Michigan has had some rough weather the past few weeks. This is the sort of thing that is actual Emergency Preparedness, but isn’t as glamorous as the Whisperers coming for you and Negan has escaped. Nonetheless, late winter has been a real opportunity to put preps into practice.
In late January, a polar vortex enveloped Michigan. In short, the super cold air of the Arctic was pulled lower by pressure zones, bringing us dangerously bone chilling temperatures and wind chill. Temperatures reached as low as -18F in southeastern Michigan with -45F windchill. Demand for natural gas was so high that, coupled with a pump failure at the utility, we were supposed to reduce our demand for gas by lowering thermostats.
Preps for this include many things. It’s never a good idea to be solely dependent on one heat source. With natural gas supply compromised, having a propane heater or other source and fuel is incredibly important as a back up. Equally important is the ability to cordon off a room to heat a smaller volume.
Freezing pipes, frozen car radiators, cracked windows, collapsed roofs, and many more cold-related issues all had to be dealt with. What if one of these compromised the home? Do you know how to shut off the water? Do you have something to cover the windows? Do you have a back up place to go?
Obviously the time to deal with all this is before it happens, so that when it does, you’re running through a procedure instead of developing it as you go.
This past weekend we were treated to the howling winds of a ‘bomb cyclone’. I’m not sure who is creating these terms, but I bet that a ‘sharknado’ is also on his credits-list.
With winds regularly above 30 mph and gusts in the 50 mph range, the potential for severe damage was evident. Of main concern was structural damage to houses from sustained wind speed or tree impacts.
Preparations for this include ensuring your kid’s trampoline is staked down or put away before it decapitates the neighbor’s house. Cutting down at-risk trees, albeit undesirable for some, is important. The ancient tree planted when great great Aunt Martha was born is a great monument, but if it’s had better days, it’s time to ensure it doesn’t interfere with your better days.
Additional preps include ensuring you have building materials on hand such as plywood to cover broken windows, the tools to put it up, knowledge of chainsaw use to cut up trees obstructing emergency exits, etc.
A side effect to this kind of wind is widespread power failure. A threat event can bring multiple threat components. I won’t go over the preps for these because every Michigander already knows them. Time to enact them though!
If you would like help structuring your preparations for events such as these, want to run by considerations for them, or have your plan assessed by K&B instructors and alumni, write us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can help.