When All Else Fails…

One of the motto’s of amateur radio is, “When all else fails…” In disasters like the 8.9 magnitude earthquake near the east coast of Honshu, Japan, it’s times like these hams excel and come to the forefront. While I don’t participate in EMCOMM or belong to any of the local groups, it only takes a moment to ask yourself, “Are you prepared?” as is relates to you and your family if you are suddenly thrust into a natural disaster, like that of an earthquake or tsunami.

After the birth of my son in 2005 I went through a period of panic as I knew I was not prepared, especially if an earthquake were to strike the bay area, which many know and understand is near a major fault. Living in California since 1971, I have been through a wide range of earthquakes and while some might not understand the logic, earthquakes are just something you come to live with. Much like tornadoes in the Midwest or hurricanes down in the Gulf Coast or Florida.

Since that time I have given a moment of thought to being prepared. I now have 3 days of rations and an emergency “go kit” available to me. I have my portable radio changed and ready at all times. I even provisioned our vehicles with much smaller (fanny pack) type emergency kits. But looking at it realistically, I am far from being prepared to deal with a 8.9 quake, if it were to hit on the San Andreas Fault causing major damage, fire and possible tsunamis.

Thankfully it is never too late to start planning or continue planning for an emergency plan. Today’s quake in Japan will have be reevaluating my emergency go kit, as well as what else I can do in order to prepare my family and myself when a natural disaster strikes.

Frequenting conspiracy web sites such as Godlike Productions and Above Top Secret have increased my awareness of events worldwide that could have consequences. I have read many threads regarding “being prepared” and how to go about building your own “go kits.” To what level you want to take your preparedness to is entirely up to you. My initial plan was supply for 3 days (72 hours). Unfortunately, I won’t rely on the government initially (as witnessed by the SNAFU after Hurricane Katrina), so I will be responsible for my family and myself.

After the Honshu, Japan quake I will be reevaluating my readiness so I am not caught unprepared when something major happens. Final word, my thoughts and prayers go out to all my friends I have talked to in Japan. Hopefully they all make it through and we hear them across the airwaves soon.

Are you prepared?

It was last year when I heard about The Coming Global Superstorm by Art Bell and Whitley Streiber. It is “a quick look at global warming and its potentially catastrophic effects.” The book was outstanding, regardless of what your opinion is of its authors. Personally, I am a Bell and Streiber fan and found the book to be highly entertaining and educational. In 2004 Rolland Emmerich directed The Day After Tomorrow, based on the book. The movie was rather hokie and seemingly far fetched compared to the book.

After reading the book and watching the movie I took an interest in the climate and the so called “coming ice age.” I read up on some of the components involved in a shifting climate and the term, “global warming.” We then saw some devastating weather, the earthquake and subsequent tsunami that hit Sumatra on December 26, 2004. It was after that event I asked myself, “am I prepared?”I have lived in California since 1971 and for the past 35 years I would consider myself lucky when it comes to being in an earthquake. I am even more fortunate that I have not lost friends, family or possessions due to a major quake. But, it is inevitable. Some time in the future, the so called, “big one” will strike California. I started surfing the net looking for earthquake preparedness and survival supplies. When I found out my wife I was going to have a baby, I got a case of anxiety. I would ask myself that question, “are you prepared?” and I could not answer it truthfully. No, we were not prepared.

So last year I started preparing. With the help of a few web sites, I worked up an emergency contact sheet and used information found in an earthquake preparedness handbook to help prepare when the next big earthquake strikes. I also decided to pick up a 72 hour, 2 person survival kit and some individual kits for each car. This is just the start.

After seeing the looting in New Orleans, I felt the need for protection and again using the Internet, I decided to purchase a few firearms including a Glock-22 and a Mossbrg 500. Hopefully I will never have to use these to defend my family, but I won’t live in fear if things really got bad and looting was happening.

Thankfully I am also an amateur radio operator (ham radio) and know a little something about conducting emergency communications. While these are just a few of the items and things I have done to prepare “just in case” I no longer have that anxiety that swept over me last year. There is still much to do in order to be as prepared as possible.

Next question, are you prepared in case of a major natural disaster?