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Thread: I guess I should be more prepared for emergency

  1. #1

    Default I guess I should be more prepared for emergency

    So I'm sure some of you are from parts of the country that you deal with this kind of thing regularly, but here we had hurricane 2 level winds last night and today(which is very rare here). It wasn't right in my area so it didn't affect me at all, but there are 20,000 or so without power and the temperature is supposed to get into the teens tonight(some of my co-workers were affected). Made me start thinking about if I were one that were affected. My parents were always into food storage and emergency preparedness. I've been a vagabond up until i got married about 18 months ago. We bought a house so I actually am in a permanent living situation unlike my rental days. What are you guys doing to be prepared for a natural disaster? I realize that there are several levels of natural disaster so for the sake of this discussion your household is without power for 72 hours and you are not able to drive anywhere. I guess I'm just looking for ideas on preparedness.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Flashaholic Lumenz's Avatar
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    Default Re: I guess I should be more prepared for emergency

    Pick up the book, Handbook to Practical Disaster Preparedness for the Family by Arthur T Bradley, PhD. Then find out if your city is offering CERT classes. If so, do yourself and your neighbors a favor by taking that class.

    Those two things will get you well on your way to being prepared.



  3. #3

    Default Re: I guess I should be more prepared for emergency

    You'll need about 1 gallon of water per person, dried food, a camp stove and fuel for cooking, lots of batteries for your flashlights, pet food, can opener, and a plan to text someone far away and let them know where you are. You probably have blankets, jackets and such. I keep 2 weeks of dried camping food and use it when I go camping, so it gets cycled. The Los Angeles Times reports 300,000 people in L.A. are without power at this time. You should also know a local place where you can buy dry ice to keep your refrigerator cold. If you live in a city and the traffic lights are out it might be better to stay home because of the gridlock.

  4. #4

    Default Re: I guess I should be more prepared for emergency

    Thanks for a couple of things. There are CERT classes that are available locally, but they fill up a long time in advance and my schedule isn't consistent. I definately need to figure out a food plan and rotation. I'll have to pick up that book(or put it on my gift list ) Does anyone have a backup generator that they would use for things like the fridge? As far as clothing and blankets, I feel pretty good about what we have. I've got a fair amount of backpacking stuff as well if we ever did have to mobilize. My stove is a gas stove. Would that operate with a power outage? I guess I would have to light it with a lighter. I also have a wood stove in the basement, but currently no wood or fuel so currently wouldn't do me much good. I suppose I have a chainsaw and a couple of trees in the yard. LOL I'm actually pretty lucky we didn't get hit with this windstorm. I have two massive trees and I'm pretty confident that they would have been blown over and would easily damage my home depending on where they fell.

  5. #5
    Flashaholic* angelofwar's Avatar
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    Default Re: I guess I should be more prepared for emergency

    Well, not sure it falls under "general flashlight" discussion, but I'll add to it until the mods move it. I'm going to assume your going to be "bugging in", and staying put til the disaster's over...first off, prioritize your needs. Water/Food, Fire/Heat, and Shelter. Go buy $20 worth of gallon jugs of water, throw them in a closet and call it good. Then, maybe once a pay period, buy $20 worth of canned food, etc., until you have a small stockpile. Grab some 1lb propane tanks (I have about ten, that will last me about 2 weeks) and a camping stove ($40) and a propane catyllic heater (~$60). Buy a few candles and matches, stash them. And of course, have a flashlight and a small stash of batteries (lithium preferred). Talk to yuor wife, and get her in the mind-set of not suffering when (not IF) a disaster strikes, and, even on a budget, you should be able to be disaster ready in a few months, with minimal expenditures. The items listed here will prevent your life from being a complete hell when you lose power for two weeks, and the roads are blocked, etc. Check out this place for more in depth reading. Lots of excellent ideas here.

    http://zombiehunters.org/forum/index.php

    O
    h, and Welcome to CPF!

  6. #6

    Default Re: I guess I should be more prepared for emergency

    Thanks, that is what I was looking for. Some starter items and some links to places with more information. I'm realizing that in addition to getting equipment I need to have a contingency plan mapped out and written down for various things. I.E. cooking, keep track of my on hand inventory and where it is stored. Maybe even writing down things that aren't necessarily what you'd think of. Once you mentioned propane tanks I realized that I have a grill. Obiously not ideal, but could be used. I had a rental property a while back and the guys that lived there never refilled their propane tanks and just got new ones every time. When they moved out they left them all and I took several of them home. I typically don't keep them all filled, but maybe I should.

    In reference to food, I do need to write down a list of things I need in my food storage and start building to that. I guess I also just need to end the procrastination. I have plenty of poor reasons why I have not started before now. Money isn't really the issue. I'm not going to drop 3k on emergency preparedness stuff tomorrow, but as said, spend a few bucks each pay period and have a plan in place to build to and I can continually build to be more prepared. Once I feel pretty good about basics I'll start to focus on being prepared for more long term/disasterous/mobilizing situations that could arise. It would be nice to have all of that, but I guess the point is I have to start somewhere.

    Sorry mods for placing this in the incorrect category. Please move at your convenience.

  7. #7
    Flashaholic* angelofwar's Avatar
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    Default Re: I guess I should be more prepared for emergency

    Glad this helped Glen. Along the food lines, with everybody eating out and having electric can openers, do you have a hand operated one? With the catlyic heater, if power went out in the winter, you could bug-in in a small insulated room. Hang blankets over the windows to help keep the heat in...lots of little stuff. But, one of, if not THE biggest asset, is your noggin. Get "exposure" and learn how to improvise and adapt. Here's a thread I did up up on a gas/sand operated "Hobo Stove":

    http://zombiehunters.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=34&t=87033

    A
    lso, "Dual Survival" has a lot of neat tips and tricks that are real and proven (albeit extreme at times)

  8. #8
    Unenlightened
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    Default Re: I guess I should be more prepared for emergency

    Be careful when storing flamable liquids or gases in your home...check your home owner's insurance policy as storing such items in the basement or elsewhere in the home may invalidate your policy in the event of a house fire.

  9. #9
    Flashaholic* SCEMan's Avatar
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    Default Re: I guess I should be more prepared for emergency

    This publication is tailored for California, but is useful for emergency planning anywhere. My profession is in this field so I can vouch for it's accuracy.
    http://www.earthquakecountry.info/roots/cover.html
    The nicest thing about not planning for a disaster is that it comes as a complete surprise and is not preceded by a period of worry and depression

  10. #10
    *Flashaholic* StarHalo's Avatar
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    Default Re: I guess I should be more prepared for emergency

    Don't forget a decent battery-powered radio, preferably one that can receive AM/FM/weather band; once the power's out, that's the only reliable way to continue getting news and information.

  11. #11

    Default Re: I guess I should be more prepared for emergency

    Yeah, I agree that using your head is key. Part of improvisation is practice and part of it is experience. I grew up doing a lot of camping, backpacking, and fishing so I'm pretty good at improvising and stuff like that, but a little out of practice. One of my favorite dinky things is cooking an egg on a stick(where you weaken the ends and put a stick right through raw egg and roast it over the fire like a marshmellow). I've seen that "hobo stove" before. Even made out of a soda can. I might have to practice making one for fun. As far as can openers go, I have been using a swing-a-way my whole life. We even have an electric can opener that stays in the cupboards. I also have at least 4-5 others that are the ones one knives and keyring tools as well. I have a 5 gallon bucket of wheat and a hand grinder. Sure as hell hope I don't have to use one of those for an extended period of time. I think they take more energy to operate than the food they make could provide. LOL

    On sort of a side note. I'm one of those people who likes to figure everything out. Right now I've joined on here learning about flashlights, but my ultimate goal is to make my own. Probably won't actually mill the body, but I'll do all the innards and wiring once I get a bit more learning into my brain. I don't take my cars the mechanic, I buy a tool or two if I need to and do it myself. One of my favorite car projects can be found at http://glendayle.blogspot.com/2011/0...tml?authuser=0 . Kind of an idea of crap I like to do on occasion.

  12. #12

    Default Re: I guess I should be more prepared for emergency

    Quote Originally Posted by glendayle View Post
    My parents were always into food storage and emergency preparedness.
    If they're around, ask them.

    My stove is a gas stove. Would that operate with a power outage?
    It depends on where they pressurize the lines, and if they have power.

    I also have a wood stove in the basement, but currently no wood or fuel so currently wouldn't do me much good.
    So find someplace to stash a face cord. Wood stores fine.

    I have two massive trees and I'm pretty confident that they would have been blown over and would easily damage my home depending on where they fell.
    Maybe talk to an arborist about a little selective pruning?

    Once you mentioned propane tanks I realized that I have a grill. Obiously not ideal, but could be used.
    Nothing wrong with a grill. Heck, roll it out into the middle of the street, bring out all the perishables from your fridge/freezer, have an impromptu neighborhood power failure party. You'll be the man.

    In reference to food, I do need to write down a list of things I need in my food storage and start building to that.
    Just start a food shelf or food pantry around the kitchen somewhere. Use it as a normal part of your kitchen. Then you'll have all your usual food and it'll all be fresh. Maybe store some toilet paper and paper towels there too.

    About those gas tanks, get all you want, but store them outside of the house, put them up on something so they are not directly on the ground, and keep them shaded. Also, they should be painted white.

  13. #13

    Default Re: I guess I should be more prepared for emergency

    I didn't see it mentioned above, but I would invest in a good first aid kit as well. First Aid/Water/Canned Food/Heat Source.

  14. #14

    Default Re: I guess I should be more prepared for emergency

    I'm so hating being without a truck right now. I need to find someone that will help me out or let me use one. I have a chainsaw. I need to throw it in the back of a truck. Drive 20 miles north to the area that was hit hard by the storm and cut up some felled trees and get some wood.

  15. #15
    Flashaholic* Sub_Umbra's Avatar
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    Default Re: I guess I should be more prepared for emergency

    Quote Originally Posted by Starofthesea View Post
    Be careful when storing flamable liquids or gases in your home...check your home owner's insurance policy as storing such items in the basement or elsewhere in the home may invalidate your policy in the event of a house fire.
    After Katrina I built a 'potting bench' that conceals five 20 lb propane bottles and a few gallons of white gas. It's great. Its outside, hidden and up to code.

  16. #16
    Flashaholic
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    Default Re: I guess I should be more prepared for emergency

    It was a rough weekend. Power went out just after midnight Thursday.
    Thursday morning, before sun-up, I had to dig my car out of the driveway in order to get to work. Power was out for about a mile to the west, and out to the horizon to the east and north.

    Got to work and shortly afterward my wife calls to tell me the tree in the backyard has fallen onto wires and the neighbor's garage; doesn't know if the wires are for power or cable+telephone. I decided I needed my eyeballs there to tell if it's an emergency or not. Asked to leave work.

    Getting back home took a long time, as signals from about 4 miles away were out. Half of tree (about a 1 ton 40' trunk) was hanging in cable+telephone wires and resting on neighbor's garage. Debris from the winds was scattered everywhere, and it took me hours to dig/rake the stuff up so I could get a generator in place. I have all my household information scanned in and stored on a server, so I have to get power up to that room in order to get phone numbers to call, and the genset I need is 230lbs, too large to get through the debris. (For example, I tried very early Thursday to get tree trimmers out, but the entire area is a war zone so all six I reached were either not answering or rolling over to voicemail. I made an appointment with one, but eventually got a tree trimmer out who had done work a year or so ago on my tree. None of the ones I cold-called had returned calls.)

    The mess was so bad my brain kind of vapor-locked for a half day. Slowly I realized the work was too much to accomplish in a day, or even two. I had to mentally make a list of what I needed to get to, and just work to get those done, subject to what my body and my bad back was going to allow me to do.

    I dug out enough debris to get a small generator to a basement access panel to run an electric blower on our water heater, so I could ignite the heater and make hot water.
    Next, dig out debris so I could get the large generator up and running to power the refrigerator and backfeed one circuit in the house (bad practice, yes, but I haven't bought a transfer switch yet) to get lights and microwave. Then, work on getting a tree trimmer, getting spare gasoline supply sorted out (jiggler transfer pump failed and had to get to HF to get another one).

    The local gas station ran out of regular the next day, likely because a lot of people were buying it for tree trimming and generators.

    Power came back on unusually early for us, about 14 hours out total. People across the street were out for 72+ hours, and a mile away power is still out today. Internet was out for 3 days. I had to go to a Starbucks to use theirs, and a *lot* of other people were doing the same thing so access was 128kbit/sec. (I had to do my timecard. Silly, eh? My boss told me to do it and I'm still thinking it is a must to get it done.)

    It all sounds half-planned, but, compared to others I would seem well-planned. Next-door neighbor couldn't do any cleanup because he bought electric gardening tools ("environmentally-friendly") which don't work without electricity. Another neighbor, when they got power back, strung 150' of 16-ga extension cord to another neighbor's house. I don't know what they were running off that cord, but at 150' a 16-ga cord is probably good for 400 watts.
    Another couple were in the very long line at HF buying one of those 2-stroke 800W generators. He said he was going to use it for lights, had a manual in his hand for his refrigerator but knew it wouldn't be able to start it, but I got the feeling he was going to try anyway out of desperation. They were cleaned out of any other generator, all gas cans, and all cheap extension cords. I needed/could do with another 25' L14-30 12-gauge cord, an unusual everyday cord, so I had no problem finding one. Everyone at Smart-and-Final was buying multiple 20-lb bags of ice, cleaning them out quickly. And, I was hitting the stores earlier than most people would.

    The nighttime temperature is 35F with 10% RH, much colder and drier than anyone is used to.
    Walking in any direction I see downed trees. I've never seen tree bursts before, but there are plenty around. Signs made from 2x2s broken at ground height, signs made from 4x4 pressure-treated lumber broken at ground height, and even little metal "no parking this side of street" twisted 270 degrees and bent to the ground.

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