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Disaster plan in place for your family?



 
 
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  #1  
Old September 6th 05, 11:23 AM
Claire Petersky
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Default Disaster plan in place for your family?

It's difficult for me to believe that there has been zero traffic on
misc.kids.moderated regarding Hurricaine Katrina, when practically every
other on-line forum (web or usenet) has had so many messages.

In any case, considering Katrina's aftermath, I was wondering what people's
disaster preparation plans were, and if they've been changed. For us, the
most likely disaster to strike would be an earthquake or similar seismic
disturbance. I guess we'd likely have some sort of warning if Mt. Rainier or
one of the other volcanic cones were to erupt, but an earthquake could
happen at any time. As a result, our family plans have mostly focused on the
idea that there would not be any chance to evacuate before a disaster.

One of the big concerns for our family has been that typically one or both
parents have had work or school in the city, and there's a major body of
water, Lake Washington, between the city and where we live. In case of a
major earthquake, the bridges across the water would be down, further
delaying a parent's ability to get home. Contingency plans have included who
the girls could go to and stay with in our neighborhood, with conversations
with and instructions for the kids, the school, and the neighbors. I'm sure
that people who live and work in the San Francisco Bay Area have similar
concerns and plans in place.

The other set of plans in place have centered around setting up camp at
home. We have two large 2.5 gallon jugs of fresh water stored, and food for
about five days on hand. We have camping equipment, so we have things like
the coleman stove (the backpacking stove too, in a pinch), water
purification tablets, and so on. We have a bag stowed with items such as a
hand-crank radio, flashlight, batteries, deck of cards, and other items that
would be helpful.

To be honest with you all, I never thought that we'd really need items for
beyond a few days. Now, after Katrina, I'm beginning to think that five
days' worth of supplies is a bare minimum.

Something else we never considered -- if there really was a catastrophic
earthquake, would we want to evacuate from the Puget Sound area entirely?
How far would we have to go to get to where there were any sort of services?
How would we get there? My husband and I were jokingly fully loading the
tandems and pedalling over Snoqualmie Pass with the girls, in an effort to
flee the area. A bike can overcome obstacles that a car can't. It's a
somewhat fun image at the beginning of September -- it'd be less fun as a
reality at the beginning of, say, January.

--
Warm Regards,


Claire Petersky
Personal page: http://www.geocities.com/cpetersky/
See the books I've set free at:
http://bookcrossing.com/referral/Cpetersky


  #2  
Old September 6th 05, 03:55 PM
Chookie
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In article ,
"Claire Petersky" wrote:

In any case, considering Katrina's aftermath, I was wondering what people's
disaster preparation plans were, and if they've been changed.


We don't really have a disaster plan, because we live in roughly the middle of
Greater Sydney. We're a long way from bushfires, earthquakes, cyclones,
tornadoes etc. Our most likely scenarios a

House fire
Terrorist attack on infrastructure (anthrax in the water, destruction of gas
or electricity supply, bombing or road/railway)
Deaths of both DH and me in car accident; survival of children

DS1 and DS2 are too small to be drilled in fire escape procedure, so we
haven't started that yet. The thing we do need to do is rewrite our wills to
cover DS2, to make sure the boys go to the people we think they ought to go to.

--
Chookie -- Sydney, Australia
(Replace "foulspambegone" with "optushome" to reply)

"In Melbourne there is plenty of vigour and eagerness, but there is
nothing worth being eager or vigorous about."
Francis Adams, The Australians, 1893.

  #3  
Old September 6th 05, 07:53 PM
Nikki
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Claire Petersky wrote:

In any case, considering Katrina's aftermath, I was wondering what
people's disaster preparation plans were, and if they've been
changed.


We don't have any but I think I'll be making some! :-( First and fore most
I'm going to stock pile some water. I can't imagine no water and I have
none for emergency use at all. I plan to put copies of important papers in
a small lock box so that I can grab a small container and keep it with me.
I'd have to haul half the house to get a few bits of important info. If I
had time I'd hit the ATM machine and withdraw all my money so I had cash if
I needed to leave the area or what have you.

For us, the most likely disaster to strike would be an
earthquake or similar seismic disturbance.


A tornado would be the most likely threat here. Blizzards happen but they
are a bit different. Tornadoes generally happen to quickly to evacuate a
whole city but there is warning to get someplace safe - a basement if you
have one or various buildings in the city are identified if you don't. The
thing with a tornado is the destruction is not so far reaching. If you are
in its path you are destroyed but it doesn't have near the impact that a
earthquake or hurricane does.

I also live next to the Missouri river so I'm going to see if my house would
be underwater if the dam was taken out. I don't think a force of nature
could do that (even a tornado) but it could certainly be blown up! I have
no idea how to prepare for that. Get out if I had enough forewarning to do
so but I imagine I might not.

One of the big concerns for our family has been that typically one or
both parents have had work or school in the city, and there's a major
body of water, Lake Washington, between the city and where we live.


Oh my. Earthquakes are scary things. We are all on the same side of the
river and there is always storms before tornadoes so if one was bad enough
our family would be able to get together. Same thing with blizzards. A
blizzard now that I live in town is not such a major problem but when I was
in the country I did a lot more planning/preparedness. They are generally
forecasted as well so you can often avoid problems. We have a fire place
and try to keep enough wood to keep us warm if the electricity was out a
long time (not nearly enough for 5 days though!!) and a propane heater we
can aim at the pipes to keep them from freezing. Of course you don't have
to worry about your house being destroyed in a blizzard. In some other kind
of disaster one wouldn't have pipes or a fire place at all! Over all I
feel good about the area I live in as far as horrific natural disasters.

plans have included who the girls could go to and stay with in our
neighborhood, with conversations with and instructions for the kids,
the school, and the neighbors.


All the rural kids in our area have to list a town address that they can go
to in the event that they can't get home.

The other set of plans in place have centered around setting up camp
at home. We have two large 2.5 gallon jugs of fresh water stored, and
food for about five days on hand. We have camping equipment, so we
have things like the Coleman stove (the backpacking stove too, in a
pinch), water purification tablets, and so on. We have a bag stowed
with items such as a hand-crank radio, flashlight, batteries, deck of
cards, and other items that would be helpful.


Good ideas! I had not thought of water purification tablets - didn't know
they existed actually ;-)

To be honest with you all, I never thought that we'd really need
items for beyond a few days. Now, after Katrina, I'm beginning to
think that five days' worth of supplies is a bare minimum.


Yes - I'm in total agreement. I never thought it would take 5 or more days
to get to people in this country. It has sure been an eye opener.

Something else we never considered -- if there really was a
catastrophic earthquake, would we want to evacuate from the Puget
Sound area entirely? How far would we have to go to get to where
there were any sort of services? How would we get there?


If we couldn't drive out (and I can think of lots of reasons we wouldn't be
able to) I have no idea what we'd do. We could try to walk out I suppose
but I think that as long as we had the bare necessities for survival I'd try
to stay a couple weeks and wait to be rescued. That is after the fact. I'd
certainly evacuate before the fact if I had the chance.

--
Nikki
Hunter 4/99
Luke 4/01
EDD 4/06


  #4  
Old September 6th 05, 07:53 PM
illecebra
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Claire Petersky wrote:
snip
In any case, considering Katrina's aftermath, I was wondering what people's
disaster preparation plans were, and if they've been changed.

snip

If I were home with DS when disaster struck, between the military gear
and camping gear filling my house, I think we'd be fairly well off. My
biggest worry right now is that hubby is active duty military, and I'm
considering a job on post. In the event of a natural disaster,
terrorist attack, etc, post would be locked down (no one in or out) and
we have no family near enough to come get DS from child care were the
lockdown long or inconveniently timed.

illecebra

  #5  
Old September 6th 05, 07:54 PM
Caledonia
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Claire Petersky wrote:
In any case, considering Katrina's aftermath, I was wondering what people's
disaster preparation plans were, and if they've been changed.


The biggest change is that we've realized we would resist a forced
evacuation to a large sporting arena in the event of a National
Disaster. Given where we live, this would only occur due to a terrorist
attack, and we're semi self-sufficient here in the short term.

The likelihood of disasters here a
- Blizzard/extended power outage
- Terrorist attack in nearby (20 miles away) city

For DD1's school, we had to list 5 emergency contacts (dual land-line
and cell-phone numbers). At the point of calling the 5th contact, I
personally believe that it'd probably be safer for her to remain at
school, given everyone's propensity for carrying their cell phones all
the time.

We have ample water, 1/2 cord of old wood, and generally have food
(unappealing, but food nonetheless) for about 6 days on hand. I only do
grocery shopping every 2 weeks, and keep the rotating through the food
that we really aren't psyched about. For us, when the power is out, the
heat is out, and the water is out, so we're a little paranoid w/r/t
water and heat.

We also keep two 2.5 gallon gas containers filled in the garage (again,
rotating with another container) -- with my car, that could get us
about 80 miles when loaded (children, pets, and supplies).

We've arranged a meeting point with DH, as I work out of my home, my
children attend schools within a 4 mile radius of home, and he works in
the city and/or travels frequently.

Our wills, power of attorney, and guardians are lined up, and said
documents are dispersed across the country.

We have not talked about this with the children, as they're too young
(DD1's only memory of 9/11 was when the 'man with the gun' took away
her toddler ABC fork at Logan in October 2001. My bad. How was I to
know that toddler forks were banned?).

Caledonia

  #6  
Old September 6th 05, 09:19 PM
Kevin Karplus
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Claire Petersky wrote:
In any case, considering Katrina's aftermath, I was wondering what people's
disaster preparation plans were, and if they've been changed.


In Santa Cruz, the most likely natural disaster is an earthquake, and
it is not likely to cause much destruction---most of the old brick
buildings collapsed in the 1989 quake and the building code is pretty
strictly enforced. We are high enough up (elevation 50 feet) that
tsunamis are not likely to get to us, and our house is on heavy clay
that did not liquefy or shake much in the last quake (most of the
damage was concentrated downtown, which was built on silt and fill).

We should stockpile food and water, but we don't. It is hard to keep
emergency supplies ready when you use them about once or twice a
century. We do have emergency lights and some wood for the fireplace,
since power failures are pretty common (due to inadequate investment
in infrastructure by PG&E). We also have camping water filters
(somewhere) and a shallow well of non-potable water that could be used
in an emergency. (By shallow, I mean about six feet to the bottom of
the well---the water table is typically about an inch below the surface.
We would not need electic pumps to get water out of the well.)

We could expect to be without power or natural gas for a few days,
which would be uncomfortable, but not particularly dangerous in this
climate. Most likely, the biggest problem would be getting food, as we
shop for fresh food almost daily and don't have a stockpile of canned
goods or other nonperishables.

Medical emergencies may be a bigger problem, since all the hospitals
and most of the bigger clinics are clustered together on the other
side of the San Lorenzo River. Losing the few bridges across the
river could result in serious difficulties in getting treatment for
seriously injured people west of the river.

------------------------------------------------------------
Kevin Karplus http://www.soe.ucsc.edu/~karplus
Professor of Biomolecular Engineering, University of California, Santa Cruz
Undergraduate and Graduate Director, Bioinformatics
(Senior member, IEEE) (Board of Directors, ISCB)
life member (LAB, Adventure Cycling, American Youth Hostels)
Effective Cycling Instructor #218-ck (lapsed)
Affiliations for identification only.

  #7  
Old September 6th 05, 10:55 PM
Lesley
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We don't have a real plan, mostly case by case planning. Our
emergencies tend to run to power outages, the longest so far being 3
days at the time of Hurricane Fran. Not bad considering lots of people
were out the better part of two weeks with that one! Our winter weather
runs to ice storms with ensuing power outages; since we're on a well, no
electricity means no water. We've considered getting a generator, but
haven't made that leap yet. I just don't forsee this area have a kind
of natural disaster that would wipe out infrastructure and make
stockpiling food and water a good idea.

We do have iodine tablets in case of a real emergency at the nearby nuke
plant.

Lesley

  #8  
Old September 7th 05, 03:16 PM
Chookie
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Default

In article .com,
"Caledonia" wrote:

We have ample water, 1/2 cord of old wood, and generally have food
(unappealing, but food nonetheless) for about 6 days on hand. I only do
grocery shopping every 2 weeks, and keep the rotating through the food
that we really aren't psyched about. For us, when the power is out, the
heat is out, and the water is out, so we're a little paranoid w/r/t
water and heat.


Perhaps you need to lay in some barbecue fuel?

--
Chookie -- Sydney, Australia
(Replace "foulspambegone" with "optushome" to reply)

"In Melbourne there is plenty of vigour and eagerness, but there is
nothing worth being eager or vigorous about."
Francis Adams, The Australians, 1893.

  #9  
Old September 7th 05, 03:16 PM
user
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Default

On Tue, 6 Sep 2005 17:55:48 EDT, Lesley wrote:
We don't have a real plan, mostly case by case planning. Our
emergencies tend to run to power outages, the longest so far being 3
days at the time of Hurricane Fran. Not bad considering lots of people
were out the better part of two weeks with that one! Our winter weather
runs to ice storms with ensuing power outages; since we're on a well, no
electricity means no water. We've considered getting a generator, but
haven't made that leap yet. I just don't forsee this area have a kind
of natural disaster that would wipe out infrastructure and make
stockpiling food and water a good idea.


We've got a generator, and about 7 days worth of gasoline
( assuming the generator runs about 4 hours a day - enough to
keep the house warm, and the food cold ). As for water, we
have 15 gallons, some of which are kept in the deep-freeze
as thermal mass. At least 2 weeks worth of dried food -
canned veggies & fruits, pasta, cheeses, and so on. The
one thing we have left to get is a small chainsaw, since
we have a heavily wooded property, and being able to
remove a tree from the roof would be a good idea. ;-)

We're in Rochester, NY, so while the worst we've had to
deal with is the occasional ice storm and blizzard,
they've still caused enough disruption that we've dipped
into our supplies in the past. I see it as a basic
function of a family to prepare for these sorts of things,
since when something bad really does happen, you're
not going to have time to go shopping.

- Rich

  #10  
Old September 7th 05, 03:17 PM
Chookie
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In article ,
"A & L Lane" wrote:

We don't really have a disaster plan, because we live in roughly the

middle of
Greater Sydney. We're a long way from bushfires, earthquakes, cyclones,
tornadoes etc.


Remember the Newcastle earthquake ? Not far from Sydney but I agree that a
major one on the scale of *big disaster* is unlikely. Also, I think the


Well, it's hardly the San Andreas Fault -- IIRC the Newcastle fault line had
not moved from when recording started until that particular earthquake, in
which a small number of buildings were damaged/destroyed and all the people
who died were in the club that collapsed. Not worth worrying about IMO.

Canberra bushfires showed us that fire can sweep through areas which
normally might have been quite safe.


I think we really are too far from massed trees to have to worry. We don't
have any national parks near us and Rookwood Cemetery (2 km south) isn't
heavily wooded enough to cause us to worry.

I suppose that we *might* get strong enough winds to bring down power lines
and cause a fire, but we only catch the edge of southerly busters. Pity -- I
grew up on Botany Bay, and the southerly was lovely on summer evenings! Here,
it often stays hot.

--
Chookie -- Sydney, Australia
(Replace "foulspambegone" with "optushome" to reply)

"In Melbourne there is plenty of vigour and eagerness, but there is
nothing worth being eager or vigorous about."
Francis Adams, The Australians, 1893.

 




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