Preparation: Disaster Plan
‘Pre-disaster’ plans are required for ‘Post-disaster’ survival. A great deal of time and money is put into preparations for natural and man-made disaster. These preparations will be lost if the plan is not worked and the shelter not maintained.
Batteries must be kept charged; water and food rotated, and all must be kept in a state of readiness. Occupants should be taught proper radiological monitoring techniques. Sheltering and preparedness must become a ‘way of life’. Make security preparations, and prepare for ‘post war’ survival. Store items that could be used for farming and the re-construction process.
Spend time in the shelter sleeping, eating and practicing your plan. Practice what the family would do in the event of an escalating crises, or eminent attack. Turn off your power and let the family hear the power drop alarm, and then go the shelter. This should be an exercise similar to a ‘fire drill’.
Duty List in the event of an Imminent Attack
If the EMP alarm has been activated, switch off the alarm.
• Check the telephone & radio for an electromagnetic pulse (EMP). If you have seen arcing from your outlets, or if the test of the telephone & radio fails, send everyone to the shelter except one person. Don’t stop to retrieve anything except a flashlight. Every needful thing should already be in the shelter.
• If you believe your shelter is not located in or near a prime blast target area, the remaining person may wish to take time to close the curtains (to protect against the thermal pulse) and quickly turn off the natural gas or propane. The tool for turning off the gas should have been previously tied to the gas meter. Only do this if you are certain there is time. Your personal safety is more important than your home.
• The first person to the shelter should hold the flashlight on the stairs. An adult should enter the shelter first and assist the children down the ladder. After everyone has been assisted down the stairs, an adult should turn on one battery powered shelter light. One light should always remain turned on.
• Someone must be assigned to immediately turn the lever on the air intake vent to the ‘off’ position. This insures that no war gases, smoke, or radioactive particles will enter the shelter during the first few hours of the event. Practice this operation on a regular basis.
• An adult should immediately assist all children to lie down in a bunk or hammock. Everyone should have been pre-warned to stay away from the shelter walls, as a ground shock could cause severe injury through the sides of the shelter. They should be told to remain lying down for at least one hour.
• The last person entering the shelter should close the door and lock the shelter from the inside. The lock will protect against the 'sucking pressure' that occurs immediately after the over-pressure. That same person should check again to see that the lever on the air intake vent was, in fact, turned to the 'off' position. He should then take his own ‘ready’ position in a bunk or hammock.
• Everyone should remain lying down (preferably on their stomach) in his or her bunk or hammock for at least one hour. They should continually be reminded to stay in that position, not to lean against the wall, and not to move around unnecessarily. This position will protect the individuals from ground shock. Be prepared to tell stories, sing, or talk reassuringly to the others during that holding time. If during that hour a blast occurs, continue holding the ready position for another hour.
• The ventilation system should remain in the closed (off) position for a 5-hour period to protect the filters from the initial dust, smoke and radioactive particles. After 5 hours, the hose should be attached to the gas filter and the assigned person should turn the lever on the air vent to the ‘open’ position. Make sure you have carefully studied this action, and that you are placing the hoses in the correct position. Do not turn the crank on the ventilator until these two actions have taken place. The assigned individuals should then turn the crank for 30 minutes to refresh the air in the shelter.
• Anyone entering the shelter at a later time should be instructed to enter through the air lock and wait for the positive pressure to re-establish. If they have been contaminated with fallout, they should remove their outer clothing in the decontamination area of the air lock and place their clothing into plastic bags. Fresh clothing should be stored in the air lock for those who may have received fallout contamination.