Friday, September 19, 2008

Day 19 of the countdown challenge

Did you identify your Achilles heal? Have you completed your home evaluation in the nine areas?

I made a list of the things that people have mentioned that they needed to help shore up their preparedness - given a short and definite time frame. I hope this will help jog ideas where maybe you too can strengthen your readiness - I know reading your comments has helped me remember things.

Keep in mind, you may need to acquire some of the parts, but you don't have to fix it all now. For instance if you by the stove pipe, or the makings for window covering and are suddenly without work, or all travel is cut short, you can work on the projects... as long as you have bought the necessary parts. If there is no crisis, you can work on projects as time allows this winter.

Water: containers, or pre-packaged water, filter, or filtration system

Food: Meats, vegies, flour, beans, brown rice, corn meal, potatoes, dry soup mix, honey, evaporated milk, comfort foods, salt, oil, honey, spices
Livestock and pet food.

Alternative cooking: fire brick and adobe, solar oven, or camp propane oven

Sanitation: dental floss, tooth brushes, soap, first aid, unscented Clorox, iodine, vinegar, moist towelettes, septic system waste break down stuff.

Fuel or energy: stored gasoline, wood, propane, solar charger, batteries,

Shelter: stove, stove pipe, base for wood stove, window coverings, bubble insulation, blankets, larger clothes for growing children,

Tools: chainsaw and sharpener, ammo, belt for treadle machine, non-electric radio, lantern, flashlight, duct tape, plastic zip ties, dust masks,

Evacuation Evacuation backpacks for everyone in the household.


Let me say a few words about some of the items. Vinegar is an acid, a cleaner, food preservative and can be used to treat sunburn. It's a good thing to have in a pinch. The same goes for baking soda - there are lots of uses.

Also, while I don't use moist towelettes, but they're on the list because if you are budgeting one gallon of water per day per person, you're not leaving much for sanitation. The towelettes can be put aside as an alternative to washing.

I'm thinking for the next few days I'll go through one topic each day but break sanitation into a couple of categories.


LisaZ said...

Here's my report from yesterday. I must say, Verde, that wow, you've really got me going. I'm ready for a day of rest on Sunday!

I went to our local bargain warehouse (imagine what the Sam's Clubs will look like in 30 years of little upkeep, add some more dirt, and then you've got our city's quaint little--actually large--Gopher Bargain Center). I found awesome little first aid kits with things like CPR masks, gloves, disposable ace bandages, etc. to add to the usual stuff. They are old--something in there expired in 2003--but most of the stuff is fine. And they're compact, so I bought four for $3 each to put in the bug-out bags.

I also got some food there, 28 oz. Hunt's diced tomatoes for a buck each; Skippy natural peanut butter for cheap; and other stuff. I also bought tightly wound lengths of plastic clotheslines for .99, to put in the bug-out bags. Good stuff!

I also asked for an electric room heater on Freecycle, and wouldn't you know it someone has one I can pick up today! Yay, a back up heat source. Today I'm going to offer a few things on Freecycle and ask for fabric for quilt making. We'll see what turns up.

I also went and bought 100 lbs. of chicken feed for our four hens. That should get them through the winter, added to what we already had.

I wouldn't be getting nearly this much done without your challenge. This sounds silly, but thank you from the bottom of my heart! ;-)


Anonymous said...

If people really will be without proper sanitation facilities I highly recommend the book "Humanure". It tells how to compost human waste safely. Also cloth TP is easy to make. I just cut up old towels and don't even sew/serge the edges.

I also wanted to throw in communication. One thing I have not seen anyone discuss in all the preparedness blogs I've read is the usefulness of ham radio. My parents, both brothers and my husband all have liscences to operate a ham radio. We have not done it in awhile and should pick it back up. Ham radio operators, well some of them, can erect antennas and communicate in areas hit by storms. Walkie talkies may be an alternative to those who can't get a liscence fast enough.

Read todays post at theoildrum, seems like stocking up on gasoline this weekend is a good idea.

Cindy in FL

Verde said...

Lisa, you've made me blush. I just think it's good to have company as we do this.

Cindy, I remember Ham radio! I'm not sure what to expect but that I don't want any potentially important area uncovered. I've heard that humanure is a good book. I forgot to add good reference books like that to the list. We can always pass around novels but just not everyone has a humanure book!

Christy said...

Do you know of a good solar charger? I'd really like to get one of those with my birthday money. I got a wind up flashlight and wind up lantern today. I already have a wind up flashlight in my car and one in our bug out bag. I wanted one for my son's night stand.

Verde said...

Christy, I was looking at solar chargers today too. I wish I were more conversant on the subject. I'm interested, but get sort of overwhelmed looking, sorry to not be of more help there.

Tara said...

Well, we were out all day yesterday, so I didn't get too much done, but I did manage to stock up on chicken feed, so that's something. I will say (because it was mentioned) that a good set of walkie-talkies are INCREDIBLY handy. Hubby and I use ours all the time, apocalypse or not. Also, I tried vinegar on my sunburn about a week ago, and it did exactly nothing (except make me stinky).

Caroline Freedom said...

Great thought about the baby wipes. When we camped in the wilderness in Arizona, there was only the water we took in, so we washed for days with towelettes. They actually worked well. I think if we had that bad a water shortage I'd shave my head.

bunnygirl said...

This is a pretty cool site. My husband and I live in Houston and Hurricane Ike was a great test of our disaster prep. I'll be posting on my own blog about what worked and what didn't, but in the meantime, here are a few things that your readers would find interesting:

* Inverter. You can buy one of these and connect it directly to a car or deep-cycle battery or use it from the cigarette lighter of your car. They come in different wattage ratings and can operate various types of small appliances, laptops, etc. If you want to get really fancy you can add a solar panel to recharge the battery and have a nearly perpetual setup for recharging phones, batteries, laptops, etc.

* Battery charger. Gotta get one. I've had poor luck with the solar variety, but the regular kind works great in combination with an inverter, above.

* LED lights. Whether flashlight or lantern, they'll last a heck of a lot longer than the old style incandescent model.

* Battery powered fans. If you live where it gets hot you can't go without these. They saved our butts. Buy rechargeable batteries if you have a battery charger and inverter.

* Solar lights. Yes, the little yard lights. Set them outside during the day, bring them in at night. You'll never have to walk into a completely dark room and if you set them in the windows when you go to bed, looters will know someone's home and hopefully go to the totally dark house up the street instead.

* Powdered Eggs. Get a can. Get more than one can. This was the major gap in my food preps. I had flour, cornmeal, rice, beans, dehydrated fruits and veggies, olive oil, powdered milk, you name it. But without eggs, your ability to make nice meals quickly becomes limited. Do NOT underestimate the psychological benefit of a great meal. If you're not allergic to them, buy powdered eggs. And if you like yogurt for eating or cooking (you can use it like sour cream) buy acidophillus tablets for yogurt starter and make your own yogurt with your powdered milk.

* Water. We didn't ever lose water pressure, but I had water filters, purification tablets, moist towelettes, no-rinse camp soap and camp shampoo on hand. I hope never to need them, but they're out there and should be part of any good emergency prep.

* Mosquito netting. Even if you have screens, you want netting in case the critters get in the house or if you have to sleep outside.

That's all for now. If it's okay, I'll leave links to my blog posts on all these topics as I get them up. It's a slow process since I still don't have internet at home.

Alan said...

Someone on this blog mentioned buying gasoline in a good (i.e. has a lid) gas can and transferring it to a not-so-good can (i.e. lid has gone missing).

Please, ask a firefighter -- storing gasoline is one of the most dangerous things you can do around your home! It's illegal or tightly regulated in most cities.

But storing gasoline in a container without a proper closure is asking for disaster! Gasoline is very volatile and when exposed to air, "volatilizes" that is, becomes a vapor, which as it mixes with air, becomes highly explosive. Spilled gasoline becomes a vapor even faster, another reason to use only containers with secure closures.

If you feel you must store gasoline, store it only in proper containers and store it outside and away from your dwelling. And lock it up so children and nosy visitors don't get it into it.