Disaster Preparation – Intro

risk.jpgBig new reason to live in New York? Because there’s the Hudson to land your plane in. Within four minutes, the passengers were all out of the plane and boarding the cutters. Four minutes. That’s staggering.

On the other side of it, four minutes to a crashed airplane passenger in freezing water is a long time.

I’ve been sorting out a disaster plan since I was in college. My roommate and I used to sit around in the summer evenings discussing the layout of the apartment and what we could manage to take depending on where the fire started. My Rollerblades made the cut every time, including in the scenario where I was asleep naked and had to make a choice between clothing and skates.

I’ve spent a lot of time putting together a multi-scenario emergency plan. So much time, in fact, that it’s still not done. Ironic, isn’t it? To save you from the same fate, I’m posting my round-up below. While writing this, it’s become apparent that I have an almost ludicrous amount of info in my head, so I’m going to post it in segments. Also, disclaimer, this is, of course, my information, not everything there is to say on the subject or even the official last word.

Most of what I’ve read is a jumble of too-detailed information for your average citizen or too-general info for your slightly paranoid neurotic (me). Those sites have lists of what to do, what not to do, what you should buy, and so on. Usually those lists are separated by type of disaster and include both “think about this” items and “you need to actually go do something about this” items, so after running through each checklist separately, possibly including making 17 trips out of the house to collect different things, you walk away with a vague sense that you’ve forgotten at least one key piece of the preparedness puzzle. Which is not the comforting result you’d like from the exercise.

So I’ve tried to do that work for you. First, read through everything. Don’t do anything. Just read. Osmose. At the end, there’s a section of checklists and things to do (in order) that cover prep for all the disasters I’ve listed. Hopefully, this will eliminate for you all the doubling back and circling I’ve done.

Next Up: Personal Disasters – limited to you and your property

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