• Houston Flood: A Lesson Learned

    |2 COMMENT(S)

    The recent flood in Houston, Texas has many stories of loss and destruction. But there is another side to the story that many people don’t think about. It’s the lesson of learning.

    recovers.org

    For the Sillitoe family, this lesson came at the expense of their home and many of their belongings. Two feet of water rushed into their home during the night. Roy Sillitoe and his wife Rebecca did what they could. At first, they tried to stop the water from entering their home by shoving towels under the base of doors and they used buckets to fill the bathtub. But when the water kept coming in quickly, they started moving what they could to higher locations. Roy wasn’t sure what exactly it was he and his family needed to do. They managed to save some of their children’s toys, but other keepsakes were ruined.

    Despite their loss, Roy feels that his family will be fine. In fact, he believes that being a part of all this was good for his kids. He said that “they can see how we respond to it and stay positive.” Among other things, Roy feels that this disaster has been an effective learning tool for his children. “It’ll happen to them in their lifetime, sometime they’ll have to suffer something tough. So this is good.”

    Teaching about and preparing our kids for disasters can really give them a leg up in the future. Roy’s family had to go through a major disaster before the learning experience came. Although it’s good to learn from these disasters, it is likewise important to learn before these disasters happen. That’s why we’re encouraging everyone to take some time this month to practice your prep.

    By practicing for disasters, you’re accepting the fact that a disaster can affect you, but you’re also proving to yourself that when it does come, you’ll be ready. There’s no need to wait until the disaster arrives before you start evaluating your emergency plans.

    The time has come to stop ignoring the possibility of being effected by a disaster. Live Science wrote an article on why people don’t learn from disasters. In that article Gene Whitney of the Committee on Increasing National Resilience to Hazards and Disasters (say that ten times fast) said that “despite repeated disasters, the public continues to turn a blind eye to the risks.”

    Prepare to FailWhy do we keep doing that? There have been countless times in which we have seen disaster after disaster wreaking havoc on cities, communities, families, and individuals. We see it happen, but for some reason we don’t think it will happen to us. That’s where we need to start changing our mindset.

    Roy Stillitoe’s mindset following the flood was that of education. He found his experience an unpleasant one to be certain, but he also saw the benefit for his children. They could learn from that disaster. Although it took a flood, he hopes his children will remember their experience in the future so they will be better prepared for other disasters that will inevitably come knocking (or just barge right in).

    That is something most people don’t generally do. A survey done by Robert Meyer (in the same article by Live Science), a professor of marketing at the University of Pennsylvania, said that “we [ie. people] underattend to the future, we too quickly forget the past and we too readily follow the lead of people who are no less myopic than we are.”

    Why don’t we plan ahead for disaster? We attend to the future in other ways, such as going to college to get a good job, move from a one-bedroom apartment to a three bedroom house to have more room for your growing family, and even have life insurance, because we want our loved ones to be provided for, just in case. So why don’t we look ahead for disasters?

    Meyer believes that we need to change our behavior. He feels that society needs to makes safety a norm, beginning with education in the school system. But since it isn’t necessarily being taught in the school system, we can start by teaching it in our home. And again, one way to do that is to practice, practice, practice!

    Roy Stillitoe and his family learned some valuable lessons in disaster planning because a flood came through their home. I hope we can all take that one step (or more) further and learn those lessons before disasters come. Go out and not only learn what you should do during specific disasters, but actually pretend that the disaster is actually happening. Practice living in a tent for a day or two. Practice eating only your freeze-dried food (hey, at least you’ll still have good meals). Practice using your emergency gear in any way you can think of. Knowing what to do is only half the battle. Now you’ve just got to put what you know into practice.

     

    Practice Your Prep

     

    In what ways have you practiced using your prep? Let us know in comments!

    Posted In: Disaster Scenarios, Planning, Practice Your Prep Tagged With: lessons, Houston, practice your prep, Flash flood, flood, family

  • First Aid

    |1 COMMENT(S)

    Accidents can happen.

    Wait...let me rephrase that...Accidents will happen! But we can never plan when or where. After all, that's why they're called "accidents." But you can always be prepared for those moments by having a first aid kid handy, and in more than one location.

    Of course, it's important to have a first aid kit in your home. But accidents aren't always going to wait until you're at home. That's why having a first aid kit in your car is a good idea. If something were to happen while out shopping or traveling, you would still have your kit readily available. You should even have one at your workplace. If for some reason your work doesn't have one handy, bring your own! It never hurts to be prepared.

    As you get your first-aid prep going, you might also consider different types of kits depending on your activities. For example, if you spend time on your boat in the summers, consider creating a boat-specific first aid kit. Or, if you're a hiker, put together a kit that can fit easily in your hiking pack.. Being prepared for all scenarios involves some preemptive thought.

    bandageNow that you have your kits, the time will come when you put them to use. For the small ones, all you'll need is a kiss and a bandage. There. All better! For others, however, a little bit more know-how will be required. Make sure you know how - and when - to use the tools in your first aid kit.

    And then there are those accidents that are more life threatening.

    Some basic knowledge of first aid can be the difference between life and death. Among other places, the Red Cross offers classes on first aid and CPR. If somebody's hurt, and you're a first responder, you'll be glad you know the skills that come with first aid and CPR training. And you never know, you could be using those life-saving skills to help one of your own children.

    Like all important points of preparedness, keeping and maintaining first aid kits and knowing the proper steps and techniques brings peace of mind today and confidence when dealing with the unexpected.

    Do yourself and your loved ones a favor...plan to be prepared with first aid.

    Posted In: First Aid and Sanitation Tagged With: First Aid

  • Why You Should Be A Boy Scout (Even Now)

    Boy Scout Rubble (NBC News) NBC News

    Fred Ullrich was with his Boy Scouts when the tornado blew through their camp in June, 2008.

    Using the only shelter they had – a small cabin – Ullrich helped his boys take cover. Within minutes the tornado was at their door. Their cabin was destroyed, and many other nearby structures suffered a similar fate. 48 of the boys were injured. Four were killed.

    Once the tornado was gone, those leaders and boys that weren’t injured went straight to work. They patched up and bound wounds, and according to Popular Mechanics, even “organized an on-the-spot triage center, helping to prepare the most seriously injured for their journey to the hospital.”

    The Boy Scout’s motto is “Be Prepared.” True to those words, these Boy Scouts were as prepared as they could be.

    The night before the tornado, the Boy Scouts had gone through a first aid drill. Of course, it would take more than a few drills to really have that crucial information sink in and stay with them for such an emergency. So what made them so quick to think and act during this crisis? You may have already guessed the answer: they practiced. They must have gone over those drills numerous times, helping those skills stay at the forefront of their mind should such a scenario arise.

    And arise it did.

    During a crisis, your brain is going to revert to what it knows. That’s why it’s vitally important to practice being prepared and fill your brain with those things it needs during an emergency. These Boy Scouts are just one example –in just one area of preparedness – of how practicing survival scenarios can really impact their survival instincts for the better.

    Boy Scouts can camp out back, tooThis example of preparedness is one we should all follow. It can be more than just first aid, too. There are less life-threatening areas in which you can prepare, such as what you would do without power or water. Another way you can practice you preparedness is by taking a camping trip, even as far away as you back yard. Do you have the tools and gear necessary to make camping your go-to survival home? The backyard is the perfect place to practice, because if you realize you’re not as ready as you thought you were…you can always go in and retrieve what you need. But then remember to fix that issue as soon as you can!

    And that’s exactly what practicing is for. It’s for learning what you do have, and what you still need to work on. It’s for teaching your brain that this is normal, so that if you are forced to live out of your tent for an extended period of time, cooking on your portable stove will be second nature to you. You won’t think twice about how to take care of yourself – and your family – in the wild.

    Although it’s quite unlikely you’ll ever know the precise moment a tornado or other disaster will strike, just knowing how to react during those situations can save not just your life, but those around you as well. The Boy Scouts didn’t know a tornado was about to devastate their camp, but because they had practiced, they were prepared to take care of the wounded nonetheless.

    I challenge you to take some time this month to practice your preparedness. Go on a backyard camp, using only your emergency gear. Or, bust open a can of freeze-dried food and make sure you know how to properly prepare it. There are so many ways to practice. Find an area that you want to try out, and go for it! Don’t forget to take pictures and upload them to our Facebook page!

     

    Practice Your Prep

    Additional Reading:

    Why You Need to Practice Your Prep: beprepared.com/blog/18307/need-practice-preparedness/?sc=BLOG&oc=BP0617

    Go Dark For a Day: beprepared.com/blog/18288/go-dark-for-a-day/?sc=BLOG&oc=BP0617

    Your Outdoor Gear Is Your Survival Gear: beprepared.com/blog/18297/outdoor-gear-survival-gear/?sc=BLOG&oc=BP0617

    Posted In: Disaster Scenarios, First Aid and Sanitation, Practice Your Prep, Skills Tagged With: motto, camp, Boy Scout, practice your prep, be prepared, Tornado, disaster

  1. 7-9 of 907 items

Please wait...