Ready or Not??: Community Preparedness
Updated: Apr 14, 2021
By Asafohene Gimbu Kali
Presented by Omni-University
Preparedness begins with a mindset of overcoming whatever obstacles are impinging upon -or may threaten- your survival. The goal of emergency preparedness is perseverance, not mere survival but, OPTIMAL survival. All life-giving and life- sustaining resources come into the Black community from outside of our community(ies.) We should already be prepared for emergencies but, most of us are not. Emergencies are "come as you are affairs", therefore, the only way to prepare for an emergency is before the emergency happens! How would we survive if another decision was made to ignore the Black community in an emergency situation as was done, in 2005, during "HURRICANE KATRINA" ??
I would recommend that you first prepare for 3 days, then 3 weeks, then 3 months. I begin with 3 days because that is the maximum amount of goods that most stores can have in place at any given time. Grocery stores, Home improvement stores, Auto Parts stores, etc. are typically re-supplied on a daily basis for one product or another. Hopefully, people learned, from the "run on toilet paper" last year, how quickly things can run out when everybody is trying to buy the same thing at the same time.
The issues to consider are: Water, Food,Power, Communication, Time Management, Mediums of Exchange, Medical Supplies and Knowledge and, last but not least, Defense:
WATER- The general rule with water is one gallon per person/ per day. Depending on the nature of the emergency, this daily gallon may have to be divided into drinking, cooking and bathing. I like having a minimum 30 gallon supply available at all times. All types of water storage and treatment devices are available from emergency preparedness stores.
FOOD - Fresh, frozen, and short- term perishable are all dependent on a reliable power source. If the power grid goes down, how will your refrigerator continue to work? Having a generator that can at least power your refrigerator should be a high priority. Canned goods are supposed to be good for up to one year*. Freeze- dried and other long- term perishable foods can be purchased from places like "Emergency Essentials" or other emergency preparedness -type stores. There are emergency food supplies that have anywhere from a 5 to 20 year shelf life, if stored under optimal conditions.
Power - A generator of some type is highly advisable. The issue with generators is the fuel source.  Please note that Gas generators require gasoline. Because gas stations need electricity to run, gas stations won't be a viable source of fuel in a major power outage. When "Hurricane Sandy" hit the east coast in 2012, some areas were without power for up to three weeks!!! Because Kerosene is a non-combustible fuel source and can be safely stored in larger quantities than gasoline, a kerosene generator might be preferable to a gas- powered generator. Kerosene heaters, and lamps, are highly advisable as well. Most Solar generators have a limited power output.
COMMUNICATION - During "Hurricane Sandy'' some areas were without communication for up to 3 weeks. Can you imagine that the only way to call the Police, Fire Dept. or an Ambulance would be to literally stick your head out of the window and shout?? There were no telephone, cell phone, or landline services. Ironically, people could send text messages and pictures via cell phones (provided the cell phones could be charged). Short wave radios, HAM Radios, and CB radios were all that were working. There was no Internet.
TIME MANAGEMENT -in regards to stable psychological management, time management becomes critical in an emergency situation. Developing a routine that leaves little unstructured time is important for combating boredom, mischief, and unproductive behavior.
MEDIUMS of EXCHANGE - It is always advisable to have a certain amount of emergency cash on hand, preferably in small bills: 5's, 10's & 20's. Depending on the severity and duration of the crisis, other mediums of exchange should be considered. Food stuffs, Batteries, Ammunition, and basic household goods should be given due consideration (for bartering purposes).
MEDICAL SUPPLIES and KNOWLEDGE - Who in the household is dependent on medication, and how much do you have on hand? A substantial number of diabetic patients died during "Hurricane Katrina" because they ran out of Insulin. In addition to medications, pain killers, antibiotic cream, anti fungal cream, and basic first-aid supplies, a ":Stop the Bleed Kit" and a "Trauma Kit" need to be available. The basic supplies these Kits should include are: a "Tourniquet", ":Israeli Battle Dressing," Hemostatic Gauze," and "Chest Seals." Having all of this equipment necessitates getting/having the knowledge on how to properly use them.
DEFENSE - The first consideration should be Perimeter defense. Making sure that all doors and windows close and lock properly. Placing Bullet Resistant film to all glass is a major help. While it won't stop bullets, it will prevent the glass from caving in. The 8 Mil Bullet resistant film by the 3M company is highly advisable. Check YouTube for Bullet- resistant window films. Floodlights on a motion detector is also a good idea. A video doorbell system is highly advisable. Fire Extinguishers and sufficient means of support to defend yourself(ves) against unwarranted intrusion are vital. As with medical supplies, having all of this equipment is useless without the knowledge of how to effectively safeguard and use it.
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To reiterate, Emergencies are "come as you are" affairs. Without the proper knowledge and equipment, you are not likely to be able to avoid suffering. Emergency preparedness is a long- term project. You may not be able to "be ready" in the next two weeks but, you must begin to prepare. MAKE YOUR PLAN BASED ON YOUR RESOURCES AND PRIORITIES AND GET TO WORK!!!
*Reminder: Be sure to have manually operated can openers!.
Mr. Kali can be reached at http://www.uprotectu.net/ for more information.
You are invited to view (below), "Ready or Not: Community Preparedness, Part Two" an episode of the H30 Art of Life Blog, featuring Gimbu Kali and Fred Carter. As alway, we appreciate your support. Please share the H30 Art of Life Blog through any means available to you. Thank you.
Dr. Gloria Latimore-Peace
Host/Producer The H30 Art of Life Show
Creator/Editor The H30 Art of Life Blog
Co-Founder, Omni-U Virtual University.
 Research on Generators such as those that run on Propane gas is recommended. Fuel storage is, or can be, an issue.