Thankfully, the Bersih Rally held a few weeks ago went smooth without much unwanted incident. Ok, maybe a few isolated cases (fire crackers thrown at people and purportedly tampered drinks) but overall, I think most would agree that it went way better than the previous rallies. Although I was away and not able to be included in the crowd, I could not help but wonder what if things did go wrong on that day? What if there was chaos and anarchy? Am I really prepared?
I was sitting down the other day looking through the reports on the recent Bersih rally and cannot feel relieved enough that nothing major happened. Being a (newbie) prepper, one has to ask himself what if things did go wrong? As I am typing this today, everyone I know on Facebook is talking about the next ‘rally’- the red shirts. Am I ready for this sort of thing? Are Malaysians in general ready for the sort of chaos that could potentially spring out of a rally like this?
As I ponder further on, I realize I have more questions than answers. The more questions I have, the more terrified (some call it paranoid) I become! But above all, there is one thing that really kept bugging me. If I was at the rally, or at any particular place and disaster strikes, how am I gonna get hold of my family and loved ones? On a day to day basis, the entire family is separated at all different locations during most part of the day time. Work, schools, canteens, shopping malls or even driving in the car. In case something bad happens what am I going to do? How am I going to locate my family? What if I lost my phone or it got damaged? What if there is power outage and the mobile phone networks goes down due to too much traffic? How am I going to get in touch with my family? How are they going to find me? Where are we going to meet?
I did a few quick searches on Mr Google and I found some pretty good information on what to do. The general rule of thumb recommended is that a family gets together, discuss and decide on places to meet (before disaster strikes obviously). The two main suggested rendezvous points are:
- Outside the house- in case of fire, break ins, earthquake (Malaysia cannot rule this out anymore after the Sabah incident), family members should get out of the house and assemble at this location. Some suggestions includes the small park around the corner, the guard house or even meet at the lamp post in front of the house.
- Outside (the neighborhood) in case one cannot get home. This is the part that interests me. Take the hypothetically disastrous Bersih happened and I am trapped in it and the mobile network goes down, how am I going to get to me family? Obviously the answer is to go home but how do I tell them I am safe? And what if I cannot get home in 24 hours time
- While most ‘preparedness’ sites suggest the above 2, there are some that suggests that I designate a locality outside of my town or city.
So, lets say I was in the Bersih rally and things go horribly wrong. There’s chaos and the phone network is down (for some reason) and as a prepper, I should have:
- my family members trained, understand and remain calm for the next 24 hours
- my family members will remain at home (I sincerely doubt if I will bring my family to a rally in Malaysia) until they hear from me within 24 hours
- my family members should have the family go bag on standby and pack what other items that is necessary in case evacuation from home is necessary.
Within the first 24 hours, my priorities would be to:
- send message to my family on my situation
- find ways to get home (if it is safe to do so)
- advise my family to either stay put or leave for the 3rd locality (outside town/city)
As I finish typing the paragraph, I sat back and realize how much technology has taken over our lives. A few weeks ago, my wife came back an hour later than what she would normally. She did not send me a message telling me she will be late. Within that hour, I got so worried sick I almost called out a search party. If I had this plan in hand, I think I would feel much more in control (nevertheless still worried) about the situation.
I guess it is time I sat down with my family and go through our plan on how the family would re-group in case of a disaster. Disaster may never happen but I think I will have much more peace knowing that I have at the very least prepared for it.
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