Saturday, September 5, 2009

National Preparedness Month

September is National Preparedness Month. One of the things that I've discovered for preparedness is paracord. Real paracord is what parachute cords are made of. It holds 550 lbs of weight. It is about the thickness of a shoelace, and is really useful when laced in place of shoelaces. One can also braid it (a la hemp necklaces) so that a very long cord is easily worn as a fashionable bracelet. I've seen quite a few sources that say paracord ranks just up there with duct tape in the usefulness category. I'm considering it a project to find paracord and make fun, fashionable jewelry with it. I will definitely post pictures once I've finished! To find uses for paracord, visit

Another useful tip: has an absolutely wonderful family emergency planning section. In ten minutes, I created three awesome documents - a family emergency plan, and an emergency card for *B* and I each. The only thing I don't like is that you can't save a copy, you can only print it. But it is a great tool regardless. I highly suggest reading the entire site, as it gives great tips on all potential emergency situations.

I also made up plans for what will happen if there is an emergency using the PACE principle. PACE stands for Primary, Alternative, Contingency, and Emergency. I have planned using PACE for how we get places, where we go, and how we get there. I also have planned a communication protocol. We will:
  1. Text “911,” alert level (ASAP, urgent, soon), current location, meeting place, estimated time of arrival, and other instructions/information.
  2. Get gas ASAP.
  3. Go to meeting place
    1. Home
    2. *B*’s parents’ house
    3. My dad’s house
    4. My mom’s house
    5. Family friends' house
    6. Other
  4. Text upon arrival

This plan allows us to make decisions quickly without panic setting in too badly. A lot of times texting will succeed when sustained phone conversations are not possible. It also allows each person to look back at the message at a glance. We will discuss these plans at length and agree on situations in which they will be used.

We also have lists of what we will get and who will get them given an amount of time to evacuate. For example, during a large, enveloping fire, we will not take anything but ourselves. If we have five minutes, we pick up our 72-hour kits, cat, fire box, and guns. If we have ten minutes, that plus our computers. At half an hour, that and our turtles and extra clothing.


  1. Thanks for the info! We used to have a plan, but haven't come up with a new one since we moved.

  2. I kept waiting for *B* to sit down with me and make the plan, but I found that it was far easier for me to make it then share it with him :o) I was surprised at the wealth of information on Happy plan-making!