Emergency Preparedness (1 Viewer)

Pinesol13

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I've been going down the emergency preparedness rabbit hole a bit recently. I live about an hour away from Buffalo, and they had that terrible snowstorm a few weeks ago, where almost 40 people died. About half where in unheated homes, the rest were either stranded in their cars or experienced a medical emergency and responders could not get to them.

It really got me thinking about what I would do in that situation, which then got me thinking about what I would do in other situations. I'm not going full blown doomsday and burying a shipping container in my backyard stocked with 2 years worth of canned goods. But I do want to be more prepared for events that are likely to happen. I've broken it down into three categories:

1. Being stranded in my car for 24+ hours, most like in cold conditions
2. Having 1 minute to leave my house due to emergency (most likely a fire)
3. Being stuck in the house without power/running water


I put together a car kit. Just a medium sized storage bin that has flares, compact shovel, jumper cables and a battery pack that can jump my car, tools, spare clothes, gloves, hat, a tarp, a heavy blanket, mylar "space" blankets, flashlights, duct tape, pen and paper, basic first aid kit, hand warmers, candles, lighter, tie down straps and bungee cables, bottled water and food. In the Spring I'll switch out the winter gear for summer related items.

For having to leave the house in an emergency, I put together a "go bag". I used an old backpack I had laying around. Includes a lot of the same stuff as the car kit, also have photo copies of all my important documents like ID, credit cards, SS card, insurance card, home owners insurance, birth certificate, marriage certificate, copy of family/friends phone numbers, etc... also have all these files on a usb in the backpack. I keep it in a closet near the door, so it's easy to grab on the way out. The originals of all the documents are in a binder in the same closet, everythings in water resistant plastic film.

Another thing I considered was what if a fire broke out at night while we are sleep, and we have to get out of the bedroom but can't get down the stairs. I made a mini go bag that I keep in my nightstand with just the basics, also keep a spare pair of shoes in the bedroom. Bought a collapsible ladder that we can use to escape out the window. We have a dog, so I also keep a harness and extra leash in the bedroom.

For being stuck in the house, I'm planning for 3-7 days. This one is more of a long term goal, I'll slowly be adding things to store in the house. Everytime I go to the supermarket, I'll grab a gallon of water, or a few food items. Next time I buy dog food, I'll buy two large bags and put one in the basement. When the first bag runs out, I'll buy another bag and rotate. This way I'll always a good supply. The same concept will be applied to other things, like toilet paper and some food items. Going to do the same thing with propane tanks and gasoline. Long term I plan to buy a generator

So, I figured I'd share, as I'm sure there are others here who are into prepping and can provide more discussion and insight/advice.
 
First rule of prepping

You don’t tell people you are prepping

“Hey we should go to ‘x’ house, they have food and shelter to last months”

I keep 5,000+ rounds of bullets on hand as well- to insure the above scenario is kept in check- but firstly I don’t tell people.
 
We had a tornado come through our town a year and a half ago, which is unheard of for NJ in general. Destroyed a ton of homes (shockingly nobody hurt). Talked with friends that had their houses didn't fair so well and the recurring theme was that when they came out of the basement nobody had shoes, and had to walk across broken glass and all sorts of debris. So at the very least we now all have a pair of crappy shoes in the basement ready to go.
 
When storing water, plan for one gallon per adult per day. You've got the right idea stocking and rotating foods in your pantry. I also keep some freeze dried food around that I don't have to think much about.

I'm in earthquake country so I keep gloves and durable shoes for my kits expecting debris. My wife keeps a pair of sneakers in her downtown office.

Also consider packing an emergency weather radio. Go for one that has a flashlight, internal battery, solar, and/or crank with USB charging. As others have mentioned, it's actually great advice with cards/chips and other basic entertainment (like the weather radio for music) to help pass the time.

For a generator, consider a dual fuel model that takes propane since that fuel type is super stable and you can store lots of it for long periods with no maintenance. Propane can also be used with a camping stove for cooking and also heating with something like a Mr. Heater Buddy. Gas needs stabilizers and is just more of a pain to keep around in quantity. I also like solar generators (lithium battery w/ inverter) for when a bit more discretion is needed, or for short power outages when you don't want to roll out the generator.

Also related to disasters, have a natural gas shutoff wrench at your gas main so you can shut it off quickly. Keep/maintain fire extinguishers in your kitchen and garage at a minimum. Create a plan on where to meet or how to communicate if your family is separated.
 
I've been going down the emergency preparedness rabbit hole a bit recently. I live about an hour away from Buffalo, and they had that terrible snowstorm a few weeks ago, where almost 40 people died. About half where in unheated homes, the rest were either stranded in their cars or experienced a medical emergency and responders could not get to them.

It really got me thinking about what I would do in that situation, which then got me thinking about what I would do in other situations. I'm not going full blown doomsday and burying a shipping container in my backyard stocked with 2 years worth of canned goods. But I do want to be more prepared for events that are likely to happen. I've broken it down into three categories:

1. Being stranded in my car for 24+ hours, most like in cold conditions
2. Having 1 minute to leave my house due to emergency (most likely a fire)
3. Being stuck in the house without power/running water


I put together a car kit. Just a medium sized storage bin that has flares, compact shovel, jumper cables and a battery pack that can jump my car, tools, spare clothes, gloves, hat, a tarp, a heavy blanket, mylar "space" blankets, flashlights, duct tape, pen and paper, basic first aid kit, hand warmers, candles, lighter, tie down straps and bungee cables, bottled water and food. In the Spring I'll switch out the winter gear for summer related items.

For having to leave the house in an emergency, I put together a "go bag". I used an old backpack I had laying around. Includes a lot of the same stuff as the car kit, also have photo copies of all my important documents like ID, credit cards, SS card, insurance card, home owners insurance, birth certificate, marriage certificate, copy of family/friends phone numbers, etc... also have all these files on a usb in the backpack. I keep it in a closet near the door, so it's easy to grab on the way out. The originals of all the documents are in a binder in the same closet, everythings in water resistant plastic film.

Another thing I considered was what if a fire broke out at night while we are sleep, and we have to get out of the bedroom but can't get down the stairs. I made a mini go bag that I keep in my nightstand with just the basics, also keep a spare pair of shoes in the bedroom. Bought a collapsible ladder that we can use to escape out the window. We have a dog, so I also keep a harness and extra leash in the bedroom.

For being stuck in the house, I'm planning for 3-7 days. This one is more of a long term goal, I'll slowly be adding things to store in the house. Everytime I go to the supermarket, I'll grab a gallon of water, or a few food items. Next time I buy dog food, I'll buy two large bags and put one in the basement. When the first bag runs out, I'll buy another bag and rotate. This way I'll always a good supply. The same concept will be applied to other things, like toilet paper and some food items. Going to do the same thing with propane tanks and gasoline. Long term I plan to buy a generator

So, I figured I'd share, as I'm sure there are others here who are into prepping and can provide more discussion and insight/advice.
Great post, I always get lost in the weeds on this stuff and then can't make heads or tails of priority, really like the 3 bullet points
 
In your car and go bags, add a deck of cards to help pass time. I applaud your getting prepped, I would also add first aid kit with trauma clot and bandage, as well as a knife or two. Surgical gloves and masks also good for your kit. Like others said, crank radio is a good idea. Couple freeze dried hiking packs of food as well in your pack with life straw or box water. And candles/matches and/or crank light.
Next level is tyvex suit and gas mask and riot helmet, but that is more than you need now.
T
 
Interesting thread. It’s been a crazy couple years, and lots to be concerned about. I’ve worked in all sorts of emergency services and preparedness agencies. I had a dad who was pretty much a survivalist. So while I don’t have a doomsday bunker, I do have a mindset of preparedness. Lots of YouTube videos on various preparedness topics. Even FEMA recommends a decent supply of emergency supplies and food. look at the Latter Day Saints, who recommend each church member keeps 1 year of food on hand, and they even have an online store that sells long term food supplies.
 
Think about the situation and needs you are planning for. Is this a natural disaster like a hurricane where you need a couple weeks of supplies, major disaster like yellowstone volcano, or TEOTWAWKI?

Think about your main needs. Water, food, medicine, survival. You need a lot water, but it takes up a lot of space and is heavy to move. Have a way to get water and purify it. You also need food, but can go days without eating. Many foods spoil fast, set back foods that have nutritional value and long shelf times (rice, beans, pasta etc) then make it last even longer by packing it in sealed nitrogen or CO2. Have a way to procure fresh food. Fishing, hunting. As the song says "a country boy can survive". Without medical help, small injuries and become very serious. Basic med supplies like aspirin, bandages and high strength alcohol can solve a lot problems.
 
I buy
Guns, Ammo, 1-3 months worth of rice, etc and turn over each 9ver a year 9r so and replace.
Otherwise already have sleeping bags, stashes of batteries, propane and also I keep containers of gasoline/diesel and use them up every few fills and refill.
 
Great replies so far, thanks everyone.

A couple of things that I do have in my kits that I did not mention, some of which others have said here: deck of cards, surgical gloves, phone chargers and battery pack, pocket knives/multitool, gum/mints, two mini bottles of vodka (for either sterilizing or taking the edge off), zip ties, ziplock bags and garbage bags, razor blade, whistle, extra batteries (AA and AAA), superglue, small hand towels, moist towelettes,

Things I have on my list to add to some or all of the various kits, at some point: water purification tablets or those life straws, compass and maps, more advanced first aid/trauma supplies like a tourniquet once I get some training, paracord, two way radios, plastic sheeting, crank radio.

Where I live we don't have hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes. The only real threat is a severe snowstorm, or severe rain. We've never had severe flooding, but we do have a lake, bay, and a river that surrounds our area so it's certainly possible. In the early 90's we had a severe ice storm that left thousands without power for days/weeks. I remember we had to move in to a friends house for 5 days b/c we didn't have power. They lived only a few miles away but the drive was terrible.

Another thing to consider is that there is a nuclear power plant nearby. We are outside of the 10 mile evacuation radius, but not by much. Also we are west of the plant, and the wind blows to the east. But I do have this on my list of possible reasons we would ever need to evacuate.

As far as water goes, another long term item on the list is some of these water bricks. They hold 3.5 gallons, and are relatively easy to transport. And having a gallon bottle of bleach on hand can take care of purifying water if need be. I imagine any situation where we are sheltering in place would be in the winter and involve serious snowfall, so I could just collect snow, melt it and purify it.
shopping


For me, the most enlightening exercise so far was imaging what I would do if I had to leave the house in 60 seconds. That's why I made the go bag and put all my important documents in one binder in an easy to grab location. I watched this youtube video and quickly realized that not thinking quickly and rationally in a stressful situation, combined with not being at least a little prepared, can be really bad.


I wonder if the fireman were messing with/testing these people. At about the 1:45 mark the fireman asks if they want to take some piece of art that's on the wall. The father grabs this giant thing off the wall and tries to put it in their car :ROFL: :ROFLMAO: ... I get it, it looks like it's some sort of special family thing with their name on it, but seriously?!

Last thing that comes to mind is that I do plan to buy a shotgun in the near future, mostly for home security. Someone mentioned being able to acquire food. We have a crazy amount of deer in our area. I see at least one in my front yard a few times a week. If shit really hit the fan, and it was necessary, I could at least hunt for deer.
 
Oh yes, very prepared. Very well thought out get home bags in each vehicle along with AFAKs. Great med kit and BOB at home, but if SHTF I am bunkering down. Everything I need is here. Stored food, water filtration, well I can run with generator, etc. for a small amount of $$ you can be really, really well prepared. Love discussing gear and that hobby has its own rabbit holes. I like to keep it simple.
 
This is just standard stuff when you live in the Rockies.

Home. I have a gas generator that can power the essentials. There is always enough gas here because of the other equipment that is always operating here. We keep several gallons of water handy. Plenty of firewood to melt snow to run toilets.

Truck - down sleeping bag pillow, 12v heater are the very basics in addition to what others say. I never go out when it’s going to be bad.
 
You’re only 5 missed meals away from total chaos.
Rice will last a long time and can help stretch out your emergency meals and can be cooked with a gas burner

Keep a weeks worth of beer and a month of coffee. You joke I always keep an extra couple cases down stairs from what’s on sale and cycle through it
I have a large bag of freeze dry camping coffee too in my camping food bins

I have a gas burner on my BBQ and always keep an extra 100 pound tank on standby

If you have access to Cheap propane keep your bulk tank full and have a dual fuel generator that runs on that as well

I have extra Dewalt batteries to use in flashlights
Buying big Duracell battery packages is a money pit you may never use

I have a 3k inverter as well to power lights and the fridge / freezer to save on running the generator 24/7

We’re in typhoon alley though so I’m always ready for a week of no power
 
We used to lose power at least once or twice a year. Its when you lose power in 0 degree weather that you realize how spoiled we are and how close to primitive living we always are.

I have 2 Honda gas generator / inverters that can run house essentials.
Living within 10 miles of a Nuclear power plant. I should have iodine tablets.

Im not prepping for the apocalypse but I do need to update my 'go bag'

what I think I need:

Basic Kit:
Solar charger/ rechargeable batteries
Jump starter pack/ power pack
Water purification. 2 or 3 types (A+B, pump filter etc)
Headlamps.
Crank powered emergency radio
Iodine tablets/ first aid kit.
portable stove and fuel tablets.
Dehydrated meals.
Pepper spray
Warm clothing/ waterproof gear.
 
Its interesting to think about, different regions will have very different needs.

Also what disaster or emergency am I prepping for.


Am I leaving the house in an emergency evacuation?

Shelter in place chemical explosion nearby? Seeing this now in PA/ Ohio with the rail disaster.

Winter power outage ? we had/ have ice storms that can knock out power for 2 weeks.

Terror attack on power grid?

Zombie apocalypse?
 
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Interesting thread. I am clearly not prepared for anything. Nice to see a fellow Western New Yorker. Cheers!
 
24hr (vehicle)

1 week (grab/go/return when safe)

60 days+ (Book of Eli)

Those are your windows to design and plan kits for. Place them properly.

Always have enough to get to more.

Some require storing and keeping, the longer you go you need to think reproducing and your ability to continue. Difference being a water bottle VS water purification setup.
 
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Consider the train derailment and chemical spills this past week in Ohio and Arizona. If that happened where you live, what could you grab right away that you require to live? I recommend keeping all important documents together in a safe. Have 72hr bags at the ready for each member of your family, including pets.

Make a checklist of all the things you’d need to grab if you were told to evacuate. Don’t forget to include medication.

I live in an area that has risk of major earthquakes, as well as a giant (currently) dormant volcano, whose shadow I live in. Mt Rainier is beautiful, but it could pop off anytime, like St Helens did in 1980. I also live a few blocks from major rail lines and less than a mile from a major interstate. There could be a huge derailment or chemical spill on either of those, just as what happened in Ohio and Arizona recently. We also have had railroad terrorists in this area recently. :oops:

Be aware of the possible emergency situations in your area, and game plan for the worst.
 
We also have had railroad terrorists in this area recently.
One man’s railroad terrorist is another man’s partisan freedom fighter.

Wait, are we talking about Ukraine in 1943 or Washington state in 2023?

Seriously though people intentionally trying to derail freight trains is messed up. What a wackado.
 
I’d consider adding chemical respirators to the home kit and go bag.

There are 2 types of emergency.

Fuck I need to stay safe and healthy till I can get somewhere safe or help gets here.
And then the hunker down and survive emergency knowing you are on your own and need to be self sufficient.


Anyone watch ‘Alone’? Brilliant show imo.

Very interesting seeing the military guys who have survival training but were not always great at the long term survival. Trained to stay alive until help gets there.
Versus the survival lifestyle people. Living off the land.
Fascinating to watch
 
Its interesting to think about, different regions will have very different needs.

This is a very important point, and one that's often overlooked and a stumbling block for those looking for a place to start. Your emergency plan in NY is going to look very different from Arizona or California or Tennessee. There are a bunch of websites selling shit like "super pails" of pinto beans, it's easy to think you need to spend a small fortune to get prepped. You don't. It's really not that hard to get started, it just takes a bit of thought. FEMA has a really great guide I highly recommend checking out to get you thinking about what emergencies are most likely to impact you:

https://www.fema.gov/related-link/are-you-ready-guide-citizen-preparedness

Start with the basics, and then build from there (but honestly only if you feel the need, anything - however little - you do now will help when the time comes). Build each member of the family a 72 hour bag (aka BOB, bug out bag, 3 day bag, etc). Everything that person needs for 3 days in the case you need to get out of dodge or evacuate. Stock the basics in all of them (food, water, meds, e-blanket, poncho), diapers in the kiddo's bag, spare eyeglasses in yours, feminine stuff for the wifey, make them specific to each family member. If each family member has a BOB, you can always bug in with those if needed. Maybe you're not getting evacuated, but you're in a shelter-in-place situation for a few days. Worst case, you're ready either way.

Once the bags are ready, you can move onto your home. A good rule of thumb is to remember the rules of three (shelter, water, food), and plan/build up supplies accordingly. Again, your location/geography/climate can play a really big role in how you prepare.

Shelter - you've already got your home here so there's not a whole lot of extras needed. Tarps can be helpful to cover windows that get broken. Most items revolve around climate. If you live in an area that gets really cold, think about heat. What happens if the power goes out and it's below zero, what's the plan? Maybe a generator to power a small one room heater? Or maybe you're just going to bust our your emergency blankets and hunker down. No right answer, but think about it now so you have a plan in mind.

Water - Unless you live in a very hot/dry climate, IMHO you don't need as much water as most claim you do. You're not going to go on a 10 mile hike in the grand canyon, you're going to be hanging out. I'm a home brewer and have two five gallon carboys I keep filled with water as a precaution. But I also have a pool out back and live within walking distance of several streams, and a gallon of bleach treats a million gallons of water. Tailer your plan to your situation.

Food - If you don't have one, work on building a food pantry with non-perishables that you already eat. Buy an extra couple of cans of veggies here, an extra box of pasta and jar of sauce there. Over a few months, aim to get to the point where you have a couple weeks worth of food provisions in reserve, then move into eat & replenish mode so you keep that reserve going forward. Remember again there's a good chance your power is going to be out for a few days, so make sure stock stuff that isn't to complicated to fix. And how are you going to prepare the food when the power is out? Might be a simple as having matches to light a gas stove, or picking up a small propane camping stove. Depends on the utilities in your area, right? The "right" answer will depend on your situation, but think about what you would need now so you're not scrambling when the time comes.

Other stuff: Everyone's on meds these days, try to have at least a 2 week supply if you can, as chances are you won't be able to stroll down to the drug store to pick things up. A small battery powered radio with spare batteries is a good idea to keep up to date on things (I remember when Superstorm Sandy hit 10 years, there were so many cell towers down that service were very spotty for days). Keep your cell phone charged, and get in the habit of keeping at least a quarter tank of gas in your car.

The overall point is that you don't need to go full doomsday prepper and you don't need to spend a grand on supplies, most of the effort in being prepared is the thought exercise of running through the most likely emergency scenarios to hit your area. Get your family involved in the process too so they know what's packed in their bags and know that you have a plan, they'll be much less likely to completely panic when the day comes. And you can make building the BOBs more fun for the kids by pretending you're preparing for the day that the zombies attack (zombie post apocalypse world - ZPAW - beware googling this it's another rabbit hole lol).......
 
@Irish Great post!

I'm not very knowledgeable on medications, and I mean like over the counter items. I wanted to start with a first aid bag for my truck. Truma stuff is easy, but general over the counter meds is hard to figure out what to use when. Are there any good sources or do we have anyone reading this that can post a general ailment / remedy list?

The best thing I can find on youtube is great but only goes so far and the topic isn't 'first aid for your truck' I did find some hiking / camping stuff but looking for more.
 
@Irish Great post!

I'm not very knowledgeable on medications, and I mean like over the counter items. I wanted to start with a first aid bag for my truck. Truma stuff is easy, but general over the counter meds is hard to figure out what to use when. Are there any good sources or do we have anyone reading this that can post a general ailment / remedy list?

The best thing I can find on youtube is great but only goes so far and the topic isn't 'first aid for your truck' I did find some hiking / camping stuff but looking for more.

I honestly have done most of my preparations based on a background in scouting, so my answer for a reference would be the boy scout handbook ;) :D

A searching tip - include "get home bag" or GHB in your search and you may find some more specific information. That's a smaller pack designed to get you from work to home and is often kept in your vehicle.

Of everything I've put together, I would say that the first aid kit in my truck has been used the most, largely at kid's sporting events and activities. Dozens of band aids, ice packs for bruises, and ace bandages to help wrap twisted ankles. I have mine tailored to more immediate needs (ie I have a better first aid kit at home), imho I'd rather have more space for immediate cleaning and trauma needs (alcohol pads, gauze, butterfly closures, hand sanitizer). As far as meds, here's what I have in mine:
  • Pain meds (advil/tylenol)
  • Triple antibiotic ointment (for all those little league cuts)
  • Antihistamine (benadryl tabs)
  • Imodium
  • Bug sting relief swab
If the kit is meant to stretch to hold you over for multiple days (ie you take it camping / long road trips), I'd add:
  • Aloe burn cream
  • Antacids
  • Hydrocortisone cream
  • Calamine lotion
An epi-pen is also a good addition if you have someone in the family with a severe allergy, just note these don't have a very long shelf life.
 
I'm prepared to be the first to die in the event of a major emergency and I'm perfectly okay with that.
 

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