On Your Way Out, What Would You Grab in an Emergency?

I was in an interesting conversation with one of my grandson’s this morning, my wife read an article to us pertaining to disaster’s. The nuclear bomb threat from North Korea in particular, in the article it stated that we should all have at least a 14 day supply of emergency provisions on hand. I asked my grandson what he thought of all of that and if he had ever thought of situations where he would have to provide for himself. The scenario I asked him about is a very real situation to the people that live in earthquake country. (I must say that I am not the least bit worried about a nuclear attack from North Korea, all I will say about it is, it’s all bluster and hype.) However living 50 miles from San Francisco on the Great California Delta, the possibility of a major earthquake is very real. I asked him if he were in the city and a major earthquake struck rendering all utilities useless, what would he do. He told me he would leave the city immediately, OK I guess was my reply. The second question I had was where would he go, and of course he said to our house, which is perfectly fine with us. Then I asked him how would he get out of the city, he answered bus, train, car, walk and so on, I told him there would be many people with the same idea. There are 3 ways out of San Francisco, 1) The Bay Bridge. 2) The Golden Gate Bridge 3) Highway 101 through South San Francisco. All jam packed on a normal business day, during an emergency evacuation it would become an impossible situation in my opinion. In my view the first few thousand vehicles would be able to get out, then with breakdowns and accidents the roads would fill up fast. He then told me he would walk out, I simply asked “where to? Oakland? Hayward? In other words in my opinion there ain’t no one going anywhere after the “big one” occurs, we’ve been told over and over it will happen. We ended the talk with no solution other than a better understanding of what may occur, the grand kids sometimes take the train to the city for a day so it was a worthwhile conversation. (They are all around 20 years old). Even though we had no conclusive decision on our discussion it did bring up a more relevant question, “If a major disaster occurred and you were at home, what would you grab on your way out?”

I’m thinking about a wild fire, home fire, flood, earthquake or any other situation taking out all of our utilities. 4-1/2 years ago my neighbors house burned to the ground in the middle of the night, The house’s on either side sustained damage from the fire, one was 80% destroyed and although never rebuilt still to this day stands as a burned out hulk. If the prevailing wind was up (it wasn’t) and if it were dry (luckily it was a misting rain) my house would most likely have been burned completely up as well. It’s an unsettling sight to see neighbors, very good neighbors, running around in their night clothes with garden hoses trying to save their houses. It was an extremely dangerous situation, one neighbor was in her nightgown and flip flops 30 feet from the totally involved house, she was next to a big pine tree. I could see that tree bursting into flames and possibly severely injuring her, it did not happen but the tree was destroyed by the heat. The fact is the previous week I saw her spraying the tree with her garden hose, I of course asked her what that was all about. She replied she has allergies and that pine tree was full of pollen, she has an allergy to that tree and they were thinking of removing it. The tree was soaking wet that night and it most likely saved her from serious injury or worse. After the fire department arrived, (we are in a very rural area in the middle of nowhere so it typically takes at least 20 minutes for the response,) I realized we had nothing in the way of emergency supplies, the neighbors that responded had their night clothes and nothing else. It started me thinking about preparedness and the question I asked myself was “If that were me, what would I grab on my way out?” So I began to form the base of my emergency disaster plan, and what I would need to put together for a home emergency preparedness kit. That event inspired me to build a web site dedicated to helping people be as self reliant as they can possibly be. Then I came up with the list below:

1) Get up and get dressed, keep a set of clothes next to the bed, shoes, trousers and a shirt.

2) Go get my 95 year old mother in law out of bed, assigned to either my wife or myself.

3) Fetch my emergency backpack that contains my laptop and all of my web site information, if I lose that it could be a disaster of it’s own.

4) Save my wheelchair, OK, ride it out if I can, if it’s a fire upstairs both of my mobile devices will be lost.

5) Grab my ukulele, guitars and banjo

6) The tower computer upstairs, just the tower

7) Dump all of this stuff on the levee then

8) Get my big mobility scooter out of there, I keep it on the back porch by the door.

9) Oh the crazy dog, good grief that will be a challenge

10) All the car keys!

That’s not even the complete list! After putting it in writing reality slapped me in the face, just like in a B class western movie, “what the heck am I thinking?” If I were to take all of that stuff, indeed if I were able to gather it all up in short order it would be a major task. By my estimate, after watching videos of fires that were made by various fire departments I have come to the conclusion I have one minute to evacuate. I came up with one minute after watching a Christmas tree video made by a fire department. A small building was built with a replica living room containing a Christmas tree, a couch, chair and small table. The light string was faulty, after the lights were switched on it immediately began to smoke, the wiring then burst into flames. The entire room was engulfed in less than One Minute, One Minute at the most to evacuate my home, it place an entirely new perspective on my idea of what I had time to gather together and escape with. If I were to attempt to take all of that stuff I would need a truck and trailer, it would have to be set up at all times and ready to be loaded. One minute, I modified my list by a substantial amount it is now:

1) Get Grandma

2) Put the dog on a leash

3) Grab my emergency preparedness kit (it does contain my laptop)

Get the heck out! If I can ride my wheelchair out OK, if not there was millions made just this year and I have insurance. Same with my Ukulele, banjo and guitars, there were a lot of each of them made this year as well. There is nothing more important than Grandma, Wife, Dog and Me. Even now leaving my laptop would not be a major problem as I have placed all of my files in the “cloud”, Google+, I am able to retrieve it from any computer anywhere as long as I have my passwords. Everything else is replaceable, everything my only priority is Grandma, Wife, Dog, then Me, out the door, someone will call the fire department if I don’t, just get out in under one minute. In conclusion I hope to have inspired some people to begin to put together a family disaster plan as well as putting together or purchasing a pre assembled home emergency preparedness kit. A 72 hour kit is recommended by FEMA, a 14 day kit is a much better preparation kit. That’s my opinion due to this one fact, my neighbors are not now and never will be prepared for a disaster of this sort. My personal therey on being prepared is to get to a point that we have plenty for ourselves plus more to help other people when the need arises which I believe will present itself. I will never be able to refuse someone a drink of water or something warm to wear, just because they failed to prepare doesn’t mean they are anything other than “human”. The event’s can easily happen at any time of the day or night, doesn’t it seem though that most nasty grams arrive during the worst storm of the year in the middle of the night?

Tips For Choosing A Sectional Sofa

A sectional sofa is a perfect addition for anyone’s living room. It is the perfect place to feel cozy and comfortable around friends while watching a movie or a football match. Since their popularity has increased in the recent years, so is their diversity. Picking the right sectional may be a matter of taste, but there are several general guidelines to follow. Stick with them and you will soon relax in the sectional you always wanted.

The first thing to do is to determine the size and shape of the sectional. Basically there are three sectional shapes available: the U-shape, the semi-circular shape and the L-shape. Pick the shape you like the most. But this is only the first step. Sectionals are modular and can include 3, 4 or even more sections. Ordering customized sofas may allow you to add multiple modules. Of course, the cost will be higher. It is recommended to draw a floor plan of the room where you want to place the sectional. Next, add the shape and size and see which configuration suits you most. For example, you may want a larger side of a sectional, in order to cover more space to the walls.

Consider the use and the object placement of the room. For example, if the TV sits across a corner of the room, a sectional is the best solution. In this case the rounded corner provides lots of seating, and everybody can easily watch the screen. The only problem with semicircular sectional is that it takes a lot of space. Measure the room exactly before placing an order. If you choose an L-shaped sectional rather than a rounded one, beware the disadvantages of the one-cushion square corner. It will be the very last seat people want. It is now the time to remind you that reversible sectionals offer the freedom of change, allowing you to switch the placement of the chaise whenever you want. This provides a better space management.

When you buy a sofa, comfort is everything. And comfort is largely dependent of the fabric used to make the furniture. Fabrics with natural fibers like cotton, linen and flax are breathable, are comfy and get softer with use. Similarly, go natural with leather for a timeless look and soft, buttery feel. Personal style should also be a priority. You can opt for vintage, classical sofas and for modern sofas, as well. You just have to browse the internet and find the style and colors that appeals you the most.