Ok now I am not talking 2012 or end of the world stuff 'HERE'. But I will be talking about being prepared for a local disasters. And having a plan for you and your family.
Scrolling just above here are 11 disaster that have happened in just the last 10 years. There are many more then this. But these are some of the bigger ones. Remember this is just a portion of things that have happened in the last 10 years.. Just look what we have had on a local scale (Vinton, Iowa). The wind storm of 2011, The floods of 2008 both of which we were with out power for anywhere from 5-12 days. Travel was a nightmare. Roads were ether block by water or trees. We were with out water and sewer at times. Many of the local business were shut down including the grocery store. It took weeks and months/years to recover. Times were hard for a while. But nothing compared to the events such as these 11 events. Were they were without power for months, No food, water, sewage, and the basic staples of life.
Just looking at the numbers for these 11 events over 855,975 People Died and even with 2 of the biggest event numbers missing we had over 80,870,202 People affected (relocated, injured, with out power, ectů) Add the two missing numbers and you are probably well over 120,000,000 - 150,000,000 people affected.
"But we live in the Midwest Nothing like that will happen here!" you say.
Since 2002 There have been 16 Major Disaster Declarations in Iowa. in 2002 there was 1 declaration in 2010 there were 4 Declarations and another 4 in 2011. Eight major Disaster declarations in two years!! Floods, Sever thunder storms, Tornadoes, Ice storm, Blizzards. What if we were not hit by one of these but two or even three at the same time? And notice so far we are only talking about Natural Disasters. Not a Pandemic, Terrorist attack, Power plant accident ect... We do not learn our own history in schools anymore so we really do not understand our risk as well as we should. Iowa has had 30 presidentialy-declared disasters since 1990. Our main hazards are associated with severe weather, including heavy rains and flooding (2008 & 1993), tornadoes and high winds (2011 & 2005), Ice storms (1991), and blizzards and heavy snow (1991). Iowa has also been affected by hazardous material spills.
A short History Lesson:
1. June 2011 Wind Storm 47,000 Homes with out power in Iowa and many roads impassable. Over 30% of homes and business in Benton county were with out power. Many homes were with out power for 5-12 days.
2. May 25 2008 Parkersburg and nearby communities were struck by devastating tornadoes
3. 2008 Floods in Iowa alone 35,000 - 40,000 People were evacuated from their homes. Wide spread power outages. Many homes were with out power for 4-8 days. Immediately after the storm temps Raised into the high 90's for several days. Leaving people to do clean up in the extreme heat .
4. November 2005 Tornado Outbreak. In Iowa Alone there were 13 confirmed tornadoes ranging in size from F0 - F3. All in a matter of about six hours. In Stratford There was extensive damage. A gas leak following caused an evacuation of most of the town and hindered rescue efforts. Much more damage was reported threw out the area.
5.1993 Mississippi and Missouri Rivers Flood covering 16,000 Square miles over nine states including Iowa. 350,000 People were left with out water or sewer for 19 days. 47 people died and 10,000 People in Iowa alone had to leave their homes. in Iowa 21,000 Homes were damaged or destroyed.
6. Oct 31 1991 Halloween Blizzard/Ice Storm This storm coated portions of Iowa with 1-2" of ice. snapping power lines and poles. Leaving 80,000 Homes in several states including Iowa with no power some form more then a week.
7. March 10-14 1951 Slow moving Storm brought prolonged snow to Iowa. Snow fell in some areas for as long as 92-100 hours!! THATS 4-5 DAYS STRAIGHT!!! Leaving 27.2 inches of snow in Iowa city. This is still the largest snow record in the states history. Travel was all but impossible people were snowed in for days after the snow stooped falling.
8. Nov 11th 1940 A blizzard with 50 mile an hour winds drops 17 inches of snow leaving drifts 20 feet high in a matter of hours 150 People dead, Mass cattle deaths and travel at a stand still.
9. Spring1927 floods along the Mississippi kill 250 people. Flood waters cover over 27,000 Square miles in two months. 700,000 People had to leave there homes and work.
Ok so Lets Have some "Fun?" Here is a scenario of what might happen had we been hit by not one but two or three of these events!! Then we will talk about what and how you and your family can be prepared for our next local disaster. Lets use The 1991 Holloween Ice Storm, 1951 Snow Storm and the 1940 Snow storm and winds!
Tuesday Nov 11th
You get up to go to work a winter storm has moved in. It started freezing rain and the roads are slick. So you decide to stay home. After 2 hours there is about an inch of ice covering every thing. A travel advisory is issued. Reports of downed power lines and power outages are starting to come in. By noon there is about 2 inches of ice you and about 80,000 others in several county's are without power as power lines have broke and many power poles have snapped under the weight of 2" of ice. The temps have finally drooped enough that the rain has turned to snow. the snow continues threw the day.
Wensday Nov 12th
you have been with out power for 24 hours now, Road crews have been trying to keep the emergency and main roads cleared but have done nothing with the secondary roads. Electric crews are struggling to get around. In the last 24 hours you have gotten 7 inches of snow. It is still snowing and the winds have picked up to 40-50 miles an hour and the snow has started drifting over the roads. As you look out your window you cant see more then a few feet through the blowing snow.
Thursday Nov 13th
you have been with out power for 48 hours now The snow is still falling. your Total snow accumulation is now 17". On your radio You here the electric crews have been pulled off the road do to 8 - 10 foot snow drifts blocking the roads. A second day of winds 30 mph gusting 50 mph. the temps have fallen into the mid 20's.
Friday Nov 14th
You have now been without power for 72 hours. The electric crews are still not out. The road crews cant even keep the emergency route cleared with the blowing and drifting snow. Your total accumulation of snow is now 23" of snow with 15' - 18' Drifts. The snow seems to letting up but the winds are still 25 mph gusting 35 mph and the temps have drooped into the low teens.
Saterday Nov 15th
you have now been with out power for 96 hours. You look out the window the sun is Shining. And The wind seems to be dyeing down. on your emergency radio you hear your total snow and ice accumulation over the last three and a half days was 2 inches of ice covered by 27" of snow. You also hear the electric company is not out because there are 20'-21' snow drifts blocking the road ways, and even the snow plows are getting stuck trying to clear away the snow. The temps have now fallen to the single digits. News reports are estimating it could take 2-3 days to clear the road ways. and several days after that for the power company to install new polls and repair the broken power Lines.
Ok now look back at this you could have been with out power for 8-12 days. You would have been unable to travel. Now ask yourself these questions:
1. How would me and my family have stayed warm in these cold temps?
2. How would I have cooked meals for my family
3. Would I have had enough food and water to last 6-8 days with out going to the store?
4. Dose anyone in my home have a medical condition that requires daily medication?
5. Would I have enough medication to last 6-7 days?
Ok Lets Start here.
1. A good First Aid Kit
2. Always try to fill your prescriptions a week before you run out. Do not wait till the day you are out. This way you will always have 6-7 days worth of medication on hand.
Food and Water
1. Water one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
2. Food at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food. Can be as simple as Ramen noodles, Canned foods, Dried fruits, ect... But for moral resons try to pick things you realy like. Here is a short list of things that I keep on hand: for more detailed list I will be making another more bigger disaster page
*Pouch Tuna Salad (has a good 2-3 year shelf life and are resonably priced)
*Ramen Noddles (Long shelf life Broth and noodles are warm and filling)
*High energy non-perishable bars
*Canned Meats (Spam, Ham)
*Canned Soups (Your favorites have a nice shelf life)
*Dried Potatoes(Dried Hash browns, Powdered Mashed Potatoes)
*Food for your pets
*Any babby foods you might need
*And don't forget a good Manual can opener
1. Sleeping Bags (rated to 0║ for each person in your family)
2. Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
3. Flashlight and extra batteries
4.Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
5. Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
6. Matches or Lighter
7. Camp stove or some type of gas burner and fuel such as bottled propane or Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG)
8. Fixed-blade and folding knife
9. Standard camping equipment