Yesterday, Russian markets stopped trading for a second day after emergency funding measures by the government failed to halt the biggest stock rout since the country’s debt default and currency devaluation a decade ago. They are opened today but not for stocks.
This image is taken from MSNBC from the US Stock Exchange yesterday.
This day 20 of a 21 day count down to basic disaster preparedness. We are looking at how to prepare for an event lasting at least 6 months with a finite time to prepare. (Figure most disasters don't give 21 days advance notice). I have no particular expertise but together I bet we have a lot of creative ideas.
We're starting with water because it is a non-negotiable. I took my LE biology credits in a course called 'survival biology' where the instructor said that no food for 30 days was an involuntary fast(there are plenty of exceptions) but you don't survive 3 days without water (or even one day exerting yourself in a hot, dry climate). So, fill containers, and in a pinch remember the hot water heater contains potable water as does the tank on the toilet. Right now, you have time to mail order barrels suited for water storage of tap water and rain barrels. We'll come back to water after the household evaluation.
I'm assuming anyone reading has been doing some preparations all along. So now take the time to evaluate your household according to categories. Look at what you have so far. In doing so, put on an analytical mind and check emotions at the door. This is no time to get overwhelmed or depressed. Be an evaluator with a check sheet and a critical (does not mean judgmental) eye. You are looking not so much to inventory (time issue) but to see what you need to do next. Write down where the basics that need covering.
Evaluate your Household:
Water - Do you have stored water, the means to access more water, the means to purify water that has been wild caught. As crucial as water is, water born illness will take you out fast.
Food - I'm assuming that readers here have been working on food storage. Mostly we work on storing what you eat and eating what you store. We aim for balance. But right now, focus not so much on perfection but on six months supply to fill your bellies with energy giving food. Think of things like beans, rice, the means to make bread, cooking oil and salt. Put up what you and livestock can't live without. If you have that, then begin to evaluate your nutritional balance, comfort foods, pet food, protein, fruits and veggies. Begin to fill in the holes. Store water specifically for preparation of dry foods - it takes a lot. Remember dogs evolved with humans because of similar nutritional needs and commercial dog food is an institution of the 20th century. They need more fat and calcium for an optimal diet.
Shelter Again, most who are reading this have a place to live and are in the U.S. Do you have winter blankets, an alternative heat source such as wood stove and wood, electric heat and solar power, kerosene heater and kerosene, room to take in others, extra towels and linens, window covers? Coats and boots and clothes for those who are still growing? What practical tools do you need? What can you share with those nearby?
Fuel This is alternative means of cooking, propane, kerosene,solar (if you can afford it), lighting for the darkest days of the year, extra gas for emergency transportation or for generator.
Sanitation A friend who worked as an ER nurse in the Appalachian region told me one time that most of what they saw could have been prevented by good hygiene. Have enough water that you can wash cuts and take sponge baths. Take care of little cuts, don't let your skin crack, take care of your teeth. Have the means to remove toilet waste, to wash clothes, to brush your teeth, stock up on soap homemade versions. If the worst comes, don't get complacent.
First Aid and Medication Stock the first aid, learn alternative remedies, get your medication filled and squirrel away what you can. Some Drs. are very sympathetic to third world travel (and we're traveling there).
Cash and barter goods Be frugal starting this instant - stash cash in small bills, don't run the bank but begin easing some cash out. However if money were to be too devaluated, turn your money into goods and consider in bad times what others may crave may have high value to them. Figure ways to find money, now.
Diversions and celebratory There is no point in being fed and secure if you lose your mind. All societies celebrate, so don't forget to. Have books, puzzles, games, cards, the means to listen to or to create music (solar ipod charger or crank Victrola), sewing and handiwork. I bought baking supplies because if the holidays are bleak in America, home made treats will be very welcomed.
Evacuation If things are bad all over, generally folks will be safest staying put. However if a disaster is happening where you live, have a bug out bag, the camping supplies in one spot, and know what food to grab.
So, how did it go? Did you look in the closets and the garage and the cupboard? Do you know what you have? Were there any surprises? What have you remedied since yesterday?
We bought gas cans and gas, filled a 50 gal water barrel, bought all the fire bricks in two towns and need 28 more for our adobe oven, and then canned peaches. Canning is time intensive but picking up a case of peaches at the store doesn't take much time at all.
Mr. Greenjeans noted that there were no red gas cans in town. He had to get a kerosene can and write on it.