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Post-Disaster Checklist

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April 26, 2011
Post-Disaster Checklist - 4

Wes Massey, my friend and fellow survival instructor, narrowly missed the devastating storms and the string of twisters that slashed their way from Oklahoma to North Carolina and Virginia earlier this month. And Wes, being the nice guy that he is, volunteered to help a friend near Fayetteville, North Carolina, who was less fortunate and suffered some of the storm’s fury.

After a full day of chainsaw work, Wes had his friend’s house and driveway cleared of timber, limbs and smashed wooden fences.

It can be tricky, cutting down a normal tree on a normal day. Imagine how much more unpredictable it can be to cut up pieces of trees that may be under tension, or cracked, or ready to “Barber Chair.”

So this brings into focus the truth that sometimes the disaster doesn’t kill you, but the aftermath could. And on that theme, here is a quick mayhem checklist for you to consider.

• Know where your gas, water and electrical “Shut-off’s” are – BEFORE disasters strike.

• After a tornado, hurricane, flood or earthquake, have someone inspect your home who is QUALIFIED to look for structural damage.

• If your house has sustained damage and you have gas heat or appliances, sniff for gas leaks inside your home and outside too.

• If the power is out from the calamity, turn off your main breaker until power is restored to your area.

• Keep a 72-hour supply of water and food per person in your home, plus flashlights, first aid, and other disaster supplies – before trouble strikes.

• Have a battery powered radio so you can stay alert to post-disaster news and instructions.

• Just because you saw somebody operate a chainsaw once, DOES NOT mean that you are QUALIFIED to operate this deadly piece of machinery.

What would you add to (or subtract from) your personal mayhem checklist? Please let us know in the comments section.

Photo: Mark Gstohl

Comments (4)

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from wgiles 5/11/2011 at 07:40pm

My experience with radios during a weather emergency has been less than satisfactory. We just can't find stations that give us useful information. I end up getting a battery inverter out to power the TV and antenna. I used to have a 12 volt TV that I used in power failures and weather emergencies, but the new digital TV put an end to that. I need to find a digital ready TV that I can run on a trolling motor battery for emergencies.

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from 23 5/2/2011 at 02:34pm

I would suggest a couple of cans of Sterno for heating food or water. I keep a "go bag" for each family member- kids a change of clothes,basic/perscrp. meds,games/coloring book Adults- clothes, a little cash,family records, etc.

I put a map together with shutoff locations and "how to" directions on one side, and family phone numbers, emergency meeting spots and family's perscription list on the other. Take it to local library or printing store and have it laminated, then attach to electrical box or water shutoff( location that is protected from intruders)

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from CharlieEcho 4/29/2011 at 07:44am

"and other disaster supplies – before trouble strikes."

The article is kind of vague with regard to supplies, but does mention batteries. A little excessive on the "chainsaw". I'm not sure that would be a necessity unless we lived way off in the boonies, and might be better off left to a pro. Unless you have a real good first aid kit. If you were trapped, the rescue teams would have access to the saw. I'm not sure you'd want gas and oil in your hide-out. Unless the "s*%^ hit the fan" so to speak we have rescue service nation wide in the good ole USA, and most of Canada and California. I know this article is written for everyone, from the outdoorsmen to the indoorsmen, and women.

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from shotgunb 4/29/2011 at 03:50am

You can't forget a good flashlight/batteries and firemaking materials.

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Write a Comment Your comment (200 characters or less):

from shotgunb 4/29/2011 at 03:50am

You can't forget a good flashlight/batteries and firemaking materials.

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from CharlieEcho 4/29/2011 at 07:44am

"and other disaster supplies – before trouble strikes."

The article is kind of vague with regard to supplies, but does mention batteries. A little excessive on the "chainsaw". I'm not sure that would be a necessity unless we lived way off in the boonies, and might be better off left to a pro. Unless you have a real good first aid kit. If you were trapped, the rescue teams would have access to the saw. I'm not sure you'd want gas and oil in your hide-out. Unless the "s*%^ hit the fan" so to speak we have rescue service nation wide in the good ole USA, and most of Canada and California. I know this article is written for everyone, from the outdoorsmen to the indoorsmen, and women.

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from 23 5/2/2011 at 02:34pm

I would suggest a couple of cans of Sterno for heating food or water. I keep a "go bag" for each family member- kids a change of clothes,basic/perscrp. meds,games/coloring book Adults- clothes, a little cash,family records, etc.

I put a map together with shutoff locations and "how to" directions on one side, and family phone numbers, emergency meeting spots and family's perscription list on the other. Take it to local library or printing store and have it laminated, then attach to electrical box or water shutoff( location that is protected from intruders)

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from wgiles 5/11/2011 at 07:40pm

My experience with radios during a weather emergency has been less than satisfactory. We just can't find stations that give us useful information. I end up getting a battery inverter out to power the TV and antenna. I used to have a 12 volt TV that I used in power failures and weather emergencies, but the new digital TV put an end to that. I need to find a digital ready TV that I can run on a trolling motor battery for emergencies.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Write a Comment Your comment (200 characters or less):

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