From Drillin’ and Shakin’ to Wonderin’ and Waitin’

That’s a bit of a peculiar title, I admit. But it summarizes what Janet Liebsch and I discussed on DestinySurvival Radio for October 9, 2014.

We covered two distinct topics–(1) the Great ShakeOut earthquake drill and earthquake preparedness, and (2) what to expect from the government in the aftermath of a disaster.

I invited Janet to talk about ShakeOut drills, since one was coming within a few days after our conversation. We also discussed tips on earthquake safety.

Janet is coauthor of It’s A Disaster! …And What Are YOU Gonna Do About It? and has a wealth of knowledge about disaster preparedness. I knew she could also enlighten us on what we can expect from local, state and federal officials in the aftermath of a major disaster, such as an earthquake, hurricane, flood, or something else.

The Guest – Information Galore

Many times Janet Liebsch has supplied me with great information on a number of topics in the years we’ve known each other. In fact, she has provided me with a number of links to resources relevant to our DestinySurvival Radio conversation, which I’ll give below, rather than pepper them throughout this post.

Plus, you’ll see why she was my chosen guest when you look at this brief summary of her credentials.

Janet Liebsch is co-founder of FedHealth and co-author of “It’s A Disaster! …And What Are YOU Gonna Do About It?” She’s also Executive Vice-President and Disaster Specialist for the U.S. First Responders Association, and at the time of this writing was the Arizona state moderator on American Preppers Network.

The Earthquakes – Drillin’ and Shakin’

While earthquakes may not be a big threat in some areas of the U.S., they can happen anywhere. Therefore, you and I should be prepared.

The Great ShakeOut drills have become an annual event to raise awareness about what to do in the event of an earthquake. Schools, businesses and numerous other organizations are encouraged to participate.

The ShakeOut official Web site has loads of tools and information pertaining to the drills and how to be prepared for quakes. The drills urge each of us to “Drop, cover, and hold on” for protection during an earthquake.

But what about the so-called Triangle of Life? Janet addressed that in our conversation. There’s a reason officials here in the U.S. don’t recommend it.

To get your home ready for quakes, there are ways to secure pictures, shelves and other possible falling or flying hazards, including strapping down or bracing appliances. Keep children’s rooms safe by making sure things which can fall are at a safe distance from beds.

Janet shared several other helpful tips on getting both yourself and your home ready for a quake. Naturally, you and your family should have a plan as to what to do.

The Aftermath – Waitin’ and Wonderin’

Many in the general population expect to see FEMA come to the rescue in the aftermath of a disaster, such as when there’s an earthquake, hurricane, flood, and the like. On the other hand, I’ve heard of some in the prepper community say, “Don’t need ’em. Don’t want ’em.” Does that ring a bell?

But what should we really expect? Chaos? Martial law?

Much will depend on the nature and scope of the disaster. And, while FEMA has been roundly criticized for not arriving on the scene in a timely manner, would you believe that’s by design?

There’s a structured system or chain of command which keeps FEMA at a distance. If local First Responders become overwhelmed, the state governor’s next step is to ask for assistance from the federal government. There has to be a reason for a state of emergency to be declared.

You could consider this to be a safeguard mechanism. FEMA can’t just come in on their own. In fact, their hands could be tied up in red tape, making timely assistance difficult. Janet went into some detail on how all of this works.

The bottom line is that you and I must be prepared to ride out what could be a long wait before outside help comes along. That’s partly because one of the first things officials concentrate on when a disaster happens is restoration of infrastructure–roads, bridges, buildings, etc.

Fortunately, there’s something called National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD). It consists of nonprofit groups, churches and faith based organizations, and people in local communities who know how to coordinate resources and get them where they need to be.

Meanwhile, FEMA continues to evaluate how to coordinate the private sector and public sector to function efficiently once a disaster happens. There’s much to be taken into consideration. Often the private sector is quicker at getting supplies and help to where they’re needed.

But you and I should be as prepared as we can be, and that involves more than storage food, blankets, flashlights and the like. For example, make insurance a key part of your prepping strategy. How well are you or your business insured with coverage to help out with specific natural disasters?

Keep this in mind, too. Stringent rules pertaining to federal relief funds are in place. Much of those funds may not come as grants, but as loans, which have to be paid back. These funds aren’t designed to make you whole or put everything like it was before. A staggering number of businesses never reopen after disasters.

But how should we respond to the responders?

Janet was quick to make the point that First Responders in our local communities are looking out for their community first. If you and I have questions about what will happen in a crisis, she recommends we get to know our local firemen, police, etc. We may find they don’t want federal intervention or martial law any more than you and I do.

The Conversation – Oh, What She Said!

You know how it is with posts like this. I can never fully share all that my guests and I cover during our time together. Therefore, I encourage you to hear my conversation with Janet Liebsch by listening to DestinySurvival Radio for October 9, 2014. (Right click to download).

The Resources – Check These Out


A Giveaway? – Who Won?

Janet graciously offered one print and one electronic copy of It’s A Disaster!. I asked readers to enter by leaving a comment below by October 16, 2014, the day of the Great ShakeOut. Glenn responded and got a copy of the complete book in e-book form. Congratulations, Glenn.

Why not get the book for yourself? I’m sure you’ll agree, it’s worth having in your survival library.


Author: John Wesley Smith

John Wesley Smith writes and podcasts from his home in Central Missouri. His goal is to help preppers as he continues along his own preparedness journey.

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