Author Topic: Basic Emergency Preparedness  (Read 2759 times)

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Basic Emergency Preparedness
« Reply #50 on: September 07, 2017, 08:26:51 AM »
I'm struggling with water.  We have a bug out bag with a very small amount of water in it, and a water purification straw, but I'd like to have more water lest we have to shelter in place for a while.

We have a ton of food in our pantry, and a grill on which to cook it if we stay in our home.  And our bag has some shelf stable survival bars.  I tasted one and they are palatable.  Not yummy, but if I've resorted to eating them, I doubt culinary delights will be much on my mind. 

Kit has a bunch of other stuff--fire starter, flashlight/radio/charger (solar and hand crank), thermal blanket, small basic tent, first aid kit, basic sanitation items, and a bunch of other small stuff.  Really, I think water is the one place we are weak.  Our freezer is larger than we need so I do keep a lot of frozen water in there to make it more efficient, so that's probably a day or two's worth if we need it, I guess.  Husband would likely be taken care of (military, and would likely be put to work in most disasters and thus fed and watered), but I hate to count on that. 

After living through the 3/11 quake in Japan and the aftermath (though I was far enough away to thankfully be spared from any real danger or damage), I'm a bit paranoid about these things.  We don't have a water heater for our home (military housing and to be honest I have no idea where our hot water comes from, but there's no water heater in our unit) and our toilet tanks were growing mold so I've had to put bleach tablets in them, unfortunately.  (Yes, it was actually molding inside the tank.) 

Also, in one move or another, I seem to have lost my potassium iodide tables, prescribed to me when the cloud shifted and we had increase radiation in my 'hood.  Unlikely I'd need them, perhaps, but I was holding on to them just in case.  Damn.

Had never read about potassium iodide, although it makes a ton of sense- it's literally the opposite to what we do (as in healthcare professionals, I haven't personally given it to anyone) with overactive thyroid tissues, where we GIVE radioactive iodine to kill the tissue off.

Also of note: you can buy it online. There's a really high dose one called "iOSAT". 14 day supply for $8. Given recent climate and some ah... details about my geography I won't divulge, I think this is a pretty good idea for us, so that'll go in the kit.
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ozbeach

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Re: Basic Emergency Preparedness
« Reply #51 on: September 07, 2017, 02:31:46 PM »
I bought a torch yesterday -- one of those super powerful ones with about a dozen LEDs powered by those big square 6V batteries so it should last for quite a long while, and for AU$10 it came with a spare battery. I'll now keep my eye out for a LED lantern that uses the same type of battery.
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ozbeach

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Re: Basic Emergency Preparedness
« Reply #52 on: September 07, 2017, 03:07:22 PM »
I bought a torch yesterday -- one of those super powerful ones with about a dozen LEDs powered by those big square 6V batteries so it should last for quite a long while, and for AU$10 it came with a spare battery. I'll now keep my eye out for a LED lantern that uses the same type of battery.

Not really related to being prepared for an emergency, but I tried to pay for the above with my 'emergency' credit card that I keep in a draw at home. I hadn't used it for a few years so I thought I would put a small purchase on it to "keep it alive". It was declined at the shop, even though well within the expiry date. So I called the bank when I got home and they said it should have been fine but that "maybe" because I hadn't used it for so long the payWave functionality had been disabled. They suggested I try to use it again but actually stick it in the machine and manually enter a PIN. I'll give that a go today.

I guess the lesson is make sure your 'emergency' credit cards actually work ahead of time.

Fun story: Last time I used this card was when I was waiting for a cab to take me to the airport and couldn't find my wallet. I was going off on holidays, and had done a grocery shop the night before to stock up for my house/dog sitter. He found the wallet a few days later in the vegetable crisper in the fridge, where I had accidentally tossed it when unpacking the groceries.
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HappierAtHome

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Re: Basic Emergency Preparedness
« Reply #53 on: September 07, 2017, 04:11:13 PM »
I bought a torch yesterday -- one of those super powerful ones with about a dozen LEDs powered by those big square 6V batteries so it should last for quite a long while, and for AU$10 it came with a spare battery. I'll now keep my eye out for a LED lantern that uses the same type of battery.

Is it nice and heavy? If yes, where did you buy it?

ozbeach

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Re: Basic Emergency Preparedness
« Reply #54 on: September 07, 2017, 04:55:05 PM »
I bought a torch yesterday -- one of those super powerful ones with about a dozen LEDs powered by those big square 6V batteries so it should last for quite a long while, and for AU$10 it came with a spare battery. I'll now keep my eye out for a LED lantern that uses the same type of battery.

Is it nice and heavy? If yes, where did you buy it?

Heavy-ish, but only because those batteries are pretty chunky. The torch itself is just cheap plastic, as you would expect for $10, but it seems robust enough.

http://www.kmart.com.au/product/heavy-duty-torch/722353

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Adventures With Poopsie

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Re: Basic Emergency Preparedness
« Reply #55 on: September 07, 2017, 06:47:08 PM »
Really enjoying this thread. Admittedly have not considered many of the points raised here- the luxury of never experiencing any type of disaster I suppose.

dios.del.sol

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Re: Basic Emergency Preparedness
« Reply #56 on: September 07, 2017, 06:59:09 PM »
Good for you getting this started! Thanks for posting. I can use the kick in the pants. We moved 6 months ago and got rid of stock at that time. Recently I've been meaning to build the emergency stores back up.

I devised a great water solution using crap I have around the house already. Pre-kids I used to brew beer. I've been intending on selling the stuff... and then it dawned on me. Instead of selling food grade liquid storage containers and then buying other food grade liquid storage containers, I'm just going to fill the ones I already have. What?! That's about 5x5 = 25 or so gallons (100 L) of storage. Better than nothing. Good for starters. I'll follow the advice of my CERT trainer and replace the water every time I change the clock for daylight savings.

Villanelle

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Re: Basic Emergency Preparedness
« Reply #57 on: September 08, 2017, 02:55:46 AM »
Water is always among the hardest, as it is heavy, takes up space and is prone to mold/algae unless its sterilized.

Villanelle - what is your climate like?  Are there freshwater streams/lakes nearby?  If so, a filter/sterilizer combo may be one brick in your emergency preparedness kit.  Certainly a pack of water treatment tablets (tiny, shelf stable and each good for a liter of water) can get you through a few days, though its bad for your health to use those for weeks on end.

A few cases of bottled water stored in a closet somewhere is another possibility. Unopened they don't go bad, though they'll taste plastic-y after a couple of years. At a bare minimum you want 2 liters per person per day (though 4 is much better and allows for cooking).  You can also jar your own using basic canning techniques, but I've never found that to be cost efficient.

When you have advanced warning you can fill just about anything with tap water and it will be fine to drink for several days.  Spaghetti pots, old 2-liter bottles, etc.

Interestingly, Anheiser-Busch distributes water in aluminum cans during natural disasters. They basically use their facilities to fill cans with tap water and then stockpile it throughout their distribution chain.  I really wonder why this isn't done more; I thick it would be easier to store a few cases of 12oz cans of water than those round plastic bottles of similar size.

I'm in pretty urban Tokyo, so definitely no streams or natural water sources nearby. I guess the solution is just to buy regular bottled water and find some place to store it, but it takes up so much space that way!

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Basic Emergency Preparedness
« Reply #58 on: September 08, 2017, 08:01:55 AM »
Water is always among the hardest, as it is heavy, takes up space and is prone to mold/algae unless its sterilized.

Villanelle - what is your climate like?  Are there freshwater streams/lakes nearby?  If so, a filter/sterilizer combo may be one brick in your emergency preparedness kit.  Certainly a pack of water treatment tablets (tiny, shelf stable and each good for a liter of water) can get you through a few days, though its bad for your health to use those for weeks on end.

A few cases of bottled water stored in a closet somewhere is another possibility. Unopened they don't go bad, though they'll taste plastic-y after a couple of years. At a bare minimum you want 2 liters per person per day (though 4 is much better and allows for cooking).  You can also jar your own using basic canning techniques, but I've never found that to be cost efficient.

When you have advanced warning you can fill just about anything with tap water and it will be fine to drink for several days.  Spaghetti pots, old 2-liter bottles, etc.

Interestingly, Anheiser-Busch distributes water in aluminum cans during natural disasters. They basically use their facilities to fill cans with tap water and then stockpile it throughout their distribution chain.  I really wonder why this isn't done more; I thick it would be easier to store a few cases of 12oz cans of water than those round plastic bottles of similar size.

I'm in pretty urban Tokyo, so definitely no streams or natural water sources nearby. I guess the solution is just to buy regular bottled water and find some place to store it, but it takes up so much space that way!

Being in Tokyo, I doubt you have a car, but for anyone else in an urban environment who does: we kept extra supplies in our car when we lived downtown. You need a car kit anyway, we just made it a little extra robust. It was in a parking spot in our building ($$$, but it was close and secure and we always had a spot at the weird hours we came and went).

All this to say- get creative if you need to! Our "coffee table" is an old travel trunk. We kept work and school papers in there, but could have easily kept emergency supplies out of the way.
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Paul der Krake

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Re: Basic Emergency Preparedness
« Reply #59 on: September 08, 2017, 08:08:52 AM »
Nah. My office has boxes filled with emergency food and water, maintained by people whose job it is to come up with response plans. If shit hits the fan, I'll just walk over there.

Water can also be boiled using a camping stove and/or tablets.

Michael in ABQ

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Re: Basic Emergency Preparedness
« Reply #60 on: September 08, 2017, 11:35:04 AM »
Nah. My office has boxes filled with emergency food and water, maintained by people whose job it is to come up with response plans. If shit hits the fan, I'll just walk over there.

Water can also be boiled using a camping stove and/or tablets.

If SHTF my National Guard unit would probably be activated. So after dropping my family off at my in-law's house I would head to the armory where there's plenty of supplies (and guns of course).

nereo

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Re: Basic Emergency Preparedness
« Reply #61 on: September 08, 2017, 11:42:47 AM »
Just tossing this out there after reading previous responses:

Cash.  Many disasters will completely disrupt the ability to use credit cards and take money out of an ATM (...no power... no mobile connections...).

As much as I hate keeping a "cash drag" its a good idea to keep a few hundred$ (or your currency's equivalent) on hand in small bills.
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trollwithamustache

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Re: Basic Emergency Preparedness
« Reply #62 on: September 08, 2017, 11:50:15 AM »


As much as I hate keeping a "cash drag" its a good idea to keep a few hundred$ (or your currency's equivalent) on hand in small bills.

Any home owner should keep 1000 bones cash on hand and its no drag. The gents doing work in the neighbors yard? Or other tradesmen in the neighborhood?  Cash in hand for some side work and you will like the price you get.   Cash can sometimes get you big purchases cheaper too from independent merchants that don't want to pay the credit card fees.


NoStacheOhio

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Re: Basic Emergency Preparedness
« Reply #63 on: September 11, 2017, 12:39:04 PM »
Anybody have thoughts on communications?

I'm considering picking up a set of FRS/GMRS radios that can run off of AAs and have channel privacy codes. My mom lives across town (about 2 miles), and we would stash two more in our bags. I'm not sure how much more robust the cell system is now than during the blackout, but I do remember very limited cell service (even SMS).
The first step is acknowledging you have a problem, right?

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trollwithamustache

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Re: Basic Emergency Preparedness
« Reply #64 on: September 11, 2017, 01:53:38 PM »
Anybody have thoughts on communications?

I'm considering picking up a set of FRS/GMRS radios that can run off of AAs and have channel privacy codes. My mom lives across town (about 2 miles), and we would stash two more in our bags. I'm not sure how much more robust the cell system is now than during the blackout, but I do remember very limited cell service (even SMS).

I'm interested but have not purchased a police/ems scanner to listen for perhaps more useful news. Yes a lot of what they use is now encrypted so there is perhaps limited utility here.

Radio com is tough for amateurs. We use it boating... you agree to talk to your buddy Bob on say channel 36 and 15 minutes later he's changed channels accidentally or isn't listening anymore and you have no idea what channel he is on. Heck you can text him and he might not know! (or, he is busy on 16 listening to the train-wreck of the coastguard trying to save someone despite themselves.) oh, and there is the thing if you hold down talk while waiting to hear a response, well, you never will.

Without the chaos of an actual emergency people just seem to have a hard time being able to check in on the same channel at the designated time. 

Of course, we are assuming everyone is getting the appropriate FCC license. :)

jooniFLORisploo

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Re: Basic Emergency Preparedness
« Reply #65 on: September 11, 2017, 07:49:12 PM »
I decided today that once we get our next place to live (hopefully soon), I will create a closet just for our emergency supplies. It will include an inflatable raft. (And yes, definitely communications stuff, but I don't know what yet.)

mustachepungoeshere

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Re: Basic Emergency Preparedness
« Reply #66 on: September 11, 2017, 08:10:00 PM »
I know this thread is general preparedness, but the specific items I have/ need to obtain are:
1. a one-way valve for giving CPR, because you don't know what bugs someone else has

2. Something to smash windows with - I've seen a tiny hammer thing on tv years ago and it's occurred to me that at some point my child will sleep in their own room, and I'd like to be able to break into their room from the outside in the event of a fire.

3. Put a small roll of cling wrap in the first aid kit. Good for covering wounds.

No, your reply is exactly the kind of thing I'm after: specific steps you're taking to improve your preparedness for the issues you as an individual are worried about.

Tiny window smasher is a great idea. If you want something multipurpose, a big mallet is useful for closing paint tins and staking fruit trees, as well as smashing windows ;-) but I definitely want a tiny window smasher for my glovebox. Or maybe a heavy torch that could be used as such...

The metal brackets on a car's head rest work too.

HappierAtHome

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Re: Basic Emergency Preparedness
« Reply #67 on: September 11, 2017, 08:12:26 PM »
I know this thread is general preparedness, but the specific items I have/ need to obtain are:
1. a one-way valve for giving CPR, because you don't know what bugs someone else has

2. Something to smash windows with - I've seen a tiny hammer thing on tv years ago and it's occurred to me that at some point my child will sleep in their own room, and I'd like to be able to break into their room from the outside in the event of a fire.

3. Put a small roll of cling wrap in the first aid kit. Good for covering wounds.

No, your reply is exactly the kind of thing I'm after: specific steps you're taking to improve your preparedness for the issues you as an individual are worried about.

Tiny window smasher is a great idea. If you want something multipurpose, a big mallet is useful for closing paint tins and staking fruit trees, as well as smashing windows ;-) but I definitely want a tiny window smasher for my glovebox. Or maybe a heavy torch that could be used as such...

The metal brackets on a car's head rest work too.

GOOD POINT.

Are you following me around the forum telling me things I need to know? Because that's how it feels right now :-P

mustachepungoeshere

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Re: Basic Emergency Preparedness
« Reply #68 on: September 11, 2017, 08:15:47 PM »
I know this thread is general preparedness, but the specific items I have/ need to obtain are:
1. a one-way valve for giving CPR, because you don't know what bugs someone else has

2. Something to smash windows with - I've seen a tiny hammer thing on tv years ago and it's occurred to me that at some point my child will sleep in their own room, and I'd like to be able to break into their room from the outside in the event of a fire.

3. Put a small roll of cling wrap in the first aid kit. Good for covering wounds.

No, your reply is exactly the kind of thing I'm after: specific steps you're taking to improve your preparedness for the issues you as an individual are worried about.

Tiny window smasher is a great idea. If you want something multipurpose, a big mallet is useful for closing paint tins and staking fruit trees, as well as smashing windows ;-) but I definitely want a tiny window smasher for my glovebox. Or maybe a heavy torch that could be used as such...

The metal brackets on a car's head rest work too.

GOOD POINT.

Are you following me around the forum telling me things I need to know? Because that's how it feels right now :-P

Eeek!

Marty does tell me I'm bossy...

:D

HappierAtHome

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Re: Basic Emergency Preparedness
« Reply #69 on: September 11, 2017, 08:58:12 PM »
I know this thread is general preparedness, but the specific items I have/ need to obtain are:
1. a one-way valve for giving CPR, because you don't know what bugs someone else has

2. Something to smash windows with - I've seen a tiny hammer thing on tv years ago and it's occurred to me that at some point my child will sleep in their own room, and I'd like to be able to break into their room from the outside in the event of a fire.

3. Put a small roll of cling wrap in the first aid kit. Good for covering wounds.

No, your reply is exactly the kind of thing I'm after: specific steps you're taking to improve your preparedness for the issues you as an individual are worried about.

Tiny window smasher is a great idea. If you want something multipurpose, a big mallet is useful for closing paint tins and staking fruit trees, as well as smashing windows ;-) but I definitely want a tiny window smasher for my glovebox. Or maybe a heavy torch that could be used as such...

The metal brackets on a car's head rest work too.

GOOD POINT.

Are you following me around the forum telling me things I need to know? Because that's how it feels right now :-P

Eeek!

Marty does tell me I'm bossy...

:D

It's working! So keep doing it.

I.P. Daley

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Re: Basic Emergency Preparedness
« Reply #70 on: September 11, 2017, 11:32:14 PM »
Anybody have thoughts on communications?

I'm considering picking up a set of FRS/GMRS radios that can run off of AAs and have channel privacy codes. My mom lives across town (about 2 miles), and we would stash two more in our bags. I'm not sure how much more robust the cell system is now than during the blackout, but I do remember very limited cell service (even SMS).

During emergency situations, don't count on the local mobile (GSM/CDMA) networks to be operational. Assume best case scenario under worst case conditions to be SMS functioning with high latency and slow delivery. I speak of this with experience from being out in the thick of the May 31st 2013 El Reno tornado and working in EmComm network support for a while. With this in mind, considering the newer software available...

On top of just owning an FRS/GPRS radio, one of my favorite new apps for Android is called Serval Mesh from the Serval Project. It's basically a local ad-hock WiFi/Bluetooth mesh network app that enables VoIP calls, texting and file sharing on Android handsets that's completely network independent, utilizes your existing phone number for contact, and the app can be easily shared to other phones for install. Works best on a rooted device running third party firmware like LineageOS or Resurrection Remix, as then you can use your phone as a node in the mesh network. Given most unrooted Android devices can't act as WiFi mesh nodes (they can only connect to), Bluetooth is a good networking fallback (and why it's included). I may be one of the last remaining Windows Phone users on the planet day to day, but the BOB/GoBag now has a cheap MotoE running Ressurection Remix loaded with Serval Mesh specifically for this purpose. I deeply dislike Android, but it is at least good for something.

Couple that with an amateur radio license (which you should get for the FRS/GPRS radio anyway), pick up a couple compatible UBNT AirOS devices (such as the NanoStation LocoM or Bullet), and set up both a fixed point and possibly a portable AREDN node or two to help build up a data mesh network for your area. You can do simpler WiFi mesh networking with cheap TPLink equipment and OpenWRT, but a radio license and the AREDN option opens up bands for traffic that couldn't otherwise be used in crowded airspace for trunking between nodes and provides additional EmComm infrastructure.

Of course, all this relies on having power available, so keep around some solar chargers and batteries as well. Also, this is post-disaster communications. KISS. Don't depend on two-way in the middle of the madness. Coordinate in advance.

As for the FRS/GPRS equipment, understand that "channel privacy codes" don't mean much. It's not actual encryption and not actually private, it's just a tone filter to filter out possible cross-chatter on the same band from other users.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2017, 11:43:30 PM by I.P. Daley »
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NoStacheOhio

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Re: Basic Emergency Preparedness
« Reply #71 on: September 12, 2017, 06:03:29 AM »
Radio com is tough for amateurs. We use it boating... you agree to talk to your buddy Bob on say channel 36 and 15 minutes later he's changed channels accidentally or isn't listening anymore and you have no idea what channel he is on. Heck you can text him and he might not know! (or, he is busy on 16 listening to the train-wreck of the coastguard trying to save someone despite themselves.) oh, and there is the thing if you hold down talk while waiting to hear a response, well, you never will.

Without the chaos of an actual emergency people just seem to have a hard time being able to check in on the same channel at the designated time. 

Of course, we are assuming everyone is getting the appropriate FCC license. :)

Did FRS radios suddenly require an FCC license? My first job was in communications for a school district, so we had big radios and licenses and all that. I remember when FRS first came out, and one of the selling points was that you didn't need a license.

We've both used radios before, so I don't think we'd have trouble coordinating and not being stupid. I'd probably type up a procedure (i.e. try to make contact during the first 15 minutes of the hour, start on X channel and go down the list until you find one that isn't in use).

Of course, all this relies on having power available, so keep around some solar chargers and batteries as well. Also, this is post-disaster communications. KISS. Don't depend on two-way in the middle of the madness. Coordinate in advance.

As for the FRS/GPRS equipment, understand that "channel privacy codes" don't mean much. It's not actual encryption and not actually private, it's just a tone filter to filter out possible cross-chatter on the same band from other users.

I just received my 2200mAh solar battery last week, and the radios I was looking at are rechargeable (micro USB) or AA compatible. I understand the privacy codes don't mean "private," I just want to be able to avoid cross-chatter.

It's not so much for complex communications, but would be more for checking in and making sure everything is cool.
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trollwithamustache

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Re: Basic Emergency Preparedness
« Reply #72 on: September 12, 2017, 08:17:10 AM »

Did FRS radios suddenly require an FCC license?
[/quote]

FRS no, GMRS technically requires a licensee in your group.   With some experience, radios are a great tool.

/libertarian rant/
 I would certainly hope in a true emergency/natural disaster the authorities are more concerned with looters than your mom broadcasting an occasional check in message on the GMRS instead of FRS.
/end libertarian rant/

formerlydivorcedmom

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Re: Basic Emergency Preparedness
« Reply #73 on: September 13, 2017, 01:05:54 PM »
My husband has always laughed at my annual hurricane prep in June.  After Harvey, he's not laughing anymore!  We didn't flood, but our streets and the neighborhoods around us did.  We were stuck in the neighborhood for 5 days.  Some of our neighbors were without power for days. 

Thanks to Harvey, I'm upgrading my emergency kit to include:

a) a small ax and a white towel in the attic (so if we retreat to the attic and floodwaters follow us, we can get to the roof and wave for help)
b) I downloaded the Zello app to my phone - this was in widespread use for amateur water rescues and helped save several of my friends
c) Rubber boots
d) a set of face masks and work gloves - it was near impossible to find these in stores after the flood waters subsided.  We came out relatively unscathed, so we volunteered to help others.  So many volunteers didn't have proper PPE like this while they were tearing out moldy drywall and carpets.  We happened to have some for a home project we'd been working on, so we were protected.
e) a big tarp, in case a leak develops in the roof.

Important item my neighbors forgot to have in their emergency supplies -- extra toilet paper!

When the stores reopened after the flooding, bread, milk, and eggs were hot items.  I always keep several loaves of bread in the freezer and several cans of evaporated milk in the pantry, so we were good.
Boldly leading a blended family into (future) financial independence

marty998

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Re: Basic Emergency Preparedness
« Reply #74 on: September 14, 2017, 06:00:54 AM »
GOOD POINT.

Are you following me around the forum telling me things I need to know? Because that's how it feels right now :-P

Eeek!

Marty does tell me I'm bossy...

:D

It's working! So keep doing it.

She knows everything this girl. I only had to complain down the phone that I lost my apple id / password and within 15 seconds she'd reset it for me.

I would have sat there for days fuming and getting frustrated with why Apple wants to know everything about me including my credit card before letting me download a bloody free app.

HappierAtHome

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Re: Basic Emergency Preparedness
« Reply #75 on: September 17, 2017, 06:12:49 PM »
Doing something easy and less obvious this week: writing down phone numbers on paper. Given I only know three or four phone numbers by heart, having a backup system is a very good idea.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Basic Emergency Preparedness
« Reply #76 on: September 18, 2017, 07:27:06 AM »
Doing something easy and less obvious this week: writing down phone numbers on paper. Given I only know three or four phone numbers by heart, having a backup system is a very good idea.

Loved this idea. Printed wallet cards for both DH and I with the #s for our family members, closest friends, and neighbors we know. Just did tiny print and them I'm taping them all together as a 'fake laminated' approach. I'll do 2 more today, to put into our emergency packs. Also printed a big size one out for inside our cupboard at home.
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marcela

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Re: Basic Emergency Preparedness
« Reply #77 on: September 18, 2017, 09:10:28 AM »
In advance of Irma, I finally got off my butt and put together a good kit. We always had one growing up along with individual backpacks for each person with things we would need if we had to evacuate to a shelter. Never did get around to it in adulthood.
Things I bought:
* 2 led laterns, AA battery operated
* Radio, could charge via solar/ AAA battery/ or USB. Also had a flashlight with strobe option and served as a power bank to charge phones with
* Power bank that could charge phones/ radio
* Small charcoal grill. Small enough to store in a closet but would allow us to cook in a black out situation
* big packs of AA and AAA batteries. We keep rechargeable on hand for basic stuff, but in an emergency would prefer to have more.
* wet wipes. A godsend when you're without power and don't want to use up water to stay relatively fresh.

We already had a good first aid kit and I stay on top of our prescriptions so we would be unlikely to run out in an emergency situation. We have the window smasher things in the cars.

Imma

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Re: Basic Emergency Preparedness
« Reply #78 on: September 18, 2017, 09:44:24 AM »
I'm struggling with water.  We have a bug out bag with a very small amount of water in it, and a water purification straw, but I'd like to have more water lest we have to shelter in place for a while.

We have a ton of food in our pantry, and a grill on which to cook it if we stay in our home.  And our bag has some shelf stable survival bars.  I tasted one and they are palatable.  Not yummy, but if I've resorted to eating them, I doubt culinary delights will be much on my mind. 

Kit has a bunch of other stuff--fire starter, flashlight/radio/charger (solar and hand crank), thermal blanket, small basic tent, first aid kit, basic sanitation items, and a bunch of other small stuff.  Really, I think water is the one place we are weak.  Our freezer is larger than we need so I do keep a lot of frozen water in there to make it more efficient, so that's probably a day or two's worth if we need it, I guess.  Husband would likely be taken care of (military, and would likely be put to work in most disasters and thus fed and watered), but I hate to count on that. 

After living through the 3/11 quake in Japan and the aftermath (though I was far enough away to thankfully be spared from any real danger or damage), I'm a bit paranoid about these things.  We don't have a water heater for our home (military housing and to be honest I have no idea where our hot water comes from, but there's no water heater in our unit) and our toilet tanks were growing mold so I've had to put bleach tablets in them, unfortunately.  (Yes, it was actually molding inside the tank.) 

Also, in one move or another, I seem to have lost my potassium iodide tables, prescribed to me when the cloud shifted and we had increase radiation in my 'hood.  Unlikely I'd need them, perhaps, but I was holding on to them just in case.  Damn.

Had never read about potassium iodide, although it makes a ton of sense- it's literally the opposite to what we do (as in healthcare professionals, I haven't personally given it to anyone) with overactive thyroid tissues, where we GIVE radioactive iodine to kill the tissue off.

Also of note: you can buy it online. There's a really high dose one called "iOSAT". 14 day supply for $8. Given recent climate and some ah... details about my geography I won't divulge, I think this is a pretty good idea for us, so that'll go in the kit.

In my area potassium iodide is distributed for free by the government to minors. Adults can buy it at the pharmacy for pretty cheap and it's recommended people do so. We live in a 50-mile radius of two untrustworthy nuclear facilities. They are not in my country, so our government can't do anything about it except hand out potassium iodide and pressure the neighbouring government.

The good thing is, we live in the one of the few areas of our country not sensitive to flooding.

I keep bottled water in the pantry, currently for 3 days, which is the official recommendation. I'm planning on increasing that to a week, just in case. Bottled water costs next to nothing. I just need to put up a bit more shelving in the pantry.

We keep canned foods in stock that we use anyway, things like kidneybeans, sweetcorn, fish. We have wet wipes (great idea) too and plenty of batteries and power banks (s/o is a tech geek with a phobia of being offline)

I'm a quilter so we have more than enough blankets. We also have camping and hiking gear.

I'm working on getting some more cash in the house. We're not used to paying with cash but in case of emergency having cash is great.

The emergency contact details are a great idea too! I only know my grandma's phone number by heart because she hasn't changed it since I was a kid. My partner's phone number is written down in my diary. I don't actually have phone numbers for anyone on his side of the family. I know them and see them a lot, but we each deal with staying in contact with our own families.

Still a lot of work to do, thanks for inspiring me!