Tag Archives: modern prepper

Cold Wave – beyond Cold Weather Action to Personal Preparedness

Have you seen some of the lovely snow and ice pictures floating around on social media since yesterday? This blog about Cold Weather Preparedness is the exact opposite from my earlier post on Heatwave – beyond Heat Health Watch to Personal Preparedness back in June. Since we are pretty firmly on a path where we need to Prepare for a world that’s more than 2°C warmer  which translates into more frequent and severe weather events, personal preparedness really does make a lot of sense. You can take pro-active steps to be better prepared and stay well and healthy also with regards to being #WinterReady.  So….

What is personal preparedness for a cold wave?

First, it’s about being informed which then means you can get better prepared. Let’s break this down and a good example here is this post from the Northamptonshire Emergency Planning Team. Take a closer look at the graphic:

The UK’s MetOffice issues Cold Weather Action alerts as part of ‘Cold Weather Health Watch’.  This system operates in England from the 1 November to 31 March every year and runs in association with Public Health England. Currently there is a level three AMBER warning in place which for the authorities means that social and healthcare services must execute specific actions with regards to high-risk population groups such as the very young, the elderly or those with certain chronic health conditions. What exactly happens on the government side, you can find out on the Cold Weather Plan for England. Importantly, you can take personal steps to be better prepared. Cold weather can mean snow and ice which, if you’re out may look like this

Naturally, it makes a lot of sense to prepare yourself and your vehicle properly before setting out. Stay updated on the weather and road conditions and allow for plenty of time. This blog, naturally, recommends proper winter driving preparedness, for example:

Personal #Preparedness matters | https://t.co/KIqCuQazkD#RoadSafety #HealthandSafety #WinterReady #car #travel #weekend #driving #snow #ice #RTC #crash #delays #weatheraware #prepared pic.twitter.com/G9l6GHlDNk

— EVAQ8 Emergency Kits (@EVAQ8_news)

… and listen to Dave, he has excellent advice for the enthusiastic:

 

In addition, preparing properly for a Cold Wave also concerns your home; for example see our info page on severe winter preparedness.  Keep in mind that freezing temperatures, snow and ice have other consequences, such as power cuts  which may also impact your home food safety .  Therefore, you may want to consider some basic shelter-in-place measures and stocking the right emergency food which you can prepare and enjoy even when utilities become disrupted.
Keeping warm is key during a cold weather alert. There are easy and simple steps you can take to stay safe at home and when going out:

  •  keep your main rooms heated, use extra blankets
  •  take extra care with electrical items and be #FireSafety aware
  • dress in layers and keep active
  • take extra care when out and about to avoid accidents
  • stay #weatheraware, have the right kit and supplies

Finally, a super

TOP TIP for Cold Weather preparedness

… and you will laugh for it’s a very small thing. Carry an emergency foil blanket in your backpack or handbag. It’s cheap, hardly takes up space nor adds weight and is a potential life saver. And that, by the way, applies for business too which should always stock emergency blankets as part of their business preparedness.

 

And so I leave you with a couple of lovely winter images and wish you a warm and prepared rest of the week and a cosy and safe weekend #StaySafe #bePrepared.

Monika

 

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It pays to be #winterready and  better prepared. Avoid being stranded! Check out our info page What goes into a Winter Car Emergency Kit .

 

Emergency Preparedness: #WinterReady how to be better informed (and get the right kit but that’s just an aside)

Pull up and get cosy 🙂 Let’s take a look at #WinterReady

Today the Met Office re-launched their ‘get ready for winter’ campaign which includes ‘thinking about a winter kit for your car’. Naturally, those of you who are familiar with this blog and website will already know our section on Winter Driving . If you are new, then a warm welcome and please do check out the links given as well as the navigation both on the right and top. Obviously (but then I’m biased) I strongly advise to go beyond just thinking but to act and get better prepared, especially when it concerns #roadsafety: driving and being #winterready is more than just a thought experiment 😉

What does it actually mean to be #WinterReady?

Well, that depends on who you ask of course. What the Met Office’s 12 point list nicely shows, however, is that being #WinterReady covers quite a bit of ground. According to them, this ranges from health, to securing your property, to staying safe on the road and expecting severe weather. Another way of looking at preparedness is via consequences, something I’ve touched upon in what you must plan and prepared for.

What you must keep in mind above all in this is that …

Being informed is key to being #WinterReady and better preparedness

Today, rather than going on about the particulars of emergency kits, I want to focus on what personal preparedness and #WinterReady looks like from the point of view of being informed.

“But we are all informed all the time” I hear you say and you are right, we are indeed connected like never before. However, the really astonishing fact is that while so many of us are plugged in and networked up we have rarely done so with regards to emergency preparedness. Only relatively few people actually know and use quality apps or follow crucial social media accounts.

There is a lot of awareness raising going on this time of the year by outreach programmes such as last Sunday during #HamptonshireDay by their inspiring and engaging Local Resilience Forum team …

 

… or like today by Local Councils and NGO’s such as The FloodAdvisory in Bolton during half term

Events such as these are brilliant yet only reach a limited number of people. Studies have shown that following leaflet distribution, approximately 10% of people changed their behaviour and engaged in one or more preparedness activities1. This is promising. Now imagine the reach and impact if this is done on social media where people can subscribe for free and receive relevant information and reminders.

How and where to sign up for crucial preparedness information was one of the key topics during #prep2017day23 of this years ‘September is Preparedness’ campaign @30days30waysUK. And so here are the

top social media accounts to be better #prepared  and #winterready

Twitter alerts shares critical information in times of crisis via key accounts, make sure you follow and sign up to alerts from:

In addition, it is recommended you follow twitter accounts such as your service providers (water, gas, electricity), local council and local resilience forum. Find out through them if your local area has an active #FloodAction group and then connect with them; for example

Facebook has a function called safety check which automatically activates during an emergency, for example, during the recent attacks in Manchester and London.

Flood warnings by email: you can also sign up to receive flood warnings via email

In addition there are many FREE APPS that are highly recommended for better preparedness. All of them are free and excellent quality which is why it is puzzling that not more people are using them:

 

Top picks for FREE UK emergency preparedness apps

30days30waysUK.org.uk is not an app but a brilliant hub and FREE campaign for all things preparedness. You can jump in anytime to do your own 30days30ways for better preparedness all year round and don’t miss ‘September is Preparedness Month 2018’. Follow them @30days30waysUK. They spring into action again next August..

For more tips check out #prep2017day23 and look through the posts and replies. You can also find a fun collection on pinterest by heading to preparedAPP.

So, what are you waiting for?

Take your pick and sign-up, download those free apps and get to test-driving them. It’s not only fun but actually hugely useful and gets you better #PREPARED and #WinterReady.

Have a nice rest of the week.

Monika

 

Reference

1  Marshall, R.J., Petrone, L., Takach, M.J., Sansonetti, S., Wah-Fitta, M., Bagnall-Degos, A. and Novais, A., 2007. Make a kit, make a plan, stay informed: Using social marketing to change the population’s emergency preparedness behavior. Social Marketing Quarterly13(4), pp.47-64.

More studies and resources available via 30days30waysUK.org.UK/partners page, see practitioners resources via google docs.

 

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For more EVAQ8 blog simply use the right hand navigation. For emergency kits and practical resources use the top navigation. For FREE resources head over to our Preparedness Hub and find out why we use humour. If you like this post, please share it to help raise awareness for Emergency and Disaster Preparedness. Thank you!

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Modern Emergency Food Storage – Household Preparedness for everyone is as easy as 1 – 2 – 3

Sometimes it’s easier to simply show rather than tell and so before I get a bit deeper into what modern emergency food storage looks like and why it makes sense for everybody here are some context images from our twitter feed:

My earlier What Disaster –Why Preparedness post explains that while defining what exactly a ‘disaster’ is not so straight forward, preparedness (see 5Ps and 5Cs) on the other hand is. Naturally, modern emergency food storage is part of preparedness and taps into food security which is not only a topic for developing countries but for anyone faced with increasing natural and man-made emergencies and disasters that impact our supply chains (see see Prepare for a world that’s more than 2° C warmer). Do have a good look at the food security page because it gives a lot of detail information from which to build your own emergency food storage strategy – and what exactly is that? Just like there is a preparedness 1 – 2 – 3 : get a kit, make a plan, be informed, there is  

Modern Emergency Food Storage Strategy is as easy as  1 – 2 – 3

Everyone is different and everyone’s needs and wants are different. Therefore your modern emergency food storage strategy starts with an appraisal and analysis: 

1 Emergency Food Strategy: How many ? That’s people and animals

Covering for just two or an extended family or even neighbourhood makes a difference not only in how much you will have to store but also affects your purchasing power to buy more advantageously in bulk. Preparedness for pets is a whole other story.

2 Emergency Food Strategy : What nutritional needs?

Age and health status affects your choice of how much and what kind of emergency food you want to store. The Food Security page has a United Nations table as a guideline but keep in mind that these are minimum requirements to survive, not necessarily thrive.  Preparedness for the elderly is a separate topic also looked at in the post Preparedness and older people as is caring for the very young.

3 Emergency Food Strategy : How long? Hours, days, months; staying in one place or several locations?

 

Short-term emergency food storage

…typically means 72 hour self-sufficiency as is typically recommended i.e. for your GoBag or so called emergency grab bag in case of emergency evacuation. For shelter-in-place situations most households can usually cover this without many problems. While you may suffer fridge and freezer food losses due to prolonged power outages,  most households contain dry goods that can be prepared without gas or electric and eaten even if your access to clean water is compromised (see water purification). If you’re interested  to ‘upgrade’ in this area take a look at the self-heating meals.  They are particularly well suited giving you maximum output with minimum effort on top of being relatively lightweight for transport as well as compact for food storage.  


Medium-term emergency food storage

… can be several days to many weeks. Here you need to seriously start looking at energy and nutritional quality requirements. You also need to consider activity levels and climate as well as special dietary requirements, i.e. gluten free survival food. Again, a starting point is the United Nations table on the Food Security page but you must take your analysis further and look at your specific circumstances.

 

Long-term emergency food storage

… typically covers a number of months, sometimes years. If you bulk buy and stock dry goods for several months this is, in a sense, your long-term supply.   Modern emergency food storage, however is different because of

      • balanced nutrition
      • easy food preparation
      • minimal and compact storage
      • extended shelf life for up to 25 years

 

  … which means that all these factors together compared to ‘regular’ food makes it so that

modern emergency food storage is highly cost-effective: it makes a lot of sense!

 

The Storage for Emergency and Survival Food page gives more information but here I just want to highlight the basic math:

a 3 months 100+servings supply of emergenct food costs just £15 per year

that’s pretty awesome so check it out via the Survival Food Rations page. Now, before I go, Emergency Food as described above is not only brilliant for emergency preparedness but equally for outdoor adventures and travel: lightweight, nutritious and delicious. No wonder we have plenty of satisfied customers:

I hope this was useful. Have a great week and have fun choosing the Emergency Foods that work best for your Emergency Food Strategy.   

Monika   

For more Resilience Blog simply use the right hand navigation. For emergency kits and practical resources use the top navigation. For more on Emergency+Disaster Preparedness head over to our FREE resources at the Preparedness Hub and find out why we use humour. If you like this post, please share it to help raise awareness for Emergency and Disaster Preparedness. Thank you.

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Welcome to 2017 – be prepared, not scared

Be prepared, not scared. No kidding!

image: huffingtonpost (http://img.huffingtonpost.com/asset/scalefit_630_noupscale/5865938f1500002c0091668c.png)And I’m being entirely practical, not sarcastic (and truthful) like the BBC’s Charlie Brooker’s 2016 wipe  nor pragmatic (and accurate) like the Guardian’s  Climate change in 2016: the good, the bad, and the ugly.

If I were to answer Sarah Marsh’s appeal What is giving you hope for 2017 then I would say that:

finally, emergency preparedness is going mainstream in the UK

No, I’m not talking ‘prepper’, they’ve been at it for many years and are mentioned in this blog elsewhere (use the search function if you’re interested). I’m talking main stream embracing emergency preparedness: regular households, small and medium sized businesses, schools and other communities, even places of worship.  That is, truly, encouraging and very timely.

Today, the BBC highlighted that Terrorism ‘first-aid training [is] needed’ , mentioning the

launch of a new app called CitizenAid

Citizenaid APP | Image source http://citizenaid.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/phonestuff-540x308.jpgIt aims to be a guide for ‘Public Immediate Actions for multiple casualties from shooting, stabbing or a bombing’. In other words, a practical extension for everyone and following on from last year’s ‘run, tell, hide’ campaign by the government. For more on that see “what are invacuation, lock-down and shelter in place” (not just for business). Other highly useful UK preparedness apps include the Met Office weather app and the British Red Cross Emergency app. FloodAlerts is not an app just yet but you can bookmark it in your phone’s browser. But back to Citizen Aid and their app which works even offline

Their brand new website asks an excellent question at this time of the year:

Why not start 2017 with a resolution to be prepared?

Needless to say, I think that’s a very good idea so do download their and the other apps but don’t stop there. If you’re reading this then you certainly are in the perfect place to start properly with emergency preparedness. It’s easy: simply begin at our preparedness hub and browse from there. You will find lots of very useful free resources as well as reliable, cost-effective products that help you get equipped and be better prepared. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, well, we specialise in custom kits so check that out. Follow us on social media and keep updated (facebook, twitter). That’s your preparedness sorted. As for me, I’m particularly excited this year to contribute designing a much bigger and better ‘September is Preparedness Month’ campaign ‘30days30waysUK’ which is beginning to take shape as I write this as well as piloting a brand new ISO/British Standard on Business Preparedness; more on all this later. For now, I leave you with my best wishes for safe and happy New Year and an

easy solution to your New Year’s resolution to be better prepared:

get a kit – make a plan – be prepared; start today!  

Monika  

 thank you for sharing, raising awareness for Emergency Preparedness!

 

Emergency Preparedness Cartoon EVAQ8 Jan 2017For more EVAQ8 blog simply use the right hand navigation. For emergency kits and practical resources use the top navigation. For FREE resources head over to our Preparedness Hub and find out why we use humour. If you like this post, please share it to help raise awareness for Emergency and Disaster Preparedness. Thank you!

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The 2016 National Flood Resilience Review for the time-pressed: UK Flooding, what you need to know

updated 02/11/2016

“We need to recognise that there is a non-negligible chance that we will see further events (flooding) of a similar, or maybe even greater, scale over the next decade.” (Executive summary)

Sadly, awareness of the seriousness of flooding is very thin on the ground. Just 6-8% of people actually living with flood risk know they are vulnerable, a figure that has not changed much since 2014 according to the Environment Agency’s @johncurtinEA.

That was households. What about business? For small businesses that make up 99% of the UK economy, it turns out that SME’s ‘prefer’ to react rather than pro-actively engage in business continuity and business preparedness as discussed recently during @TheFloodExpo . Dr Jessica Lamond (CFCR UWE)  showed that, sadly, SMEs are not pro-active (despite this making a lot of business sense), taking active steps only after having been flooded – twice! Even after measures are taken, actual preparedness is just at 60%. These are stark figures.

 

In September  the @cabinetofficeuk with @DefraGovUK under the leadership of  @andrealeadsom and with input from @uksciencechief published the National Flood Resilience Review. It charts the immense work undertaken by @EnvAgency and @metoffice in the wake of the devastating 2015/16 floods, lessons learnt and ways forward for better resilience nationwide.

For those of you who are time pressed or disinclined to read the full report, here are some key points important for household and business preparedness:

UK Flooding: money matters

  • £2.3 billion will be spent over the next six years from 2015- 2021 to strengthen flood and coastal defences with a particular focus on better protecting 300,000 homes
  • recovery packages handled by local authorities are currently in place for homes, businesses and farms in areas of Northern England affected by the 2015/6 floods
  • Flood Re has been established to ensure that households can continue to obtain affordable flood insurance (schemes for small business are being discussed; source: FloodExpo)

UK Flooding: severe weather and more frequent, stronger storms

  • the intensity of recent storms is unusual, but not unprecedented
  • a comprehensive study of trends (1871-2010) shows a robust signal of increasing numbers of strong winter storms and with increasing intensity for the high latitude North Atlantic; further south over the mid-latitude North Atlantic (ie the path of the storms that affected the UK in winter 2013/14) signal are more complex. Although the number of strong winter storms has not increased since 1871, storm mean intensity has increased. Notably, for very strong storms, the mean intensity has increased significantly. However, results are not conclusive and there remains substantial scientific debate about the behaviour of the North Atlantic jet stream and the storms that form along it.

UK Flooding: extreme rain fall, extreme tidal scenarios, sea level rise

  • rainfall depends on geography, the west receiving ten times more rain than the east of the UK; England and Wales is divided into six climate regions
  • based on robust analysis, the Met Office concludes that winter monthly rainfall totals could plausibly be 20% higher than recent past extremes in some parts of the country and up to 30% higher than recent past extremes in other parts
  • seasonal variability: winter flows have increased in upland, western catchments; autumn flows have increased in Central England and parts of Eastern Scotland. There is no apparent pattern of change in summer flows across the UK
  • high winter flows have increased over the last 30 years and there has been an increase in the frequency and magnitude of flooding over the same period, particularly in the West and North.  However, as with rainfall, longer records demonstrate that there are flood-rich and flood-poor periods in the hydrological record. Reconstruction of floods from sediment records suggests some very large floods in the 18th and 19th centuries
  • sea level along the English Channel has already risen by about 12cm during the 20th century; this is over and above the increases associated with sinking of the southern part of the UK due to isostatic adjustment from the last Ice Age; this increases the risk of coastal flooding and tidal locking. A further overall 11-16cm of sea level rise is likely by 2030, relative to 1990
  • the Environment Agency’s Extreme Flood Outlines (EFO) have been stress-tested and found to be a reliable way to identify areas at risk from extreme river and coastal flooding over the next ten years
  • the risk of extreme river flows resulting in a severe flood are not unusual but the probability of this occurring is low
  • the 2016 National Risk Assessment (confidential document) for the first time differentiates fluvial and surface water flood risk in place of a single ‘inland flood risk’, allowing a better targeted approach to planning and management (NRR Civil Emergencies)

Limitations of scientific models

  • statistical analysis used to produce the report assumes that the probability of flooding has not changed significantly over time, for example because of  changes in land use, climate change or other climatic variations
  • interestingly climate change was not identified as a factor, so called ‘natural variability’ dominating extreme rainfall scenarios ; but there was consensus that the techniques used should be developed further to explore a fuller range of possible events
  • the variable nature of regional/local weather and rainfall plus the complexities of terrain and catchments mean that any results are indicative only and cannot describe all settings
  • the next set of UK Climate Projections due to be published in 2018 (UKCP18)

 

UK flooding: critical national infrastructure and the private sector

We depend on a secure supply of services such as electricity, telecommunications, water, healthcare and transport. Many are delivered by the private sector. Government, sector regulators and industries are working together to ensure security of supply across the 13 CNI (critical national infrastructure) sectors (more, see CPNI). The loss of local services during the winter floods 2015/6 meant that, for the first time, individual sector-by-sector assets at risk from flooding were identified.   The complex inter-dependencies between sectors continue to be investigated.

  • 1640 potentially vulnerable national infrastructure asset sites serving a (pragmatically determined) population threshold range from 10,000 to 25,000 have been identified, most  of which were deemed ‘defended’
  • 530 key infrastructure sites around the country are currently vulnerable to flooding (again within the 10,000-25,000 threshold)
  • infrastructure sectors are at different stages in the resilience building process, some have yet to complete their analysis. Losing electricity or hospitals are particularly acute ‘worst case’ scenarios impacting communities
  • the electricity industry will invest £250 million (2015-2021) to protect the network against flooding; sites serving more than 10,000 people which are not protected against an extreme flood have been surveyed and have a plan in place to deploy temporary barriers if required and feasible
  • work with the water industry to extend analysis to cover all relevant water assets (clean and waste) serving more than 10,000 people continues
  • transport is vulnerable, investments are under way
    • Network Rail is planning to spend £900 million over the next three years
    • Highways England plans to invest £78 million over the next five years to reduce the risk of flooding on major roads, and a further £300 million as part of its Road Investment Strategy
    • Gatwick Airport following flood-related disruption in December 2013, commissioned an independent review of its vulnerability to flooding and is allocating a further £10 million above and beyond the original £20 million investment in flood resilience over the next 2 years
    • the Department for Transport promote closer working between ports and Local Resilience Forums to improve overall awareness of, and preparation for, severe flooding and port resilience groups are being set up along the East Coast

(thankfully health and safety is much stricter in the UK)

UK flooding: temporary flood defenses

Permanent flood defenses are clearly preferable to temporary defenses. In some instances, however, permanent solutions either do not offer value for money or cannot improve the situation before next winter. Therefore temporary defenses play an immediate role in strengthening the resilience of local infrastructure: temporary barriers do not provide the same level of protection as permanent defenses; failure rates typically are 20-30%, although this can be reduced by good advanced planning

      • no type of temporary barrier is universally deployable in all situations, and generally they cannot withstand large wave action. All leak to a certain extent and therefore need to be supplemented by pumps (annex 8 illustrates a range of temporary flood defenses such as tube, filled container, frame barrier, flexible free standing and rigid free standing)

 

      • once installed, successful ongoing deployment requires additional support including security against theft and vandalism as well as health and safety measures such as lighting and access maintenance to surrounding homes and businesses

 

      • thorough site-specific pre-planning as well as the availability of sufficient numbers of trained staff or volunteers is critical to success (as are training exercises)

 

      • engineered hard flood defenses can only ever be part the solution. Benefits of natural flood management has been seen ie in Pickering, North Yorkshire and Holnicote in Somerset. The Government’s future 25 year plan for the environment will look at strengthening the role of local partners, bringing them together to integrate flood management with water planning at a catchment level.

 

 

UK flooding: improving incidence response

  • £12.5 million are being invested through the Environment Agency in temporary flood barriers, mobile water pumps and incident command vehicles – stored in strategic locations across the country for fast response
  • £0.75 million are being invested to provide maintenance grants to enable nationally deployable flood rescue teams to maintain their equipment
  • a single register of national flood response assets will be kept up to date and will be viewable through ResilienceDirect; developing new capabilities in line with responders’ requirements.
  • an operations centre will be established (as identified in the National Security Strategy and Strategic Defence and Security Review 2015) bringing together relevant organisations, including the armed forces
  • Defra in collaboration with other government departments will establish a standard operating model for local responders and the Environment Agency will work with Local Resilience Forums to identify opportunities to embed good practice in their flood response plans

 

UK flooding: flood defense and urban development

  • ultimate aim is to deliver flood defense levels for the Core Cities similar to that of London, Sheffield is the pilot project which, if successful will be broadened to the other core cities

 

The National Flood Resilience Review also contains interesting case studies in annex 4 which you may be interested to read especially if you are in or near to Carlisle, Calder Valley, Oxford, Exeter, Great Yarmouth, London (Teddington to Thames Barrier).   References

Much excellent work continues across the country including the setting up of local Flood Action Groups, Community Resilience Projects (i.e NYLRF) and flood prevention excercises such as

However, it also pays to be better prepared.There is a lot that can be done. If your’re an individual start at our preparedness hub, if you’re a small business start at business preparedness. Addition: EFRA report, Future flood prevention; Second Report of Session 2016–17

Be prepared, not scared.

Have a good week.

Monika     thank you for sharing, raising awareness for Emergency Preparedness!

For more EVAQ8 blog simply use the right hand navigation. For emergency kits and practical resources use the top navigation. For FREE resources head over to our Preparedness Hub and find out why we use humour. If you like this post, please share it to help raise awareness for Emergency and Disaster Preparedness. Thank you!

Find EVAQ8 on social media, like and follow us!

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SIP: SHELTER-IN-PLACE | September is Preparedness Month

September is Preparedness MonthDay 7: SHELTER-IN-PLACE  or SIP for short, which we hope you do; a lovely cup of (ice) tea or coffee, perhaps something stronger, while you get comfortably stuck in what comes next. Enjoy!

It is a blessing that perceptions and attitudes are changing. Change is good and very necessary as I’ve touched upon in “who moved my cheese? Resilience in a fast changing world”. I’m honoured that EVAQ8 is included in this year’s #30days30ways UK campaign raising awareness for emergency preparedness nationwide and further afield.

Today we are talking about

SHELTER-IN-PLACE: what is it and why do we need to think about it?

Well, let me take you back in time a couple of years while you are SIPping comfortably. You may remember seeing this:

Headline words such as ‘apocalypse’ and ‘prepper’ immediately peak interest, triggering (very mild) anxiety and ridicule, usually in that order and in quick succession; so fast actually that you won’t necessarily even be aware of it. This is what the media does, churn out a quick headline grabbing story, poke fun and onto the next news cycle.  A google news search on the topic will quickly reveal that this treatment is pretty ‘standard’. Humour is a coping mechanism (as the ‘psychology minded’ of you out there will know) and an excellent motivator which, in my opinion, should be harnessed positively rather than used to judge people and the choices they make (or are forced to take).

‘Prepper’ is a stereotype. We must look deeper.

There is no fixed definition of what exactly a ‘prepper’ is or does. Rather, ‘prepping’ or simply ‘being prepared’ ranges from wilderness survivalists to keeping several days emergency supplies at home such as long shelf-life food, water purification, first aid etc.

Reality is, most of us live in an urban environment far away from any real wilderness.

If you already have extra food supplies you can cook and eat without access to utilities such as power or water, own a good first aid kit, a radio and a decent torch (preferably wind-up)  then you qualify and can call yourself a prepper, if you like. Maybe you do, maybe you don’t. How people label themselves are complex and interesting matters. Because of media and film hype the term tends to set off the imagination in perhaps more extreme, fantasy directions. I prefer to keep it real, simple and every day.

 

Being prepared is simply part of who you are.

A prepper is not a ‘crazy’ person but actually someone that makes highly rational choices based on an appraisal of their situation with  knowledge of the past and a look to the future. And what exactly does that look like, the future I mean? Well, things have certainly changed since 2014 and we now must Prepare for a world that’s more than 2° C warmer.

Some big and hard questions are being asked in the wake of flooding and storms which now bear names (MetOffice storm centre). This particular strategy, like most things in life, is both good and bad. While we now can make ‘personal associations’, remember and hopefully learn – meaning: heed warnings, be better prepared – there is also the risk of triggering anxiety and even PTSD. ‘Understanding fear’ is crucial, as I wrote earlier and managing fear is a real challenge. Many turn away (self-preservation, ‘hide’) rather than face (acknowledge) and prepare for what may be coming in a balanced, rational way. Yet strong emotions, even fear can be an ally. Preparedness is the ultimate confidence builder.

  Now I still haven’t talked about what SIP actually is…you still are, SIPping that is? 😉 

Shelter-in-Place is the opposite of running away

…or evacuate using the proper term. Shelter-in-place happens when you cannot or should not run away, then you shelter-in-place. It’s controlled. It’s planned. Unlike ‘hide’.

Shelter-in-Place: climate change, accidents, security

Not necessarily in that order but that’s what it’s all about. An extreme example I’ve already shown you above, in the first guardian tweet. That was about Sam Notaro who saw himself forced to build his own flood defences to protect his family and property, a four-bedroom home in Moorland, Somerset. Other examples include the emergency services asking you to close your windows and await the all clear. It happens all the time, for example, recently….

They don’t call it SIP aka ‘shelter-in-place’ simply because it’s usually not serious enough and does not last long enough which means you don’t have to seal your windows and air ducts and ‘hide/hold out’ for many hours or days.

Shelter-in-Place can also be a consequence of a security lock-down.

Just what exactly a so called “invacuation” is I talk about in what are invacuation, lock-down and shelter-in-place and how do they link to emergency preparedness? This also highlights that, fundamentally, preparedness is for also for business, not just for individuals and that it must cover both evacuation and shelter-in-place. Actually preparedness must include everyone, the old, the very young, the vulnerable and even your pets! Yes, we also have a special page for preparedness with pets and we are involved in community resilience projects which you can read about more here if you’re interested. But let’s talk practical.

What exactly does SHELTER-IN-PLACE preparedness actually look like?

It’s simple. You can count it out on both your hands. It’s all about the 5 preparedness principles and 5 core areas, the gist of which is:  you need to cover

      • 1 food & food preparation (meals-ready-to-eat, water purification)
      • 2 tools & personal protection (multi-tools, gaffa tape, ffp masks…)
      • 3 shelter & warmth (emergency blankets, sleeping bags…)
      • 4 light & communication (torches, flashing lights, radio, comms…)
      • 5 first aid & hygiene

                            so that you can do.. (and at the end will get

      • 1 Prioritise
      • 2 Plan
      • Prepare
      • 4 Practise
      • 5 Peace of mind

 

Shelter-in-place: GET A KIT. MAKE A PLAN. BE PREPARED.

Look around our website; right side navigation for more blog, top navigation for kit. We source the best products on the market and test them so that you can rely on them in a real emergency. If you don’t find exactly what you want, our speciality is bespoke kits, examples of which you can find here.

So that’s about it.  Have you finished SIPping? What? No easy tick list to print out and start with I hear you ask? Well, yes and no, because I’m a little ambivalent about easy short cuts that give a false sense of security and all for motivating and empowering people. You see, only you really know what you need to be better prepared. You are the only one who best knows your situation and circumstances and what you are comfortable with. No simplistic tick list can really get there properly. Only you can, with a little extremely worthwhile effort. But we help. Actually there is a lot of help out there and a good place to start is to first check the website of your local resilience forum which you can also find referenced in our (evolving) directory Ready for Emergencies

In addition we offer a comprehensive free Emergency Plan download and lots of other useful resources which you can access right from our preparedness hub page. This includes our newest awareness raising video, put together for us by the dedicated Warwickshire/ Worcestershire man, Ian MacDonald Walker (@sonetimage6 ). 

Now it’s your turn: #SHELTERINPLACE challenge

For today, day 7 of the #30days30waysUK campaign, we simply would like you to do one thing so that YOU are better prepared and which also HELPS US ALL to raise awareness for emergency preparedness:

Start making your own 72+ hour SHELTER IN PLACE kit, take a picture + share

        • Go through your stores at home and start making your 72+ hour shelter-in-place kit for all the members in your household, covering the 5 core areas
        • All chosen items must be in good working order and have a shelf life of minimum one year, preferably longer
        • Add special items for children and elders, include your pet(s)
        •  Take a picture and share it with the hashtags  #30days30waysUK  #ShelterInPlace  before securely boxing or bagging your kit

 Remember to mark the earliest expiry date in your calendar to check and replace items. Keep your kit updated.

CONGRATULATIONS you are now better prepared! 🙂

If you work for or own a small business, start a contingency kit and business continuity plan for business preparedness and share as above. Now before I go. Thank you! Thank you LRF Emergency Planners for including us and thank YOU for reading and listening. We all face an unknown future and must be willing to be brave, face what is coming and work together. No one is ever alone in a real emergency and disaster. Capacities and capabilities build resilience, and we must keep it positive and empowering with a sense of humour. Which, finally, brings me to Harry Barker (@go_artmonkey) in Manchester. Thank you for the brilliant cartoon finale.

Don’t be scared – BE PREPARED! Monika –

I look forward to seeing you around at #30days30waysUKPreparedness is for everyoneFor more on practical Emergency and Disaster Preparedness head over to our FREE resources at the Preparedness Hub. Why we use cartoons. If you like this post, please share it to help raise awareness for Emergency and Disaster Preparedness. Thank you!   Find EVAQ8 on social media, like and follow us!

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