In case of emergency, would you
A ~ Run to Mommy
B ~ Cry out, “APOCALYPSE” and faint
C ~ Continue watching “Hoarders”
D ~ Grab your pre-prepared “emergency kit” and follow your “safety plan”.
For those who choose D, I may be able to help.
I have a pantry that is pretty much emergency ready with dry goods that could last for many months if not years, so our best bet would be to “hold out” for as long as we could in our own country home. We have a well too. The pump runs on electricity so there needs to be an alternative power source, and then the water supply would also be plenty.
If you have a place to hold out you are fortunate. Your “hold out” should have a reliable and well-tested, alternate source of power. A generator is recommended if you aren’t on solar or other alternative energy source. However this takes gas so seriously consider the daily requirements for your emergency needs.
It is good to have a wood stove, BBQ, or alternative cooking source that would help save gas for powering lights if needed. Keep wood stockpiled in a dry place, away from the exterior wall of your house. This helps prevent bugs from traveling from the wood into your home, as well as preventing mildew where the wood traps moisture against the house.
Keep a fully stocked pantry if possible. Most homes are built with a pantry. If you have one, do yourself a favor and keep it well stocked. I don’t mean with Snickers and Lay’s. You will need real food if you want to survive a disaster of any sort. Dehydrated foods are the best if forced to travel simply because they are light-weight. However regular dry goods are perfect for the hold outs. Even if you don’t live in a home with a pantry, somewhere in your home is a space you can designate for this purpose. Storm cellars, or basements are perfect for stocking a survival pantry. Take advantage of these spaces if you have them available. Don’t just use them to store Grandpa’s neckties, or Aunt Lulu’s troll doll collection. Look at ways to make the space livable also. You could be there awhile, so stock it with books, board games, art and writing supplies. Anything to keep you busy.
Here are a few items from my pantry:
Beans ~ there are approximately 100 lbs in my pantry at this moment of various kinds.
Rice ~ I also have many pounds of rice in different types. (Brown and wild rice will turn stale after a while so use them up regularly, and replace with fresh)
Grains ~ take your pick there are so many to choose from, main grain in my pantry is Oats, and there are perhaps 40 plus pounds in gallon size glass jars. Use a grain that can be made into flour fairly fast and easy. Oats are soft and easy to pulverize into a great flour. Keep plenty of flour made and ready too.
Canned Foods ~ this is up to your individual taste, but I would say once again to think healthy.
Water ~ this is actually out in the pump-house in 5 gallon jugs which would take up too much space in the house. Fill now, filter later I say. Oh yeah, get a water filter. They’re not that expensive unless you go all out. Depends on whether you’re a Brita or a Berkey type of person. You can spend $20 or $2000.
I realize that the above plan may not be an option in a forced evacuation situation, so I have a list of items to go into large bins to carry out in that case. This is what we would be taking:
Water : 1 gallon, per person, for an estimated 3-7 days. (I like to have 30 gallons on hand for the 4 of us which is more that DHS recommends of 1 gal per person for a 3 day period.) FYI, in most homes the water heater is a 50-75 water tank. You can use the water in the tank in case of emergency*
Food: This is where it pays to know about wild foods and where they’re located in your area. In an emergency you won’t be eating the same amount you would in a relaxed situation. Take this into consideration. You may be able to get by on 2 meals a day rather than 3. If you bring dehydrated foods make sure you bring extra water to re-hydrate your meals. Also, look carefully at what you have to bring. Is it nutritious, or is it empty calories? Do you have the right things to cook the food with? (can opener, knife, spatula, etc.) How about to eat it with?
Fire: If you can, get a magnesium fire starter with a striker. There is also a very cool device called a Sunlighter that I’d like to try. Check it out here. If neither of these are available get a bunch of water-proof matches, or at the very least a pack of lighters in an air-tight container. (Option for hold-outs would be tiki torches with plenty of oil). Fire is very important. You will need it to cook, to keep warm and for emergency signals.
Clothes: Think camping trip. Layer upon layer of clothes that can also be used as protective wear. Durable pants, and coats with lots of pockets. Shoes that are comfortable and sturdy, you’ll want to be ready for walking. Also, it wouldn’t hurt to bring a hat and plenty of bandanas.
Signaling and Communication Devices: Of course a huge bonfire is going to get attention, however what if it isn’t possible to build a bonfire. In that case you’ll need a small mirror or another flat, shiny metal plate to reflect light with. This is to aim at rescue teams in the air or across terrain. Flash it by moving it up and down to catch sunlight. Other items you may want to include are hand-cranked flashlight, and radio. There are solar-powered options for radios and flashlights, however you would need to be in the sun for those to work. Sunshine may not always be available.
First Aid Kit: These are available pre-made or you can put one together yourself. I have an herbal kit from a local supplier Bear Wallow Herbs.
But it’s not impossible to put one of your own together if for some reason you can’t get it already made. I’ll post later on how to put one together. Make sure you add tapes, gauze, ace bandages, scissors, alcohol wipes, butterfly band-aids, regular adhesive band-aids (best to get cloth type, instead of plastic) and any family medications you might need.
Some extras: I think it’s a good idea to burn important docs to disc or a mem card. Also think about doing this for family pictures. You’ll need a water proof container to store these in. And make sure to keep them in the safest place possible, to reduce the chance of losing them. If you or a family member has any medication that they need to bring also put in water proof container. Consider folks in wheelchairs or with prosthesis and give extra time for evacuation in these cases. A very solemn decision is to be made when considering whether or not the pets will travel with you. Some will have run off so the hard choice is made for you, but if possible I would take the family pet. I understand this goes against the advice of many a survivalist, however it’s the way I would have to do it. And one more thing, a sturdy heavy-duty needle and some very strong thread. (very handy for shelter building)
It is a good idea to hold a family meeting to discuss where you will all meet up if you are apart when the emergency occurs. You can print info cards for each member to have on them at all times. With little kids this isn’t as easy but keep trying. (make extra cards) These cards should include the individual’s name and address, with any special considerations such as allergies, or illness like asthma or diabetes.
It’s a very positive thing to prepare for a negative situation.
* Most modern water heater tanks hold enough water to keep an average person alive for a month or more. This is a great reason to keep it sediment free. There is a valve on it that looks just like a garden faucet. Attach a hose to that drain valve and turn to open it. If you haven’t done so already, make sure you run water out of the tank to remove any built up sediment that has collected at the bottom. Save this water to flush toilets or for initial cleaning. (rinse with the purer stuff.) Make sure you turn off the electrical breaker to the tank or unplug it to prevent damage when electricity comes back on.