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.

 

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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. 

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.

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.

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. 

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?

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.

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.

Last edited by Community Member

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. 

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. 

Thanks, JW104. I was just going to add this to the other thread, but this is a more appropriate place.  To add on to what was posted earlier.                                                                                  The Basics: 1/2 tank of gas at all times, minimum. battery powered radio, flashlights with extra batts, FAK, OTC meds, water. Shoes, keys, flashlight by bed. Have a plan, research.              Home: Planned meeting place outside the home and in the neighborhood, know what daycare/school will do. For older kids, have your own, you may not like the schools idea. A meeting place(s) away from home at friends or relatives. Add more water, more food, stuff for the kids to do without electricity. Chemlites are great for kids and marking stuff. paper goods, cleaning stuff, paper plates, wipes, spray, masks, gloves, garbage bags. Gas shut off wrench. Extra glasses and cash in small bills. Work with your HH6 and kids on the plans, it will pay off.                                                                                                                                                                                     Car: Flashlight or 2 and extra batts, Chemlites, FAK, cell charger, jumper cables, fix a flat, map of the area. day sack, duffle or tote with food, water, hats, gloves, blanket, kid stuff.                         The Details: Rechargeable lantern, more water and a way or 2 to purify it, more food and rotation plan. Add to FAK, stock up RX meds and build up OTC, supplements, vitamins. Pet food, water, extra collar, leash, ID tags, pics, travel crate. Add to kids stuff, comfort items. Way to cook and serve food if utilities are out.  Disposable KFS, plates, bowls dish soap, etc. Use less water with paper plates, etc. Small bag for kids school locker. Granola bars, water/juice, a little cash, chemlite. Fire extinguishers, hoses long enough to reach around yard.                                                                                                                                                                                                      Nice To Have: More water, cash, batts, water purification, pandemic stuff. Bag or tote for each person left at a friends/relatives place. Tire repair patch kits, FRS radios for close range commo. What if plans. If we loose the house, if we HAVE to evacuate, if we can't evacuate. Pre arrange with 2 or 3 out of state people to act as message centers. Plan what you need to take when you leave and what you'd like to take. With  notice can you leave some things for safe keeping with someone?                                                                                                                                                    BOBs, 72 Hour Kits, GHBs, etc: Depending on your situation you may want to make some type of bag for each person the first priority. Consider what your EDC is, what's in the car when making the bags. If you can have supplies at work, that just adds to the layers of prep. Consider where you might end up, what you'll need and what you'll be doing. I'm not ending up in the wilderness being a mountain man.  I've included a small solar charger, solar & wall cell phone chargers, small extension cord. I might end up staying at the office, at a friends of a hotel. Having the gas in the tank gives me options. Having basic stuff + a little food, water, water purification and cash makes me less of a burden on my friends.  Next post will be long lasting foods from the market. Need to get the info back from friend across the street.

Thanks, Dave

jcustisredux posted:

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.

Not A pair of work.gloves, but multiple pairs. They do wear out pretty quick when. Being used all the time.

 

These are some items that will last a long time that are available at grocery stores. Honey, baking soda, white vinegar, booze, rubbing alcohol (get 70% or above), hydrogen peroxide, sugar, salt, bouillon cubes, dry beans, rice, pasta, powdered milk, coconut oil. Olive oil will last when kept in air tight, light proof container. canned condensed milk also will last.

Dave

I feel like people go for a lot of the big items. Food, ammo, guns, sometimes water.

I may get flak for this. But "Bug out bags" are not really viable option, unless you are moving to an alternative pre stocked location outside of the danger zone. Most people's bag last 72hrs, then what? Go to a UN shelter? Bug out bag will not carry you thru winter, I've played Oregon trail(joke), that ain't gonna cut it. 

Most critical supplies are not available at this time due to covid 19. People are frankly behind the ball. 

I think the most overlooked and undervalued action item is Clean water & Sanitation plan. There is a caveat to this, with electricity/public works and without electricity/public works. 

If we are planning for rural, where people have springs and legit un tarnished( no feces, no oil/antifreeze runoff, no mining chemicals) streams. You guys are 5000% ahead of the suburban/urban folk. You wont die from dysentery.

So my long winded question to LF, what is peoples non-rural sanitation and clean water strategy for your family should water bottles, and city water/sewer run out?

I am still trying to find my water plan in an urban/suburban environment. And even if I had well access, I'm sure others would want it or take it for their control. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BigOaf posted:

I feel like people go for a lot of the big items. Food, ammo, guns, sometimes water.

I may get flak for this. But "Bug out bags" are not really viable option, unless you are moving to an alternative pre stocked location outside of the danger zone. Most people's bag last 72hrs, then what? Go to a UN shelter? Bug out bag will not carry you thru winter, I've played Oregon trail(joke), that ain't gonna cut it. 

Most critical supplies are not available at this time due to covid 19. People are frankly behind the ball. 

I think the most overlooked and undervalued action item is Clean water & Sanitation plan. There is a caveat to this, with electricity/public works and without electricity/public works. 

If we are planning for rural, where people have springs and legit un tarnished( no feces, no oil/antifreeze runoff, no mining chemicals) streams. You guys are 5000% ahead of the suburban/urban folk. You wont die from dysentery.

So my long winded question to LF, what is peoples non-rural sanitation and clean water strategy for your family should water bottles, and city water/sewer run out?

I am still trying to find my water plan in an urban/suburban environment. And even if I had well access, I'm sure others would want it or take it for their control. 

It is difficult, if not impossible, to make a GOOD plan unless you do a thorough risk/hazard assessment. Once you identify the major hazards and the impact they have on you, you can make a plan, then prep for your plan. Big items like food and water feature prominently in most plans, regardless of hazard, because we need them, and in large quantities, to sustain life. You know the old saying, amateurs study tactics, professionals study logistics. Logistics isn't just buying stuff, it involves identifying needs, procuring items to meet those needs, storing, inventorying, rotating supplies, moving people and supplies where they need to be, when they need to be there. There are many courses of action (COA) in a crisis, but let's consider two main COAs: staying in place and evacuating. Each presents their own logistics challenges. If you can safely stay in place, or can't safely evacuate, you will need to sustain yourself for a minimum of 72 hours (based on FEMA and Red Cross recommendations) until emergency assistance begins to arrive. Two and a half years ago, when I opened this thread, I recommended five days, based on previous disasters. Since then I planned and prepared for 10-14 days. Why only 14 and not 30 or 60? Hazard assessment and logistics. Storing and maintaining a month or more worth of supplies was not feasible for me. And quite honestly, I did not adequately prepare for a pandemic. But the beauty of a good risk/hazard assessment means much of your preparation overlaps. For example, I had N95 and dust masks as part of my shelter-in-place kit I assembled for industrial/transportation/HAZMAT incidents. In addition to the big things, think about everything else you would need to stay in place for 3-14 (or more days) with limited resupply options, things like batteries, candles, propane, gasoline, medications, Skoal (your supplies should not be limited to just life-and-death), anything else you think you need. If you have the financial resources and storage space, plan and prepare to be as comfortable as you can.

The logistics of evacuation, on the other hand, are challenging. Most people can't take 3-14 days worth of supplies with them when they evacuate. But you still need to take resources necessary to reach the destination and function upon arrival. An evacuation plan should include multiple destinations and routes, based on hazards. It may be a short term evacuation, a few days to weeks until the crisis is manageable, or long term, like months or more, if it isn't safe to return. My evacuation plans include paper maps as well as important businesses' numbers (hotels, real estate agents, for example). A friend's or vacation home may have everything you need. If not, you have to start acquiring the necessities when you arrive at the evacuation destination. Storage may be limited, depending on accommodations, so you may have to plan carefully. Eventually, you will have to transition back home, too.

This is probably a good place to address bail out bags (BOB). I don't think you'll get too much flak here about your opinion. But I don't know anyone who expects or plans to live out of a bail out bag for any length of time. Conventional wisdom is that you keep enough essential supplies in your kit just to get to a destination. One LF said he keeps his BOB in his car in case a crisis prohibits him from driving home. IIRC, he said he keeps some water, energy food, hiking shoes, clothing, extra ammo, some tools like a knife, flashlight, batteries, etc., so he can get back to his family then execute his emergency plan. Another said he keeps his BOB stocked with what he needs to evac to a pre-planned and safe destination. Grab it, throw it in the car, then evac. I think anyone who thinks a BOB by itself is a long term survival plan has not done a good risk/hazard assessment and probably isn't being realistic. COULD you live with nothing but the contents of an assault pack? Sure, you COULD. I watch Naked and Afraid. It is possible. SHOULD you? I would say very few people SHOULD do that. Also, "UN shelter?" There won't be any UN shelters in the US. That's not why we put bar codes on the back of street signs. FEMA shelters? Yes. And yes, many people will rely on this option, although as we have seen in the past, the system will be stressed, especially in the early stages of response and recovery.  

As to your question about water, again, it all depends on your risk/hazard assessment. How long do you plan on being without water, or until municipal water service is restored?  Since you used the terms "run out," and "others would want it or take it for their control," you may be referring to a long term, catastrophic breakdown of society. I really haven't planned for that type of planet-altering cataclysm. If that's the case, well, we may all just be fucked. If municipal water has run out, there is no prospect of restoration, and others are trying to take control of our wells, it is full on Mad fuckin' Max time. I'll probably try to join a society of like minded survivors and start carrying a crossbow. I'll try to be middle of the pack, because low level minions and big bosses always die gruesome deaths. If we are talking about something more mundane, like a broad, regional, extended post-Katrina large scale failure of infrastructure, relocation may be the preferred COA. Establishing your own supply chain may be another options. For example, you and your buddies can pool resources and travel outside of the impacted area to acquire necessary resources, or arrange to have them shipped in. I don't currently forecast losing municipal water during this pandemic, but if it that was to happen, I imagine lots of people would be drawing water from public waterways like lakes and rivers. Most LFers who articulated their emergency plans over the past few years have given serious consideration to storing, sourcing, transporting and purifying water. Bulk water storage is easy and inexpensive, if you have the space. A food grade 55 gallon drum costs around $50, and pump maybe $30. Just one 55 gallon drum would last a family of five with a dog about a week. You could store water with a bit of bleach in it for a couple years without rotating it. I think it was Astronomy (I apologize if it was someone else) who posted some very detailed, specific and awesome info regarding treating water in another thread. Augment bulk water, or substitute it altogether if you don't have a lot of room, with a few cases of 1 gal, 5 gal or smaller bottles in case you have to travel. Keep some kind of beverage powder on hand so you don't get bored of drinking plain water. Even for people with limited financial resources, gradually stocking up on water should be relatively inexpensive. Filters are not super expensive, for emergencies and on the move. Some guys also have rain collection systems. Any suggestions are just general unless we know what hazards you project. For example, rain and pond water would not be an option if you anticipate a dirty bomb, which is not too far fetched in some areas. Here in Vegas, a rain collection system wouldn't be as effective as in New England.

Emergency planning and risk/hazard assessments are not single events. They are processes, cycles. I wrote my kid's school crisis management plan a few years ago, and update it annually, but I've already been in touch with the principal to revise it based on what we learned from this crisis so far.  I'm reassessing my family emergency plans and preparations. In the future, for example, I will increase my on-hand quantities of PPE. I'm not talking cases, but I need to figure out how many sets per family member plus a few extra is the right amount. I may bump up my water capacity. I think I'm good, and don't think I'll even tap into my emergency supply, but a little more would give me a comfortable buffer. But systems are more important than stuff. I'm going to sustain my rotation plan for food and other supplies like batteries. That has worked so far. As far as work goes, I already recommended to my sergeant that we need to appoint a logistics officer at our squad/sub-station level. It is apparent that if we need to stock, inventory and secure necessary emergency supplies, we will have to do that ourselves. But that's a different discussion.

I should apologize for my post, and appreciate the insightful response. I am in a condo, so storage space is rare.

My rant about to Bug out bags, is in reaction to all the bad information going out right now outside of LF. The UN shelter was a bad joke. 

BigOaf, does your condo have a pool? Are there pools in the area? We used to have a saltwater pool. Kept having issues with chlorine generator, so we went with regular fresh water a few years back. My plan back then, was have gravity filter(s), make a deal with neighbor. He had the water, I had the means to process. 

Edit to add: I just looked you're Virginia. I grew up there, lots of surface water you could process with filtration. Hopefully you're not in the tidewater with brackish water.

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"One LF said he keeps his BOB in his car in case a crisis prohibits him from driving home"

This or to get home. I have it in the car ALL THE TIME as I have the car with me where ever I'm at to 99%. Thus I have supplies for 3 days minimum wherever I'm at.

 

BigOaf posted:

I should apologize for my post, and appreciate the insightful response. I am in a condo, so storage space is rare.

My rant about to Bug out bags, is in reaction to all the bad information going out right now outside of LF. The UN shelter was a bad joke. 

No need to apologize. I was trying to be witty but it was 3AM. Sorry if I missed the mark.

I also used your post as a guide to my stream-of-consciousness general discussion so not everything was in direct response to you. You brought up some good points and I completely forgot to address field sanitation. I'd like to hear more discussion about that. 

I am right there with you on the bad info on BOBs.  Some people really do pack one bag with two bottles of water, an MRE, a Rambo knife, lighter, D cell Maglite but pack of AAA batteries and think they can live off the land indefinitely. 

Condos and apartments present big storage limitations for preparation. I'll have to read through the prepping with limited space thread again. https://www.lightfighter.net/t...g-with-limited-space

Another option for milk is the boxed long life milk. It's regular milk. It just doesn't need refrigeration until it is opened. I saw it all over Saudi, but it's probably only available at ethnic markets here.

You can use it along with the shitty, watery-tasting reconstituted powdered milk.

yakc130 posted:

Another option for milk is the boxed long life milk. It's regular milk. It just doesn't need refrigeration until it is opened. I saw it all over Saudi, but it's probably only available at ethnic markets here.

You can use it along with the shitty, watery-tasting reconstituted powdered milk.

UHT, shelf-stable milk used to be fairly common in big box and chain grocery stores.  Be mindful that when it's past its expiration and goes off, it REALLY goes off. I know this.  

When I was at my regular grocery store stocking up last weekend, I picked up a few boxes of nonfat dry milk powder.  I had to look for a while to find them in a corner on a bottom shelf.  The checkout lady (about my age) remarked that it had been "years" since she saw anyone bring any of those off the shelf.  They'll do for cooking.

yakc130 posted:

Another option for milk is the boxed long life milk. It's regular milk. It just doesn't need refrigeration until it is opened. I saw it all over Saudi, but it's probably only available at ethnic markets here.

You can use it along with the shitty, watery-tasting reconstituted powdered milk.

Same thing in UAE. It was labeled Almari. There was something strange about that place, fresh Mille and bread would spoil in a week’s time, even with refrigeration.

But eggs, those bad boys had a three-month expiration date,

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