Having a 72hr kit just isn’t enough…

UPDATE: At plus 6 days, conditions for many seem to be rapidly deteriorating.

Photograph by Master Sgt. Mark Olsen/U.S. Air Force

For all intents and purposes, Sandy was not a strong storm. It did coincide with high tide and tight pressure gradient resulting in a large storm surge and flooding of coastal communities, but winds were well under 100mph, and dropped quickly as it moved inland. Flooding resulted in a domino effect cutting off supply lines (roads) and rail lines as well as public services….this is the weakness in a high population density area. A category 2 storm would have been catastrophic.

Most preppers have beyond the FEMA recommended 72hr kit. Hurricane Katrina and now Hurricane Sandy have shown, even 72hrs isn’t enough. The video interview shows how easily the system (food and services) collapsed and how few people even had a 72hr kit. Finding a roof over one’s head was not difficult, but beyond that no food, water, heat or sanitation. I suspect this will be the case for another week. As of today it is +100 hrs since Sandy made landfall. A 1 week kit is looking a bit more reasonable as well as contingency for sanitation.

Unfortunately, having a kit doesn’t mean one knows how to use it. I heard a radio interview with an individual in NY after Sandy hit..he said he had a 72 hr kit, but ‘wasn’t even sure what to do with the flashlight’ much less anything else. This is someone who’s brain has gone into panic mode, and is unable to think beyond operating his cell phone. Why?….because he uses his cellphone everyday…its second nature. This raises the point of not just having but knowing. Having a tacticool BOB/GHB or disaster bag/box is one thing…knowing how to use everything in it is another. Confidence in the equipment is another important aspect. Do the items actually do what they are supposed to?

Whats wrong with this picture?

Everything is brand new, some still wrapped in plastic (ex. first aid kit). This is someone that has gear, but has no idea if it will work when needed. Every tool should be used at least 4-5 time to familiarize yourself. First Aid kits checked to ensure all items are not expired, punctured, and where different parts are. Water containers should be checked for leaks. Fire starters…does it work as advertised? How about when wet? Can the knife be used as a prybar or does that exceed it’s capabilities? These are just a few of the things one should consider.

Pack your kit logically. You don’t want your First Aid Kit in the bottom where you can’t get to it quickly. Tools, flashlights need to be easily accessible, etc.. Pack and unpack your gear a few times. Then do it in the dark.

Make sure items can do what you expect them to do. Know your gear and how to use everything in it!

About PapaSwamp

Apex predator, preparedness whacko.
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