You probably read the news already but in case you didn’t a 24-storey building, Grenfell Tower, turned into an inferno last night. At around 1AM the fire started in the 4th floor and spread all over the building in 15 minutes. This morning, firemen were still struggling to put out the fire. So far there are 12 confirmed dead victims but there are dozens missing still.
According to witnesses, there was a baby dropped from the 10th floor that was caught by someone below and managed to survive. Ropes were made with sheets to climb down, children in flames simply jumping from the building. It must have been a terrible scene to witness.
But then we think of it from the preparedness point of view. I never felt comfortable in high-rise buildings and have avoided them all my life. When in hotels, I try to be as close to the ground floor as possible, which is actually a good habit to incorporate when booking a room.
If I had to live in one, I would get climbing gear and enough rope to rappel down. Oh sure, it sounds silly, that is until you jump out of your window to avoid burning to death. Its not just fires. I know of several cases in Argentina in which people panicked during home invasions in buildings and jumped out of the windows several floors high. What about working in one? Yes, I’d like a way out as well. Fires, earthquakes, even active shooters this is the kind of thing that can save your life in a worst case scenario. Rappelling is simple enough it can be done by people of all ages and the equipment isnt that expensive either unless you want some high end gear.
Of course you have a number of other preparedness related topics involved here.
What have I said a million times about bugging out? Its not a choice, when you have to leave maybe you do it with nothing but your underwear. Many people learned that last night. Have a plan, have a place to go if your home is no longer an option. Have a VIP bag to grab and go if you only have seconds, have a bug out bag if you can carry it.
If you read my book “Bugging Out and Relocating” you know that a small satchel with your very important papers and documents (VIP bag) is important in case you can’t carry an actual BOB because you needs to help yourself or help others evacuated. Well, last night a woman evacuated from one of the higher floors with her six children… by the time she made it outside she only had four kids left. This is EXACTLY what I mean when I say sometimes even a backpack impairs your ability and needs to be left behind, so only a small satchel can be taken.
How about having a bug out plan, having prearranged place you know you can go to and have some clothes and supplies already there? Another point I made in “Bugging Out and Relocating”, you don’t need a cabin in the middle of nowhere, sometimes all you need is to crash in your parent’s house or your sister in laws just a few blocks away. In fact being near by makes life easier for kids going back to school, going to work, etc.
These are just a few of the thoughts that crossed my mind today as I watched the news.
What we do here is important. Preparedness is important. Of course it makes life easier and better regarding the little things in life, or even some habits that have lifelong repercussions like staying in shape and eating healthy, but it also means that preparing properly makes all the difference in the world when the unexpected happens and your home literally burns to the ground in front of you.
Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”