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Paranoid or Prepared?

Paranoid or Prepared?

All of the gloomy forecasts beg a serious question. Are you and your family more prepared, mentally and materially, than you were on Sept. 10, 2001?

Call it paranoid, I don’t care. However, there’s a preponderance of scientific evidence that indicates hurricanes, fires, earthquakes and floods actually claim the lives of innocent victims every year. Even a little preparation for them is smart, and most of what you do will help if those gloomy terrorism predictions happen to come true. And, it doesn’t have to break the bank.

Self-defense can become a critical component, as evidenced by Hurricane Katrina. If you’re at work when the unthinkable happens and you’ve left your carry gun at home, good luck getting back to it. And, does your family have the training to protect themselves while you’re away? I’m not talking about super-tactical, mall-ninja moves—just being able to load and run a gun safely and a firm understanding of the lawful use of a firearm in a life-threatening situation. Does your spouse have the combination to the gun safe?

Have a plan. Sheltering in place is usually the best until authorities tell you to leave. Unfortunately, tornadoes can hit town when the kids are at school and someone is at the grocery store. Cell towers go down, lose power or overload with calls, so it may be impossible to punch a signal through. Having an established rally point (like your home) makes sense and knowing your first move in emergency is a great way to ditch that helpless feeling.

Keep your gas tank as close to full as possible. You won’t be filling up if the lights are out.

Floods and evildoers can contaminate water supplies. How many days can your family survive on the supply currently in your house? Do you have enough in your vehicle to make a long walk home if the roads are blocked? Bottled water is cheap. Cleaned and repurposed two-litter soda bottles filled with tap water before an emergency even cheaper.

Dryer lint is a better fire starter than napalm. Score a free matchbook whenever you can and add it to your watertight supplies. Don’t ditch all those old-school board games. The kids will appreciate beating you at Monopoly when the power’s off. Invest in an extra propane tank for the grill. Slowly increase non-perishable food supplies your family likes and rotate as expiration dates approach.

Sept. 11, 2001, proved there are sick people out there who don’t care who they kill or how they do it. I, for one, don’t think I could stand up to a rogue band of trained terrorists bent on sending me to my grave, but I do think I’m better prepared to survive in their aftermath than I was 13 years ago. How about you?

(Image Courtesy FEMA)

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