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Emergency Preparedness
Old 05-25-2019, 02:18 PM   #1
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Emergency Preparedness

Last night, here in tornado alley, the local sirens went off, and we scrambled around and finally made it to the basement before the all clear was sounded.

At our prior home, we had a very nice "tornado kit" in a huge Rubbermaid tub, but we threw all the expired food and medications out when we downsized, and frankly never got around to replenishing it.

I downloaded Uncle Sam's recommended list to refresh our memories, but thought I'd ask if you have such a kit for hurricanes, earthquakes, bugging out, etc.

What are your must haves - edible or otherwise? I'm thinking peanut butter, crackers, Ramen noodles, applesauce, baby food in those squeeze pouches, some dried meat things.

Luckily our shelter area is adjacent to DH's tools, so we could power saw or crow bar our way out. And, we have an ample supply of water too.

If you don't have a kit, I hope this spurs you to start thinking about one, and I pray none of us will ever need to actually use it.
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Old 05-25-2019, 03:12 PM   #2
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What are your must haves - edible or otherwise?
Well, I have a long hurricane list, but most of my list is on the list at the link you provided. Here are a few of the things that I didn't notice on their list, and I'm sure others can add more.

Fill the car with gas and check the oil and tires.
Pick up anything in your yard that the wind could turn into a projectile.
Empty the refrigerator/freezer completely if you evacuate.
Fill the bathtub, to use for flushing toilets afterwards.
Do laundry.
Make extra ice.
Keep a lot of canned goods during hurricane season, and a manual can opener, and drinking water.
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Old 05-25-2019, 03:42 PM   #3
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Dry foods, such as rice and beans, can last a long time, avoiding spoilage. Honey is a sweet that keeps indefinitely.
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Old 05-25-2019, 04:08 PM   #4
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W2R nabbed it.
Interesting, as I just printed this list 2 days ago and was going to review our hurricane preparedness this coming week.
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Old 05-25-2019, 04:13 PM   #5
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When the great Eastern blackout happened, (which hit Ontario) , there was no power for days.
Having a BBQ with an extra tank is great at those times if you have elect stove, or the gas stove doesn't work without electric power.
Besides, having a spare BBQ tank is always nice when you run out while cooking.
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Old 05-25-2019, 04:19 PM   #6
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Well, I have a long hurricane list, but most of my list is on the list at the link you provided. Here are a few of the things that I didn't notice on their list, and I'm sure others can add more.

Fill the car with gas and check the oil and tires.
Pick up anything in your yard that the wind could turn into a projectile.
Empty the refrigerator/freezer completely if you evacuate.
Fill the bathtub, to use for flushing toilets afterwards.
Do laundry.
Make extra ice.
Keep a lot of canned goods during hurricane season, and a manual can opener, and drinking water.
Back in the day when we lived in hurricane country come June 1 our 28 foot camper was also provisioned and exit was practiced over a dozen times between 1979 and 2005. Katrina was the one where we never returned.

In tornado land there is the basement.

heh heh heh - 1995 a tornado (in the swamp) took the roof and slept on the neighbor's floor for 6 weeks a couple miles down the road until rebuilding allowed a return. So far Kansas and Missouri have spared us but?
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Old 05-25-2019, 05:35 PM   #7
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This is earthquake country and also wildfire country. In wildfires, you evacuate. If there is a severe earthquake, you will likely stay put, possibly up to a week, or longer if roads and bridges are out.

For staying put:
Bottled water. Above all, bottled water. I have 60 gallon bottles stashed strategically in the house and garage. Also some smaller bottles in each car. Plus the smaller bottles that live in the second fridge.
Shelf stable foods. Crackers, snacks, canned goods (don't forget the manual can opener), boxed soups, etc. Carrots, onions and potatoes can last without refrigeration, along with oranges and bananas.
Flour, sugar, salt, yeast. Bread on the propane barbecue...
Propane tank close to full outside
First aid kits plus extra medicines
Toilet paper and paper towels
Blankets and pillows for sleeping in the car/SUV if the house is unsafe.
Flashlights and batteries
I have an emergency radio that is supposed to recharge by cranking. Probably needs to be replaced.We relied on the car radio after the Loma Prieta earthquake.

My father would kill me if I ever let the gas tank drop below half. The fill up habit at 60 percent survives to this day. You can't evacuate without gasoline. All of the cars are kept full or close to it.

What's in the car serves as the emergency supplies in case of evacuation or inability to get home after a fire or earthquake. I need to update the supplies in the cars.
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Old 05-25-2019, 05:43 PM   #8
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A week's worth of any prescription drugs you take

(It's a PITA, but you should cycle these out regularly to prevent expiration.)
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Old 05-25-2019, 05:46 PM   #9
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Dry foods, such as rice and beans, can last a long time, avoiding spoilage. Honey is a sweet that keeps indefinitely.
Yes, a 5 gal bucket holds about 25-30 lbs of dry rice or beans, about 32,000 calories (enough for 1 person for over 2 weeks). And it provides complete protein. Put a mylar bag in the bucket, add the rice and/or beans, drop in an oxygen absorber, seal it up, put on the lid, keep it away from high temps and it will be acceptable food for 30 years. Oatmeal keeps just about as long, so does dried pasta. With some spices, some soups or chili to dump on top, etc, it could keep folks fed for a long time. But, to use the food you need potable water and a way to boil it.
Fats are important to health and more tricky to store long term. Most go rancid in about a year.
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Old 05-25-2019, 06:36 PM   #10
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Tornadoville here. Not concerned with long-term evacuations like hurricanes but I do keep what I call a "Bug-out Bag." The usual and customary.

-- Radio, small flashlight+ associated batteries
-- Immediate medical related stuff for cuts and scrapes and hand/wound sanitation/
spare medical alert necklace
-- Personal items like nail clippers. Have this fear of being stranded somewhere with a hangnail that I can do nothing about. toothpaste, toothbrush little liquid soap bottle
-- Spare glasses + reading glasses
-- Change of clothes. Easier than it sounds. 1 set undies/1 pair socks, T-shirt and sweatpants

When the WX starts rolling and I can track it on the RADAR and they start breaking in on the TV I make sure I have at least one check book and a bunch of 10's and 20's in my jacket pocket. I also grab the removable hard-drive and thumb drive and chuck them in the bag for reconstitution.

Longer term events here would be something like a Summer storm OR Winter blizzard related power outage. My plan there is just hunker down and survive in-place
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Old 05-25-2019, 07:46 PM   #11
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We stopped storing bottled water a few years ago. Instead, we store empty, stackable water pitchers. When a hurricane threatens, we just fill them up. At least with hurricanes, we have warning before they arrive. And empty pitchers do not leak.

Even stable foods cn go stale after a while. It might be a good idea to rotate the stock on a regular basis. Use the old stuff and replace it with fresher stuff.
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Old 05-26-2019, 06:58 AM   #12
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Whereever you are do not forget your four-legged critters. Have an extra leash or carrier ready, dry or canned food, bowls and copies of current vet/vaccination records. I can do disaster response for animals to work emergency animal sheltering. Help us, help you.
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Old 05-26-2019, 07:16 AM   #13
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A topic near and dear to my heart! We live in the country and have well water, so when the electricity goes out, so does the water. I keep a water drum ready to fill and a simple hand pump to draw water for flushing and dish washing. Thanks to being campers, we also have butane stoves and other supplies packed up most of the time.
Canned foods, easy snacks, and flavor packets for water are also go-tos. Single serving stuff is great for when you need food but are too exhausted to prepare anything complicated.
I also carry an extensive kit in my car of both emergency and medical supplies thanks to the free CERT training offered by my county. I urge anyone interested to pursue this training.
I typically deploy with the Red Cross for local storms, so that means I will be away from home starting a day or two before landfall. Securing yard items and getting the house and animals prepared must be done early. For those with pets, be sure that you have a secure crate for each of them and get them used to it before you need it. With five dogs and five cats, this means I have a lot of crates, but fortunately they are cheap on Craigslist and will store nested inside each other.
CERT training taught me to prepare not only for myself, but also the needs of others in my area, so I now keep a huge variety of medical items in my kit, many of which Im unlikely to need myself (glucose tablets, electrolyte powder, a tourniquet, and even Narcan).
Good for those who prepare, it makes it much easier for emergency responders when there are fewer in need of help.
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Old 05-26-2019, 08:04 AM   #14
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I have an evac list on Evernote, so it's accessible from my phone and laptop. Wildfire is unlikely here in the east but still possible, and I don't want to be driving off the mountain and suddenly realize I forgot something I really should have. There was a big fire in TN a few years ago and I'm not going to stick around as long as some of the people I saw in videos did in that one.

In case of power outage, I've got a generator and 2-2.5 gal containers. Every 3 months I refresh it by dumping it in my car and refilling.

In winters I watch for upcoming storms and make sure I'd have enough food to last as needed. Usually I can get off the mountain within a day or two, but it's not always that safe so if I can, I'll wait until the twisty mountain roads I need to take are clear.

Beyond that, not much prep. Risk is pretty low. Oh, after reading some advice here, I do keep some extra cash in my safe in case credit cards are unusable in some kind of disaster. Maybe should have more but there are risks with that too.
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Old 05-26-2019, 08:12 AM   #15
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A topic near and dear to my heart! We live in the country and have well water, so when the electricity goes out, so does the water. I keep a water drum ready to fill and a simple hand pump to draw water for flushing and dish washing. Thanks to being campers, we also have butane stoves and other supplies packed up most of the time.
Canned foods, easy snacks, and flavor packets for water are also go-tos. Single serving stuff is great for when you need food but are too exhausted to prepare anything complicated.
I also carry an extensive kit in my car of both emergency and medical supplies thanks to the free CERT training offered by my county. I urge anyone interested to pursue this training.
I typically deploy with the Red Cross for local storms, so that means I will be away from home starting a day or two before landfall. Securing yard items and getting the house and animals prepared must be done early. For those with pets, be sure that you have a secure crate for each of them and get them used to it before you need it. With five dogs and five cats, this means I have a lot of crates, but fortunately they are cheap on Craigslist and will store nested inside each other.
CERT training taught me to prepare not only for myself, but also the needs of others in my area, so I now keep a huge variety of medical items in my kit, many of which Im unlikely to need myself (glucose tablets, electrolyte powder, a tourniquet, and even Narcan).
Good for those who prepare, it makes it much easier for emergency responders when there are fewer in need of help.
I tried to sign up for the CERT training here, but the waiting list is full and the city is not taking any more names right now. Kind of short sighted in my opinion, given we are in wildfire and earthquake country.
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Old 05-26-2019, 08:20 AM   #16
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I should probably prepare better, but if I can access everything in my house, I’d be fine for a week or more. Add complications like winter with no heat or a house that’s severely damaged then I’m in a lot of trouble. I have a generator, but that assumes the natural gas keep flowing among other things. So, I’m pretty good for extended power outages, but in a tornado, I’m in trouble. Personally, my biggest fear is tornadoes. Thankfully, they’re not too common in south east Michigan, but we certainly do get them. My fear stems from the fact that this is my first house without a basement. Not much I can do about that.
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Old 05-26-2019, 08:25 AM   #17
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We are tornado country as well. Closest town took big hits in 2013 and 2015. Numerous tornado warnings per year. The worst we have had are several downed trees and electrical outages for several days. I installed a generator just in time for the last one. DW sits in my "bunker" with snacks, water, jewelry, and her iPad/phone tuned in to local weather. We both wear long pants, long sleeved shirts and sturdy shoes for debris protection. Out friends and us have experienced several tornados so we know and take the necessary precautions.
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Old 05-26-2019, 09:09 AM   #18
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We have a 3 day bug out bag in each car, with water and food, fill up gas at or above 1/2 tank.
In the house we have water, small camp stove and fire pellets, dehydrated and canned food, sleeping bags, hand crank radio and flashlights with usb ports for charging phones, plus candles and matches, and a tarp or two. Problem is, I don't have them all in one place!
I need to add more water I think, as in the case of the "big one", if our house is still standing, warnings say to be prepared for no help for up to 3 weeks. and probably add more dog food supplies for pup! If the house is damaged, I guess we would live in the car?
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Old 05-26-2019, 09:22 AM   #19
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I will bring the Jack Daniels and trade for rice and beans.
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Old 05-26-2019, 09:52 AM   #20
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We would just grab the medications for people and dogs, dog food and get in our car. We have lived all over the country and never needed to flee.
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