Saturday, July 11, 2009


Since I've lived here in Louisville, we've had at least 3 multi-day power outages, one in the dead of winter. We've had a bad haz-mat situation, thankfully on the other side of town. There have been tornadoes in the area, but not massive. However, the possibility of massive damage to Louisville from storms is definitely there.

So Irish Woman and I have done some small things in the past to get ready for problems and we have started kicking those efforts up a notch.

We of course do all the things that people normally do. We keep flashlights and candles around the house in case the power goes out. We have food in the pantry, and we make sure we have enough to go for a while if SuperMegaMegamart isn't available.

But now we've started doing things a bit more earnestly. Our food stocks have taken a definite turn upwards, and I intend to increase them as time goes on. We have come up with the beginnings of plans for getting out of Dodge in the event that our home becomes a denied area. We've talked to friends and family on all of the cardinal directions from Louisville so that in the event of an evacuation, we have a place to go that isn't a Red Cross shelter. Our emergency bags are in the cars in case of a problem at work, and I'm putting together a long-term bug-out-bag for the house.

We've also started gardening more and more. In the event, we'd like to at least be able to feed the kids fresh vegetables for a while.

I've started stockpiling firewood above and beyond what we need for enjoyment in the winter. Luckily for us, we didn't lose power and heat during the ice storm last winter, but if we'd had to use our fireplace to keep the house warm, we would have been in trouble. I don't want to be in that situation again.

Security is one of my concerns. While our neighborhood is firmly postwar middle class, and I'm not concerned that we would be a primary target for looting, we're surrounded by very high-end sub-divisions. They are ground zero for looters. During the first multi-day power outage that we had here, I heard on the radio that some in the not so well-off areas of Louisville were talking about coming over here and helping themselves to whatever they could get. That was one of the reasons that I bought my first gun. I was home alone, with 3 (at the time) small children, no phone, and idiots were talking about looting. Kinda ratcheted up the pucker factor a little in an already tight situation.

I've begun talking to the other dads in the neighborhood, and they have been thinking similar thoughts. Luckily, two of my neighbors are hunters, and another is a shooter. If we have to post guards during bad times, I at least won't be having to show people which end the bullet comes out of. Heck even Irish Woman is talking about learning to use a shotgun in case of emergency.

I take a lot of advice from several sources, principally from JWR's excellent Survival Blog. I've read his book, "Patriots", and while it's a worst case scenario with a dash of non-internationalist paranoia thrown in, it gives good advice on products and tactics for being prepared. As I mentioned before, I read "One Second After" a few weeks ago, and while that isn't as helpful on the techniques side, it gives you ideas on what to do and what not to do.

For those of you who have the ability, please give some thought about being ready for disruptions in your normal supply chain. Even if WallyWorld is still there, do you have cash to pay for what you need? No power means no debit cards or electronic verification of checks. Do you have the medicines you need in sufficient quantities to last you a couple of weeks if you can't get to Walgreens? Do you and your family know where to go and how to communicate if you can't go home and you're separated by work and school?

And remember, your neighbors are your immediate support network. Make sure they know they can depend on you so that you can depend on them.

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