Is 72 hours long enough anymore? I guess it depends on the size and impact of the incident.
Ask the residents of New Orleans during Katrina, or Staten Island during Sandy, if 72 hours of supplies were adequate.
Every government preparedness agency, on any level, along with most nonprofit preparedness groups, have preached “72 hours” for a long time.
Maybe it’s time to change. Instead of having a stock “72 hour kit,” take a look at the agencies in your area and build a kit that will sustain you until you expect help to arrive. Huh? Look at the agencies and their capabilities. Do you think help will arrive swiftly?
What are the most likely disaster scenarios to occur in your area? Have they happened in the past? If so, how long did it take for roads to open up, stores to have groceries, gas stations to work, etc?
Look at the results of previous incidents, and plan around those. If the average “back to sustainable levels” response time is 2 weeks, you better have supplies on hand to last that long.
In a recent Twitter conversation with a emergency preparedness professional located in Oklahoma, he had this to say: “WHAT is YOUR plan? If your insurance, FEMA, Red Cross, Salvation Army, NVOAD group, neighbor, Uncle, Mother, Sister, Brother, does not show for three days, what will you do?”
FEMA is telling us, by way of messages similar to the above pictured Tweet, to be ready to survive on your own for a while. In nice-nice words, they are saying that you’re on your own for at least 72 hours after an incident.
Looking at the size and scope of major disasters recently, maybe 72 hours isn’t long enough. Maybe 2 weeks also isn’t long enough.
Plan to survive, but also remember that if you need to evacuate, how much of your stash can you take with you?
Check out a blog posting by Lloyd, KC5FM, who commented on this subject a couple of weeks ago: KC5FM Blog
Do YOU have a plan? Do you know what to do?