Welcome to my Preponomics blog, where emergency preparedness and economics come together.
After spending more than six months in rebuilding and revamping my survival preparation plan and supplies, I decided to share what I have found. After spending my early adult years backpacking in Colorado on a regular basis, I thought I knew what it would take to survive a disaster. Fast forward a few years to September, 2001. As the mom a 6-year old boy and an 8-year old girl, the events of September 11th woke me up from a blissful existence. I spent hours reading, researching, and preparing. That included renewing my Red Cross CPR and First Aid certifications and taking an the Emergency Response class offered at my local chapter. I also spent time with my local firefighters before and after their trip to assist at Ground Zero. Talking to professionals is one of the best ways to education yourself and build confidence in emergency preparation.
By the summer of 2003, my home was getting close to a textbook example of preparedness. I was prepared with food, water, and supplies for my family to live “off the grid” for a minimum of 60-90 days. Our food supply varied since I cycled food on a monthly basis. Our family used frequent camping trips to rural Baja California to test our equipment and improve our skills. It was a relief to find out how inefficient a piece of cookware was on a weekend trip. I was able to replace inferior equipment and supplies based on our experience over a few years time.
My first real test was in October of 2003. My family was preparing for a Monday Night Football Tailgate Party at Qualcomm Stadium. before the Chargers played host to the Miami Dolphins. We walked outside to head off to Costco and the sky looked like something right out of Hollywood. Sheets of ash were raining from the sky. That ash was from the worst wildfires San Diego County had seen in decades. We were not in the evacuation zone, yet we were forced to stay inside for days and evaluate our preparation situation.
By 2005, our kit was fine tuned and rotated on a regular basis. Batteries, propane, medicine, and other time-sensitive items were added to the rotation to ensure they were useful when they were needed.
In 2008, I found myself starting the process over once again. It was a bit of a challenge this time, since I was now a single mom and had a limited income. I spent quite a bit of time researching and reading up on all of the new information available. I am a seasoned outdoors-woman, yet the main focus of my preparedness strategy has been urban survival for myself and my two teenagers. It was a good thing I did because the economy slapped us a good one when I was “downsized” later that same year. We didn’t panic, we were prepared for an emergency. THAT was quite an emergency and it put my skills and resourcefulness to the test.
Over the last two years, I have maintained detailed notes using OneNote and my Emergency Notebook on the “Best Practices” I have found most helpful in developing my current urban survival strategy. As a 40+ woman, who has two children depending on me, I focus on the areas that are most critical for me and my family. I am reminded constantly that I should be prepared to take care of myself and my kids. We prepare as if we can depend on no one else. My hope is that you find this information helpful and insightful. So far, my journey has been informative and enlightening and I have learned lessons that I am anxious to share with you.
Last year, I became a member of my local CERT (Community Emergency Response Training) through my local fire department. Becoming an integrated member of my community was the missing link in my urban survival/preparedness strategy . Reading can only get you so far. I encourage you to talk to experts and learn new skills. Get your hands dirty! Experience builds confidence. Confidence is the foundation of preparedness.
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