What Seniors Should Do to Prepare for Another 9/11-Like Incident or Any Disaster That Might Confront Us
Yes, these past few days have all been about Labor Day and the glorious 3-day weekend, and well it should be. So, Happy Labor Day to all my readers. However, we are fast approaching that fateful anniversary of one of America’s most horrifying events. The morning of September 11, 2001 remains one of the most pivotal points in American history. The terrorist attacks that took the lives of nearly 3000 innocent people and the crash sites represent the largest crime scene in the FBI’s history.
The events of 9/11 are forever etched in the minds of anyone old enough to remember the day. As Boomers and Seniors of all ages, we certainly are old enough and most likely can remember exactly where we were when the attack took place.
But my message is not so much about the event itself, rather it is about the lives lost so unnecessarily. I want you to please take a moment of silence and honor all who lost their lives on that day, and to the countless others who were wounded and maimed as a result. If you are an American, it is fitting to sit silent for a moment and remember how truly blessed we have been for the past 20 years and how safe and secure we have felt.
Also, please take another moment and thank our first responders who are relentless in their approach to danger and ensuring the safety of those in need. As well, to our veterans and active military who served and are serving in the many wars fought on behalf of freedom, and most particularly the Afghanistan War. And a special salute to the 13 young warriors who just lost their lives. History will be written, and many books will come out about this 20-year war and how it was handled, from beginning to end. It is mine to judge, but not mine to share my judgement.
Just remember the saying:
“All gave some, and some gave all”
Boomers, I need to let you know this blog is coming to you earlier than normal. We always try to get at least one blog out per week on Thursdays. But my BoomerGuy is going in for a cardiac procedure tomorrow, as he calls it a tune up. LOL. I want to be very present for him, also calm, cool and collected so that’s the reason for the advance release.
As I was writing this, I stopped to think of all the events that have been happening over the past several months and years around the globe: from wild fires, to hurricanes, storms and tornadoes, to flash flooding, to earthquakes, to volcanic eruptions, to mass shootings, and of course, the pandemic, et. al.
I have personally been involved in many of those events over the course of my life. Living in different parts of the country one gets exposed to events that you would otherwise not experience. And what an experience it was.
I do not wish ill of anyone going through the tumult of any disaster. But one thing I can assure you is the safe telling of having a contingency plan in your back pocket for whatever might be thrown at you.
As Boomers and Seniors, we’re simply not as nimble as we used to be so it’s essential we plan ahead for any and all catastrophes, whether large or small, if you’re locked down or not, if you need to evacuate or not, if you have electricity or not, etc. Or if you’re involved in an automobile accident. Be prepared!
With that, I want to share my tips and rules for safe harbor should, god forbid, you be involved in any sort of disaster whether man-made or by good ol’ Mother Nature, and where time is of the essence.
- The First Rule is to remain calm and be patient, there is nothing you can do to change the circumstances, so it’s best you react within the limits of what is thrown your direction;
- The Second Rule is to have plenty of cash on hand, because if there is a disaster it’s likely banks and ATM’s could be shuttered, also bring your checkbook;
- The Third Rule is to make certain you have a minimum of ½ tank of gas in each of your autos at all times;
- The Fourth Rule is to have plenty of water on hand should your supply be disrupted—at least one full case of water from Costco or Walmart;
- The Fifth Rule is to have food at your ready—canned food (I will leave it to you to decide which canned food is best and be sure to have an opener), crackers, energy bars are probably best since they won’t get contaminated from your circumstances;
- Rule Number Six is to make certain your immediate family, friends and neighbors are safe and out of harm’s way;
- And lastly, Rule Number Seven, make sure your pets are safe and have a kit and food ready for them, they will need some of that water also.
The following represents my list of no-brainers, you gotta have them in place in a tote bag ready to go! Do it now, this is something you do not wish to procrastinate.
- A list of key contact numbers, in case you don’t have them embedded in your cell phone;
- Your ID and even your Passport and be sure to include any and all insurance information, not just for your person but also your house and automobiles;
- A copy of your will and/or trust;
- If you have electricity, listen to your TV and/or radio for advice on what to do;
- If you need to evacuate and you don’t have electricity, know how to engage the manual release on your garage door and lift it so you can exit with your car, and don’t forget to pull it back down;
- Check for any damage to your house and take photos and if your property is not damaged and you need to evacuate, be certain to lock every door and access point including gates and fences;
- Check in with family members and any neighbors who might need assistance before leaving your secure location;
- Check out www.nationalterroralert.com;
- Never, I repeat never, let your car get below a half full tank. The Story: while living in the Bay Area we went through the earthquake of 1989, my BoomerGuy was just a few miles from the epicenter and had to get gas to get home, he had less than 1/4th tank. No electricity, therefore no traffic lights and no stations able to pump gas. He had to travel miles through uncharted neighborhoods to find a station with electricity so he could fill up. What a deal, gas then was about $1.50 a gallon and they gouged it all the way up to $5.00. Of course, he said fill it up and emptied his wallet. Under no circumstances should you ever allow your vehicle to get under ½ tank;
- A list of your medications, and as a safeguard have a travel kit prepared for about two weeks, just in case;
- Charge your cell phone in the house or at your destination, and be sure to bring a car charger should you not have electricity;
- Flashlight with a few extra batteries and a pack of matches with a few candles and a first aid kit;
- A small cosmetic case with essentials like a toothbrush, toothpaste, masks, contact lens, and extra pair of eyeglasses and sunglasses, cologne, ballcap, lip balm, skin lotion, a small knife, etc.;
- Extra clothing, socks, shoes and underwear;
- Self-protection however you define it;
- Always have an exit plan with contingencies, in other words if one way out of your home is blocked or one of your streets is closed you best have another to fall back on.
“I don’t believe in luck, I believe in preparation.”
If you think this is an enormous amount of volume to carry about, it isn’t. Most of it, except the water and food, can be packed into a small travel bag or backpack, ready to be picked up on your way out of the house. Yeah, even for us older folks a backpack is not too problematic.
Check out the disaster preparedness pages online, there are loads available for your viewing. Who knew this information was out there, but it is. Also I hope we helped. My BoomerGuy and I always feel like we’re prepared and hopefully we will never need it. What’s the old saying, “better safe than sorry.” My BoomerGuy and I have had our experiences and our ultimate wish is for you to be safe and prepared.
Boomers, until next week—stay healthy, safe, strong and relevant and more important make the best of each and every day no matter what is thrown at you.