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Old 09-10-2013, 19:46   #1
The Reaper
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First Things First

New scenario.

As usual, try not to read too much into the scenario and focus instead on the actual question.

You have 24 hours warning of an imminent natural disaster (hurricane, fire, flood, earthquake, volcano, etc.).

Pretty easy, right? Let's assume (at least initially) that you are going to try and ride it out. The exact duration and severity of the event are currently unknown. If you must have numbers, assume regional scope and loss of utilities for 30 days or more. It is weekday and stores are still open, at this point.

What are the first five things you do upon receiving the warning?

Make it ten if you think this is too easy.

TR
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Old 09-10-2013, 20:20   #2
Peregrino
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1. Cash withdrawal (small bills)
2. Fill water storage
3. Stockpile extra fuel (diesel, gas, propane in that order - maybe some more 2-stroke oil and some chain lube for the saw)
4. Stockpile dog food
5. See if the liquor store has any Woodford Double Oaked in stock and secure available quantity

That pretty much covers it if we're "bugging -in". I could use the vacation personally. 30-days would give me plenty of time to catch up on all my professional reading, reloading, teaching the wife campfire cooking, warming up the Ham rig, clearing whatever debris I'm motivated to deal with, etc, etc.
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Old 09-10-2013, 20:52   #3
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I already have some supplies but with warning, would add more of:

1. Water
2. Ice (stock the basement freezer. Sure it will melt but will last a few to several days).
3. Canned foods, Mountain House type meals, flour, rice.
4. Pet foods (We buy 30 days supply at a time but would get next months supply)
5. Charcoal. Lots. All our appliances are electric and I have a charcoal grill.
6. double up on batteries.
7. buy a couple of 5gal gas cans and fill to avoid the gouge.
8. coffee
9. wine for the wife and bourbon for me.
10. I'll think of something.
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Old 09-10-2013, 21:10   #4
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Provided that the integrity of my apartment or other shelter isn't/won't be destroyed beyond repair during the disaster.

1. Meet up with local pipehitters (maybe total 5 people)
2. Get 30+ 5 gal buckets and fill with water for water stores, use bleach to keep sanitary
3. Get 100lbs of rice, other food stores and bring the survival food stores I have on hand
4. Get lumber, tarps and nails to board windows and repair roofs (prevents damage from hurricanes)
5. Get cooking fuel propane/butane stockpile going
6. Set up security for location (eventually someone will come knocking)
7. Ensure that tools are on hand for what repairs will be needed to do
8. Ensure there are weapons and ammo for all
9. Get chainsaw, fuel, spare chain.
10. Fuel for vehicles and two fuel cans per vehicle of gas
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Old 09-10-2013, 21:27   #5
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Wife takes first car to (3 miles) SAM's for
1. Prescription medications and necessary supplements.
2. About 600lbs. of canned vegetables/fruit and dry staples (rice/pwdr potatoe) etc.
3. Fill the rest of the car w toilet paper.
4. Fill car with gas on way home.

I take other car to (2 miles) hardware store for
5. two Colman cookstoves and ten more cans of fuel.
6. five gasoline cans.
7. additional supplies to build outhouse.
8. fill rest of car with water containers.
9. fill car and gas cans on way home.

10. Fill water containers and empty/refil old water containers.


Already have what we need for 30+ days except meds so that is the priority. Other than the outhouse supplies, most stuff is for community share and trade.

Begin community organizing.
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Old 09-11-2013, 08:00   #6
Cake_14N
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Here are my thoughts:

1: Water..fill all available containers and go buy as much bottled water as I can.
I have 60 gallons worth of empty plastic bottles for my beer brewing hobby.

2: Buy 50 pounds each of beans, rice, and quinoa.

3: Pick up a couple of buckets of Wise emergency foods.

4: 100 pounds of dog food.

5: Reinforce house, board up all windows and sliding glass doors, allow for ventilation.

6: Refill all perscription meds for humans and dog.

7: Buy 10 bags of wood pellets. I know there will be zero power, but my Biolite camping stove will burn these and allow me to have heat, cooking, and generate power to keep AA/AAA batteries, phones, and possibly laptop charged. Basically anything that I can plug into a USB and charge.

8: Solidify coordination with those around me to ensure safety of our community. Live together, die alone.

9: Secure luxury items such as TP, Candy and booze. Great for morale and barter.

10: Start reaching out beyond our block to expand our safety zone and make sure we are working together to get through the event.
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Old 09-11-2013, 08:58   #7
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Sounds like several of these are already in the books and rehearsed. Does anyone see value in making a checklist for this?

Great responses.

I would think that it would help to have a commo plan to initiate, both local and long distance.

Also, I suspect that the choke points are typically going to be banks, gas stations, grocery stores, gun stores, liquor stores, and hardware stores. Rather than sitting in line for several hours at each of these watching the shelves empty, how do we gain/maintain our emergency stocks and spend that time doing something more productive?

Keep 'em coming.

TR
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Old 09-11-2013, 09:10   #8
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Turn on the TV and watch the news.

I live in Phoenix, the only natural disasters we have here is the influx of Snow Birds.

That said, if anything did happen here I'd pack it up and leave. In the Valley of the Sun we're short on everything 'cept people.

No wood for fires, no game to speak of, limited water and if the electricity goes out during the summer people die. Staying here is, IMO not an option.

I know some peeps in Montana me and the dog will be there for the duration.
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Old 09-11-2013, 09:12   #9
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1. Inventory dry/canned food supplies including pet food
2. Water...water...water (ice is water too!!!)
3. dry, pet and canned goods topped off, if needed
4. verify/top off ammo supplies
5. gas cans and car topped off
6. contact the few neighbors on the short list of people I'd trust to coordinate contingency/PACE/E&E plans with. Also contact my employees that live in the local area to talk through their plans.
7. test generator
8. start taping, boarding, hardening the house
9. Begin to organize neighborhood resources and plan for other families' young ones
10. All the things that I forgot along the way...

Quote:
Also, I suspect that the choke points are typically going to be banks, gas stations, grocery stores, gun stores, liquor stores, and hardware stores. Rather than sitting in line for several hours at each of these watching the shelves empty, how do we gain/maintain our emergency stocks and spend that time doing something more productive?
Agreed. Most of my items are already here, I would only need to top off. My main concern would be damage to the natural gas lines to the house. IF I don't have an explosion, then I'd be OK for a while. If they did explode, well, I guess I wouldn't have to worry about it. Perhaps somewhere in the latter part of the 24 hours I could turn off the gas at the main and then turn on all the gas appliances to try to bleed the supply inside the house dry.

Last edited by (1VB)compforce; 09-11-2013 at 09:17.
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Old 09-11-2013, 11:49   #10
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As I live in a hurricane zone we have most of what we need already in stock. Assuming that we are going to stay and ride it out:

1. Fill all empty 5 gal. water bottles(3).
2. Buy 5 more flats of water.
3. Fill up all vehicles, and extra gas cans.
4. Fill all propane bottles(4 20lb. and 2 40lb.)
5. Test the generator, wind generator, and pull down the solar panels.
6. Wife will be getting prescriptions.
7. pull down and secure all the shutters.
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Old 09-11-2013, 11:53   #11
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I plan for 6 months, so a thirty day event is right in my wheelhouse; there wouldn't be much to do. I'm pretty set for tools, have enough blue tarps/lath to roof the whole block, etc. Most of these tasks aren't linear, i.e. I'd be filling the pool while talking to neighbors, getting fuel while the wife shops for groceries. I'd most likely hit the first item in each category in turn before moving on to the next. Except talking to the kids, none of them are really necessary for eking out a relatively comfortable 30 days.

1. WATER
--Pull cars into the driveway and set up the 12' diameter Intex inflatable pool in the garage. It holds ~1800 gallons for a $100 investment and is surprisingly sturdy. They usually go on sale at Target this time of year. It takes maybe five minutes to set up and start filling. In winter it would go in the basement. This would be insurance against begging neighbors as much as anything.
--Mix up a bucket of calcium hypochlorite to treat the pool
--I might dump and refill/treat the 330 gal tote in the garage, depending on the season and the last time it was filled, but I probably wouldn't risk it.
--Assuming water pressure is holding up, I'd begin topping off the in-ground pool to the top. Even in a hard winter I don't think it freezes through and I have an ice augur. If summertime, I'd put on the winter cover to limit evaporation. I'd keep an eye on how fast the level dropped, but my current plan is to let immediate neighbors use it for washing and flushing (until the sewage lift stations flood).

2. TALK
--Depending on their current location and travel times to my home, possibly gather the kids.
--Check that the neighbors have enough sense to get fuel, food, and store water (hand out polyfilm dropcovers for tub liners if necessary). One or two have some sense, so get them thinking about a neighborhood watch to keep an eye on things for a while.
--Send "Don't even think about coming here!" mass text to selected relatives and in-laws; if it's not winter I'll probably even follow through.

3. FUEL
--Top off cars.
That's about it for fuel. I rotate/refill 5 Sceptre cans so we'll already have more gasoline than we'll use in 30 days if not driving to work. I have 160lbs of propane which should be enough to keep the wolf from the door if it's winter. We wouldn't attempt to keep the whole house warm, just one room.

4. FOOD
--Maybe cooking oil and powdered milk. Those are the only items with short-ish shelf-life that we might need. If there is food on the shelves (doubtful) we'd probably pick up beans and rice to hand out.
--Little Debby Nutty Bars? Bourbon?

5. MISCELLANEOUS
--Top up the Kindle?
--See if anyone needs help?
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Old 09-11-2013, 12:26   #12
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TS, I agree that you are in a relatively unique personal situation.

I also agree that collecting information should be at or near the top of any list.

I believe that the key for you would be realizing it is time to leave and executing that plan before the masses also figure that out.

For everyone, having a contingency plan that you have planned and worked through well before the emergency occurs will save valuable time and energy.

If you have identified a material deficiency that is non-perishable and you currently have the budget to acquire it, do you really want to be standing in a mob scene down at the Wally-World fighting over the last can of dog food and a roll of TP, in a mile long line at the gas station to fill a spare can, or trying to get the last sheet of plywood, a generator, or a propane cylinder in the trunk of your car at the big box store?

We do not have everything we would like to have yet, but the majority of the things we do not have are the ones that would be in quantities that would likely expire before we could use them in normal times, like powdered milk or cooking oil. Others, like plywood simply take up too much space for now.

But could you not store some extra water now? You could always add to it once a crisis was identified, in bladders, jugs, waterbeds, or a waterBoB?

Would that time spent inventorying after the disaster is imminent, not be better spent doing other things to prepare?

MR2, I agree on taking two cars to go out, but at some point, if security breaks down, I think I would make the call to quit collecting, go home, and batten down the hatches. If we use Katrina as a model, I suppose that most people would not realize that the situation was dire until the event was upon them. That would also be the point at which security forces broke down and the rule of law was suspended, at least temporarily.

Given the fact that cash may be essential, and that banks are paying virtually nothing to "secure" your money these days, maybe you would be better off with a few thousand in small bills in your gun safe.

Whiskey is a good idea, but I think I might rather have three cases of Jim Beam than one case of Woody.

It seems that we all need to store more pet food.

If you are buying food that requires cooking, or boiling water, you do need to consider how you are going to prepare it.

I don't think I would want to be cooking on charcoal for the duration. How about a camping stove and a 20 lb. propane cylinder or several gallons of Coleman fuel? That should easily store with your camping gear in a corner of your garage. Admittedly, your steaks will not taste quite as good.

1VB, I am not sure why you think NG lines are an explosion risk to you beyond ruptured mains. You should be fine inside your house, and if you are worried about explosions at home, get a shutoff wrench and learn how to use it.

mugwump, as usual, you are all over it. Spend the time doing what needs to be done rather than running with the lemmings in a mad scavenger hunt.

Nice tip on the Intex pool, BTW. I would also add the cover, for an extra $10.

And unless you have a huge family, as noted, you are going to have to join forces and work with the neighbors. Also better that they do something for themselves ahead of time than rely upon you for everything.

A few pesky details.

Don't forget that you can only get about 60% of the rated capacity of a full propane tank.

As with you doing multiple things at the home at the same time, I might call the LP company for a top off, if not an extra tank, and see if I could get a Porta-let drop off.

Good plan. You should move to NC.

TR
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Old 09-11-2013, 12:43   #13
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I'm curious about a couple of issues:
1. Whether anybody is set up with old-time rain barrels?
2. For the people that own land:
A. Whether you have a way to keep swine or goats contained?
B. Whether you have a smokehouse or similar building?
C. Whether you have determined a way to operate your water well w/o electricity coming in?
D. Whether you have a home heat source that you can fuel with stuff from your land (wood)?
E. Do you have a root cellar or other structure to use for both storage and protection from dangerous weather?
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Old 09-11-2013, 16:52   #14
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TR, well spotted. The propane supply is easily the weakest part of my preps and a prolonged infrastructure bobble during a harsh midwest winter would be a serious situation. We can't have external tanks in my town and I'm depending on 40lb and 20lb bottles and several cases of 1 pounders locked in the shed. I think I'd make it through 30 days of heating/cooking but there'd be little margin for error. One pound lasted 5-6 hours on the low setting of a F232000 MH9BX Buddy. Great little heater btw: inexpensive, low O2 shutoff, anti-tip, and seems economical in use. As with most things prep, I checked the RVers' recommendations. I have two (one is none...) and the adapter hose for 20/40 tanks.

Anyone looking at the Intex pools, you want something in the Easy Set line, not the aluminum-framed ones. Get it without the filter pump and make sure that there are two black plugs included in the box to plug the pump outlets in the sidewall. Mine only had one included and I had to get another one sent to me. They are a bit bulky to store.

RE: Neighbors prepping. Never happen. Smart folk but they suffer from severe normalcy bias. Given the 30-day time frame of the exercise I'd be generous to a fault. In any scenario that looked more open-ended I'd have to reevaluate my approach.
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Old 09-11-2013, 17:15   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mugwump View Post
TR, well spotted. The propane supply is easily the weakest part of my preps and a prolonged infrastructure bobble during a harsh midwest winter would be a serious situation. We can't have external tanks in my town and I'm depending on 40lb and 20lb bottles and several cases of 1 pounders locked in the shed. I think I'd make it through 30 days of heating/cooking but there'd be little margin for error. One pound lasted 5-6 hours on the low setting of a F232000 MH9BX Buddy. Great little heater btw: inexpensive, low O2 shutoff, anti-tip, and seems economical in use. As with most things prep, I checked the RVers' recommendations. I have two (one is none...) and the adapter hose for 20/40 tanks.

Anyone looking at the Intex pools, you want something in the Easy Set line, not the aluminum-framed ones. Get it without the filter pump and make sure that there are two black plugs included in the box to plug the pump outlets in the sidewall. Mine only had one included and I had to get another one sent to me. They are a bit bulky to store.

RE: Neighbors prepping. Never happen. Smart folk but they suffer from severe normalcy bias. Given the 30-day time frame of the exercise I'd be generous to a fault. In any scenario that looked more open-ended I'd have to reevaluate my approach.
Hey, mugwump, why not an underground LP tank? Nothing to see, so who knows?

Good tip on the pool model.

I know what you mean about neighbors. An hour after normalcy is restored, you will be back to being "the odd guy down the block." Frankly, I would assume worst case from the beginning and disregard any government provided estimates as pure propaganda.

C, I have a couple of water barrels, but they do not produce potable water due to other contaminants washing off the shingled roof. I have heard that metal roofs are better with regards to that.

As far as a off-grid well goes, the hot ticket seems to be a significant sized holding tank with a solar powered DC pump motor cycling on and off to refill it.

Hope that helps.

TR
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