This is a strange part of surviving any disaster, emergency or even “grid-down”; with “grid-down” being the most problematic. However, I can give you some points to consider and then you must match those concepts to your own needs and visions.
In my last post I talked about taking action (SURVIVING ANY DISASTER: Part 8 – Taking Action). And that is a topic I am most comfortable speaking to since I have spent the majority of my life responding to emergencies of all sizes. The result of which was folks depended on me to solve the crisis for them.
Let’s start our discussion of the Recovery Phase and the Restoration Plan with something simple such as a flood. Part of the Respond Phase would have been to shut off the gas and electric to your home before evacuating. Once you get the opportunity to return to your home what do you do? Do you simply turn the electric back on and then the natural gas? I hope that is not your plan, you may very well burn your house down if you do.
Why did you turn off the gas and electric to begin with? I hope your answer was to prevent an electrical short that results in a house fire. And for the natural gas, you turn it off to avoid feeding the fire or blowing your house up. But what about turning it back on?
You don’t turn on the gas or the electric until your done checking to make sure it is safe to do so. You look at all the electrical outlets to make sure there isn’t anything wrong. Same thing for fixtures, switches, etc. Then before turning on the main breaker you turn off ALL the circuit breakers in your panel. Then you turn on your main breaker. Then, one-by-one, you start to turn on each circuit breaker individually. Your panel has a “key” or guide telling you which breaker controls what area of the house. So you check that area thoroughly before turning on the next circuit breaker. If you see a problem you can easily turn that individual breaker off to fix the problem. If you simply turned on main breaker with all the individual breakers already on you could end up with a delay in checking certain areas of your home and multiple problems developing at once.
Now you would move on to restoring the gas service. You check to make sure your gas appliances are all turned off and not damaged. You turn on the main gas supply valve. Now you would restore gas to each appliance making sure it is working correctly before going on to restoring gas to the next appliance.
That is a form of Restoration Plan for a simple incident.
You would have to plan for things such as food growing capability, fuel acquisition, heat/cooking capability, long-term bartering, and a long list of other items on your restoration “to-do” list. But how would you prioritize what to do first? Go back and read the L.I.P.S. portion of this series<click here>.
So first figure out those scenarios that you plan on preparing for and responding to (Part 3 – Basic Threat Assessment). Then take the most likely scenario and figure out what you will have to do to restore your family to a functional unit capable of surviving post-disaster.
If you fail to plan for post-disaster, your probability of successfully doing so decreases exponentially. It falls under the “fail to plan – plan to fail” category. Example: How many preppers do you know that store enough seeds to produce enough food for their family to survive on? Heirloom seeds at that! So exactly how do they plan on eating once their food storage runs out during a grid-down event?
Surviving any disaster, any emergency or even grid-down requires you know what you will do once the primary part of the event has past. Because it will pass at some point. Then you must shift gears from survival to restoring. Some of my prepper buddies have neglected this phase, they are caught up in the adrenalin rush of the “Respond Phase.” So how bored will they be once the main response is over? What will you do? Are you preparing for, or even thinking about, gardening 6 hours a day? Making your own clothes? Cleaning up the flood water damage and mud? Can you provide heat for your retreat for years to come?
Granted, most plans don’t come off perfectly, most not well at all. You must remain flexible and adaptable to events as they unfold. But I think in the L.I.P.S. concept not enough time is given to thinking through the “S” part (Societal Restoration). However, it may be the most important part. At least the most important part for those who survive whatever the disastrous event may be. What are your plans for restoring? Or are you too just giving this preparedness thing “LIP” service?
Next will be my last post in this series Surviving Any Disaster – Summary. I will bring everything into crystal clarity for you so your family can survive any disaster, emergency or even “grid-down.”
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