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Prepared For A Catastrophic Failure
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The Essentials of life article series covers the basics of sustaining life with an emphasis on both urban and wilderness places.
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  The Necessity of Safe Drinking Water
Dangers  & symptoms for contaminated water.

  Finding and Treatment of  Safe Drinking Water
Where to locate safe water and how to treat it.

  Finding Water Where There Is None
Methods of locating water in difficult places.



  Food Safety and Survival After A Disaster or Emergency
Tips for protecting your survival and your food supply.

  Preparing an Emergency Food Supply - Long Term Food Storage
Information Courtesy of the University of Georgia and the authors
Judy Harrison, Ph.D and Elizabeth L. Andress, Ph.D


General Survival Information

  U.S Army Field Manual Survival  - Table of Contents


Hurricane Preparation and Survival Planning

On these pages you will find information to aid in hurricane survival and planning for you and your family. The information on these pages are excerpts courtesy of the NOAA. Start Planning now, where will you will go and how you will get there, if  you need to evacuate? Gather supplies like flashlights and plenty of batteries as well as a NOAA weather radio now. There may not be time or the availability of these items later, when you will need them. If you think you may need to evacuate, do so early, don't wait until highways are clogged to leave. That means you will need to pack clothing, gather important papers such as shot records, other medical records, marriage license, titles, deeds, abstracts, stocks , bonds, financial papers, Insurance Papers and other papers as needed and have everything ready to go in case you decide to leave. After the storm strikes it may be to late to leave safely.

Basic Hurricane Safety Actions

  • Know if you live in an evacuation area. Know your home's vulnerability to storm surge, flooding and wind. Have a written plan based on this knowledge.

  • At the beginning of hurricane season (June 1st), check the supplies for your disaster supply kit, replace batteries and use food stocks on a rotating basis.

  • During hurricane season, monitor the tropics.

  • Monitor NOAA Weather Radio. It is an excellent / official source for real-time weather information and warnings.

  • If a storm threatens, heed the advice from local authorities. Evacuate if ordered.

  • Execute your family plan


  • A HURRICANE WATCH issued for your part of the coast indicates the possibility that you could experience hurricane conditions within 36 hours.
    This watch should trigger your family's disaster plan, and protective measures should be initiated, especially those actions that require extra time such as securing a boat, leaving a barrier island, etc.

  • A HURRICANE WARNING issued for your part of the coast indicates that sustained winds of at least 74 mph are expected within 24 hours or less.
    Once this warning has been issued, your family should be in the process of completing protective actions and deciding the safest location to be during the storm.


  • Discuss the type of hazards that could affect your family. Know your home's vulnerability to storm surge, flooding and wind.

  • Locate a safe room or the safest areas in your home for each hurricane hazard. In certain circumstances the safest areas may not be your home but within your community.

  • Determine escape routes from your home and places to meet.

  • Have an out-of-state friend as a family contact, so all your family members have a single point of contact.

  • Make a plan now for what to do with your pets if you need to evacuate.

  • Post emergency telephone numbers by your phones and make sure your children know how and when to call 911.

  • Check your insurance coverage - flood damage is not usually covered by homeowners insurance. National Flood Insurance Program

  • Stock non-perishable emergency supplies and a Disaster Supply Kit.

  • Use a NOAA weather radio. Remember to replace its battery every 6 months, as you do with your smoke detectors.

  • Take First Aid, CPR and disaster preparedness classes.

Disaster Supplies Kit

Printable Version of Supply List

Water - at least 1 gallon daily per person for 3 to 7 days

Food - at least enough for 3 to 7 days

non-perishable packaged or canned food / juices
foods for infants or the elderly
snack foods
non-electric can opener
cooking tools / fuel
paper plates / plastic utensils

Blankets / Pillows, etc.

Clothing - seasonal / rain gear/ sturdy shoes

First Aid Kit / Medicines / Prescription Drugs

Special Items - for babies and the elderly

Toiletries / Hygiene items / Moisture wipes

Flashlight / Batteries

Radio - Battery operated and NOAA weather radio

Telephones - Fully charged cell phone with extra battery and a traditional (not cordless) telephone set

Cash (with some small bills) and Credit Cards - Banks and ATMs may not be available for extended periods


Toys, Books and Games

Important documents - in a waterproof container or watertight resealable plastic bag
insurance, medical records, bank account numbers, Social Security card, etc.

Tools - keep a set with you during the storm

Vehicle fuel tanks filled

Pet care items

proper identification / immunization records / medications
ample supply of food and water
a carrier or cage
muzzle and leash


 The Danger of the Storm Surge

"The greatest potential for loss of life related to a hurricane is from the storm surge."

Click for larger Storm Surge imageStorm surge is simply water that is pushed toward the shore by the force of the winds swirling around the storm. This advancing surge combines with the normal tides to create the hurricane storm tide, which can increase the mean water level 15 feet or more. In addition, wind driven waves are superimposed on the storm tide. This rise in water level can cause severe flooding in coastal areas, particularly when the storm tide coincides with the normal high tides. Because much of the United States' densely populated Atlantic and Gulf Coast coastlines lie less than 10 feet above mean sea level, the danger from storm tides is tremendous.


  • Minimize the distance you must travel to reach a safe location; the further you drive the higher the likelihood of encountering traffic congestion and other problems on the roadways.

  • Select the nearest possible evacuation destination, preferably within your local area, and map out your route. Do not get on the road without a planned route, or a place to go.

  • Choose the home of the closest friend or relative outside a designated evacuation zone and discuss your plan with them before hurricane season.

  • You may also choose a hotel/motel outside of the vulnerable area.

  • If neither of these options is available, consider the closest possible public shelter, preferably within your local area.

  • Use the evacuation routes designated by authorities and, if possible, become familiar with your route by driving it before an evacuation order is issued.

  • Contact your local emergency management office to register or get information regarding anyone in your household whom may require special assistance in order to evacuate.

  • Prepare a separate pet plan, most public shelters do not accept pets.

  • Prepare your home prior to leaving by boarding up doors and windows, securing or moving indoors all yard objects, and turning off all utilities.

  • Before leaving, fill your car with gas and withdraw extra money from the ATM.

  • Take all prescription medicines and special medical items, such as glasses and diapers.

  • If your family evacuation plan includes an RV, boat or trailer, leave early. Do not wait until the evacuation order or exodus is well underway to start your trip.

  • If you live in an evacuation zone and are ordered to evacuate by state or local officials, do so as quickly as possible. Do not wait or delay your departure, to do so will only increase your chances of being stuck in traffic, or even worse, not being able to get out at all.

  • Expect traffic congestion and delays during evacuations. Expect and plan for significantly longer travel times than normal to reach your family's intended destination.

  • Stay tuned to a local radio or television station and listen carefully for any advisories or specific instructions from local officials. Monitor your NOAA Weather Radio.

Part 2      Part 3


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