Finding Your Safe Places

Photo: Nick Oxford for The New York Times

The amazing image, above, is one of those photos that tells a story without words. Notice, the beautiful, silver-haired woman, emerging from a closet. Incredibly, it’s the only room untouched by a tornado. Clearly, she chose a Safe Place to shelter from a devastating storm.


Hopefully, you had a chance to read the last two posts and answer the Personal Risk Checklist. It will help you identify which natural, or man-made disasters may threaten you and your loved ones. And, the questions at the end of Post #2 remind us that we might not be at home, when disaster strikes. Instead, we may be at work, or shopping and very likely separated from the people we care about. Once you’ve identified where and when you’re at risk, then you can identify and prepare your Safe Places.


Of all the natural disasters, listed on the checklist, there are two main ones we face in my area—winter snowstorms and tornadoes. The worst winter storm, left us without power for almost a week. As for tornadoes, I’ve personally known two people, whose homes were completely destroyed by a tornado. Thankfully, everyone survived, because they had identified the perfect Safe Place to take refuge.

Similarly, when our children were small, one particular storm came way too close for comfort. It was after the local news warnings, that we began sheltering in our basement Safe Place. Minutes later, we heard the distinct “freight train” like sound and the power went out. In total darkness, the whole house was shaking. Then, suddenly, it was quiet and we heard, what could best be described as, an intermittent pulsing sound, tracking from one corner of the house to the other. Later, it was confirmed that a tornado had touched down, but it must have risen back into the clouds, just as it was nearing our home. Thankfully, everyone on our street was safe, even with significant wind damage. Unfortunately, other areas of the city looked as though a bomb had hit.


So, what threatens you? You’ll notice, on both the checklist and in Post #2, I’ve listed more potential hazards than could possibly apply to one person. That’s why the answers you select, to all of these questions, are to be about you—not me, or other people—this is about your personal safety!

Once you’ve identified your potential risks, make a list of your corresponding Safe Places to shelter. For instance, in a tornado, you would go to the basement, or a centrally located room. But if your area experiences earthquakes, or floods, where do you go? Sometimes, going to your Safe Place means leaving the area. Where will you go then and how will you get there?

Next, think of all the different places you and your family go to each day—work, home, school, gym, restaurant, etc. In a nutshell: Home, Work, & Play. Make a list of Safe Places for those as well and plan for ways to meet up with your loved ones.

Congratulations, you’ve completed the first steps toward becoming a Prepperista–and for all the right reasons.

My Best,

Deb King