This is a true story that shows how the simplest thing can derail you. It was one of the hottest weeks of the summer, with temperatures getting up to the 105 degrees and there were rolling blackouts throughout the city. We lost power in our office building, and without air conditioning, staying inside would become unbearable. Not knowing when the power would come back on, I opted to leave right away. I took my laptop and backpack with me.
I drove home and got to the apartment building in 45 minutes. I live in a semi-secure building where you need a remote control device to get in. I tried to open the gate but it did not work. I had to find parking outside and walked to the leasing office. Turns out that by the time I arrived home, the rolling blackout had spread to my area. The leasing office had no power either, and it was hot inside. The building manager told me the electric gates were not working and they had no way to open it. You can only get in through the front of the building if you have a key. The building staff was closing up as well, so the manager suggested I enter through the front.
Just one problem: I left my front door key at home. I am so used to getting in through the back gate and never bothered to bring the front door keys with me. I had all my emergency supplies – water, food bars, flashlight, mini first aid kit etc in my backpack, but no keys to the front door. I waited in the hot car a couple of hours until power was restored and tenants were able to get in through the gate again. The food and water helped me during my two hour wait to get into my house, but had I had the keys, I would have been much more comfortable at home.
I learned a few lessons that day:
• You need to evaluate every single thing and activity that relies on electricity. For example, if you come in through the garage every night, you will not be able to open your garage door when the power is out, unless you know how to operate it manually.
• Bring ALL your keys with you always!
• You might think you are prepared for something but the most minor detail that you had overlooked could mess you up.
Have you seen that Twilight Zone episode Time Enough at Last where one small detail sealed the character’s fate? Now would be a good time to determine what are minor flaws in your own emergency plans:
- How to get out of your high rise office building when the elevators are not working. Solution: Locate the stairwells and practice taking them to the ground floor See Don’t Get Trapped in Your Office Building http://apartmentprepper.com/?p=1012
- How you will get home in your dress shoes or high heels if you had to walk home. Solution: Bring athletic or other comfortable shoes.
- How to get the kids home from school if there is some kind of emergency. Solution: make a get home plan
- How to protect your home if your alarm system is out. Solution: Find out about your alarm systems backup power, replace batteries if you had to, and find other manual devices that can protect your home. See Making Your Apartment Doors and Windows more Secure
- What to do if you could not use your credit or debit card due to machines going offline or banks closing early. Solution: The Emergency Cash Stash Keep extra cash in various locations: your car, your desk at work, a hidden pocket of your purse but don’t be tempted to spend it.
- How you would manage without your prescription glasses if they broke, and how you would be without your medications if the stores were all closed. Solution: Keep back up glasses or contacts and have extra refills of your prescription medicines in easily accessible locations.
This list is not all inclusive but hopefully gets you thinking about the “little things” that can turn on you if you overlook them.
What have YOU left out of your plans?
Get the real deal. Whether bugging out or sheltering in place, you can never have enough clean water for survival: For your water purifier needs, please visit:
Don’t let those expiration dates get past you. An inexpensive but helpful tool to keep track of supplies (Iphone or Ipad users):