Even I have asked myself from time to time, "'Is this right? Do these tips work?" My local Red Cross chapter recently asked for real life examples of people whom had lived out of their go-bags... no one replied. Then, my sister forwarded this link to me, and I finally have my proof.
Acte gratuite, a blog, chronicles the life of Emily - a Mormon American woman, her husband, and her four boys living in Japan. (via iprepared) And then, one day, there was an earthquake. I mention that she is Mormon because preparedness is mandated by the church, and she is quite prepared. I mention that she's American because when I read her blog I relate to her perfectly. She is experiencing the trials and horrors of the aftermath like I believe I would... like an American.
Saturday, March 12 - The day after the quake which occurred in the afternoon in Japan. I'll link you to the first post after the earthquake. It was actually posted her family (state-side, I assume) who hacked her account to let her readers all know that she and her family were safe and well.
From Sunday on, Emily was able to get to power and internet connections to post. I've listed my top 25 favorite preparedness tidbits from her point of view. If you have the time, read the details and the exposition straight from her blog.
- No power, no heat, no phones, no internet. Yet, some friends stayed with them since the friends had already shipped stuff state-side in preparation to return home.
- The commissary opened with no lights of a cash only basis. She bought diapers and hot chocolate.
- They went to church and checked on others in their community.
- The well-meant "hack" of her blog was not well received.
- Immediately, items (food, coats, blankets) were being collected for those in desperate need.
- They had to stop collecting supplies because they weren't prepared to organize and distribute the goods they were receiving.
- She started recording ideas and issues that she faced - to help us and to remind herself.
- Get a corded (non-electric) phone.
- If you leave your house during an emergency, leave a note to say where you've gone.
- Garage door openers don't work with the power off. Know how to operate yours without power.
- She wishes she had kept more fuel as they cook with camping equipment and their grill.
- Emily emphasizes the peace of mind back-up medications provide - prescription and over the counter.
- They were able to shop at the commissary because they had cash on hand, and a secret back-up stash.
- She's planning to get a hand-crack wheat grinder and blender to make the best use of food supplies.
- Lighting was an issue. Cheap flashlights failed, she didn't have enough candles, she wanted a lantern.
- "Also, my next house will have a wood-burning fire place. This all would have been much easier if we could have been warm."
- Blankets and coats are needed, but aren't able to be shipped, yet.
- Even after power is restored, they are required to conserve.
- A clean, uncluttered home turns out to be an asset during a disaster.
- Gasoline is rationed.
- School is out for at least a week.
- Here's a list of what is immediately wiped out from the commissary: peanut butter, paper products, batteries, bottled water, charcoal, candles, diapers, formula, and bread.
- Add playing cards, games, and kid activities to 72 hour kit. Also add chocolate.
- Japan had anti-hoarding laws; they cannot store food. The grocery stores are now empty.
- Arrangements are being made to host displaced families in homes.
March 15 - "*Not much new to report today. The base is under strict instructions to limit power as much as possible: Five minute showers, one load of laundry per day, lights out during the day time, only one major appliance on at a time, etc."
Emily was able to "do something" in the midst of the chaos. Read about it here. She had a request and opportunity to check on some young American refugees and get word back to their families. The beauty and impact of this simple act breaks my heart.
She attended a child-friendly, play-group meeting for information about the disaster. A trained and prepared consultant was on hand to answer questions from moms of children.
Won't you take advantage of the resource Emily has given us. What will you take away from this to help you and yours in a time of need? I will be buying more candles this week-end.