The signs - Manyana was yesterday!
We all do it! - The old ‘manyana’
syndrome, some more regularly than others. For instance, those jobs around the
house, the leaking tap, that creaking floorboard, or, the family car, oil change? Tomorrow may be, how about anti-freeze?
“it’s ok, no ice cometh yet! Next week will do”.
Well, that ‘manyana’
as we know, often never arrives as the people discovered who have been the victims of the many disasters that crept up like
a ‘thief in the night’ and ruined their lives, and lives of their loved ones.
One of the ‘secrets’
of learning to prepare and ready oneself for any event, whether natural or man made, is to understand what you are preparing
for! By that I mean, one should understand the full implications of an event, whether it be a local flood or power outage,
or a major larger catastrophic event, it is half the battle if you know what you are dealing with. Once you know what the
‘enemy’ is, then you can prepare for the worst.
It is also important to bear in
mind, that no matter how many promises your governments make for such emergency contingencies, when the crunch comes, due
to the many events beyond their control and their own agendas, at the best, help may not arrive for at least five or six days,
possibly much longer.
It is thus to your advantage that
you take on-board there will be no aid forthcoming in the short term, and possibly none at all. At least this way you will
know where you stand and can act accordingly.
So how do we go about this?
Understand the ‘physics’ of an event – do your research,
understand how, in basic terms, floods, earthquakes etc work – how do they start? What causes them? Any knowledge gained
on the subject will ‘fuel’ your resources and impetus for preparation against such an event. “Know thy enemy”
is a useful adage – or Bing-fa the Chinese art of advancing your position to make success inevitable
Familiarise yourself with catastrophic events globally, not just in
your country or area – others will have experienced the suffering and physical post effects of such events – learn
by experience, it may save your life and the lives of your family.
Learn to read weather reports and satellite forecasting – you
could be one of the first in your area to know what is coming.
In the case of a man made catastrophe, whether by accident or design,
ensure you have at least some basic knowledge of the workings of your local government or military organisation. These are
usually within the public domain of civil defence and town/city planning sections, and in recent times may be headed under
joint resilience units and/or Homeland Security. We will look at this in detail in subsequent chapters. ‘Forewarned
Once you know what you may be
dealing with, begin to formulate a plan;
Read as much as possible on general preparedness techniques and survival.
(Read through this site, there are sections that cover almost every eventuality)
Organise short term survival packs
Learn basic first aid – it could save lives, including yours.
Practice what you have learnt – make a weekend of it, go camping
in the woods, make a ‘fun’ event – practice makes perfect.
Practice evacuation routes in your vehicle and on foot, so that you
and your family get acquainted with the procedures, ensuring no panic when the time comes.
Discuss your plans and ideas with the family
The above are merely a few of
many important issues and areas that need to be covered, for the moment be aware of the diverse events that you may experience,
and start to understand how these events originate and develop.
Plan ahead: was it raining when Noah built
What do we look for? How will
we recognise the ‘symptoms’ and where do we look?
These are the basic questions
people often ask me when discussing this subject area. In the main, it is common sense that prevails, and with a little knowledge
under your belt, you will be able to recognise and even forecast at least certain natural phenomena, and know how to interpret
the brewing signs.
With reference to man-made events,
a slightly different approach is needed, like a ‘thief in the night’ one will never really know when such a disaster
would occur. However, by keeping an eye on the current political and military events globally, at least you may become aware
of the ‘possibility’ that such a man-made event could occur.
Today there is much talk of ‘terrorism’
and so called ‘terror alerts’ etc, one should be cautious of these public outcries as often the problem lies deeper
and nearer to home. The main point is to be aware that not all appears to be as it is, and importantly, to be prepared for
any event at any time.
Natural weather events and disasters:
The majority of locations on our
planet in recent times have experienced at some point unusual and severe weather events, whether it be earthquakes, storms,
floods or droughts. This phenomena, appears to be increasing, some blame that ‘in phrase’ (incorrectly) ‘Global
Warming’ (GW) or more apt ‘Climate Change’, for that exactly is what it is.
However, while some followers
of the GW brigade point the blame squarely on the effects of the populations’ increasing use of vehicle and industrial
pollution, others are waking up to the fact that the main cause is outside of our planet and Solar System.
Whatever the cause, our sun certainly
seems to be in a high maximum of late rather than a minimum (and whatever is affecting our sun in turn) and consequently we
are feeling the knock on effects here on earth.
As I write this chapter, August
2007, many severe weather events in the last few weeks have been experienced, the massive earthquake in Peru (magnitude 8.0)
with the loss of over 500 lives, severe heat wave in mid Europe, severe floods in UK and India with loss of many lives, Hurricane
Dean and Felix – and in the past few days, waking volcanic activity.
Whatever the cause and arguments
behind this phenomena, the point is clear that these events are increasing and becoming more severe, and all the discussions
and ‘talk’ of preparation or prevention are theoretical when it comes to the crunch. The main point is to be aware
it is happening and to be prepared!
Begin to follow the weather and
climate changes, not only in your area but globally. There are a number of websites one can access, such as the UK meteorological
weather impact site, radar Doppler forecasts and so on. All of these and more are available at our preparedness site at: www.ambilacuk.com/safesurvival.
Familiarise yourself with how
these events develop and how they effected the population concerned, and importantly, how they reacted and dealt with the
situation. Armed with this information, it will help you to cope when a similar event strikes in your area, and you will be
more prepared to handle the situation and the post effects incurred.
The above concept applies both
to a man-made event and to a natural disaster.
At the end of the book in the
appendices you will find additional sections to assist you, including a ‘Disaster plan’, which for example, will
help you decide what to keep in your disaster kit, what methods you should employ to safeguard your home and family, should
you stay or evacuate and so on.
In general, whatever the disaster,
there is a general formula you put into action, and one which you should have practised many times before such a disaster
When a disaster occurs –
Implement your practised disaster plan –
Stay or evacuate –
Ensure food, water and medical supplies are adequate –
Ensure safety and security of home and family –
Panic and general disorder will ensue –
Assistance will not be forthcoming for a few days –
Evacuation routes may be blocked –
As the disaster develops the Emergency services will be kept busy
Utilities shut down (power, water and gas etc)
Looting begins and disorder spreads – be prepared for this –
E.g. Yahoo news August 17
2007 - PISCO, Peru - Earthquake survivors desperate for food and water ransacked a public market, while other mobs looted
a refrigerated trailer and blocked aid trucks on the Pan-American Highway prompting Peru's president to appeal for calm Friday
Health preparedness – possibility of diseases (water born etc)
Keep an eye on global weather cycles
Watch for changes and unusual severe weather events – e.g. increasing
major global disasters, floods, severe droughts, earthquakes, volcanic activity and so on.
Note how each affected area deals with a disaster, the post effects
and how they are dealt with – this will give you valuable experience when a similar situation erupts in your area.
Read the information links in the appendices on the contingencies
your government and local agency has in place when such a disaster strikes. E.g.
Government contingency plans – what is the plan when there is
a disaster – know where you stand.
Man-made disaster – by design or accident – e.g. nuclear
– see chapter ‘Thar she blows’
Remember – B Safe –
B Prepared – B wise - SURVIVE!