Recently a few things all happened at the same time that reminded me of the importance of thinking about what we should do and the essential things we should all have on hand in the case of a major event or disaster, be it natural or man-made, were to happen in your city.
First, after putting down a book, for multiple reasons (none of which had to do with the quality of the book) I was able to finish the last couple chapters in Emergency: This Book Will Save Your Life by Neil Strauss. Which I have already written a short review about and strongly recommend because he outlines skills needed during a natural disaster as well as man-made, such as a financial collapse. Strauss, who is a great writer, has written many previous books about what I would call the fringes of human nature; You can do your own research because I will not link to them here due to their graphic nature. I think that previous work may have actually helped him in his 3 year research for this book because he has experienced the extent to which humans are capable, even when not forced to do so in a life-or-death situation.
Second were the storms that passed through Tennessee spawning many tornadoes and flooding large areas of West and Middle Tennessee on May 7 and 8, 2010. During the wall-to-wall weather coverage that our local weathermen seem to live for there was a quick notice that there may be the possibility that our drinking water had been "compromised" in Memphis and Shelby County.
After just finishing reading Emergency and hearing that on the news I began to think what could be the results of having no drinking water in the largest city in Tennessee. Lets just say it could easily deteriorate into a "Katrina-like" situation being covered on the national news. Running over this in my mind I realized I did not have the requisite amount of drinking water, 1 gallon per person per day for at least 3 days if we have to wait for Federal response. I quickly got in the car to get bottled water before the situation in my mind played out around me.
Luckily, none of the lawlessness I had envisioned ever came to fruition and the rumor of contaminated water was simply that, spawning from a failed pumping station downtown. However, there were large areas just to the North of Memphis and in Nashville that endured mass flooding for multiple days.
Studies have shown that simply thinking about survival during a major event, can increase one's survival rate exponentially. While none of us like to think these things can happen in our city, watching the news will show you that they happen on the local level fairly often.
Other than Emergency there are many other books that describe survival skills and list items that you will need in a situation of that sort. A starting list can be found here: Emergency survival books
One of the first books I am going to get is the The Encyclopedia of Country Living
A couple more I will be looking into:
And I have to put my favorite show Survivor Man on here:
Part II of this post will outline some of the items I keep around already as well as some things on my wish list to put into my Bail-out-Bag:
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Update: Part II is continued here.