Yesterday, I mentioned the app/website https://alertswiss.ch by the Swiss government. It mainly consists of a template for emergency planning, and twelve short texts about main risks of large scale events/emergencies, combined with recommended preparations and procedures. Everything is based on requirements and conditions in Switzerland, but even if you're somewhere else you may use some of these ideas for your own preparations.
I have transcribed the important contents, hoping not to run into copyright issues, and also added some personal comments. Content from the app is marked as citation in the following, although my own wording.
Note the following points, update yearly and share/discuss with relatives and friends:
- relative's names and numbers
- how to get home for every member of the family: avoid main traffic routes, prearrange transports
- bugging-in stocks: water 9 L/person, soup concentrate/salt, dry meat, dried fruits, instant meals/soups/sauces not requiring cooling, tinned meat/fish, fruit juices, pet food, cheese, tea/coffee, durable milk, canned food, oil/fat, rice, pasta, chocolate, baby food, sugar/jam/honey, crisp bread; battery radio, gas cooker, candles, matches, lighter, soap, toilet paper, hygiene products, torches and batteries
They recommend stocking food and water for at least one week, suggesting 9 L of water per person or enough for 3 to 4 days, corresponding to 3 L/person/day. I would add water filter or bleaching/disinfectant. They are just speaking of "torches" but I would definitely go for LED lamps/lanterns only, and also some solar-powered batteries or hand-crank generators.
- medical stuff: personal medication, disinfectant, thermometer, diarrhea treatment, tweezers, pain killers, bandages/gauzes/band-aids
- prearranged emergency accommodation (holiday flats, friends) in case of home evacuation
- at least two prearranged (and family-wide known) meeting points if home unreachable: one close to home, one further away towards emergency accommodation
- bug-out bags: mobile phone with batteries, passports/IDs, personal medication, cash, food and water for one day; if more preparation time available: portable radio, spare clothes, family documents, copy of house/land ownership, valuables, first-aid kit, certificates of salary, savings documents, foul-weather gear, LED lamp, last will(s), toiletries, insurance policies with property lists, contracts, toys
These recommendations approximately correspond to a 24-hours and an additional 72-hours bug-out bag. In Switzerland, this is probably reasonable, as we're a highly connected country, and in most cases, you'll quickly strand somewhere with a minimum of additional resources. They also say you should be able to put together the bug-out stuff in half an hour, but I would go for fully prepared 72-hours bags anyway.
- neighbours needing assistance
That's an interesting point which I don't remember having seen anywhere else. It's good advice though, IMHO, because in an emergency, elderly/handicapped people easily risk being forgotten in the first rush.
- inform yourself via official broadcasts, follow official instructions
- only call emergency services in case of immediate emergency
- only use telephone and other communication means in important and urgent cases
- only use cars and other transportation means in important and urgent cases
- prepare for breakdown of traffic control systems (lights, barriers etc)
- inform and support neighbours and impaired or endangered people
This is mostly a call for self-reliance.
They are described in some detail, together with most important first measures, which I'm transcribing below.
- Earthquakes: seek cover, prepare for secondary earthquakes, leave buildings if severely damaged, check gas/water/electricity and switch off in case of doubt
- Floods: calmly and independently leave affected areas and especially underground strucutres without taking unnecessary risks, don't drive through flooded roads, avoid threatened or damaged areas like river beds and banks
- Storms: seek shelter, avoid open and exposed areas and vicinity of tall objects, beware of flying debris, secure outside objects
- Snowfall: keep away from trees and roofs, beware of high roof loads, stay inside and close window shutters in case of imminent risk of avalanches
Switzerland has a lot of water and precipitations; therefore draughts are not considered a main risk.
- Fires: in case of fire call fire brigade on 118, inform people acutely at risk, leave affected areas immediately
- Heat Waves: avoid outside activities, protect against direct sunlight, drink plenty of water, stay inside cool buildings or rooms
- Severe Cold/Frost: avoid outside activities and driving, prepare for power outage, protect plants and buildings
- Power Outage: unplug or switch off devices connected to the mains grid, switch appliances back on only one after the other when power returns
- Pandemia: get vaccinations, wash and disinfect hands regularly, cough and sneeze into paper towel or crook of the arm, avoid crowds and big events, avoid handshaking and kissing, keep away from other persons, stay at home and wear mask in case of sickness
- Chemical accident: seek shelter inside buildings, close doors and stop ventilation systems, accommodate endangered people
- Dam bursts: immediately leave endangered areas and seek higher areas
- Nuclear accident: seek shelter inside buildings, close doors and stop ventilation systems, keep radio and blankets and iodine tablets ready
People living in the vicinity (roughly up to 20 km away) of Swiss nuclear power-plants receive iodine tablets to stock at home, which have to be intaken upon order by the government, to prevent accumulation of radioactive substances in the thyroid gland.
I think these recommendations are a very good starting point for "prepping" in Switzerland. However, I guess of my friends, family and acquaintances, at most 10% do think about these things, and perhaps 2% are really prepared...
I'll try to start some polls and discussions, to find out whether I'm right or wrong and to improve awareness.