Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Emergency items and planning. Part I

I saw an ad on TV last week talking about emergency planning in case of a natural disaster. This is a good idea anyway, but I thought with all of the unrest that we are seeing today, it may be a better idea to go into a little more detail.

The biggest advantage anyone can have for the unexpected is to have a plan. The two major threats today are some type of physical disaster (Part I) and hyperinflation. (Part II)
In a physical disaster situation, a major decision that must be made immediately is to ‘hunker down’, or to flee. Do you set up in your home, or do you flee to a destination far enough away to be out of danger?

If you decide to flee, it will help a great deal if you already have a number of potential destinations. Do you have relatives in a nearby state or area away from where you live? Or friends who you can rely upon? You will also require at a minimum a ‘bug out bag’. Search on Google for details. A ‘bug out bag’ is a survival kit to keep you going for 3 days. The seven items listed are:

1) Water: One liter of water per day per person.

2) Food: Energy bars or back pack meals.

3) Clothing: Boots or shoes, long pants (Not blue jeans) 2 pair of socks, 2 shirts (One long sleeve and one short sleeve) A jacket that is warm and protects from rain, Long underwear, a hat, a bandana. (30 uses for bandanas)

4) Shelter: A tent or tarp and a way to set it up. A floor tarp is necessary to stay dry. A bedroll.

5) First Aid kit: Build your own. The prepackaged kits can be OK, but probably don’t have the right mix.

6) Basic gear: 3 ways to make fire (Prefer 5 ways) Small pot/large cup to boil water. Backpacking stove and fuel are better. At least 2 dependable flashlights and a backup set of batteries. A knife is the most used and versatile tool in the bag. Be careful what you select here.

7) Weapons: A firearm is best although your knife can be a backup. A walking stick or club can also be used.

If you decide to ‘hunker down’, you will be advised to have a variety of supplies available.
Here is a condensed list of what we have so far.

1) Flashlights and radio. Battery backups for all. Hand crank so no need for batteries and/or backup power supply. I am looking into a solar power generator that would supply power and recharge any batteries that we would need. This may require an inverter to convert DC to AC power. I have seen articles that say this can be obtained for as little as $300.00. More realistic is $500 to $600.

2) Reserve of fresh water. 1 liter per person per day. Tablets for making unknown water supply safer to drink. A filter to make water safe for drinking is also available. Collapsible water bottles will be useful. You could drain the water heater and tanks that supply water for the toilets.

3) Spare blankets and canned food. We rotate food supply to keep it fresh. Energy bars are easily transportable. The stores have only a 3-day supply of food. It is recommend having a 3 to 6 month supply of food at home. Freeze dried or dehydrated foods have a shelf life of many years.

4) Plan of action: Do you leave the area as soon as possible, or do you ‘hunker down’ and wait a few days for the dust to settle before you move out? Where will you go if you had to leave the general area?

5) Cash on hand. Credit cards, debit cards, cash stations may not work. Cash may be important to have. Even small amounts of Gold and silver can be of great value. (Note* gold and silver may not be good to purchase fuel and food. It should be good for purchase of arms and ammunition)

6) Three ways to make fire. Lighters and matches. Candles may become very important. A flint or magnifying glass may be used.

7) Backup transportation: The EMP from a nuclear explosion may destroy ALL electronic devices. Cars will be disabled and stop immediately. Can you walk or have bicycle backup?

8) Medical supplies. A first aid kit is a good start. Bandages along with tape, crutches and splints may be useful. Build your own kits. The all-in-one packages are likely to have too much of things that you don’t need and not enough of things that you do. They are a beginning only.

9) Weapons for defense: People will probably panic. They just may take violent action. Not that anyone wants this to happen, but it may be very useful to have a night club or some other hand held weapon to defend yourself with. Your knife can be useful here. A pistol is recommended. A shotgun and rifle have more functions. Binoculars may be useful.

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