The Wise Company Disaster Survival Guide
Dr. John Woods 03.06.17
With the permission of the Wise Company distributors of quality prepared foods, we are presenting here their basic survivalist guide summarized into easy to understand, prepare, and steps to follow to guide your disaster prepping plans.
The sovereign landscape of America has its share of naturally occurring disasters. We are subject to some of the nastiest storms, weather phenomenon, and literally earth shaking events that Mother Nature can dream up and throw at us. The Big Four disasters include earthquakes, blizzards, tornadoes, and hurricanes in no particular order of severity.
Of course, there are other disasters that plague America in different areas such as wildfires or forest fires, natural or unnatural like Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Then there are horrendous floods, mud slides, and other natural maladies that create havoc. Occasionally there are snow avalanches out west, too. All of these require related and different survival strategies, but here we will concentrate on the Big 4.
The information provided by the Wise Company a supplier of foods designed, created, and packaged for survival use are the essential basics of how to respond to these four different kinds of disasters. Use this information as a foundation to start your planning responses should one of these events impact your area or lives. Think ahead, be prepared, and know what to do.
Where I live in the Deep South we are smack in the middle of what is often called tornado alley. That just means that after decades of recording weather data about where tornadoes actually hit or are more likely to hit, we reside in one of the main pathways. We have learned to prepare in the event the tornado sirens go off.
In my lifetime I have eye witnessed two funnel clouds and the destruction they leave behind. I have seen steel fence posts driven through trees, house trailers turned 180 degrees upside down and put right back on the slab, and complete homes swept away by F5 winds without so much as a nail left behind.
I have seen the paths left behind by flying in an aircraft over them a day after the storm passed. They look like a construction site for a 4-lane super highway, everything is wiped clean off the surface of the ground. Tornadoes are dramatic killers that usually last only minutes.
So how to respond to the tornado afterwards? Wise Company suggests to inspect all structures, houses, and buildings for structural damage, as well as damage to utilities. Be aware of damaged areas and remain aware of threats of damaged structures. Wear sturdy clothing to ward off cuts and bruises. Stay away from downed power lines! Be careful around any structure and debris laying around on the ground or suspended from trees or wires.
You’ll need food and water for 3-7 days, one gallon of water per person per day. Have a comprehensive first aid kit with lots of bandages. Tools and supplies should include lots of batteries, flashlights, a utility knife, cash money, and paper-plastic plates and utensils.
Clothing should include sturdy shoes, but better yet heavy duty boots. Rain gear and coats as needed. Gear such as sleeping bags would be good. Evacuate the area as instructed and stay out of the way of emergency personnel and utility work.
Ironically, I was raised as a child only twenty miles from the New Madrid fault line in Southeast Missouri. More than once we stood in the kitchen listening to the plates rattle in the cabinet, but an actual damaging earthquake never hit. Those on the west coast have an entirely different perspective on these natural disasters. What to do after the shaking stops?
First and foremost check all public utilities for hazards including gas first, water, and electric. Shut it off if possible. Alert officials to any leaking gas or sparking electric lines and evacuate these areas to a safe place. Turn on a radio to listen to all public announcements and earthquake information. Anticipate aftershocks, which are quite common. Be ready.
You’ll need supplies of food and water for at least three days. Stock a first aid kit, tools, flashlights, extra batteries, a useful knife, disposable eating utensils, and some cash. Besides regular clothing have sturdy shoes/boots, a rain suit, and sleeping bags just in case.
When a hurricane makes a direct hit on the mainland of the United States, it literally wipes everything off the map. Katrina comes to mind because it hit the Gulf Coasts of Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, and Texas and Florida to a lesser degree. The full recovery is still underway in many respects.
First, if and when the Federal authorities tell you to evacuate a projected landfall site or territory for a hurricane, it is not a recommended suggestion. It is an order! Get out, bug out, ASAP.
Immediately after, or when allowed back into the area to assess damage, plan to inspect your property for structural damages and the status of damages to utilities. Stay firm on the ground away from damaged structures and certainly away from floodwaters. Never, ever try to drive through a flooded road, bridge, creek, or other lowlands area. At all times continue to monitor emergency broadcasts for updated news.
Depending on your evacuation site, plan for 3-7 days of basics of water and food. Do not automatically rely or assume there will be help or assistance from recovery groups. Again, always have available a complete first aid kit, and the same tools and supplies as mentioned earlier for the other disasters, especially a radio, flashlights, and batteries. The same for clothing demands: good boots, rain gear, and a sleeping bag for each person even if you have to hold out in your vehicle for a while.
In 1976 coming back from a ski trip in Colorado, we were one of two couples that hit a blizzard across Kansas that shut down Interstate 70. For two nights we got the last motel room in Wamego, Kansas. We still not so fondly remember the attached restaurant’s brand new menus with highly inflated prices. We were college students headed back to the University of Missouri. It took us two more days to get back to school in the middle of the night.
If you live in areas often shut down during a blizzard, have a prep plan for such events. Wise Company recommends checking all batteries to be working in the house especially for carbon monoxide detectors. Heating units could become overloaded if working. Report any downed power lines or broken gas lines.
If possible dig out an access pathway from your dwelling in case you have to leave, but beware of overexertion and exhaustion. It is easy to over extend oneself shoveling heavy snow or clearing ice.
Plan to stay in a small, warm area of your dwelling. Bundle up. Stuff towels under doors and around windows to stop any drafts. Stock up 3-7 days of water and food, first aid kit, a radio, batteries, flashlights or lantern, utility knife, snow shovels, emergency flares, and traction material such as road salt or kitty litter. Have an emergency heat source that is safe to use indoors with a backup fuel supply.
In winter areas you are likely to have warm, durable, waterproof clothing, but add extra heavy socks, boots, and warm blankets. Gloves, hats, and such should be standard issue.
We add this section as it is not the purview of the Wise Company to advise such. Disasters of any kind can bring about strange and unusual human behaviors. Average, good people turn desperate, especially the ones that did not prepare at all. Others just lay in wait to take advantage of any situation they can to plunder, steal, and wreak havoc. I.E. New Orleans after Katrina. Be aware and stay on alert at all times until you, family, or area are deemed safe. That could be a while, too.
So, also prepare for personal protection and self-defense. If you are staged at home or a dwelling then have a full complement of arms for support, whatever you choose, but as much as you can afford and handle. Certainly have a CCW pistol on your person and that of all adults willing and trained. Shotguns are good for close threat approaches, and defensive rifles can sometimes keep threats at bay. Do not display your arms to outsiders, but keep them ready.
If you are in the bug out evacuation mode, then have appropriate side arms for the vehicle. Keep them concealed. No one needs to know you are armed, so don’t invite inquiry or trouble from anybody including authorities. Stay to yourself, and mind your own business.
The same applies once you should reach any depot or secure refugee zone. That may be a motel, a Red Cross center, an established FEMA site, or other rescue center. Try to maintain a low profile, and keep together until you assess the relative safety of the area. You may be there a while depending on the extent of the disaster, damage, and recovery time frame. Plan, prepare, practice, execute. Stay alive and survive.