Sunday, October 15, 2017

Habits that help you prepare for a disaster

Disasters might give you warning, as with hurricanes, but usually they do not. You're sitting there reading a book, and the power goes out. Or the earth starts to shake and your glass figurines fall off the shelf. Or the tornado siren comes. Or your phone buzzes, and it's your local emergency management office telling you there has been a train wreck and toxic chemicals are spilling into your neighborhood. Or you look up from pulling weeds in the vegetable garden, and the sky has gone dark and the sun is turning pink, and the hair on the back of your neck lets you know it's a wildfire blowing your way.

Of course you have your emergency supplies ready for "sheltering in place," don't you? And an emergency contact plan with your family, including someone out of town who will coordinate your locations and safety check-ins? You know that when cell towers get overloaded, texts will get through when calls won't, right?

You already own a generator if you're in a cold climate, or hurricane country, or dependent upon an electric breathing device to stay alive, and you won't be one of those people running out to buy one 10 minutes before a hurricane hits, will you? And you have your car filled up to at least half, because letting it go below half a tank is a bad thing. If you have a hybrid or electric, you top it up every night, right?

Your shelves have plenty of canned food, including soups, and you have bags of rice and beans and canned tomatoes to flavor them.  And you have a camp stove or gas stove or propane grill outside so you can cook them, right?

You're not short on kitty litter or pet food, I hope!

You know your neighbors, and who among them is elderly or disabled and might need your help, don't you? The single parents that might be away when the disaster strikes, leaving frightened children alone?

No? Then don't wait until it's too late. Make sure all that is in place by the end of next weekend. Get into good habits, and then you won't be caught off-guard when a disaster does happen.


  1. Is this the mindset of someone who writes disaster books? Are you a full on prepper then? I worry more about water supplies in this climate than anything else.

    1. I'm more the child of my father, who taught me the "keep gas in your car rule" when I was 16. I'm very interested in real disasters--natural disasters, usually, or loss of power. I lived in San Francisco during the 1989 quake, and I learned then about keeping an earthquake kit. I think folks should be prepared for realistic disasters.

      Water in Arizona is a HUGE issue, yes! Have you read the book A Great Aridness? It scared me, but it was beautifully written by a man who clearly loves the desert southwest.

      I'm in no sense a prepper because 1) I don't like guns (also due to my father, who had war PTSD and forbade them) and 2) I think if civilization collapses, not only would I die pretty quickly because I'm a fairly open, trusting, happy person, but it'd probably be for the best, as I don't want to live the life I give my poor book characters!

      Thanks for your comment here and on Gray's page. I'm so glad you enjoyed it!

  2. The closest I've come to being prepped was Y2K, when I made sure I had enough water in containers for several weeks, cat food and tampons for a couple of months, and toilet paper for AGES. And then I spent ages using up my stores when nothing happened. ;)

    Since reading your books, I told my husband to abandon me in a collapse situation as I'm not built to survive, for example, walk for days, and so on. I hope it's a virus and I die in the first wave. ;)


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