LISTENING TO KATRINA
PAGES IN THIS BLOG ARE RATED 'R' AND DO CONTAIN
PROFANITY, VULGARITY, GRAPHIC VIOLENCE, NUDITY,
SCENES OF HUMAN EMOTION, DEATH, DESTRUCTION, MAYHEM, AND VARIOUS
HYST - Comm Check!
Remember our mantra: HAVE YOUR SHIT TOGETHER BEFORE IT HITS THE FAN!
At this point, you've got your Laptop Bag, your BOB (Bug Out Bag), a complete documentation of your entire life using a digital camera, and a plan to escape your house in 60 seconds. If you've followed along and actually managed to HYST that far, then you're already ahead of 90% of Americans, and by now you are talking to all your friends about how you HYST.
Before we move on to the next plan, I want to talk about communications. Comms. There are three levels of communications for SHTF - before, during, and after. This is another area where I already 'knew' all the answers before Katrina came along and spanked my nuts with a ruler.
There are different time periods of communication. Most people communicate in the present. Here we are, talking about what we are doing right now. Sometimes we reminisce, and talk about the past. Sometimes we project, and talk about the future. This is usually a concrete communication, as in, "Meet me in the graveyard at midnight." I am communicating about the future. Sometimes, though, that communication is not concrete, but conditional. "If we get separated, meet me at the next rest area on the interstate." You should think about and use all of these methods of communication before, during, and after SHTF.
Before SHTF, you should have some open and clear communication with your family. This will usually revolve around your specific plan.
During SHTF, you should be very clear about your expectations and your movements with your immediate group. As far as possible, you should communicate with other people regarding where you are, your intended destination, and your intended route. (If you are bugging-in (staying home), you should also communicate that to someone responsible outside the area and to those person in your immediately local group (neighbors)). Everyone in the car with you (or in your caravan) should know where you are, where you are going, and what is expected of them both during the journey and once you arrive at the BOL (Bug Out Location). They should know because you told them ahead of time.
After SHTF is where it gets sticky. Comms are down everywhere, and you might not know where anyone is. Establishing communications with friends and family is important for two reasons. The first reason is to verify that everyone escaped or determine if someone needs rescue. The second reason is to coordinate cooperative support systems with as many people as possible.
This all seems vastly complicated, but it isn't. After we go over the 12 Hour Plan, I'm going to talk about opening a dialog with your family, your friends, and your neighbors about reasonable preparations, expectations, and organized support plans. If SHTF and it's really bad, you're going to have to rely on conditional communication. In order for that to work, you are going to have to integrate it carefully in your Plan, and broadcast that plan to everyone who needs to know it. You should accomplish this so well that you do not actually need to call anyone because they will all know exactly when the conditions are met to trigger the action plan contained in your conditional communication.
This means that you need to clearly communicate to the relevant people - to the point of writing it down and giving it to them on paper - exactly where you will be in the event of certain events. That doesn't necessarily mean that you will be in one exact place. It does mean something like this: "If I am forced to flee my area, here are the three places that I will work to reach. You can attempt to contact me in these places." - and then list the places. In formulating that communication, you should answer simple and relevant questions:
Who? What? When? Where? Why? How?
Example: "I will meet you at Paul's house in Ponchatoula when a sudden disaster strikes and we cannot otherwise communicate. You will go straight there, I will pick up the girls from school. Do not try to come back into the city."
We aren't going to start that quite yet, but I wanted to put the bug in your head so that it could start eating away at your brain.
Hmmm... Well, it's just a metaphor...
What I would like to encourage you to do at this point is some more collecting and building. Do not be intimidated by this one. You don't have to do it all at once, just do a little work on it each week and you'll be surprised how fast you get it done. Either buy a paper address book, a good notebook, or keep an electronic address book. I like technology, and Windows Address Book is free with Windows, fairly good, and portable. The .WAB file can be moved or copied anywhere - like your backup drive or USB flash drive. Just because I am in love with technology doesn't mean that I entirely trust it however, and you should keep a hardcopy of your address book in your Laptop Bag or BOB. Every member of your immediate family should have a copy of this. It's not a bad idea to create a little booklet out of it, and print them up and hand them out to family and friends at holiday time. Collect as much information as you can on your family, your friends, and even distant (but still living) relatives. Any one of these people may become a communication center, and you want to have their information on hand just in case. Having all the addresses in an electronic address book also makes it easier to send out greeting cards. (There is an insidious plan regarding greeting cards that we will come to much later, so this will be handy.)
The workbook page linked at the top of this page is a contact sheet that will help you keep track of contact information if you do not want to use the computer.
If you decide to use WAB like I do, there is a handy feature in the FILE menu that allows you to export the WAB anywhere. This is handy for copying it out to your backup drive, or to some other location like your USB flash drive. Windows will open the address book no matter where it is if you double click on the WAB file.
Collect the names and addresses of people at work, and your boss or supervisor. Start finding out what the emergency protocols are for your company. Are you to call a certain number, visit a certain website, or perform some other attempt at communication with the company if SHTF? If you are a boss or supervisor, then you should have the contact information for every employee, have contact information for a friend or relative outside the area for a communications point, and a communication plan to communicate with your employees in the event of an emergency.
There are many reasons for doing this that will become clear in the next few pages. For now, just get started.
LAZY PEOPLE DO NOT PROSPER!