Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Wait did the earth just move?

A short time after I wrote my last blog, a disaster hit New Zealand, and reminded me of a topic that should be near and dear to anyone who aspires to the role of a warrior.

Disaster preparedness, I am not talking about being a survivalist, I am talking about planning sensibly for an event which qualifies as a disaster. It could be an earthquake as that which occurred in Christchurch New Zealand, it could be tornadoes, a hurricane or cyclone, floods, or mass civil unrest. Whatever it is, being caught totally unprepared is a rather unfortunate thing.

A warrior should learn what likely issues can occur in the place they live. So let’s go through mine.

When I lived in Milwaukee WI, I had to be prepared for snow blizzards in winter, and tornadoes in Summer. To that end, I made sure at work I had a good jacket as well as one at home, as well as the ability to get home if motor transport was out (i.e. good weather proof footwear, and thermal undergarments to add if it gets bitterly cold), at home I made sure of a decent food supply that would not rely on power (cans, opener, MRE etc). In summer I knew to keep an eye on the weather and bug out to the evacuation point at work, or to the basement of my apartment.

Now I live in New Zealand and there are some other concerns. Thankfully I was raised here. Here earthquakes are a fact. We are on the fire ring of the Pacific, and while my home town of Dunedin is less prone to them, they still happen. Complacency is also not an excuse. Christchurch suffered its first ever earthquake September 4th 2010. It was on an unknown fault. Yesterday a more shallow, weaker (6.3) earth quake has done much more damage, and caused fatalities (rising as I type).

So learn how to respond to an event like this. Keep supplies, extra first aid, get a first aid certification (Red Cross is standard), oh and if you possibly can, become trained in Urban and rural search and rescue. Serve your community, even if it is just checking on neighbors, or stopping tempers fraying, but serve them. Again I say, the warrior is there to serve!

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