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Disaster Prep.
Old 09-27-2017, 05:55 PM   #1
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Disaster Prep.

Has the recent spate of natural disasters lead you to make more preparations: In my case my house is all electric, so I bought a propane camp stove so if the power goes out there would be a way to cook (I do live alone).
Also bought a led lantern that will run up to 280 hours on 3 d cells on low. Thinking about buying a 55 gal rain barrel to put outside to store water for toilet flushing (the house has a non electric septic system). Would fill the barrel with tap water. I also bought a 5 gal collapsible jug for drinking/cooking water.
Making preps for extended power failures makes sense anywhere you live.
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Old 09-27-2017, 06:03 PM   #2
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No, recent disasters have not lead us to make more preparations. Since we have lived through several disasters already, we are reasonably well prepared AND experienced.

So if you bought a camp stove, have you tried to use it yet? Waiting until after a disaster is a bad time to see how well you do with it.

I'm not sure why you would need a lantern though. What are you going to do at night except try to sleep? Campers use miniature LED headlamps because they can walk around and use their hands and their light goes with them.
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Old 09-27-2017, 06:05 PM   #3
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One of the most helpful items that I have, is a hand crank AM/FM/weather/shortwave radio. It plugs in, and can be battery operated, but when the battery runs down there is the hand crank. It has a powerful LED light, and can charge cell phones and nearly anything with dozens of short connectors of various types.

The model that I have is no longer available on Amazon or I'd link to it, but I am sure there are many other models.
Edited to add: Mine is kind of like this one, and is made by the same company but is more high end I think.

One thing that has come in handy, unexpectedly, is that when the power goes off the LED light on the radio goes on and flashes so I can find it in the dark. Very handy in power failures.

With this radio, I know that I can hear about any strong radio signal in the area even with no power and use the hand crank if the battery runs down.
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Old 09-27-2017, 06:20 PM   #4
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This recent thread/poll seems to cover the same ground, doesn't it?

Disaster prep Poll
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Old 09-27-2017, 06:38 PM   #5
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A lantern (and/or multiple flashlights) is very helpful in a disaster. It gets dark usually far earlier than you'd go to sleep, and during a storm, it gets dark even earlier. During Irma, we had candles lit at 6pm, and flashlight for anything later. I guess one of those head lamp things is an idea but I wouldn't want to wear that for hours myself.

We often had tornado warnings during the storm, requiring us to go into window-less rooms (we have an inner bathroom that works), so zero light without something.

I have a small shelf in our hallway closet, which we moved into the bathroom during the storm:
Candles, matches, flashlights, batteries
Crank radio (this thing is awesome, hand crank or battery or AC - ours is LLBean but no longer made)
Multi-function TV/light/radio unit (needs D batteries)
Charger thingies - the kind USB you charge up and they they are units to charge your devices a few times over even if no power.

*I need to get one of those itty bitty lights to read for next time, because I can only read a tablet for so long, and had to put magazines aside early in the long boring evening this time.

In addition we have:
Couple of Tarps (might need to cover portions of the roof after a storm
Staple Gun (to secure said Tarps)
We haul the gas grill into the garage during a storm, and that's our go to for cooking in the days after if no power. We got a 2nd propane tank so we'll always have one full.
A chainsaw might be a good idea if you have trees that might fall on your roof or driveway.
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Old 09-27-2017, 07:09 PM   #6
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*I need to get one of those itty bitty lights to read for next time, because I can only read a tablet for so long, and had to put magazines aside early in the long boring evening this time.
Yep, that's called a headlamp.
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Old 09-27-2017, 07:30 PM   #7
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No the recent disasters has not prompted me to do more. If we were in Puerto Rico right now, I would NOT have enough supplies to tough it out. I might have done a scene from the Godfather and hired a private plane and escaped with my family.
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Old 09-27-2017, 07:39 PM   #8
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No, recent disasters have not lead us to make more preparations. Since we have lived through several disasters already, we are reasonably well prepared AND experienced.

So if you bought a camp stove, have you tried to use it yet? Waiting until after a disaster is a bad time to see how well you do with it.

I'm not sure why you would need a lantern though. What are you going to do at night except try to sleep? Campers use miniature LED headlamps because they can walk around and use their hands and their light goes with them.
Waiting for a good dry day after I buy a ligher to try the stove. Note propane stoves are far easier than the old white gasoline stove, which I used to have.
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Old 09-27-2017, 08:24 PM   #9
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Old 09-27-2017, 08:55 PM   #10
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Waiting for a good dry day after I buy a ligher to try the stove. Note propane stoves are far easier than the old white gasoline stove, which I used to have.
If this is the typical Coleman stove that uses the tiny disposable propane canisters, Coleman also sells an adaptor so that you can hook it up to a standard 20 pound BBQ grill propane tank that will last a lot longer and be a lot cheaper.
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Old 09-27-2017, 08:56 PM   #11
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Recently moved to the PNW and DW is worried about the impending earthquake so we are making up go bags and stocking emergency rations. I have to laugh at the recommended go bag lists on line. They start out by saying keep it minimal and light, then list 100 or so items that are "must haves".
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Old 09-27-2017, 09:53 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by meierlde View Post
Has the recent spate of natural disasters lead you to make more preparations: In my case my house is all electric, so I bought a propane camp stove so if the power goes out there would be a way to cook (I do live alone).
Also bought a led lantern that will run up to 280 hours on 3 d cells on low. Thinking about buying a 55 gal rain barrel to put outside to store water for toilet flushing (the house has a non electric septic system). Would fill the barrel with tap water. I also bought a 5 gal collapsible jug for drinking/cooking water.
Making preps for extended power failures makes sense anywhere you live.
Lived in SoFla through the last hurricane peak in 2004-5. No power at home for 2 weeks after Wilma in Oct. 2005. To your list I would add:
1. Propane adapter, BBQ sized cylinders and hose to use with your stove (see that was already mentioned)
2. Bottled water. Kept a couple cases on hand during hurricane season. Much more convenient than having to sterilize tap water when needed.
3. Bleach. Not much, less than a gallon. A few drops will clean up tap water subject to a "boil water" order.
4. Canned food based on your dietary preferences to get you through a week or so.
5. Flashlights and extra batteries.
6. A way to charge your cell phone and other useful electronics. Could be the battery sticks, a small generator, or a deep cycle battery with appropriate adapters. Generator is helpful to keep batteries charged, and it doesn't take a big one to run a modern fridge. Keep gas for it on hand if you go that route.
7. A plan for how you're going to deal with living under 3rd world conditions. That's what happens when the power is out, tap water isn't safe, sewer systems aren't functioning and stores aren't stocked.

There will be people who tell you it is easy, just think you're camping in the wilderness. Ignore them, as they obviously haven't lived through it. Think through scenarios, have things on hand and give yourself options.
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Old 09-27-2017, 10:21 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by FlaGator View Post
Lived in SoFla through the last hurricane peak in 2004-5. No power at home for 2 weeks after Wilma in Oct. 2005. To your list I would add:
1. Propane adapter, BBQ sized cylinders and hose to use with your stove (see that was already mentioned)
2. Bottled water. Kept a couple cases on hand during hurricane season. Much more convenient than having to sterilize tap water when needed.
3. Bleach. Not much, less than a gallon. A few drops will clean up tap water subject to a "boil water" order.
4. Canned food based on your dietary preferences to get you through a week or so.
5. Flashlights and extra batteries.
6. A way to charge your cell phone and other useful electronics. Could be the battery sticks, a small generator, or a deep cycle battery with appropriate adapters. Generator is helpful to keep batteries charged, and it doesn't take a big one to run a modern fridge. Keep gas for it on hand if you go that route.
7. A plan for how you're going to deal with living under 3rd world conditions. That's what happens when the power is out, tap water isn't safe, sewer systems aren't functioning and stores aren't stocked.

There will be people who tell you it is easy, just think you're camping in the wilderness. Ignore them, as they obviously haven't lived through it. Think through scenarios, have things on hand and give yourself options.
Really good list.

We spent 2 weeks in Feb, 2002 without power in an all electric home in MO. Cold like 0F, windy, no heat other than an old wood stove. It relied on the blowers we couldn't power. While cold, it kept us and the home from freezing.

Think about the oddball things, unique to you.

In 2002 DW had a saltwater aquarium with fish, reef, invertebrates... and no way to control temperature, oxygen, and light. It took a little imagination, luck, and determination to keep it all alive.

We somehow scored D batteries and bubblers after the outage. We were in a rural area and it was the first day of the outage.

Today we have canned food, gas, propane, generator, lights, water, weapons and ammunition.

I guess I should add cash, but I don't want to become a target. 😁
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Old 09-27-2017, 10:38 PM   #14
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Note that generators come using 3 fuels gasoline, propane and natural gas. If you have natural gas it is the obvious fuel to power the generator, because takes a lot more to knock it out. Recall the issues of gasoline availablity after the storm, and the problem that gasoline ages and needs to be replaced. So if no natural gas propane seems a good choice as it keeps forever.
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Old 09-27-2017, 10:38 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by travelover View Post
Recently moved to the PNW and DW is worried about the impending earthquake so we are making up go bags and stocking emergency rations. I have to laugh at the recommended go bag lists on line. They start out by saying keep it minimal and light, then list 100 or so items that are "must haves".
I recently moved to the The Cascadia Subduction Zone and have attended a couple of meetings about this very topic. The Go bag lists are really funny.

For example: "keep a hard hat and boots under your bed"
This one strikes me as particularly odd... will I have ample notice of an earthquake to put in the hat?

My current disaster plan involves sitting on the roof with a bottle of single malt and enjoying the show...
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Old 09-27-2017, 10:44 PM   #16
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I recently moved to the The Cascadia Subduction Zone and have attended a couple of meetings about this very topic. The Go bag lists are really funny.

For example: "keep a hard hat and boots under your bed"
This one strikes me as particularly odd... will I have ample notice of an earthquake to put in the hat?

My current disaster plan involves sitting on the roof with a bottle of single malt and enjoying the show...
I have heard the issue of helmets on the weather channel in the context of Tornado Warnings. (Be they Bike, Football, Motocycle ...)
For tornado and sever thunderstom you may want a powered weather radio that sounds an alarm when a tornado or sever thunderstorm warning is issued.
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Old 09-27-2017, 10:54 PM   #17
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3. Bleach. Not much, less than a gallon. A few drops will clean up tap water subject to a "boil water" order.
Bleach is really handy stuff. One thing to note is that it doesn't last forever. After about a year the liquid bottled bleach has lost quite a bit of its oomph. So, either replace it (it is very cheap) or keep a small pack of the dry chlorine used to shock swimming pools. It lasts for many years. It is >highly< concentrated, so be careful with it, and be sure to dilute it appropriately.
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Old 09-27-2017, 11:02 PM   #18
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LED flashlights are so handy these days and the batteries last a long time.

One tip I've used when camping without electric power, is to have a few of those cheap solar garden lights. Inside is a rechargeable battery (usually a cheap one), but its pretty easy to fine the solar light where you can replace the battery with a good rechargeable one as there is a battery holder inside.

So I would take rechargeable batteries that had run down out of a camera, or radio, or flashlight, whatever used an AA battery. Put the battery in my solar lights and leave them in the sun all day at the end of the day they were charged back up.
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Old 09-27-2017, 11:08 PM   #19
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There will be people who tell you it is easy, just think you're camping in the wilderness. Ignore them, as they obviously haven't lived through it. Think through scenarios, have things on hand and give yourself options.
I will say that it can be as easy as camping in the wilderness. I have lived through many disasters and have done quite a lot of wilderness camping. I would think most people haven't done true wilderness camping under many conditions such as deserts, snow, and/or hot humid 100 deg F days, and cold, wet 20 deg F days, and so on.

One thing to plan is to somehow figure out how long you intend to stay at your location if the power is out, stores are closed, and so on. The decision is not so easy because you may expect power to come back on in 2 days and then 2 days later, you learn it is another 2 days, and the cycle repeats itself and goes a couple of weeks when you could have traveled to your in-laws.

And you should have more than one place that you can travel to and stay if things stay really bad. And a way to get there. That is, make a driving vacation out of it.
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Old 09-27-2017, 11:14 PM   #20
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I counted our cans thinking 2 weeks no power, 2 people, that is 84 person meals and eating a can of canned tomatoes or chicken broth would be pretty meager.

These disasters have made me think that perhaps we should stock up on a bunch more canned food, probably buy some cases of canned chicken, vegies, tomatoes, as it's not really an expense as long as we take out to use in daily life, and replace it when grocery shopping later (rotate the stock).

We always have 5-10 lbs of rice and pasta, so ok there if water is around.

Those tetra boxes are available with tofu and soy milk which does not require refrigeration until opened and we have used them for camping.
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