My main concession to that was to stash away a half dozen or so gallon bottles of water (re-used bottle water bottles) plus I try to have some canned food around. Been meaning to get a camp stove, both for camping and in case the gas goes out. Right now I have lots of rice and pasta but no way to cook it if the gas goes. No emergency flashlights. Enough non-emergency ones that I don't need any emergency ones. I do have a couple of cheap 7-day candles (bought one, found one in a junk pile). Gotta check the batteries in my radio/tape player--ok, they're weak, I oughtta replace them.
I'm in an urban area and can't see any serious outage lasting for more than a few days. Relief supplies would be coming in, unless the whole city is so smashed that no home emergency kit would do any good.
Paulr, get a sterno stove and several twin packs of sterno (large cans), before something happens.
I have a propane bottle top stove (single burner), magic heat stove, and a bunch of magic heat cans. Sportsman's Guide had a good deal on them, so I got a bunch for emergency backup. I need to get some 1 pound propane bottles, batteries, and such, and I am all set. I have at least a couple of months of food on hand (always a good idea for winter, in case of major snowstorms or blizzards).
I don't think I want a propane stove--if I spend real money on a stove I want one of those high tech lightweight ones for backpacking. Maybe I'll get a few cans of sterno. That stuff burns at pretty low temperature though. I'm probably better off with one of those stoves with the cubes of solid fuel. I have enough flashlights and batteries to light the whole town, it feels like. Probably most CPF'ers are the same. Flashlights are the last thing we have to worry about.
Paulr, meant to throw this into the Bugout Bag thread where you said the same thing about Ramen. In your food plans, you probably want to rethink anything that involves cooking with water. Its much, much too important to expend on cooking, and hard to replace if you don't have a reliable source. ie. Flint MI residents were told to refrain from drinking their water for four days or so during the big blackout this year.
Water should probably be the first or second priority after shelter/warmth. Food is a relitively low priority but its what people think of first, often at the expense of water. You can easily go a week living off a stack of canned food about as big as a single gallon jug, but you'd be lucky to survive the week with the same amount of water. The general rule of thumb I've seen is plan for about a gallon per day per person.
And for God's sake, don't send it all into the air cooking Ramen, the stuff's perfectly good out of the package. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]
I think I have about 8 gal of water under the sink, so at 1 gal/day that's a week's worth (thought we were talking about 72 hours though, not a week). However for drinking purposes, I'd think 1 quart per day is enough. We're talking about sitting around the house doing nothing, not carrying heavy loads across a desert. What's the prob with Ramen? I cook it in a covered pot so not much of the water boils off. The rest ends up in the noodles or in the soup, and gets consumed either way, reducing the need to drink so much. Am I missing something? My other standard slob meal is to cook a cup of rice and pour a can of chili over it (rice and beans combine to a good protein). Again, all the water gets used pretty well, I'd have thought. Sooner or later I want to get a water purifier. I may have some iodine purification tablets around here somewhere, probably stale by now even if I could find them though.
Not sure how I'd go for a week without flushing. Can't dig a latrine outside real easily here. Might just use a plastic wastebasket as a bucket, keep it covered and pour in some clorox for disinfectant.
[ QUOTE ] paulr said:
I don't think I want a propane stove--if I spend real money on a stove I want one of those high tech lightweight ones for backpacking...
[/ QUOTE ]
I could talk for an hour above stoves [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img], but let's keep it simple: Propane is excellent for the home (outside I mean). Very convenient, and readily available. The lighter backpacking stoves are a must for anyone traveling. None of them are perfect, but the only one that I trust that will work 100% of the time is my Trangia 27. At home, it's just plain easier to fire up my propane stove, though. I've even used it indoors to heat water for taking a shower (large poorly sealed house). Something the Trangia isn't good at doing in large quantities. I also have a bomb type stove (Primus varifuel), but try balancing an 8 quart stock pot on it. Plus it's loud, and I don't trust it in the house (flare ups). So I would simply have at least 2 stoves, just like you have at least two flashlights.
We have at least a dozen 2-gallon jugs of water, a lot of canned food (and ramen!), a wood stove, gas lantern, lots of flashlights (obviously), batteries for those flashlights, and a radio.
I'm not really concerened about emergencies though. The most I had to go through was 12 hours of no power during the big blackout. There are no earthquakes or floods where I live and hurricanes are a rarity. Regardless, I think my emergency kit is good enough, although I think I might want to add a first aid kit to help in medical emergencies.
Though I was not personally involved in the disaster, I had 2 friends go on a short backpacking trip with nothing but sterno for their stove. They were unable to boil any of their water and could not keep the stuff lit if there was any wind at all. If you need to warm something up in a nice normal house it works OK. If you're on the road or in any outdoor conditions it's nearly useless.
And yes, ibuprofin or motrin for the kids is an absolute must have! Even under normal circumstances all parents should also have as many bottles of simethicone gas drops for children [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img] They work WONDERS for a fussy baby due to tummy pains. I don't think they are pushed nearly enough by pediatricians. They are perfectly safe to give to the smallest babies and really, whats better than a good nights sleep for the baby and the parents when the conditions are difficult. Doubly so if you have to resort to feeding the poor child your dried beans over rice concoction [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]
The canned chili that I get is not dry, but yeah, I don't think babies would deal with it very well [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]. Re stoves, I've never felt the need for one when travelling, and when camping so far have always arranged (in advance) to use someone else's. If I got one for camping I'd want a real lightweight backpacking one. A propane stove would be useless for me except to use at home if the gas went out, i.e. emergency only, and I'm trying to avoid buying expensive stuff that I hope to never use. I think Sterno isn't so great even at home (low power output, low temperature), but it's better than nothing and it's cheap. Or as mentioned (maybe in another thread), I might get some of those solid fuel pellets. An alcohol stove (e.g. Trangia) is another idea, and there are ways to make those yourself from old tuna cans. Maybe I'll try the tuna can approach, which should at least be entertaining and educational.