I read CashOnlyCow's recommendation on having separate threads for each topic, like food, water, etc. I posted the following post in the water thread and it grew wildly outside that topic. I think it is difficult to separate everything when speaking in generalities because food is tied to water, which has implications in evacuation, etc. I created this topic in hopes it will be general in nature, but allow specific discussions about how exactly to purify water, prepare food or store fuel in their own threads.

If you store water, make sure it is in a food safe container. I picked up a 55 gallon drum from Sportsman's Warehouse for about $50. Don't forget a pump, because you don't want to try and tip a 55 gallon drum over to pour cups of water. I have the barrel ratchet straps to a wheeled dolly to move it around the garage. As has been mentioned above, it is recommended to treat with bleach, and to rotate. I do so annually, give or take. When using bleach, do not use scented bleach, just use plain chlorine bleach. A large container isn't very practical for evacuation, so we also keep several cases of bottled water in the pantry, rotating them periodically. Some kind of beverage powder is advisable. I have Gatorade because I got two huge cans of powder from the Army. I'm not going to debate sugar, electrolyte, carbohydrates, anything like that. Choose for yourself, but beverage powder can help mask the taste of bleach or water purification tablets, and the kids will get bored of drinking plain water after some time.

The Red Cross and FEMA recommend having 72 hours of water and food on hand. I recommend at least 5 days, if not more. I am not planning for the end of the world. I gauged my needs based on historic examples of how long it took to get relief supplies in an area, for example during Katrina and Sandy. If you store dehydrated food, remember it requires more water and contains more sodium. You will have to plan to have more water on hand. I have some dehydrated food, but not my whole stock. If you have canned foods, rotate them normally. That should be easy if you get what you normally eat. Do not assume that you were your kids will suddenly like foods that you have never eaten or never liked before just because it's an emergency. Vegetables, fruits, tuna, etc., can all be stored for a long period of time, and are relatively inexpensive. I don't know anything about canning or preparing my own so I won't get into that. When you rotate your food, make sure you are inspecting it for bulges, damage, etc.

Storing fuel may or may not be difficult for some people. It might not be practical to store large amounts in a suburban garage. Make sure you rotate the fuel as you can, or use appropriate stabilizers.

If you have a generator, and sure you have POL on hand, and test the generator periodically. This ensures that it works, and that the system doesn't get fouled. Consider a transfer switch so you can plug the generator in and run just what you need to run. An electrician can explain that much better than I can.

Have pre-planned evacuation routes. Consider multiple alternate routes depending on the location of the disaster, not just in your city, but in potential destination cities. Have hard maps for those areas. I keep a binder with my family emergency plan, checklists, hard maps, phone numbers and addresses of hotels, and phone numbers and addresses of real estate agents in an area. If there is a prolonged disaster, hotels may fill up or get very expensive. It may be worth renting a house for a month or whatever it takes.

Scan copies of important documents such as birth certificates, social security cards, insurance documents, passports, licenses, wills, corporation documents if you have a small business, family photos, medical records and put them all on a flash drive.

Keep medical supplies, extra prescription and OTC medications on hand and rotate as necessary. Know how to perform basic first aid.

Keep a supply of cash on hand. It doesn't have to be much, but if ATMs are out of service or banks are closed, you want to have a way to pay for goods. Some people recommend two months worth of bills in cash on hand.

Keep extra flashlights, chargers, radios, batteries, duct tape, chemlights, useful things like that handy, or better yet, in your emergency kit.

I also maintain a shelter-in-place kit containing tarps, tape, staple gun, Staples , dust masks, things like that, in case of hen industrial or chemical accident, for example.I also have instructions for my family in the kit in case I'm not there. It may seem like common sense to you to remove the mirror from the bathroom and tape up the exhaust fan, but will they remember that in a crisis?

I keep as much of my emergency readiness supplies in one place as I can. Obviously food, water, bulky items, cash will be in different locations, but most of it is in one place. I also keep a checklist of everything that would go with us during an evacuation, such as sleeping bags, extra clothes, extra shoes, toys for the kids, favorite blanket or teddy bear, etc. Review your checklist at least annually, or anytime there is a significant change, either hazards or your situation. Most importantly, review this with your spouse we're children if they are old enough. When I started going to school for Emergency Management, my wife thought I was getting paranoid. Then I started talking to her about the effects of natural disasters, and showed examples from tornadoes, earthquakes, hurricanes. She began to understand. If I can't make it home, she has to mobilize. Have contingency plans. Will you meet up later? Will you meet up at home or on the road? Will you not meet up, and send them ahead while you stay at work? All these things need to be discussed, planned, rehearsed prior to an emergency.

I apologize for being long-winded, I am dictating into my phone. It is hard to see what I've written. These are just some things off the top of my head as I get ready for work. I appreciate this form, whether we are responders or responsible neighbors, it is important that we try to become part of the solution, not the problem.

 

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"One of the nice things about being around other soldiers is they will suffer your bullshit gladly, knowing sooner or later you will shut up and listen to theirs." - Jim Morris, War Story

 

"The military was strange like that. In the middle of the night you run into a major problem that requires you to put your faith in someone you never met before and probably would never see again. But that person knocks himself out to do his job and helps you get on with yours." - Harold W. Coyle, Team Yankee

Original Post

Most/many of us serve in some capacity that would require us to work in the event of some disaster, whether natural or human. We will be needed. But that's impossible to do if your own house isn't in order. This topic, this forum is important for anyone in public service. It's a great idea. Thanks.

 

Adversity is another way to measure the greatness of individuals.  -Lou Holtz

I would like to add....pet food, pet meds and feminine products (if applicable). 

________________________________________________________________

What's the most dangerous thing said in the US Navy? -- A Chief Petty Officer saying "Watch this s$%^!!"

 

Joined: 1/15/13           Location:  PACNORWEST

We live in earthquake country, so water is the most important thing.  In addition to the 30-55 gallon barrel, I recommend some of these, so you can take a few day's water with you, or ferry it back to your house.  I got three of thesehttp://buylci.com/ItemDisplayF...al&ItemID=906396 because there was a free shipping if you spent over $75 deal.  They offer it every now and then.

In case of a major  event, where you could be a long way from home, unemployed and facing a long recovery. Having scanned copies of resumes, contacts, certificates, references, etc to help in temp work or starting over.

Make a binder with basic how to  sections on water, food, cooking, light, medical, etc for your spouse and family too use if you're  on not there. Gas shut off wrench on the gas meter. Charcoal stores well, if kept dry. A metal garbage can works well, buy on sale around summer holidays. Cooking in a Dutch oven doesn't use much charcoal.

Have your bug out items where they will be fast and easy to load into the vehicle.  Know what you're gonna take and practice it.  For short term ice, the bottom layer of my freezer is 1 litre bottles of frozen water. After it melts, still have the water. If you keep your car in the garage, know how to open the door without power, can your spouse open it ? Fix a flat and tire plug kits.

Have a couple of plastic totes, duffle bags or back packs with the basics at a friends place.  You take mine, I'll take yours at my place.  A commo plan with out of state contacts to pass messages  can really help, especially the first few days. Who's OK, where are they and what do they need ?

If you have older parents, help them develop a plan that will work for them. Medium sized  rolling suitcases worked for my folks. I knew which direction they would head  when evacuating and where they planned to stay.  Had a check list for each of them dividing up the tasks when leaving.

Dave

"Keep that cheap, wail'n slut quiet!" A.J. Maggott

Dave, you make some excellent points.

The binder is a tool that I also use because it keeps everything consolidated. I learned to love checklists in the Army. They make it easy to do things when you are tired, cold, in a hurry, unfamiliar with a task, in the dark, whatever, or pack things without forgetting something.

Suitcases are a great idea for kits. They can hold a bunch of stuff and are relatively easy to move (yes, yes, I know, depending on the situation; you don't want to drag a rolling suitcase across the desert if you have to evac on foot; everything is METT-TC dependent). I have most of my kit in a giant Pelican case. But it is broken down into smaller bags inside because it will be awkward for my wife to muscle into the minivan if she has to execute the load plan by herself. I made her rehearse it, too. I irritate her sometimes. Also, the smaller bags make it easy to grab specifics without rooting through a big box of stuff. Load the big box but grab the tool, medical, hygiene, light bags as needed.

A buddy plan is great, too, if you have reliable partners. We were very close with one set of neighbors and the family of an Army buddy of mine who lived nearby. We also included my elderly in-laws who lived near us part of the year. Having supplies divided between locations minimizes the risk of losing everything in the event one house, or even multiple, is impacted. The advantages of a neighborhood or community plan that can't be overstated. Picture two contrasting images of post-Hurricane Sandy. Where would you like to be, Staten Island, where the borough president threw a tantrum because he didn't think the Red Cross provided dry ice and food were sufficient within hours of the storm's end, or in South Jersey where groups of residents were using chainsaws to remove trees while others were cooking a barbeque meal in a park, and older children were keeping the young kids busy on the playground? If we find ourselves in the middle of a major natural disaster, we will all likely need some form of assistance. Planning doesn't eliminate risk or the need for assistance, but adequate planning can help mitigate our risk and minimize the impact the disaster has on us. Response and recovery assets will come. It may take hours to days. Every hour you have to stand in line for a bottle of water, MRE and blanket is an hour you are not spending doing recovery ops. Three to seven days is a decent planning window (I lean towards seven or more).

A commo plan is indispensable. Have redundant means of communication. Our plan includes notes, text and cell phone calls, messaging aps, e-mails, and FRS radios. I know I have shortcomings in my plan. Except for notes, which are extremely limited in usefulness, everything requires power. I do have multiple power sources but if cell communications or power are out, my communications are degraded. I don't have long range radio or sat phone. I'll be honest, I'm not going to get them, either. I'm looking hard at goTenna to bridge that capabilities gap (if anyone has input please let me know). If your situation is similar, make sure your reunification and what-to-do-if-you-can't-make-contact plans are solid.

I guess I should have put this at the beginning of my first post. A good hazard and risk assessment is the basis for a solid emergency management plan. Make an assessment of the potential hazards, focusing on the most likely. I live in a very seismically active state, with a large tourism industry, in an area that is prone to minor, localized flooding, with a major freeway and major natural gas line nearby. Therefore, my plan must address earthquakes, terrorism (not in my neighborhood, but it impacts my wife's and my jobs), industrial or transportation accidents, and routes in and out of the city that may be compromised, among other things.

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"One of the nice things about being around other soldiers is they will suffer your bullshit gladly, knowing sooner or later you will shut up and listen to theirs." - Jim Morris, War Story

 

"The military was strange like that. In the middle of the night you run into a major problem that requires you to put your faith in someone you never met before and probably would never see again. But that person knocks himself out to do his job and helps you get on with yours." - Harold W. Coyle, Team Yankee

X-ray Dave posted:

For short term ice, the bottom layer of my freezer is 1 litre bottles of frozen water. After it melts, still have the water. If you keep your car in the garage, know how to open the door without power, can your spouse open it ? Fix a flat and tire plug kits.

 

Dave

Dave's recommendations are excellent and they also reinforce the idea that sometimes we forget to do the simple things....like freezing water bottles beforehand and filling the 'fridge with them (I am obsessed with ice....see my thread on the subject).

My wife would have no idea how to open the garage without electricity.  I need to teach her.

One other thing worth considering:  keep only one fueled vehicle at home.  If you have a second vehicle move it to an elevated municipal or private garage that is on high ground and in an area that a) isn't too far away and b) is better protected/more resilient to the oncoming storm and/or potential flood.   It should be close enough to where you could walk or bicycle to it if you had too.  Fill that second vehicle's trunk with spare clothing, supplies etc.  Make sure the tank is full.  It serves as your backup vehicle and a survival cache if your home and primary vehicle get wiped out.

We have a number of municipal parking lots in our downtown city center.  Like many such garages, they are solid concrete buildings with no windows to blow out and any high winds will just sail right through (but so will flying debris).  Find a corner spot to park your secondary vehicle where it is relatively sheltered. You make your way to it if you have to.

PS- a bicycle or motorbike can be a useful thing to have in an emergency.  You can get around fallen trees, debris, etc. and through backed up traffic.  A bike doesn't require any fossil fuel to make you rapidly mobile.  A kayak or canoe can do the same thing if you are in a low lying area that may flood.

Have an individual / family emergency-binder, to collect and grab in a hurry vital informations and critical documents, also in case of forced swift evacuation.

Templates and forms can be found via google search. Use what suits your needs.

 

Example at: h ttp://forums.equipped.org/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=108728&page=1

                      In that thread specially this nuggets of wisdom:

Couple of Suggestions from the health care provider end of the boat.

Emergency Phone Tree:
Think sitting in the ICU waiting area in the middle of the night, destraut and thinking "who do I call? What do I do??". Someone will get left out in the stress of the situation that may be a valuable resource.

Medical Info Sheet:
For each family member
You can even import a photo of each family member onto their sheet and it could be faxed to an Emergency Room anywhere if need be.

(I) Dealt with a number of families split up by Katrina and members scattered all over the place in varying levels of conciousness/mental faculties and trying to figure out what the patient's history was. Patient couldn't tell us and even their old medical records were under 10 feet of water.

Don't trust yourself to remember all of your wife's medications or your child's allergies while they're screaming and/or bleeding in front of you. Been there, done that, went brain dead, and I'm a nurse that deals with that on a daily basis.

The Med Info Sheet should includes:
- Allergies including foods, tape, latex,....
- Medications/doses
- Surgeries and any metal implants (no not the ones the aliens put in , they don't show up on xray)
- Physicians and their contact numbers
- Vaccinations especially most recent tetanus.
++++++

Hold the data in your Binder up to date, if you have a paper binder and electronic copies (which I would suggest) hold them as synchron as possible.

 

AEGIS305 mentioned kayaks or canoes to use in flooded areas.  If the floodwater moves (flows) stay out of it with any unpowered boats, even with powerboats if possible until you are experienced driving them in swift water conditions.  If the water is stagnant it will get nasty and polluted quick, specially in a city, so you won't want capsize in it with a unstable boat.

 

 

 

Those of us who work in emergency services (in whatever  capacity) need to have educated spouses/kids.  They need to know what to do... because we will be very busy managing disasters for other people, and may not be available.

“One sometimes gets the impression that the mere words ‘Socialism’ and ‘Communism’ draw towards them with magnetic force every fruit-juice drinker, nudist, sandal-wearer, sex-maniac, Quaker, ‘Nature Cure’ quack, pacifist, and feminist in England,”  -George Orwell-

JW104 posted:

Suitcases are a great idea for kits. They can hold a bunch of stuff and are relatively easy to move (yes, yes, I know, depending on the situation; you don't want to drag a rolling suitcase across the desert if you have to evac on foot; everything is METT-TC dependent). I have most of my kit in a giant Pelican case.

I use Pelican 1740: they rack into vehicle trays well & tow well when floating- assuming they are not loaded with things metallic.

C Walley posted:

Pets.  Make sure you have enough of their food, and make sure to think about them when thinking about how much water you will need.  Also, if any of your pets take meds be sure to have enough of them on hand as well. 

...or train pets to loot stores?  Like that Texan dog.

It may be buried somewhere above, but you need to pack sturdy work gloves.  They allow you to remove debris, handle somewhat sharp, hot, cold, etc. objects, and prevent nagging cuts and abrasions that can become a unecessary problem to deal with during the emergency.

You should have a pair for everyone over the age of 12 or 13, I'd say.  It is easy to overlook them when building packing lists.

It is better that they do it imperfectly than that you do it perfectly. For it is their war and their country and your time here is limited.

 

                                                                                                                        —T. E. Lawrence

 

 

POSREP: UAE

More specifically, a pair of leather fire fighting gloves.

I have some pairs left over from my days with the FD. They are the bomb for picking up burning logs from the fire and re-positioning them to a better place. Heavy duty for handling sharp objects, and so on.

_____________________________________________

 

Doug

If I mention Corona, I ain't talking about beer.

 

"It's your turn to do until it's not."  TA

 

"Afterall.... if you get yourself into a fair fight.. you really haven't learned anything in all the time you have spent on Lightfighter, your tactics suck, and you don't deserve to breed."  David Reeves

 

JOINED:  9/20/09     LOCATION:  Outside of KSA Finally!

yakc130 posted:

More specifically, a pair of leather fire fighting gloves.

I have some pairs left over from my days with the FD. They are the bomb for picking up burning logs from the fire and re-positioning them to a better place. Heavy duty for handling sharp objects, and so on.

This is spot on. I still have my mine for the same reason. 

 

"The facts, while interesting are irrelevant: It's not what you know that matters, it's what you don't know that tends to get people killed."

 

"Nobelesse Oblige"

BigOaf posted:
yakc130 posted:

More specifically, a pair of leather fire fighting gloves.

I have some pairs left over from my days with the FD. They are the bomb for picking up burning logs from the fire and re-positioning them to a better place. Heavy duty for handling sharp objects, and so on.

This is spot on. I still have my mine for the same reason. 

I found out the hard way a pair of leather gloves weren't.

This question arose after I read about public information issues and mentioned it in the current CA fires thread, but it may deserve its own thread if the response grow too great here:

My question is what webpages should I have saved in favorites in order to receive the most accurate information regarding a natural disaster or similar emergency situation, at the local and national levels?

It is better that they do it imperfectly than that you do it perfectly. For it is their war and their country and your time here is limited.

 

                                                                                                                        —T. E. Lawrence

 

 

POSREP: UAE

jcustisredux posted:

 

My question is what webpages should I have saved in favorites in order to receive the most accurate information regarding a natural disaster or similar emergency situation, at the local and national levels?

The problem I have found is that in many, if not most emergency/disaster situations, the information lags dramatically. The PIO position in ICS is often not one that gets a lot of attention. That is understandable, as in most of those situations, internal comms (Planning Section Chief) is far more important that external (PIO and Liaison Officer).

I get alerts from many state and local agencies, and I have yet to find an "official" site that can keep up with work of mouth from those in the midst of the disaster in timeliness and accuracy.

---------------------------------

It's not that life is so short, it's that you're dead for so long.

The .45-70 is the only government I trust

"I was raised in a place called America...
It's gone now, I wish you could've seen it"
- a WWII vet

 

Joined: 1/30/06 3:34 PM - Location:MA

My question is what webpages should I have saved in favorites in order to receive the most accurate information regarding a natural disaster or similar emergency situation, at the local and national levels?

You're going to laugh at this one, but bear with me, there's a method to my madness...

http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/new_topics.php

This site features some of the most twisted conspiracy theorists, loons, and people off of their meds to be found on the internet. However, it is also inhabited by dedicated and lucid folks with expertise in exotic topics ranging from earthquake science to computer security to aviation to the fine art of crocheting. I'm not a member, but I scan it daily just as I would The Early Bird.

The site attracts a worldwide flock of real time observers and occasional SMEs who are manning their personal "event" radars 24/7 all around the world. Like a flock of early warning guardian geese, that internet crowd gets dialed in to breaking news or danger pretty rapidly. If something happens, sometimes the very first indications, 1st hand observations, or early local news reports are to be found on this site. Things like early reports of terrorist attacks, chemical spills, mass shootings, volcanic eruptions, weather events, internet outages, assassinations, military movements, tsunamis, nuke tests, aviation shoot downs, missile launches, wildfires, breaking disasters, abrupt politico resignations, ... the list goes on. 

A large crowd of admittedly paranoid and suspicious folks man the radar looking for emergent events and back stories. They frequently find them.

Great place to quickly find live internet feeds of 1st responder channels or breaking local news coverage. Often before the major networks (or folks like AP) are even aware of the story.

There's always some poster who is on scene for an event (or fairly nearby). They may not actually understand everything they are seeing or hearing, but they report anyway. Or conveniently provide links to breaking official or media reports.

You have to learn to separate the wheat from the chaff, but I've found a lot of acorns amidst the white noise, doom porn, and crazy. 

When seeking early reporting of breaking events, I quickly scan the first page of the New Topics category at the  Above Top Secret website.  It's frequently well ahead of initial reporting from places like CNN, BBC, Fox, MSNBC, etc.  Both in erupting timeline and detail.

And if it's a slow day for you, there are plenty of entertaining fantasy & conspiracy tales. JFK, UFOs, Planet X, New World Order, Prophecies, etc.

Some of which will serve to remind you of just what Crazy looks like.

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The moral high ground is sometimes just a head on a long pike... - Astronomy

 

A new Plt Ldr is like a first time new mother. The Plt Sgt is a lifelong midwife and nanny. It's your baby, but he knows a lot about changing diapers and other ugly things. - Astronomy

I went there.  I need some brain bleach.  I'll give it a try later, but yeah, the crazy is rabid there.

It is better that they do it imperfectly than that you do it perfectly. For it is their war and their country and your time here is limited.

 

                                                                                                                        —T. E. Lawrence

 

 

POSREP: UAE

The operative words are "scan quickly". About 90% of it is just drivel. Just look for a topic title or key word/phrase that meets what you're looking for.

There's a huge column of smoke visible miles from your location? Whether it's an airplane crash or a munitions/chemical explosion... somebody will be on it.

No different than any other open source data mining site. I may not believe everything from an Iraqi, Russian, Chinese, or North Korean source, but a good analyst is going to peruse them anyway. At least in a cursory manner.

They're also pretty good at quickly IDing internet news hoaxes and driving factual stakes into those vampires. 

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The moral high ground is sometimes just a head on a long pike... - Astronomy

 

A new Plt Ldr is like a first time new mother. The Plt Sgt is a lifelong midwife and nanny. It's your baby, but he knows a lot about changing diapers and other ugly things. - Astronomy

The guys I know who are traveling around the world swear by twitter and facebook for breaking news stories. If you aren't tied into a geographical area, these firsthand reports are often enough to get you a jumpstart on things. 

For local stuff, I just have a folder with the local news apps on my phone. I also have a folder of all local news stations in my bookmarks so I can fire up different devices and easily log into everything to watch for emerging info. I mostly use this for things like weather radar, during tornado threats, and the like. When I am on the road, I try to find the local info but it's not always as easy to keep up high SA when you are moving frequently. 

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