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Extravoice
2012-Nov-04, 12:38 AM
I live in an area impacted by "super-storm" Sandy, but am fortunate to reside about 35 miles from the seashore.
The impact in my area was relatively light compared to some, but I have relatives who live along the Raritan Bayshore (NJ) who were harder hit. Still, they fared much better than those immediately along the Atlantic coast.

The biggest issue we have had is loss of electric power. My home got it back within 2 days, while some of my relatives don't expect it to return for at least 10 days after the storm. For people in the devastated areas, their problems are orders of magnitude worse.

I'd like to use this thread to discuss emergency preparedness lessons people have learned over the years.

I consider myself generally prepared for the type of emergency we can reasonably expect in this area, but learned a few lessons.
The first thing I learned (or rather had confirmed) is that you had better be ready to "live off the grid" for the better part of a week without emergency services coming to help you out. You need be able to provide your own shelter, food, water, light and heat.

Water and natural gas supplies continued to be available for my home as well as my relatives' homes throughout this situation, which helps a lot. We have a Coleman stove and propane grill, plus a supply of water, but life would have been a whole lot harder if we had to depend on them instead of city water and our range. We also have a water heater that does not require electricity allowing for hot showers and warm water for cleaning. This is great for morale, and my brother found himself cursing his high-efficiency water heater during the power failure.

We used flashlights, oil lamps, and glow sticks for lighting. Flashlights are nice for finding your way around, but for sustained lighting of a room, the oil lamps were far more useful. Still, we could have used more lighting. We own two oil lamps, but could probably use more. I own a propane camping lantern, but didn't use it. This got me thinking that I should probably upgrade my smoke detectors to include CO detectors. My CO detector doesn't have battery backup. I'm not sure what other options are available for lighting, short of an electric generator.

For heat, we had an ample supply of firewood on hand for use in the fireplace. It worked okay, but I don't think it would be adequate if the weather was much colder. Perhaps a wood-stove fireplace insert or other source of heat (do they still make kerosene heaters?) should be considered. My brother-in-law, who owns a small generator, disconnected his gas furnace from the electrical panel and powered it from the generator. I'd probably want something a little more formal (and safer), such as a transfer switch, if I went down that road.

Communication is important. A battery-powered (or crank powered) radio was invaluable. A cellphone was at least as important (see more below). Being able to contact friends and relatives reduced the stress considerably. A smart phone would have been useful for internet access. We found it frustrating to try to find local information while the radio news concentrated on describing the devastation in the hardest-hit areas. Access to social media would probably have been useful in finding fuel, food, services, etc.

Land-line telephone service was out immediately, or fairly quickly. Battery-backed-up FiOS and cable modem-based telephony didn't last very long. Cell phone service varied considerably. I have a general dislike of Verizon (for historical reasons), but will give the devil his due. Their cellular system was reliable when smaller carriers went belly-up due to the load. Text messaging was far more reliable than voice communication, even on Verizon's network. On the topic of cellular communication, a car charger was a very valuable item. When I made a supply-run eastward, my brother was more thankful for the automobile USB power adapter that I gave him than just about anything else. I have a crank-powered radio, but may upgrade to one that can charge cell phones, too.

Even with natural gas available, fuel was an issue. As I mentioned, electric power came back on in my area fairly quickly (I'm not sure why. Surrounding areas lost power for several days longer, and some still have no power). Once I was convinced power was stable, I contacted my relatives to offer supplies that I thought I could spare. Most in demand were gasoline and firewood. I also made the trip to pick-up my elderly father, who fared much better in my home than he would have in his apartment, or even in my brother's house (with wood heat, but without power). I made another trip today to deliver perishables because power was restored in several relative's homes. I hadn't accounted for these trips in my emergency planning, and wouldn't have made either trip if I wasn't confident I had sufficient gasoline. The second trip was only possible because gasoline stations near me had fuel and electricity for their pumps yesterday.

I was pleased that many stores opened quickly after the storm. Many operated using backup power, but that wasn't enough for their coolers and their perishables were destroyed. I was surprised how quickly perishables were delivered once power was restored, though. Things aren't back to normal, but I can buy milk, eggs and various types of meat at my local supermarket. A *very* handy commodity is cash. Before power was restored, cash was the only form of payment accepted anywhere. Even after power was restored, many stores and gas stations would only accept cash.

That's all I can think of off-hand. I'm sure I'll think of other lessons as time goes by, but would like to hear from others regarding their experiences in emergency situations and how their planning worked out.

Solfe
2012-Nov-04, 03:44 AM
My biggest fear is being trapped in the car in winter. I keep the following items in the car:

Two 5 gallon paint cans with a foam and fleece seat glued to the top. Be sure to cut away any lock tabs on the lid, because you might need a tool to open them if they lock. You can sit on them like a stool and store everything else in them.
2 gallons of water.
Snack food, ramen noodles and oatmeal.
A hand cranked storm radio with flashlight.
5 flashlights. One for every kid plus one for me and my wife.
Multicolored glow stick necklaces. Might as well keep the children color coded in the dark.
A cheap MP3 player with headphones, coloring books and crayons. No need to have the kids killing each other.
10 pairs of socks, gloves, mittens, and hats. These should be extras and can be given away if not needed.
Rain gear, and several pairs of sweats pants and jackets. Have adult and child sizes. They don't have to be an exact fit.
A package of candles, wooden matches, and lighters. Put the lighters in an inside pocket asap.
A small pan or pot, cups and bowls and spoons.
Blankets.
Brightly colored ribbon or tape.
Crocks (shoes) for the children.

All of that should fit in the two 5 gallon paint cans and should be light enough to carry should you get rescued. I have the dubious distinction of being rescued from a car crash only to end up in a pair of buildings that were in worse shape than my wrecked and snowbound car. The firehouse had a hole knocked in the roof by lightning, which also took out the power. Did you know that firehouses are rigged so the garage doors fly open when the power is cut? I do now. I don't want to talk about the second place I stayed, it was horrible.

I try to keep the following items in the trunk:

A collapsible shovel.
Sleeping bags.
Kitty litter, between 80 and 160 lbs.
A gas can, usually empty.
Charger for a cell phone.
Power inverter for charging other items.

Gillianren
2012-Nov-04, 04:31 PM
We used flashlights, oil lamps, and glow sticks for lighting. Flashlights are nice for finding your way around, but for sustained lighting of a room, the oil lamps were far more useful. Still, we could have used more lighting. We own two oil lamps, but could probably use more. I own a propane camping lantern, but didn't use it. This got me thinking that I should probably upgrade my smoke detectors to include CO detectors. My CO detector doesn't have battery backup. I'm not sure what other options are available for lighting, short of an electric generator.

There are also battery lanterns with LEDs. That's what I have for use at faire.


For heat, we had an ample supply of firewood on hand for use in the fireplace. It worked okay, but I don't think it would be adequate if the weather was much colder. Perhaps a wood-stove fireplace insert or other source of heat (do they still make kerosene heaters?) should be considered. My brother-in-law, who owns a small generator, disconnected his gas furnace from the electrical panel and powered it from the generator. I'd probably want something a little more formal (and safer), such as a transfer switch, if I went down that road.

Yes, they still make kerosene heaters; I know plenty of people who have them.


Land-line telephone service was out immediately, or fairly quickly. Battery-backed-up FiOS and cable modem-based telephony didn't last very long. Cell phone service varied considerably. I have a general dislike of Verizon (for historical reasons), but will give the devil his due. Their cellular system was reliable when smaller carriers went belly-up due to the load. Text messaging was far more reliable than voice communication, even on Verizon's network. On the topic of cellular communication, a car charger was a very valuable item. When I made a supply-run eastward, my brother was more thankful for the automobile USB power adapter that I gave him than just about anything else. I have a crank-powered radio, but may upgrade to one that can charge cell phones, too.

I happen to know for a fact that Verizon also put a ton of their customer service people on overtime to make sure there were enough people to take any emergency calls. I am also given to understand that emergency calls did not come in at the expected rate.


Even with natural gas available, fuel was an issue. As I mentioned, electric power came back on in my area fairly quickly (I'm not sure why. Surrounding areas lost power for several days longer, and some still have no power). Once I was convinced power was stable, I contacted my relatives to offer supplies that I thought I could spare. Most in demand were gasoline and firewood. I also made the trip to pick-up my elderly father, who fared much better in my home than he would have in his apartment, or even in my brother's house (with wood heat, but without power). I made another trip today to deliver perishables because power was restored in several relative's homes. I hadn't accounted for these trips in my emergency planning, and wouldn't have made either trip if I wasn't confident I had sufficient gasoline. The second trip was only possible because gasoline stations near me had fuel and electricity for their pumps yesterday.

I know that we always get our power back first when Olympia loses power, because we're on the same grid as the jail. Our grid is a priority.

After the 2001 Nisqually earthquake, I went into the housing office at my alma mater (I was living in the dorms at the time) to ask if they had an emergency plan and worst-case scenario. The only vaguely did, and their worst-case scenario wasn't bad enough. I'll admit that, in my current living situation, I am not as prepared as I ought to be, but I'm also not responsible for hundreds of people!

Extravoice
2012-Nov-04, 04:35 PM
Solfe, given that your location is listed as Buffalo, NY, the fear of getting stuck in the snow is certainly not unfounded.

Another item that came in handy after the hurricane passed was, oddly enough, my GPS. When traveling across the state, some roads were closed and major highways had limited access and egress (no left turn or crossing the highway for several miles, etc.). The "find alternate route" and "roadblock" feature of my GPS was quite handy.

danscope
2012-Nov-04, 05:35 PM
Hi, Let me praise " Smokeless odorless lamp oil " . This stuff works and is worth the extra price.
I am also a fan of the "Aladdin Lamp" , which is what many people used prior to electric lighting and many people in remote places continue to use today. The abundant light this lamp puts out is amazing.
It is a bit similar to the coleman camp lanterns, but uses smokeless oil instead of coleman fuel. It has a 2 inch mantle which
lifts off with the chimney/base assembly with a gentle twist. You must be sure that there is a lot of clearance from the chimney to the ceiling. It throws quite a lot of heat as well as the light. It's like a 50 watt light bulb.
I've collected a few of them over time, and are a joy when I lose power.
Batteries. What can we say? Just enough isn't good enough. Buy extra and be certain. They serve you well.
In cold weather, your cooler will keep your food outside or on your porch .
Getting water to flush your toilet will become more important as time and days follow. Think about it. Make a plan. And by the way: In a hurricane, moisture gets driven everywhere. Put your extra toilet paper in sealed platic bags and have enough. You will use it today or next month. If it gets wet...
it's useless. Small luxuries make a difference.
Find a way to bank up flushing water. 5 gallon buckets work. Figure at least two a day. My wife's biggest complaint when the power is out is flushing. :(
For myself, I keep some light weight plywood and also some sheets of Foam core ( 1/4 inch ) which cuts easily.
If a window gets broken . I can patch it up untill a first class repair can be made. Keep the heat in and the wind out. This can make a difference, and it doesn't cost much.
Keep your camp sleeping bags where they will stay dry and useable. They are worthless in a flooded cellar.You can survive in a nice warm sleeping bag.
A chain saw and how to use it safely is very worth while.
Chicken broth/stock in a box is real handy.
Extra eggs will serve you well. Canned tuna is a treasure. Canned fruit is a treat.
What does your first aid kit look like? Has it been raided and not filled ?????? Get the bigger size. BE SURE that you have some good tweezers that would pull a piece of glass out of someone. This happens. The ambulance may not come....soon.
YOU are the medic. Get smart. Learn how to do stuff.
Don't keep what you need in the cellar when the storm comes. Severe flooding happens fast. And by the way: Have you thought of backing up your photographs on CD's and making archives against disaster? It doesn't cost much to save what is beyond price.
The only lesson from a false alarm is that you were prepared and you passed the drill. Remember this wisdom.
Keep prepared. Keep safe. And prosper.
Dan

Extravoice
2012-Nov-04, 08:22 PM
I'd have to say that the standard oil lamps we have are barely adequate. Something like the Aladdin lamp looks like it might be a good replacement, but they sure are expensive. I assume they will operate on kerosene in a pinch?

danscope
2012-Nov-04, 08:41 PM
No. You will simply carbon up the mantle, which is extremely delicate and must needs get the right fuel. Just get the right fuel.
It is a good system, and easily learned. They are around, used. When you see one ,minus a few parts (usually a missing chimney and mantissa) get it. I have found them for $25 on occasion. The parts are available. Just handle with care.
A dedicated funnel to load fuel would be a good idea. I keep my parts kit where I can find it readily and it serves me well.
Some systems do not suffer compromise. This is such a system. Read, learn and enjoy.
Mind what I said about clearance for that chimney, and no combustible material above it.Hanging baskets and wood are not to be above chimneys.
Once lit, wait for it to warm up with the flame very low, and the chimney in place.Gradualy, turn the flame up slowly untill
80% of the mantle is glowing. This will serve you well. If the flame is unbalanced, the wick may require slight triming with the little plastic device they have. It goes on (when cold) and you twist it, evening up the wick. An even wick burns evenly and gives good service.
To snuff out, lower the flame to a very low idle, cup a hand near the top of the chimney(not in the roaring hot stream but just near, a give a quick breath of air.The flame will extinguish and
The lamp will go out without damage to the delicate mantle. Always have spare mantles handy. They last if you take care and
operate the lamp properly. It's simple once you learn and a fine comfort on a dark night.
Best regards,
Dan

Jens
2012-Nov-05, 12:44 AM
This may be a difference related to population density, but anyway: I think it's generally assumed in Japan that if there is a problem with power, you go to the local school or community center, where there are supplies and generators, and where relief goods can be brought in. After the quake in Tohoku a lot of people lived in evacuation centers for some time. So there may be differences in what you prepare depending on the social infrastructure. One big issue for us is the transportation.

NEOWatcher
2012-Nov-06, 03:59 PM
I think I am relatively un-prepared, but no worse of than others in the community.
I look at it as Jens mentioned. Yes; the shelters may not be open for a while, but I think I can hold out long enough for that.

Anecdotes:
With the big blackout of 2003, I never lost power, but did lose water (because we are uphill from the pumping stations that did lose power).
No problem. I had a full tank of water in the camper, so I just powered up the water heater, took a shower, and went to work. (the neighbor gave me a strange look when he saw me come around the side of the house in my skivvies and holding a towel)

A tornado hit the neighborhood some years ago (it hopped over my house). I was listening to the police scanner, and it took them a while to figure out who had a key to the community center.

DonM435
2012-Nov-06, 08:43 PM
...
A collapsible shovel.
Sleeping bags.
Kitty litter, between 80 and 160 lbs.
A gas can, usually empty.
Charger for a cell phone.
Power inverter for charging other items.
...


Commendible that you think of your cats during all of this.
:clap:





[I know, I know ... it's for traction, right?]

danscope
2012-Nov-06, 11:14 PM
You know.... if you die, your cats will eat you , according to Craig Fergusson. I wonder how big the cat is?

starcanuck64
2012-Nov-06, 11:38 PM
It's hard to add to the lists already done.

I know living in a cold weather climate out in the countryside having enough firewood and a good high efficiency wood stove can make power loss in the winter much more pleasant(and survivable).

I had a nice battery powered lantern that lasted for a surprisingly long time on 4 D-cells and sometimes we'd rent a generator when we knew bad storms were coming in. Having several 20 litre water jugs, plenty of canned goods and other staples was also typical.

Living in the city now I don't have much in the way of emergency preparedness, I should probably do more.

Ara Pacis
2012-Nov-07, 09:31 AM
No one mentioned weapons.

Durakken
2012-Nov-07, 10:15 AM
Blanket
Pillow
Patience

danscope
2012-Nov-07, 03:05 PM
You can't eat a weapon and it won't keep you warm. Friends are better than weapons.

NEOWatcher
2012-Nov-07, 03:33 PM
You can't eat a weapon and it won't keep you warm.
It will if you fire it enough times. ;)

Extravoice
2012-Nov-07, 04:01 PM
You can't eat a weapon...Friends are better than weapons.

:surprised:

Sorry for the out of context quote. I couldn't resist ;)

jfribrg
2012-Nov-07, 11:28 PM
Given your location, Extravoice, shouldn't you also be prepared for invading Martians?

Solfe
2012-Nov-08, 12:36 AM
No one mentioned weapons.

That is on the Zombie apocalypse survival list. :)

If I selected a weapon, I would pick either a bolt action .306 or an AR-7. My area is built up so there limited hunting applications even with deer in the backyard. Plus all of my neighbours are deer hunters. I'm a good shot while they are more experienced.

Given those facts, I would lean towards the tiny AR-7 and small game.

Solfe
2012-Nov-08, 12:45 AM
Commendible that you think of your cats during all of this.
:clap:

[I know, I know ... it's for traction, right?]

Both, actually. Since I have 2 cars, that is too much kitty litter for just traction. I use the kitty litter all winter long.

I am pretty forgetful about cat food. Out of paranoia, I keep three 5 lb bags of food in the house and rotate. My cats don't eat fast enough to make a larger bag practical. My shopping list is labelled "Don't buy cat food" rather than "buy cat food".

LookingSkyward
2012-Nov-08, 09:34 AM
I'll toss in my bit - we have this in all our vehicles: A box of large trash bags and a roll or 2 of duct tape. You can make a quick shelter, a dodgy hazmat suit, poncho, porta-potty... just very useful things and they take up very little storage space.

Noclevername
2012-Nov-08, 09:53 AM
... a dodgy hazmat suit...

To heep out dodgy hazmat, of course. ;)

Extravoice
2012-Nov-08, 01:39 PM
Given your location, Extravoice, shouldn't you also be prepared for invading Martians?

I'm not worried.
Considering the colds my daughter brings home from the public school, I think we have that one covered.

Ara Pacis
2012-Nov-08, 11:26 PM
You can't eat a weapon and it won't keep you warm. Friends are better than weapons.

You eat your friends? :o

Ara Pacis
2012-Nov-08, 11:34 PM
That is on the Zombie apocalypse survival list. :)

If I selected a weapon, I would pick either a bolt action .306 or an AR-7. My area is built up so there limited hunting applications even with deer in the backyard. Plus all of my neighbours are deer hunters. I'm a good shot while they are more experienced.

Given those facts, I would lean towards the tiny AR-7 and small game.

I agree with the AR-7 or another small .22 rifle. With high velocity ammo, a report might make someone think twice about what they're up to (more deterrence than stopping them) and it won't cost a lot per shot. It's built up here so I think a high power rifle (Did you mean .308 or .30-06?) might be a bit much. I've been thinking along the lines of a pistol caliber carbine for that role, one which may also be used for hunting.

For various reasons over the last couple weeks, I've been thinking about new acquisitions.

Gillianren
2012-Nov-09, 12:55 AM
A weapon wouldn't do me any good, because I wouldn't use it.

Jens
2012-Nov-09, 12:59 AM
I agree with the AR-7 or another small .22 rifle. With high velocity ammo, a report might make someone think twice about what they're up to (more deterrence than stopping them) and it won't cost a lot per shot.

In every movie I saw, zombies were never deterred by weapons of any kind.

But seriously, isn't that a bit drastic for a loss of electric power for several days? If you're talking about the collapse of civilization, OK, but we're talking about storm damage here, right?

pzkpfw
2012-Nov-09, 08:33 AM
In every movie I saw, zombies were never deterred by weapons of any kind.

But seriously, isn't that a bit drastic for a loss of electric power for several days? If you're talking about the collapse of civilization, OK, but we're talking about storm damage here, right?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York_City_blackout_of_1977 ??

Ara Pacis
2012-Nov-09, 08:50 AM
A weapon wouldn't do me any good, because I wouldn't use it.

People have been known to do worse things to someone than take their food.

Ara Pacis
2012-Nov-09, 08:54 AM
In every movie I saw, zombies were never deterred by weapons of any kind.

But seriously, isn't that a bit drastic for a loss of electric power for several days? If you're talking about the collapse of civilization, OK, but we're talking about storm damage here, right?

Do you know how long it takes for civilization to collapse? A few missed meals. If fate throws in devastation, then no one will notice a little extra damage from vandalism or finders-keepers.

danscope
2012-Nov-09, 04:07 PM
I think most people pull together and do what needs to be done. This works.
It looks like they are going to get a break from the cold weather for a bit. This will help.

Gillianren
2012-Nov-09, 06:18 PM
People have been known to do worse things to someone than take their food.

That's as may be, but I still wouldn't be able to make myself use it. It would be much more likely to be taken away from me and used against me. Besides, I have lousy aim and probably couldn't hit someone if I wanted to.

Solfe
2012-Nov-09, 08:38 PM
In every movie I saw, zombies were never deterred by weapons of any kind.

But seriously, isn't that a bit drastic for a loss of electric power for several days? If you're talking about the collapse of civilization, OK, but we're talking about storm damage here, right?

Drastic? For my Zombie apocalypse fantasy? Not at all.

It may be completely unreasonable for a short term power failure.

Some place between the two, I suspect a AR-7 would be very reasonable for weeks or months without power or food supplies. Unfortunately, my house and neighbourhood is completely ill-suited for fire arms in general. I would have to leave my area to hunt simply because of all the people.

Nothing spells personal doom like the collapse of civilisation and hunting accident. As much as some sort of Mob Action scares me, Justified Mob Action is more intimidating.

danscope
2012-Nov-09, 11:24 PM
It's no fantasy when you have seen enough real killing. Leave it in the movies.

Ara Pacis
2012-Nov-10, 07:48 AM
Drastic? For my Zombie apocalypse fantasy? Not at all.

It may be completely unreasonable for a short term power failure.

Some place between the two, I suspect a AR-7 would be very reasonable for weeks or months without power or food supplies. Unfortunately, my house and neighbourhood is completely ill-suited for fire arms in general. I would have to leave my area to hunt simply because of all the people.

Nothing spells personal doom like the collapse of civilisation and hunting accident. As much as some sort of Mob Action scares me, Justified Mob Action is more intimidating.

What do you mean by "justified mob action"?

A friend of mine who lives on Long Island and whose power just came back on a couple days ago got a shotgun from her police relative for protection. She says there's a lot of looting going on with people breaking into dark homes to rip copper pipes out of the walls or siphoning gas from cars.

Solfe
2012-Nov-10, 06:01 PM
What do you mean by "justified mob action"?

A friend of mine who lives on Long Island and whose power just came back on a couple days ago got a shotgun from her police relative for protection. She says there's a lot of looting going on with people breaking into dark homes to rip copper pipes out of the walls or siphoning gas from cars.

Justified in the fact that, in my scenario, I/you are attempting to shoot deer in an area that is heavily built up and populated. As in 20 feet between the houses, if you miss you will hit someone else or their property. That is dangerous and foolish.

Defending yourself from looting is much more reasonable and sane. What did you do to them? Nothing.

In the first case, you justified the mob. In the self-defense case, the mob is actually hunting you and you can shoot.

Ara Pacis
2012-Nov-11, 07:00 AM
Justified in the fact that, in my scenario, I/you are attempting to shoot deer in an area that is heavily built up and populated. As in 20 feet between the houses, if you miss you will hit someone else or their property. That is dangerous and foolish.

Defending yourself from looting is much more reasonable and sane. What did you do to them? Nothing.

In the first case, you justified the mob. In the self-defense case, the mob is actually hunting you and you can shoot.

I'm completely lost.

Solfe
2012-Nov-12, 07:02 PM
I'm completely lost.

Me too. Can we start over?

You said no one mentioned weapons and I attempted interject weapons in what might be the biggest failure of humour ever.

At this point, it might be best for all to ignore everything I have said from that post forward?

I apologise.

danscope
2012-Nov-13, 02:07 AM
Oh yes, one important message of note: " When they tell you to get out, it means get out. Really !!!!!! "

Extravoice
2012-Nov-26, 12:17 AM
I picked-up a kerosene heater over the Thanksgiving weekend, as Tractor Supply had them on sale. It should come in handy if we experience a power outage during cold weather, but has already proven itself useful to warm-up my garage. I use the area as a workshop, but it can get pretty cold in the winter.

I also upgraded my CO detector to a battery-powered version.

rigel
2012-Nov-29, 02:43 PM
I thought I was prepared for Sandy. But its high winds tore off roof shingle and siding. I could have collected the shingles and climbed on the roof and nail them down. But that did not sound very sensible in high winds.

Extravoice
2012-Nov-29, 03:28 PM
But that did not sound very sensible in high winds.

Wise decision. My understanding is that several people were killed while trying to effect repairs that probably should have waited until the storm passed.

danscope
2012-Nov-29, 11:26 PM
You wouldn't stand out in golf driving range , would you? No . Dangerous.
Don't go outside in a gale or worse, any hurricane. It's severely bad for your health. There is no up side to getting your head ripped off or a tree crushing you or a snapped off road sign taking your legs. And there are no medals for foolish.
And even more respect is due for the water. A lot more . Live and plan for another day. The life you save may be your own.

DoggerDan
2012-Dec-05, 09:20 PM
Step 1: Never buy, build, or rent on a flood plain.
Step 2: Have plenty of bottled water for drinking (at least a week's worth) and food (a month's worth). I have two 6-gal containers I keep full of water at all times. That's enough for two weeks of drinking water.
Step 3: Candles, candles, candles. I have several bags of 100-count tealights, and half a dozen glass cups made to hold them.
Step 4: Flint lighters and matches. Best to keep a can or two of lighter fluid and some extra flints on hand, too.
Step 5: Lots of 550 cord. It can be used for everything from a clothesline to making a hammock.
Step 6: Have two portable stoves, both of which use different fuel. I have 3-oz alcohol stove and two gallons of methanol, as well as a multi-fuel stove and another two gallons of Coleman stove fuel. That'll last me a couple of weeks, at least, of boiling all my drinking water.
Step 7: Build a camping "kit" with 4-season tent, sleeping bag, chair, tarp, all-season clothes, and all the other goodies, in case you have to bug out and have no place to go.

It took me just one day to put all of the above together. Well worth it!

danscope
2012-Dec-06, 02:33 AM
First aid kit, the deluxe model ; aspirin and various OTC preps for various sundrie purposes; dish washing liquid, dry clothes ,blanketsand some extra pillows that will serve you if others fail, kept in heavy plastic bags or space saver bags and kept where they will come to no harm. Warm and dry shoesand extra socks, even underwear.
and extras ( a marvelous luxury when you are cold , wet and in dire straights, and a hand crank radio will be welcomed.
A cd player is a wonderful bonus with batteries..... many batteries, and toilet paper, protected and dry will be useful.
Canned fruit is a luxury beyond price, and you can live on spam and pineapple ina pinch.
And keep current on your tetanus shots. Nuff said. If you never need these things, count your blessings.
Some people prepare. Some do not.
Be prepared .

Ara Pacis
2012-Dec-06, 05:42 AM
Maybe we should start a "Disaster Preppers" or even a "Doomsday Preppers" thread.

I don't feel the need for much of a wilderness bug-out kit since I live in a small town away from a large metropolitan area. If something small happens locally, like a hazmat spill from a road or rail incident or a nuclear meltdown, there will almost certainly be someplace warm, dry and safe within a short drive. If there's a calamity on a national or global scale, like a nuclear war, HEMP, solar EMP or plague then this will be one of the places people will tend to try to get to, so there wouldn't be much of a reason to leave... unless the local nuke plant melts down.

Extravoice
2013-Jan-02, 03:54 PM
After careful consideration, I bought an Aladdin mantle lamp to supplement my emergency lighting.

It works quite well, but I'm concerned that the mantle box is marked as 40 candlepower, while the the burner is listed as 60 candle power in several places.
I wonder if this has anything to do with the switch from Thorium-based mantles. "Old-new-stock" mantles are available from several sources, and I wonder if it is worth trying one. An increase from 40 to 60 CP would be significant.

I contacted Aladdin, but their response was not very satisfying. they said that the mantle is labeled 40 CP, but capable of 60.

Anyone have experience with old versus new mantles?

Ara Pacis
2013-Jan-02, 06:07 PM
I dunno. I just use LED lights and lamps and batteries, candles and regular oil lamps. I figure if civilization is coming back, LEDs will work (though I'm not sure about a HEMP attack). Candles and oil lamps is ancient tech and will always work as long as someone is keeping bees or can press veggie oil or rendering animal fat.

danscope
2013-Jan-02, 08:12 PM
In my experience, the mantle will last longer if you run it at less than 90%. I can live with that, and a long lasting unit.
And use the right fuel. This works.

Dan

Extravoice
2013-Jan-02, 09:09 PM
I dunno. I just use LED lights and lamps and batteries, candles and regular oil lamps...

The recent hurricane demonstrated that my lighting and heating systems were lacking for a shelter-in-place scenario.

I could have simply added a couple more "ordinary" kerosene lamps, but the Aladdin is a nifty piece of technology.
A less-expensive upgrade was to get an adapter to run our propane camping lantern from a 20 pound tank (we always have at least one full tank around)

BTW: Anybody know how long a reasonably bright LED lantern would work on a fresh set of alkaline batteries?

Ara Pacis
2013-Jan-03, 07:08 AM
The recent hurricane demonstrated that my lighting and heating systems were lacking for a shelter-in-place scenario.

I could have simply added a couple more "ordinary" kerosene lamps, but the Aladdin is a nifty piece of technology.
A less-expensive upgrade was to get an adapter to run our propane camping lantern from a 20 pound tank (we always have at least one full tank around)

BTW: Anybody know how long a reasonably bright LED lantern would work on a fresh set of alkaline batteries?

Depends on how many LEDs are lit and their power level. You could try looking up the LED lamp number for that and then run some electrical mathematics and figure out how much energy per unit time and then figure out how much you have based on how many batteries you have.

I prefer low light power, just enough to see by, so that I can still see outside and adapt to darkness more quickly. I bounce the light off the white ceiling for more even lighting that makes more things visible. I hate lanterns because they create harsh shadows that I can't control easily and ruin my nightvision, which is generally pretty good.

Extravoice
2013-Jan-03, 01:26 PM
Thanks. I agree about the harshness of lanterns, at least my propane one.

The Aladdin lantern is more like a table lamp (at least with the shade installed), and much easier on the eyes.

Gillianren
2013-Jan-03, 05:22 PM
What kind of light I prefer depends on what I'm using it for. If I'm trying to read, that little light is no use to me.

HenrikOlsen
2013-Jan-08, 06:13 PM
Remember that this is light for an emergency situation, you may be best off with multiple light sources for different purposes, with both a fairly soft, easy on the eyes, long lasting light for general use and coziness in a bad situation and an intense, directional, possibly shorter lasting, for damage inspection and signalling.
And if you expect to sit and read a lot, also get one that fits that purpose, and test them all before you need them..

Ara Pacis
2013-Jan-08, 09:34 PM
Remember that this is light for an emergency situation, you may be best off with multiple light sources for different purposes, with both a fairly soft, easy on the eyes, long lasting light for general use and coziness in a bad situation and an intense, directional, possibly shorter lasting, for damage inspection and signalling.
And if you expect to sit and read a lot, also get one that fits that purpose, and test them all before you need them..

right, but I think lanterns do both jobs poorly. If I learned anything from reading about the collapse of economies in South America in the recent past, it's to have more LED flashlights than you think you need, including some headband types.

danscope
2013-Jan-08, 10:38 PM
Hi, We do know that oil lamps for alternative emergency lighting work
consistently well when used properly and supervised. That is the difference. Batteries and corosion and other problems are less reliable, to a degree. My money is on oil. And like Henrick said: Keep good flashlights
for doing dedicated repairs and chores where concentrated light is an
necessity . Flashlights are short term. Oil lamps are long term.

Dan

LookingSkyward
2013-Jan-11, 09:09 AM
Ok, as a flashlight addict, some background & a comment.
I don't go anywhere without a flashlight - Little LED light in my pocket, and another in my jacket pocket, and a couple in the car, several, including the crankup type in the house. This comes from submarine times, when I HAD to have a flashlight in my pocket. Really wish we'd had high output LEDs in those days, but a pocket mag-light worked fine :)

I also have a battery LED lantern on the mantle in the living room for power outages.
BUT: I have about 4 oil lamps in the house, with about 5 gallons of lamp oil stashed in the garage.

When the power is out for more than a couple hours, the oil lamps get lit, and the flashlights are used when moving to dark rooms (like tha bathroom).

If you can safely run oil lamps, there a much better long term solution than anything that runs on batteries for the reasons danscope called out above.


If onyone is interested, PM me and I'll send our home emergency list from our Emergency Services group - Ham Radio ARES/RACES.... but you can find all kinds of similar lists on the web.

Ara Pacis
2013-Jan-11, 11:15 AM
Ok, as a flashlight addict, some background & a comment.
I don't go anywhere without a flashlight - Little LED light in my pocket, and another in my jacket pocket, and a couple in the car, several, including the crankup type in the house. This comes from submarine times, when I HAD to have a flashlight in my pocket. Really wish we'd had high output LEDs in those days, but a pocket mag-light worked fine :)

I also have a battery LED lantern on the mantle in the living room for power outages.
BUT: I have about 4 oil lamps in the house, with about 5 gallons of lamp oil stashed in the garage.

When the power is out for more than a couple hours, the oil lamps get lit, and the flashlights are used when moving to dark rooms (like tha bathroom).

If you can safely run oil lamps, there a much better long term solution than anything that runs on batteries for the reasons danscope called out above.


If onyone is interested, PM me and I'll send our home emergency list from our Emergency Services group - Ham Radio ARES/RACES.... but you can find all kinds of similar lists on the web.

Maybe I'll start a General Disaster Preparedness thread.

Edit: Here it is. Have fun. (http://cosmoquest.org/forum/showthread.php/141147-The-General-Disaster-and-Emergency-Preparedness-Response-amp-Mitigation-Thread)