Earthquake Preparations

One of the first things to go bad in an earthquake will be your windows.  This poses all kinds of problems for us.  As most of us do, we have windows in our bedrooms.  So think about how close your bed is to the glass.  Are you safe from shattered pieces?  How about walking out of the room to get to a safer location, will you need to walk over the shattered glass area to get out of the room safely?

So let’s first look more at this situation.  You will need to have a pair of shoes right at your fingertips, on the bedpost, right under the bed where they will be safe from glass getting into them, but where you can grab them easily.  On top of this they will need to be shoes that you can fit on quickly.  Even a little larger pair will do.  You won’t have time to put on socks, so you will need to have socks along with your other clothing at your safety point.  Getting out of the room if it is unsafe is your first objective.

You have now slipped on the shoes, ran to your safe spot, and as soon as it passes you are now ready to face the situation.  Three items will always be your top priority over the long duration of the rebuilding and cleaning up.  There will be of course issues that will take immediate priority, such as first aid, triage, children and much more.  But in the long-term of it all, these three items must stay at the top of your list and mindset.

First; Shelter!  In extreme heat, cold weather, even in the middle of summer nights can get cold.  It could be raining or snowing.  From any of these issues, Shelter is a top concern.

Next, Water.  Of course you have been planning all of these items on your own design already.  If you haven’t start working on them in this order.  Remember this rule of thumb; You can go three days in extreme weather (on the average) before dire life threatening concerns come into play.  You can go three days in dire means without water before life threatening concerns start to happen.  You can go three weeks without food in many cases.  Yes, we want to eat to maintain energy and survive.  Yes, you should make this staple a main priority.  However, Shelter, Water and a fuel source should be the top of your list.  Again, after you have attended to the immediate needs at hand, which are those life threatening and family safety items… Which I will cover in a later issue.

Getting back to the damage from the quake.  One item at hand that aids in the above need of survival is shelter.   You windows are shattered.  Repairing supplies such as wood, nails, plastic sheeting and more will disappear in seconds if folks are able to access a hardware store.  You might not, and probably will not be the first in line at that store, or make it to the line at all.  So you need to be prepared ahead of time.  This is one method that seems to be working for me.

For starters purchase some plastic sheeting in the quantity that would allow you to secure a room or two for your sheltered area.   The plastic will serve as your new windows until greater repair can take place.  Or… it will be your shelter if you are out of the home. Here is what I grabbed from my local hardware store.

Plastic Sheeting

Now you have the sheeting how are you going to put it up?  I purchased furring strip lumber to use as framing over the sheeting inside my window frames.

Furring Strips

I am protecting these strips from weather by placing them inside of some ABS pipe which I also grabbed at the hardware store.  Locally you can get the width of ABS you need without any difficulty.  So I have a 10″ ABS pipe that is 8’feet long.

ABS Pipe pic

Then I purchased a solid end cap, and an attachable cap that will allow me to twist it on and off of the pipe so I can get access into it when needed.  I placed my wooden furring strips inside of the pipe.  Capped off one end and attached the other end cap that screws on and off.  In this method the wood will not warp on me.  It will not get wet and rot on me, so it is now available anytime I need it.  This method also allows me to keep it outside or easily stored in my garage.  The ABS pipe protects it from roofing or building materials that might crash down on it in an earthquake.   I hope this idea might be of use to you!

ABS CapABS Cap and Fitting

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Emergency Fuel Sources

Kettles & Coals.jpg                    

Here are my thoughts on “Alternative Fuel Storage and Fuel Preparedness”

In the event that you are no longer able to use your home features for cooking, what alternatives are you prepared to use?  What are you familiar with using?   Once you are into an emergency situation it is too late to learn the “How To’s” of your cooking preference.  It is important to have already become familiar with your fuel source and how to operate, store and maintain that fuel source.  Here are a few thoughts.

If you are asked to evacuate you’re home, obviously your fuel source will need to be portable.  In my opinion you need to be prepared for the worst scenario occurring in the event of an evacuation.  Blessed would be the day, when we are asked to evacuate in 80* weather, with sunny skies and clear nights, and when your entire family is home.  Howbeit, I doubt that to be the case in most events.  Most natural disasters occur due to extreme weather conditions which cause black outs, destruction of homes, etc.  Hence, we will be forced to become displaced from our homes under dire and unwanted circumstances, so again it is proposed to prepare for the worst and pray for the best.

There are lighter fuel sources available in which you can heat up small meals, such as MRE’s, and dehydrated foods.  However, they are basically designed for good weather condition cooking, so be careful on choosing a hexamine or similar type product.  I would recommend that in your 72-hour kit, you look for foods already cooked, which are full of high carbs and proteins, etc., to sustain you through 3 days of hard labor while you get your house back in order.   However you will also need a heat source at these times.   Look into the professional backpacking stoves that are light in weight, and will burn up to 15 hours.  This will give you, not only a cooking source if desired, but a safe and storable fuel source for a short duration. Also, invest in commercial warming pads that are oxygen activated.   If you can stay in the home, but are without a fuel and heat source, then here are some options.  Of course the pro’s and con’s, along with personal preference of each item is your responsibility to understand and become totally familiar with its safety, usage and storage for you and your family.  So study out what works best for you and your family’s needs and go from there.

Propane:                     Propane is probably one of the best defenses to use in extreme conditions.  It ignites quickly, it stores easily.  It is readily accessible at any location, and in any variety and size you would need.  It is the most economic for its usage.  The availability of burners to heat your home, or lighting to light your home, along with all sizes of cooking apparatuses is so easily to come by that this would be my first recommendation as your long-term fuel source. 

Chopped wood:         Great for heating your home if,… you have the fireplace to safely do so.  Also great for cooking if you have the fireplace/stove combination to do so.  Keeping it dry, and in adequate quantity will be your main task.

Charcoal:                   Excellent long term storage item.  Great for cooking outside under almost any condition.  Charcoal however cannot, and should not be used inside your home.  Charcoal can be stored safely in its own container, however overtime becomes slightly oxidized and looses its full potential.  I recommend storing in a sealed trash bag inside a seal-able 25-30 gallon metal trash can, or plastic bin, available where containers are sold.  This will keep for easily 2 years at its full potential.  This is not a heat source, only a cooking source, unless you are outside full time. 

Coal:                           Coal is a quality way of cooking and heating your rooms if you have installed the proper oven that has been serviced and maintained professionally for safe use.

Kerosene:                 This is an excellent safe, long-term heat source and cooking source.  There are burning / cooking products out there that burn 99% toxin free, that you can both cook on, and use safely within your home as a heat source when you adhere to usage instructions.  Kerosene stores well for a long time under the guided conditions.

These are simply basic recommendations to provide a learning knowledge on how to start developing      a search for the fuel source that will best fit your family’s needs in the      event of a disaster or need for long term usage.  Please remember that it is your      responsibility to act on preparedness issues before they are needed.  Study out what you can use in your home,  how you would facilitate its usage in your home?  Where would you be able to store the supplies safely? What will work best for your size of family?

  • Then start cooking with it and make sure that you fully understand what is unique about whatever type of product you have chosen.
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Emergency Preparation

I have been an active enthusiast about emergency prep for some time, serving on several local, and neighborhood committees.  I will be uploading tips and ideas that have worked well for me and my family.  I would like to extend an offer for you to provide feedback and tips that have worked for you.

Here is my personal 72 hr kit – or 72 hr condo.

I don’t want to get caught without most of the essential items.  Of course you can’t carry it all.  However, you can carry a decent amount if you are willing to sacrifice the space in your car.  This bag is 30″ x 14″ x 14″.  Not bad, and it fits into the back of my Liberty easily.  I am not going to go into my clothing.  Just make sure that you are prepared for all kinds of weather.  I can’t keep my boots in this bag, so as the weather starts to turn here in UT. I throw a pair of my winter boots in the bag of my Jeep.

I have enclosed all of my personal clothing in a waterproof bag.  Thinking that if I ever had to be out of my car in bad weather, the items would be protected.

In my bag in the various compartments I have Mountain House dried meals.  Along with these meals I have purchased their self heating bag that cooks the food for me.  My thinking is that in an emergency, I will be involved in far more serious situations than cooking.  Hence, waiting around for my meal to cook won’t be a priority.  Yet, eating is still important.  You have to maintain your energy while you are working out the crisis situation.  So having this option of having the meal cook while you are assisting in other ways appealed to me.

In my bag I carry two first aid kits.  One carries my personal needed health items, along with basic first aid gear.  The other is a lighter weight, small trauma bag.  More along the lines of slings, larger pads, etc.

Along with my dehydrated meals I keep rotating out a bag of jerky every year.  I want something that I can just grab and eat for the quick need of staying nourished while working out the problems.

I have a waterproof bag for my kit, along with an insulated sleeping bag that rolls up to the size of a TP roll.  This is a lifesaver in my opinion.  It allows me to retain 80% of my body heat, without taking up lots of space in my car or bag.

Tin Foil, TP, Water, Water purification bottles with extra filters.  A lean-to tent.  Solar flashlight by Hybrid.  Water proof matches, a butane lighter that will actually direct the flame to my fire area.  Regular lighters won’t let you direct the flame.  The flame rises no matter how you turn it.  A small butane lighter actually shoots the flame out like a mini torch.  Nice to have!  Then I have a variety of foot and hand warmers, along with a mini tool set, knife and cutter blade. You can never go wrong with some snap and glow pop lights.

I keep all of these smaller items boxed in a little container to keep them organized.

Most importantly is to start somewhere.  It doesn’t have to be a big bag like this.  You can start off with a gallon sized zip bag.  Put in a couple of granola bars, and you personal first aid needs, then work up from there.

Make the bag tailored to you.  As the weeks go on I will be adding all sorts of emergency tips and ideas for you and your home. Be safe and Be Prepared!

OK.. I have been gently reminded by my sweetheart that my grammatical skills are not the best.  I am sorry for that.  I will include this disclaimer here in the early onset and let you all know that this is how it will be.  I do type as I speak and it is not perfect.  Thank you all for viewing and grabbing the essentials out of these blogs, forgiving me of my literary lack or verbal prowess.

Now, back to the good stuff.

There are great products out there that can make your 72 hour kit much smaller.  These items don’t sacrifice on quality.  Just the contrary.  They are great products and that is why I am including them.  I just don’t believe in buying an item just to say you have it.  Just to say, …there, my kit is complete.  If it is not quality, then who would want to be stuck with it in an emergency?  Not me, I want the reliable, and manageable goods.

Below is a quasi sleeping bag designed by SOL.  I have come to really like this company.  They are making durable, lightweight and solid emergency items.  This Bivvy reflects 80% of your body heat.  Check out http://www.surviveoutdoorslonger.com to see what great products they have.  I will be covering several of them.

durable, retains 80% of your body heat. Lightweight.

Here are my thoughts on “Alternative Fuel Storage and Fuel Preparedness”

In the event that you are no longer able to use your home features for cooking, what alternatives are you prepared to use?  What are you familiar with using?   Once you are into an emergency situation it is too late to learn the “How To’s” of your cooking preference.  It is important to have already become familiar with your fuel source and how to operate, store and maintain that fuel source.  Here are a few thoughts.

If you are asked to evacuate you’re home, obviously your fuel source will need to be portable.  In my opinion you need to be prepared for the worst scenario occurring in the event of an evacuation.  Blessed would be the day, when we are asked to evacuate in 80* weather, with sunny skies and clear nights, and when your entire family is home.  Howbeit, I doubt that to be the case in most events.  Most natural disasters occur due to extreme weather conditions which cause black outs, destruction of homes, etc.  Hence, we will be forced to become displaced from our homes under dire and unwanted circumstances, so again it is proposed to prepare for the worst and pray for the best.

There are lighter fuel sources available in which you can heat up small meals, such as MRE’s, and dehydrated foods.  However, they are basically designed for good weather condition cooking, so be careful on choosing a hexamine or similar type product.  I would recommend that in your 72-hour kit, you look for foods already cooked, which are full of high carbs and proteins, etc., to sustain you through 3 days of hard labor while you get your house back in order.   However you will also need a heat source at these times.   Look into the professional backpacking stoves that are light in weight, and will burn up to 15 hours.  This will give you, not only a cooking source if desired, but a safe and storable fuel source for a short duration. Also, invest in commercial warming pads that are oxygen activated.   If you can stay in the home, but are without a fuel and heat source, then here are some options.  Of course the pro’s and con’s, along with personal preference of each item is your responsibility to understand and become totally familiar with its safety, usage and storage for you and your family.  So study out what works best for you and your family’s needs and go from there.

Propane:                     Propane is probably one of the best defenses to use in extreme conditions.  It ignites quickly, it stores easily.  It is readily accessible at any location, and in any variety and size you would need.  It is the most economic for its usage.  The availability of burners to heat your home, or lighting to light your home, along with all sizes of cooking apparatuses is so easily to come by that this would be my first recommendation as your long-term fuel source. 

Chopped wood:         Great for heating your home if,… you have the fireplace to safely do so.  Also great for cooking if you have the fireplace/stove combination to do so.  Keeping it dry, and in adequate quantity will be your main task.

Charcoal:                   Excellent long term storage item.  Great for cooking outside under almost any condition.  Charcoal however cannot, and should not be used inside your home.  Charcoal can be stored safely in its own container, however overtime becomes slightly oxidized and looses its full potential.  I recommend storing in a sealed trash bag inside a seal-able 25-30 gallon metal trash can, or plastic bin, available where containers are sold.  This will keep for easily 2 years at its full potential.  This is not a heat source, only a cooking source, unless you are outside full time. 

Coal:                           Coal is a quality way of cooking and heating your rooms if you have installed the proper oven that has been serviced and maintained professionally for safe use.

Kerosene:                 This is an excellent safe, long-term heat source and cooking source.  There are burning / cooking products out there that burn 99% toxin free, that you can both cook on, and use safely within your home as a heat source when you adhere to usage instructions.  Kerosene stores well for a long time under the guided conditions.

These are simply basic recommendations to provide a learning knowledge on how to start developing      a search for the fuel source that will best fit your family’s needs in the      event of a disaster or need for long term usage.  Please remember that it is your      responsibility to act on preparedness issues before they are needed.  Study out what you can use in your home,  how you would facilitate its usage in your home?  Where would you be able to store the supplies safely? What will work best for your size of family?

  • Then start cooking with it and make sure that you fully understand what is unique about whatever type of product you have chosen.

 

 

 

 

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