Default Unexpected weather and being prepared

Just thought I’d share this with other USCDA members

This is a true story and how urban survival/preparedness/readiness is often a matter of being prepared for sudden and unexpected weather events. Coz not every situation is going to be TEOTWAWKI.

A little while ago the weather bureau had predicted a day of heavy rain one particular Friday. It turned out to be much, much heavier than expected and we ended up with roughly 12 inches of rain in 6-8 hours during the course of the late morning and afternoon.

I’m an avid weather watcher and kept a close eye on the radar all day. I went and picked up my kids from school early as I could see a huge downpour on its way and the school has a creek either side of it’s entrance. This was a good call as I arrived half an hour early (along with a lot of other parents). It took 15 minutes to collect the kids and almost immediately after we left the creeks rose and nobody got out that day until after 10pm. I had to leave via the small gate as the main gate was already under 2-3 feet of water.

A friend of mine got stuck at a train station as the trains stopped running because the weather was so bad. He posted regular updates on FB during this weather event and it was interesting to see how people handled a sudden and unexpected disruption to their day.

At the train station there was little cover from the rain and wind, and almost everyone got soaked. Because the trains had been cancelled, the train station staff where sent home and they locked the toilets. So there’s several hundred people stuck on a train station for about 5-6 hours with no toilet. There was one water fountain for drinking.

As the night wore on he lamented how cold it was and that his feet were soaked and he had nothing to stay warm with. The other people at the station, mostly strangers had begun to huddle up together to try and get warm. How much room in a brief case does an emergencyblanket take up?

He had no food and was getting hungry. There was a vending machine but it was quickly emptied by the hundreds of people stranded at the station. After a few hours his laptop had run out of battery and was onto the last half of his mobile phone. It ran out after a few hours. Had he a power bank for his phone he’d have been good for most of the night. Again, how much room does a power bank take up in a brief case?

During this whole event I was at home, lying in my bed, warm and fed. It was only a matter of minutes between being able to leave school with my children or them having to stay their until after 10pm that evening. My son had wished he’d gotten stuck as most of his friends where there and they ended up raiding the home economics room and made pizzas for dinner. My friend at the train station didn’t get home until the next morning when the floodwaters had subsided and normal train services resumed.

In my EDC bag I always carry an emergency blanket, emergency poncho, a couple of muesli bars and some bottled water. I’ve used theemergency poncho once, but I was glad to have it. I’ve not yet had to use the emergency blanket, but it takes up so little room it’s nice knowing it’s there if I ever encounter such a situation as my friend did, along with not only the hundred trapped at the station he was at, but the thousands that would have been trapped at stations all over the city.

So many roads were flooded that taxi services were cancelled, bus services were cancelled and the government issued a warning to stay off all roads as there was a flash flood alert for pretty much every major and minor road in the southeast of the state.

At the beginning of the day it was just expected to be a day of patchy, heavy falls. But it turned out to be more than that and caught everyone off guard, and turned out to be one of the worst single day weather events in living memory. Five people died that day because they tried to cross flooded roads.

I guess the purpose of this post is to remind people that things can change very quickly and without warning, and the need to have some basic survival gear with you at all times is not only prudent, but essential.

Provided by SSGT: Phil Pepper USCDA UTAH

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