Urban Survival Newsletter for 27-Aug-2010
Reuniting and Communicating After A Disaster
Welcome to this week’s Urban Survival Newsletter, brought to you by the SurviveInPlace.com Urban Survival Course and UrbanSurvivalPlayingCards.com. This week we’re going to talk briefly about reuniting and communicating after a disaster.
Here’s a specific question on this topic that came in from Tony.
“How should you plan if you and your family are separated during a riot such as your wife works across town, kids in school, etc.. An EMP may have cut off communication or cell lines will be jammed. How can you communicate and reunite your family so everyone reaches safety.” -Tony
Great question. There’s no one answer to this because it’s so easy to keep throwing “what if’s” into the mix until you’re blue in the face. The breakdown in communication could be from an earthquake, hurricane, heatwave, EMP, solar flare, or other issues. So again, it’s important to focus on fundamentals. In the SurviveInPlace.com Urban Survival Course, I cover movement in urban areas after a disaster as well as several methods of alternative communication that are inexpensive and easy to put into place, and we’ll touch on some of them here.
The first thing we’ll talk about is movement after a disaster.
Our family has primary, secondary, and tertiary meetup points in the event of a disaster. In addition, I practice making PACE routes from wherever I happen to be to these meet up points. PACE is a great mnemonic to remember. It stands for:
I learned this from a private military contractor friend of mine and have used it for close protection and it’s a great habit to get into. It basically means that you should have multiple loosely defined, yet clear plans in your mind for getting from wherever you happen to be to a given set of rally points.
The “emergency” option is the only one different. For me, the emergency route is to somewhere I can hole up and gather myself, and possibly resupply and/or take care of medical issues.
So, as I’m stopped at a light, I’ll ask myself, “If X happened, what would my PACE routes be to get to our 3 meet-up points and an emergency location?” You can do the quick math and see that 4 routes to 3 locations means that I’m coming up with 12 routes, but once you train your brain to think this way, it’s a fairly quick process.
Things get very complicated when you throw children into the mix who can’t take the initiative and need outside help. If your children go to school, you should find out what your school’s plan is in the event of a terrorist attack or natural disaster.
Will they go into lock-down?
It’s unlikely, but will the school monitor any radio frequencies? If not, and their school uses radios, can you find out or figure out the frequency that they operate on?
Will they even release your kids to you in a lock-down situation?
If you know another set of parents near the school, what do you need to do NOW to authorize them to take their kids to their house?
If these friends are set up to take your kids, what will be their signal?
How will you communicate with them?
If this is a concern for you, these are all things that you need to consider with kids.
This isn’t far fetched or “way out” planning. In many areas, it’s just a way of life. In fact, it was for me. I grew up in blizzard country and getting trapped at school was a real issue for us. Every kid who lived in the country had to have one or more people in town who they could be released to in the event of road closures. It was just something that got handled the first week of school every year.
What about communications after a disaster?
It depends on your particular city and how far you’re separated from the people you need to talk to & get to. I go into more depth on this in the SurviveInPlace.com course, but some of your options are simply texting, using family radios, HF radios, Single Side Band radios, and possibly satellite phones.
If your concern is communicating after an EMP, then you’ve got an entirely different level of planning that you need to do. Your communications will need to be independent of the electrical grid and be shielded when the EMP(s) happen.
If you haven’t already, another thing you should do is memorize or keep long distance numbers in your wallet or purse. The reason for this is that in local disasters, you may be able to make long distance calls long after the local lines are jammed. So, if you and your spouse both have a relative’s number in another state, you can call them and leave messages for each other. If this is a big concern for you, you can also get a Skype, MagicJack or other voicemail number in another area code for a few bucks a month.
The communication and reuniting issue is something that doesn’t have a one size fits all answer, but keep in mind that until 10-15 years ago, everyone didn’t have a cell phone and it took hours or days to get in touch with people during the best of times.
In other words, we may THINK that it’s an emergency if we can’t reach someone on their cell phone at moment’s notice, but not having instant communication after a disaster does not necessarily constitute an emergency.
Hindenburg Omen & a Stock Market Dip Within 40 Days??
Besides extreme physical events, we’re right on the verge of some extreme economic events as well. I’ve talked aout over a dozen critical weaknesses in the US economy in recent months, and it’s looking like the stock market MAY have hit a critical point this week. This week, in fact, technical indicators are showing a 77% chance of a 5% market drop within the next 40 days. They’re also showing the probability of a panic sellout at 41% and a major crash at 24%.
The group of five indicators are called the “Hindenburg Omen” and they have preceded every NYSE crash since 1985. Keep in mind that the 5% drop that has a 77% chance of happening isn’t a crash…it’s just a drop that is newsworthy. It’s more likely that the market will drop simply because the big money traders on Wall Street get back from their summer vacations and start trading again. That phenomenon doesn’t have a scary sounding name, but it’s a fairly likely cause for a drop in the market.
It’s not a sure sign of impending doom, but it is one of many news items that you can use to spur yourself and your family to get prepared for ALL breakdowns in civil order and breakdowns in the food chain.
Of course, one of the best steps you can take is to go through the SurviveInPlace.com Urban Survival Course . We don’t know what disaster will strike first…terrorist attack, natural disaster, or economic emergency…there are just enough vulnerabilities to our food supply and electrical system that it makes sense to get prepared for breakdowns in the system. To learn more about the course and get signed up, go to SurviveInPlace.com.
What are your plans for communicating with your family and or reuniting with them after a disaster? Share your tactics with others by commenting below.
Until next week, stay safe & God Bless,