Manataka® American Indian Council
Grandfather Robert Gray Hawk Coke Speaks
In the past three issues of the Smoke Signal News, Grandfather Coke concentrated on the potential for a Worldwide Food Shortage and asking Is There a Worldwide Food Shortage? and other worldwide disasters -- coping with adversity and transition. This article continues the same theme with some practical advise:
Be Prepared List
By Gordon M. Scallion, submitted by Robert Gray Hawk Coke
1. WATER AND POWER
If your water comes from a private well, as ours does, your first priority will probably be keeping your water pump going, so that you can continue to receive fresh water in your home. For that you will need a back-up generator! We use a 12,000 watt propane generator that provides both 220 volts and 110 volts. We also have a 1,000 gallon underground propane tank that I estimate could last me months with daily use. We have also installed an auto-transfer switch panel near our home’s power-breaker panel, which detects power outages and turns on the generator. This system can run our entire home. However, I also have the option of running the generator for thirty minutes three times per day, which would give us fresh water and heat for an indefinite time period without the generator running 24/7 during long outages.
If you live in an apartment or an urban area, you have a whole different set of problems. If you can leave the area in an emergency, do so. The city is not the safest place to be in such situations, and relief efforts will probably be over-burdened. If you are unable to get away, having a 72 hour emergency kit may be your only option until assistance arrives. In any case, make sure you have a good supply of candles, flashlights and plenty of batteries. Check them on a regular basis and keep several spare batteries with the radio.
Something as simple as aspirin can become a rare commodity during a disaster. I recommend that you maintain a minimum three-month supply of any prescription medicines you use, as well as an adequate, fresh supply of any over-the-counter remedies your family might need. Take an inventory of your medicine cabinet and calculate the quantity and frequency of use for each item. You should have enough of each medicine to last you and your family for at least three months. Check expiration dates and rate them as necessary. A large well-stocked first-aid kit is always a necessity both for your home and your car.
Depending on where you live, your clothing needs will vary widely. It would be wise to keep an appropriate selection of comfortable clothes and shoes, such as you might wear for camping, in an overnight bag in your car, garage, or closet. Know where it is in case you need to be mobile in a hurry. Regardless of your location, I recommend having a wool blanket on hand for each member of the household. We have several sleeping bags which are good for 20 below zero conditions and during one winter storm and power failure, before we had our generator, we were glad to have them! I keep mid-calf rubber boots on hand, and several pairs of wool socks. Wet or very cold feet can lead to frostbite and disease. In warmer climates, lightweight waterproof walking boots and a wide-brim hat should be considered.