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  • Mike L

Flux Capacitors and Heisenberg Compensators

When my sister and I were kids, mom would often ask us for the portable flux capacitor. Invariably, one of us would have used it for silly time travel games and simply left it lying around or placed it somewhere she never thought to look. Fortunately for us, we always quickly found it and she'd move on to the next item on her agenda for the day. Irresponsibility can be cute until you're in a hurry or a crisis, though, it's far more attractive in chldren than adults. As adults, the Heisenberg compensators we so often took for granted as children aren't as reliably or as readily available, if at all.

I've mentioned in previous posts the importance of discussing your emergency plans with the entire family. The only way the plan is going to work is if everyone is on the same page and shares the understanding of what to do and when to do it. In this way, the water, food, money, and other supplies you have on hand are for emergencies, are only used for that purpose. This is important because the last thing you want is to discover that the cache of snacks in the LTP have been eaten. True, this isn't the end of the world; however, it does require a reset with the troops. How do you do this?

Buy in Comes from Effective Communication

Advertising agencies and politicians are skilled at telling stories and creating illusions. They craft stories and ad campaigns to sell luxury goods at a premium and to secure votes based upon fears of a future more dystopian than the present. Explaining to a five-year old why he can't have a treat when he wants it and is looking at it, is a skill I lack! Discussing the importance of sharing and planning ahead so you have food for when you're hungry later is an excellent way to frame this conversation with children of all ages. You can also explain that treats and other favorite foods might be harder to get in a crisis when everyone is rushing to the store to buy the things they need. I'm not into pandering but, going without food and water is a frightening thought. The reality is an order of magnitude worse. Everyone must be in complete agreement and committed to the ultimate goal or you will not be prepared when the time comes.

A Place for Everything

We tend to think that everything we do is logical and that it makes sense, afterall, why would we do it if it didn't make sense? We might all agree that leaving the keys in the car, on top of the visor is practical; however, the logic of this course of action would be hotly debated. Similarly, sit down with the family and discuss where to store your emergency kits. For example, is the First Aid kit in the bathroom and, if so, which one? Maybe it's in the kitchen or the linen closet? What makes sense to one person may not to another. Keeping the solar generator in the basement makes sense until you fall down the stairs in the dark when the power is out on the way to retrieve the generator. Decide in advance, where emergency food and supplies will be kept and how you'll store them. Organization is central to any plan. Effective organization can remove much of the guesswork which can lead to a more cohesive and timely response.

Citizens and Soldiers

It has been said that the difference between citizens and soldiers is training. This is certainly plausible and it makes sense. Reality TV and various websites are home to a plethora of programs ranging from cooking to home construction to auto repair. Increasingly, everyday folk have access to highly technical training previously available only to members of law enforcement, the military and those working in specialized fields. Nearly every two-year and technical college offers courses in basic and advanced First Aid and CPR. Firearms training is similarly readily available. Community centers, public libraries, park districts and fire departments offer a range of free classes or charge a nominal fee. I'm a huge fan of CERT, Community Emergency Response Team training. If you do nothing other than make an emergency plan, assemble a comprehensive kit and join your local CERT, you'd be well-positioned. Of course, the American Red Cross offers an entire catalog of training courses as well as volunteer opportunities. Get off the couch and sign up for a training class- after you read this blog!

We've discussed before that you can't prepare for every eventuality; however, doing nothing is unacceptable and makes a bad situation worse. Wherever you decide to receive training, make sure the instructor is a reputable professional with whom you're comfortable. Quality training is on par with food and water and can be life-saving. Decide which new skills you'd like to add to your repertoire and don't forget to practice regularly!

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