. It’s quite accessible.

In my previous job as a nurse working at a hospital, my coworkers were frequently surprised whenever I was able to pull whatever necessity was needed out of my locker. I always kept a full 72 hour kit - complete with a change of clothes and 3 days of clean socks and underwear-and that was before I knew my kit had a name. I never knew when some internal or external disaster would happen, and management would stop me from going home.

When I was in Texas, I never used it, but in Colorado, I've dipped into it a few times when snowstorms ended up being more than they were forcasted to be. More than once, I've enjoyed my cans of hot soup while others have been eating mass produced cold sandwiches from the cafeteria.

Where can we get more details on the Saturday class in Orem?

Where can we get more details on the Saturday class in Orem?

Call 801-788-4133. I’ve got the info for you.

What kind/size of knife and where do you keep it? Where do you find the asp and pepper spray? On-line? Army/Navy store? Inquiring minds want to know! Thank you.

You can find both the Asp and the Pepper spray on line. I bought both at a law enforcement supply store locally. The knife I recommend is Benchmade.

I love the reference to Dwight! Did you see the episode where he carries his boss to the woods--he is able to start a fire, kill an animal for food, etc, and the other guy is pitiful. Love it!

Great ideas, especially liked the one about the shoes. I keep some work boots in my car that come in handy all of the time.

To Donna,

At the school my grandchildren go to, at the first of the school year, they require the children to bring a freezer size baggy to school with food items in. This is prepared by the mother hopefully. They keep it there in case there is a lockdown or something of that sort and the kids have to stay at the school. If nothing happens during the school year, they have a party on the last day, and the kids can eat the things in their bags.

My daughter put in bags of nuts, raisins, power bars, meat jerky, dryed fruit, M&Ms, etc. I think a solar blanket might be a good thing as well, in case the children had to stay all night like the ones in my earlier post.

It todays world these kind of things would make a big difference if a person had to stay over night.

Just finished Alas Babylon good book and a very easy read. The book me doing some thinking.
Trying to stretch fuels and battery power. I kept thinking about "solar charger and kept forgetting that those weren't around in 1959. I have 3 of them and 3 batteries so I could have kept the radio going off of car and RV batteries without using fuel. I have one of those wind up Radios that can charge batteries as well. It only works for Double A's so I will be looking for a multi-battery solar charger.

Good way of getting the idea of cravings out, Coffee,salt, fats and sweets.
I am thinking about buying some green coffee beans. Those really store well and you can roast your own coffee.
Tobacco I think will still be a great trade Item. You can still buy Pipe Tobacco Cheap! I don't know why but it did not come under the USA's April 09 Tobacco tax increase. It's still about $9.00 for a 6oz. bag. Besides if you have a smoker in the house you don't want go through nicotine withdrawals at disaster time. Tobacco seeds are also available. I know some folks that have grown it as far north as Ohio. Just don't plant it next to Tomatoes it's a member of the "Night Shade" Family of plants. It can also be used as a bug barrier for your home.
On a couple of other Items for a knife I would get the "Leatherman Tool". I bought one these over 15 years ago and it's still going strong after almost daily use for 10 years of those years.
You may find Pepper/bear spray at a sporting goods store.

I'd also recommend a Concealed Firearm Permit... HOWEVER, do NOT get a "badge". These badges are a bad idea, they're not officially issued, have no weight in law, and can be used against you by a prosecutor.

My two bits.

Actually, carrying any kind of a Concealed Firearm Permit badge is in violation of the Utah CFP laws. (Note: Author IS a UT CFP instructor)

Hey Joe, I just now noticed that your comment was as a result of the photo that was placed on the article. The gal who does my photo embellishments isn't familiar with the "rights and wrongs' of concealed firearm permits. I've ask her to put a different photo in. Thanks for the heads up and for keeping me on my toes.

I've been working on getting stuff needed for each of us especially the boys to be able to throw in their backpacks in case we have to leave our house within 5 minutes. Speaking of which I noticed that I need to reinforce their backpacks, this post triggered the reminder and bumped it up on my to do list. Thanks.

I'm catching up on reading all your posts if you've noticed. So many comments from me in one day :). I'm also scheduling them out to tweet throughout this week and next week.

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