Saturday, September 25, 2010

Survival Strategy # 4: make your own emergency map

Your family needs to be prepared for any disaster.  It could be Super Bird Flu, SARS, Hurricane Katrina the 2nd, a Zombie Outbreak or any similar catastrophe.  Taking time to create an emergency map will be  essential to survival.

Mosey on to Google Maps and take a print screen of your surrounding area.

know your turf

Our objective is to gain an intimate knowledge of your area in case of an emergency.   Use this map to know what to avoid, identify safe zones, and areas to gather resources.

Here's an explanation of my map legend:
  • High Risk Resource - Commercial establishments like malls or shops that have supplies (food, tools, medicine, etc.) your family will need to outlast an extended calamity.  Factors such as proximity to Danger Zones, and choke points makes it risky to go here.  Especially if it looks easy for a horde of zombies to overrun.  Go here only as a last resort.  Do not stay in this area no matter how tempting potential loot may be.  Malls are zombie magnets!
  • Places to Avoid - Extremely dangerous areas.  These may be choke points where people may congregate and thus attract a large zombie hordes.  Large groups of panicking people may gather here to clog intersections with vehicle and foot traffic to create a deathtrap.  Think of other risky areas and mark them on your map.
  • Danger Zone  - This is a very large area that is hazardous due to a combination of reasons such as high population density, lack of natural and man-made barriers such as rivers & hills, subdivision walls, guard houses, etc.  Basically areas where infection and zombie infestation would be hard to avoid and contain. If you need to travel somewhere, plot a route that avoids these areas & bring the appropriate equipment.  
Identifying Danger Zones will also be important in case you need to mount a rescue attempt.

  • *Relative Safety and Resistance Areas - Places with lower population density, defensible structures, natural & man-made barriers, ease of travel, and other favorable conditions that would make it less vulnerable to a mass panic or zombie attack. 
  • Ideal Resource  - This is located in a much safer area compared to High Risk Resources.  Smaller commercial arcades that are easy to defend against a horde of zombies, have good barriers and a feasible escape route.  They are not found near major thoroughfares or population centers.  A lot of high rise office buildings have canteens and pantries, their fire escape routes are also retractable from the ground.  Neighborhood groceries & convenience stores, small-town pharmacies, sari-sari stores, utility buildings from Meralco, Manila Water, and others are pretty good candidates.
  • Possible Safe House or Shelter - In case your present safe house is overrun, train your family to find the safest route to the next safe house.  Avoid areas that would be crowded with disorganized survivors.  Organized groups are good, but always be on your guard! These places should be easy to defend and barricade.  Don't forget your emergency exit.  Safe houses should also be located w/in a reasonable distance to an ideal resource point. 
Nothing is static: Keep in mind that these zones could shift from safe to dangerous after an outbreak.  Try to anticipate how these changes could take place at various stages of an emergency. 

After putting the map together, share ideas with your family.  Talk about recent calamities about how streets became crowded & trapped, what places were looted, etc.  When you're done, print out multiple copies, laminate and distribute to members of your household. Keep 1 or 2 in your bug out bag, but don't share them w/ people you do not trust!

There you have it.  After completing this activity, you'll be glad to know that your loved ones will know what to do.  With that worry out of your head, you can now focus on other important survival activities.

Stay vigilant!

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