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Look Around You

Imagine this scene –

It’s the middle of the night.  You’re asleep at home with your family.   The house is as quiet as it can get.  You all sleep under a nice, quiet sky, and the only thing on your mind when you go to bed is wondering which kind of coffee you’ll make in the morning.

Suddenly, the civil-defense alarms outside start going off, and police start banging on your door to wake people up and get them out of their houses and out of the area immediately.  You barely have time to put on clothes, grab a couple of things, and get out.  In a matter of hours, your well-developed city is a ghost town, never to be inhabited again.  Your belongings, pets, and life remain behind, never to be retrieved.

Sounds far-fetched, like something out of a zombie apocalypse movie, doesn’t it?

Except that this happened, to a small city in the Ukraine, on this date in 1986, when the Chernobyl nuclear power plant exploded, showering the countryside around it with radioactive material, harming thousands in a wide swath of Europe.

So what will you grab if you have to run?  Not in a “The hurricane will be here in three days, so pack up and get out at your earliest convenience” kind of run, but rather the “If you’re not out of here in five minutes, you and your children are dead” kind of run?   There are no nuclear power plants in Louisville, but we have our own set of things that could cause thousands of people to have to evacuate on little to no notice.  How far is your home from the nearest interstate or railway?  Are there any light industrial areas near your home?  Any pipelines?  I don’t think it’s much of a stretch to say that there is probably something near any of our homes or businesses that could cause us to have to run for safety at a moment’s notice if the worst case scenario happens.

So, look around you.  Learn about what lies near where your children sleep.  Having a go-bag isn’t just in case the Golden Horde sweeps through your neighborhood and you have to E&E to the Walmart to fend them off with an impromptu squad of misfits.  It’s also there so that if you only have 5 minutes to get out you don’t have to dither on how many diapers you will need for a few days or try to figure out where you put that spare set of batteries for your tacticool flashlight.

Have a plan, have a go-kit, and have a better outcome.

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4 Comments

  1. Frank

     /  April 26, 2013

    To tag onto your theme, I can recommend CERT (Community Emergency Response Training) as well. Given by local law enforcement in many cities, the classes teach basic first aid, how to shut off utilities to your house (do you know where YOUR shutoffs are?) and triage. It was a great way to spend several evenings.

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  2. GO bag and firebox… Everything else is replaceable…

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  3. not leaving lol 🙂

    that is one of those questions that keeps me awake at night with a car too small to hold what I would want to take

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    • Yeah, the “You have five minutes to leave and a small car to do it in” scenario makes you prioritize what you an and can’t live without.

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