A Local Reminder Of Why "REAL" Self-Defense Includes Preparedness Training

Discussion in 'General Self Defense' started by Bill Mattocks, Nov 21, 2017.

  1. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

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    This happened last night - about 3 miles from my house. We could hear explosion and then the roar of the fire, which resulted in evacuation orders for the neighborhood next to ours to the south. A gas main blew up, and it made a crater in the ground 18 feet deep, they say.

    Surveillance video shows explosion, massive fire in Orion Twp.

    I saw the fire column hundreds of feet in the air at the end of our cul-de-sac. Because the explosion also knocked out 911 and all the non-emergency numbers to the Oakland County Sheriff's Office, we could not reach out to them to find out status and if we should consider leaving.

    So we went through our preparedness list. We got out the cat carriers and got the dog leashes and food and so on ready. We got dressed although it was 10:30 PM at night and we had been about to go to bed. We found lodging for the night a safe distance away if we had decided to leave. I sent my employer a quick email and packed up my work-related items. We grabbed the essential clothing and hygiene items.

    We had the route planned the we would take north to escape the situation to the south.

    As it turned out, the gas company was able to shut off the gas main and the fire went out almost immediately - but it took nearly two hours for that to happen.

    What did we learn? Couple things.

    First, my neighbors were paralyzed with indecision. They stood around and kept saying "What? what?" because they could not get their heads around the idea of what had happened. It was as if they could not believe the evidence of their own eyes and ears. They would have died, period. Too stupid to live. This is what happens when you do not prepare. Sorry, s'fact. I talked to them, tried to explain what was happening (once I knew myself what it was) and they simply could not comprehend it. The very idea of evacuation was something they simply were not capable of processing.

    Second, we missed some items in our preparedness. Vital documents were not readily available and would have been abandoned. I'm talking about birth certificates, passports, work ID cards, military documents, power of attorney for my elderly mom, insurance papers, checkbooks, etc. We missed that. We will fix it.

    Third, we had not established clear lines of authority. In these situations, one person is in charge; period. There is no discussion. If I am the person in charge, and I say we go, we go. No doddling, no fumfering around, no arguing. I say go, we go. If that person is not me, then I do what I am told, and with a quickness. That has also been fixed.

    Finally, it all became less theoretical last night. I could hear and see death; we were lucky that it stayed where it was and didn't come for us. If it had, time would have been short. Not everyone gets that much time to deliberate. If you think it can't happen to you, think again. This sort of thing is rare; but it happens and people die. All the preparedness in the world may not save you; but then again, it might. And if you don't prepare, you get what you get.

    As I've often mentioned on MT, in my opinion, self-defense includes preparedness. Like having an escape plan in case of fire, having fire extinguishers and knowing how to use them, simple stuff like that. It's great to be able to break a neck elventy-dozen ways with your hoo-hoo-fu style, but if you can't quickly bug out of your neighborhood when the gas main blows up and the houses start to burn, it's not much use to you, is it?

    My 2 cents for today.
     
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  2. pgsmith

    pgsmith Master of Arts

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    With today's modern medicine and helpful society, Darwin has to have some way to work on our evolution. Your neighbors were apparently potential Darwinian statistics. :)
     
  3. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

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    It was actually kind of interesting to see. They were standing around outside - as I was - looking at the fireball in the sky. They were asking each other what was going on. I told them, as I understood it. I also told them that the neighborhood to the immediate south of us had been ordered to evacuate by the local sheriff's office and we might be next on the list; the wind from the blaze was headed right towards us. They absolutely could not comprehend the thought. They literally - and I mean literally - looked me right in the face and repeated "What? What?" over and over again. They could not even grasp the concept. Look - fire. Danger. Get away. WHAT? WHAT?
     
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  4. hoshin1600

    hoshin1600 Senior Master

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    thanks for the reminder Bill.
    i have most things i need, including a trailer to haul stuff or live out of. i mostly think of shelter in place, i am not ready to make an evacuation within that short a period. i will work on that.
     
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  5. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

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    From the Township Supervisor:
    For Immediate Release:

    Orion Township, MI- At approximately 10:00 pm on Monday, November 20, the Orion Township Fire Department was dispatched to the report of natural gas leak in the 700 Block of Brown Rd. Initial arriving fire officers reported a large gas leak about 1,000 feet north of the Checkers Restaurant. Minutes after arrival the gas ignited sending flames approximately 150 feet in the air.
    Brown Road was immediately shut down in both directions and incident commanders called for additional personnel and neighboring departments for mutual aid. Emergency crews from several area fire departments as well as Oakland County Sheriff’s deputies began closing off the immediate area and evacuating nearby businesses and homes along Judah Road as a precaution.
    Consumers Energy representatives stated the rupture was from a 22-inch natural gas line traveling parallel with Brown Rd. The gas line following the rupture created a crater approximately 20 feet deep and 30 feet in diameter. Consumers Energy located two valves for shutdown at Joslyn and Brown Roads and the second at Maybee and Dixie Highway. Gas was shut off to the Brown Road main around 11:40pm. Fire crews then advanced hose lines near the rupture area to begin extinguishing exposures including multiple construction utility trailers that were on fire.
    The fire damaged trees and vegetation hundreds of feet in all directions and crews remained on scene for several hours extinguishing brush fires. All units cleared the scene around 4:00am and returned shortly before 8:30am (November 21) to further extinguish smoldering brush piles. The exact cause of the rupture is not known and is currently under investigation with the Oakland County Sheriffs Department and Consumers Energy.
    According to Consumers Energy, residential gas supply was not affected with the rupture or the closure of the valves to the main.
    “This is easily one of the largest fire in our department’s history and given its size I couldn’t be more thankful that no one was injured during the incident; that’s the most important takeaway here,” Interim Fire Chief John Pender said. “I would like to reiterate that the public around the immediate area and those surrounding are completely safe and we can continue with life as usual. Also, every emergency responder that came here tonight worked extremely hard to get this incident under control and I’m so grateful for their effort.”
    Orion Township Fire Department would like to extend its deepest gratitude to the following agencies that assisted during the incident: Independence Township Fire Department, Waterford Regional Fire Department, Auburn Hills Police & Fire Department, Oxford Fire Department, Oakland Township Fire Department, Brandon Fire Department, Oakland County Sheriffs Office, and Orion Township Buildings and Grounds.
    Orion Township Supervisor Chris Barnett added the following:
    “The most important thing is that given the sheer size and intensity of this fire that we had absolutely zero injuries; that’s pretty remarkable,” Supervisor Barnett said. “The immediate response and coordination of these agencies coming together was an incredible testament to our emergency responders and the situation they are called to. I am extremely proud of our department’s response and all neighboring agencies that came to our aid.”
     
  6. Brian R. VanCise

    Brian R. VanCise MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Preparedness training is essential just as Bill has illustrated above. Planning and having traveling bags prepared and ready to go is and should be a regular part of any household readiness. Just as one should be prepared, if you need to hunker down and wait out a disaster as well. Food on hand, etc. All of these things are very, very important for any family.
     
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  7. Danny T

    Danny T Senior Master

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    Vital records...
    We keep originals in a bank fire proof box. Up to date copies in both bugout bags. Also have important contact info as well. My wife and I can have our home locked down and be ready to leave in an emergency evacuation with our dogs in less than 5 minutes. When our sons were still living with us it took about 10 minutes and we practiced it. Along with fire evacuation home invasion, & first aid drills. Today both are doing similar with their families. Self defense/personal protection encompasses more than fighting. It is actually more about survival than fighting.
     
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  8. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

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    You nailed it. I know many who train martial arts and have for years. I know those who spend lots of time at the range with their guns. They want to be ready, they want to be able to protect themselves and their families. And I am fully in agreement with that; those things are very important.

    But then I ask them if they are CPR qualified. No. If they know basic first aid. No. If they have a fire extinguisher in their home? No. And so on.

    It's all about risk assessment and preparing for the disasters MOST LIKELY to happen. Yes, you might get mugged on the way home from work. Some thug may kick your door in at three in the morning. More likely, you will have a local weather event or other natural disaster that requires you to leave or shelter in place. More likely, someone will slip and fall in your home or on your property. More likely, you'll have a grease fire in your kitchen.

    So prepare for the ones that are most likely to happen first. The others are good also, but less likely to occur.
     
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  9. jobo

    jobo Senior Master

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    i think you are over being dramatic, a fire THREE miles away, is hardly on your door step and really struggles to come under even a very wide defintion of " self defence"

    but that said, its a good idea to have your essential docs in one place, its an even better idea to have them in a bank vault somewhere, in case the fire is in your house, a hospital bag packed for each person might be a slightly over the top solution, you can always buy some soap, towels and a change of clothes and some dog food if you are desperate

    you need to be able to lay your hands on anything irreplaceable quickly, after that you can make it up as you go along provide d that you have credit cards/ cash,
     
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  10. Danny T

    Danny T Senior Master

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    So you have never been in a situation where there was an emergency mass evacuation. Doesn't mean one is being over dramatic. Chemical fire along with winds can cause major problems for miles. Never been in a situation where the electric grid in a large area was down for several days? Credit cards may not work and getting cash becomes very difficult, fuel and other supplies may not available or be difficult to aquire. It happens so some like being prepared. See it often with the hurricanes, tornadoes, & subsequent flooding that frequent our area.
     
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  11. jobo

    jobo Senior Master

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    but HE wasn't in a chemical fire and nether was the power grid for the whole,state down. he doesn't even mention a light drizzle and a mild breeze so hurricanes seems out, yet he tells the,story like it was a,zombie apocalypse . He even put the cat in a box, dear God it must have been life and death

    you are even given notice, like "hurricane on way" , in which case you can you can take your time and pack what you need, or its evacuate NOW, in which case you grab your credit card and car keys and get the hell out. You would be a might unlucky to face a chemical fire, floods power black out and fuel strike all on the same day.
    i once got stuck on my holidays at Whitby by a fuel strike, it was a terrible ordeal, i had to ring work and tell them i wouldn't be back, book a b&b and spend another week there going on nice walks eating fish and chips and drinking beer. Worse Experiance of my life
     
  12. Charlemagne

    Charlemagne Black Belt

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    Totally agree. Preparedness is a huge part of the self-defense mindset, and goes well beyond Martial Arts. Interestingly, and disappointingly, there are times when leaving is simply impossible. In my own experience in Hurricane Katrina (Baton Rouge thankfully, not New Orleans), by the time my school got around to canceling things there was not any possibility of leaving even if we had desired to. Every hotel between there and Dallas was packed full, and all of the gas stations were out of gas, plus the interstates and highways were bumper to bumper traffic.

    It's a complex situation, and sometimes there are no good options, just less bad ones.
     
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  13. Danny T

    Danny T Senior Master

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    Unfortunate for you your life having been so boring.
     
  14. jobo

    jobo Senior Master

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    i wouldn't say that , i was once attacked by a very cross,swan
     
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  15. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    Did you know google images has nothing appropriate for swanpocalypse.

    A bit disapointed to be honest.
     
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  16. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    I recently went through cyclone debbie.



    And i still found time to bash aikido.

    That is preparedness.
     
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  17. gpseymour

    gpseymour Sr. Grandmaster

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    Having grown up in an era when the "Debbie Does Dallas" porn movies got started, a hurricane Debbie is more creepy than frightening.
     
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  18. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    There were a lot of gags made at the time.
     
  19. gpseymour

    gpseymour Sr. Grandmaster

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    I can only imagine. And you guys are generally less prudish than us.
     
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  20. Steve

    Steve Mostly Harmless

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    I thought the entire point was that Debbie never gags.
     
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