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meierlde 09-27-2017 05:55 PM

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.

LOL! 09-27-2017 06:03 PM

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.

W2R 09-27-2017 06:05 PM

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.

RunningBum 09-27-2017 06:20 PM

This recent thread/poll seems to cover the same ground, doesn't it?

https://www.early-retirement.org/foru...oll-88255.html

Aerides 09-27-2017 06:38 PM

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.

LOL! 09-27-2017 07:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Aerides (Post 1942972)
*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. :)

Blue Collar Guy 09-27-2017 07:30 PM

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.

meierlde 09-27-2017 07:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LOL! (Post 1942961)
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.

Senator 09-27-2017 08:24 PM

I have plenty of cash on hand, and guns and ammo.

brewer12345 09-27-2017 08:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by meierlde (Post 1943001)
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.

travelover 09-27-2017 08:56 PM

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". :laugh:

FlaGator 09-27-2017 09:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by meierlde (Post 1942960)
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.

MRG 09-27-2017 10:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FlaGator (Post 1943038)
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. 😁

meierlde 09-27-2017 10:38 PM

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.

Janet H 09-27-2017 10:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by travelover (Post 1943020)
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". :laugh:

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...

meierlde 09-27-2017 10:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Janet H (Post 1943051)
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.

samclem 09-27-2017 10:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FlaGator (Post 1943038)
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.

Sunset 09-27-2017 11:02 PM

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.

LOL! 09-27-2017 11:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FlaGator (Post 1943038)
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.

Sunset 09-27-2017 11:14 PM

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.

meierlde 09-27-2017 11:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sunset (Post 1943058)
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.

Or buy a survival pack for x people for period y (they offer various combinations of options. Or after things settle down get some MRE's which are available except when disaster strikes.
One other camping related thing, might be water purification tablets as would be used in camping.

Sunset 09-27-2017 11:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LOL! (Post 1943057)
....
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.

Just remember gas stations cannot pump gas without electricity, when the 3 States and 2 Provinces all lost power, the gas stations were unable to pump. While we had gas in the car, we decided not to try to drive out of the area, as we wouldn't be able to fill up 300 miles away... so we waited it out.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northe...ackout_of_2003

Sunset 09-27-2017 11:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by meierlde (Post 1943059)
Or buy a survival pack for x people for period y (they offer various combinations of options. Or after things settle down get some MRE's which are available except when disaster strikes.
.....

Certainly an option, I thought of that, but since we would stay put or travel by car, weight is not an issue.
And buying $300 worth of canned chicken, tuna, salmon, etc is not wasted money as we can rotate the cans by use and replace.

If I buy survival packs, or MRE's then I have to convince DW to eat them in a couple of years, and they are pricey. However a few would be good if one needed to travel on foot.

My parents had a trunk of survival dried food for the cold war, after about 15 years, my mom fed that stuff to us. I'm betting they taste somewhat better now.

LOL! 09-27-2017 11:39 PM

Regular shelf-stable milk is available at Walmart, no refrigeration needed. Also powdered milk works with a little water.

Here is an old video on camping food bought at the grocery store:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aLAh77etv14

I could live on snickers bars for a couple of weeks. I actually did live on only Hostess Twinkies and Cupcakes for about 3 weeks over a Christmas when I could not afford to go home for Christmas in college. Fortunately, the vending machine guy gave me all the stuff from the machine because it would expire over the holiday. I can say that Twinkies do get moldy. I ate them anyways.

LOL! 09-27-2017 11:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sunset (Post 1943060)
Just remember gas stations cannot pump gas without electricity, when the 3 States and 2 Provinces all lost power, the gas stations were unable to pump. While we had gas in the car, we decided not to try to drive out of the area, as we wouldn't be able to fill up 300 miles away... so we waited it out.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northe...ackout_of_2003

It was a good idea to stay in place. Do you think people were thinking of driving anywhere right at the start? I would not think so because I don't think anyone knew how long the outage would last.

This also suggests having at least one vehicle that can go more than 300 miles on a tank. Example: 18 gallon tank @ 25 mpg is 450 miles.

brucethebroker 09-28-2017 02:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sunset (Post 1943063)
Certainly an option, I thought of that, but since we would stay put or travel by car, weight is not an issue.
And buying $300 worth of canned chicken, tuna, salmon, etc is not wasted money as we can rotate the cans by use and replace.

In our area, $300 would buy about 350 cans of tuna...400 if you catch a good sale. Peanut butter seems another good choice.

Aerides 09-28-2017 07:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FlaGator (Post 1943038)
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.

This. Remember, camping is a choice. While the logistics may be the same, you have additional concerns, such as securing your home if there is some damage.
You're exhausted and stressed before the storm even hits, the impacts, even no great damage, can be depressing. Post-storm depression is real.

My initial list is just those things I keep all the time. In the "days before" prep you basically want anything you'd need if you couldn't leave the house for 2 weeks. So include cleaning supplies, paper towels, and plenty of toilet paper!

Music Lover 09-28-2017 09:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sunset (Post 1943058)
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.

If you have no power, the first things you should eat should be the perishables...leftovers, milk, fruit, etc. Go through the fridge and eat the things that will spoil the fastest first, and don't forget about the freezer. It should be okay for a couple days before things start to thaw. If you have a barbeque, you can cook a lot of meat before it spoils.

Bread bagels, etc., will last several days. Granola bars, crackers, potato chips, etc., will last weeks.

You can go quite a long time before you have to rely on canned goods.

Sunset 09-28-2017 10:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LOL! (Post 1943069)
It was a good idea to stay in place. Do you think people were thinking of driving anywhere right at the start? I would not think so because I don't think anyone knew how long the outage would last.

This also suggests having at least one vehicle that can go more than 300 miles on a tank. Example: 18 gallon tank @ 25 mpg is 450 miles.

For us it was a bit odd, as we had been camping without any electricity and no radio, so we didn't know it had happened. We had the car nearly full of gas simply because where we were, the gas was a bit more pricey, so we had filled up before driving 90 miles to camp.

After a week or two of camping, we packed up and drove into the city in the daytime, mostly along the freeway, noticing it was odd once we were off the freeway the traffic lights were out, and traffic was pretty sparse.

When we pulled into a relatives street , we saw lots of folks outside on the driveways, it was then we learned power had been off for over 24 hours.

I think the people who were really in trouble would have been folks who were driving on the freeways getting low on gas and then it hit, they would have no idea it's going to last days.

Once there was some intermittent power back on, I went and got in line at a local gas station and filled up. We then left the next day driving straight south, to get out of the affected areas, before we headed towards home, as we wanted to be in areas where getting gas was possible.

erkevin 09-28-2017 10:19 AM

The hurricanes did make me consider our lack of emergency plans. Although, I live in an area not prone to weather disasters, there are, of course, other reasons to prepare. In my case, i began preparing for shelter-in-place due to pandemic, prolonged power outage, or tainted water supply.
I put together an emergency bag (not specifically a BOB), stored water, and extra propane. Purchased a solar, hand-crank radio and other supplies. Updated flashlights (LED) and batteries, etc

Music Lover 09-28-2017 10:20 AM

It also never hurts to have cash on hand. Electronic tills won't work in a power failure, but there will always be small independent stores that will accept cash. I think that if an event happens that might last for a long time, the first thing you should do (if you're not leaving) would be to find those places and buy as much useful stuff as they will allow. What the store owners don't keep for themselves and their friends and family they may be willing to sell to someone with a fist full of money.

pacergal 09-28-2017 10:31 AM

each car has a 5 day 2 person survival backpack from Red cross.
Home has water, camping stove, dehydrated and canned foods, candles, flashlights, hand crank and solar radio/flashlight, one hand crank/solar power source for phones, emergency stove and fire starter, extra wood for wood stove. Some $ in the safe Have not put together the tarps/ duct tape/emergency face masks, etc yet.
Hoping "the big one" does not hit the PNW in my lifetime!
Unfortunately, it is not all in the same place--some in the house, garage, and shed.
A work in progress....

erkevin 09-28-2017 10:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pacergal (Post 1943154)
each car has a 5 day 2 person survival backpack from Red cross.
Home has water, camping stove, dehydrated and canned foods, candles, flashlights, hand crank and solar radio/flashlight, one hand crank/solar power source for phones, emergency stove and fire starter, extra wood for wood stove. Some $ in the safe Have not put together the tarps/ duct tape/emergency face masks, etc yet.
Hoping "the big one" does not hit the PNW in my lifetime!
Unfortunately, it is not all in the same place--some in the house, garage, and shed.
A work in progress....

"it is not all in the same place"
That was a large portion of my emergency planning. The supplies that I did have were scattered in multiple rooms, structures. My wife wasn't even aware of what we had. I gathered and inventoried, placing the majority in a large duffel bag. I also developed a schedule to rotate the water storage, charge the emergency radio, and rotate batteries. I also placed a list in the duffel of other supplies we had, but use regularly/occasionally, so that in a stressful situation we would not forget or overlook something.
Also: one of my additions to emergency kit is a USB of scanned documents. This includes DLs, marriage docs, insurance docs, passports, contact info, SS cards, auto titles, birth certs, financial info, etc....... And, yes, it is encrypted. This is really in case of an evacuation situation

LOL! 09-28-2017 11:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by erkevin (Post 1943158)
"it is not all in the same place"
That was a large portion of my emergency planning. The supplies that I did have were scattered in multiple rooms, structures. My wife wasn't even aware of what we had. I gathered and inventoried, placing the majority in a large duffel bag.

As noted many times elsewhere, I keep our "kit" in a 2 large Rubbermaid food-grade 32 gallon containers. This includes tarps, hammer, nails, and other stuff. The containers can be filled with water in our showers given enough warning. I have a large dry bag/pack used when canoeing which has the camping stuff and it just drops into one of the rubbermaid containers when stored.

imoldernu 09-28-2017 01:10 PM

Re:Water and the loss of electricity and heat in cold weather climes
The general rule of thumb for us as RV'ers is to take action when the forecast is for 28 degrees for 4 hours or more.
First... shut off water if the supply has been cut off. If water is still available, open taps for a trickle flow. (warmth of the water from the in ground pipes will keep the final pipes from freezing). Don't forget the toilet and the shower. Adjust the toilet valve to reduce the flow.
If there is no water pressure, First shut off the main line to the residence. If possible, use an air compressor to clear all of the lines in the home... one outlet at a time. Drain the Hot Water Heater. Buy gallons of RV anti-freeze, and use the air compressor to pump it through the water lines, checking each outlet for the "pink" color. (not necessary to fill HWH) . Pour antifreeze into each drain, the toilet bowl and tank.

The decision to use antifreeze in the main lines is a coin toss... In our RV Park, draining the pipes is the norm, using antifreeze for wherever there will be standing water.. drains, tank, bowl etc.

Failure to winterize can be very costly. Pipes bursting and leaking behind walls, under the floor etc, and be very expensive to repair. The one year we had pipes burst in FL (gray pipes, not freeze) the repairs came to $3,000.

Doesn't take a disaster to cause pain. :blush:


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