Emergency Preparedness

claire_de_lunaJuly 24, 2006

It's a long time after Katrina and all the lessons it had to give us, but I'm finally getting it together to make some Emergency plans. I found some (bright orange) rolling backpacks and am filling them now. Besides the usual stuff like clothes, flashlights, batteries,first aid, etc., I've included a hand-crank radio, and a deck of cards. There's a first tier list of what to grab like medications, food, pet supplies, water and cash; plus a second tier list of comforts/heirlooms to grab if there's time.

We copied all the important papers yesterday, one for each pack in case we'd lose one. The decision was not to include any social security numbers, but we copied our drivers licenses, since it seems like losing those could be problematic. Besides insurance policies, birth certificates, house and car stuff, I'm putting a contact sheet of all phone numbers (family, insurance, financial) on top of the packet and am going to vacuum seal the whole shebang so water won't be an issue. My calendar has a notation for twice a year, so I can go through these and update them (meds, clothes, etc.) on a regular basis. As much as I've thought about this and considering how much time I've invested, I'd hate to have to pull it together at the last minute!

I know we talked about this right after Katrina, but I've slept since then. What am I forgetting?

Do you have a plan in place?

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hand-crank flashlight, so you can skip batteries altogether?

How great your backpacks sound! Especially smart that you thought of contact info, and other paperwork.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2006 at 6:06PM
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I like that idea Talley Sue. While I was googling I found this radio/cellphone charger combo. I'd love to be able to charge my cell phone, especially if I had to leave my car for any reason.

Here is a link that might be useful: Radio/cellphone charger

    Bookmark   July 24, 2006 at 6:26PM
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We have to prepare for earthquakes. Since there isn't any warning time, I've decided not to worry about the sentimental stuff. There's no way I could be ready for dealing with those. We just focus on food, water, power supply, etc. We try and keep the vehicles full of gas at all times, since it may be our only source of heat. Is there anything you would need to keep in the vehicle such as space blankets? Nothing is jumping at me which might have been forgotten, except family contacts for neighbors. Once everyone gets scattered it would be good to have some way to contact each other and exchange the info with them. We always have to list an out of state contact for our kids at school. Long distance may be available when local calls (including cells) will be down.

I've clipped Flylady's 11 points of preparedness, but it sounds like you've got it covered.

11 Points of Preparedness for Emergency

Dear Friends,

Here it is that time of year again when we are faced with the threat
of Evacuation from our homes. We never know when we this could happen
because of fire, train wreck, floods or hurricanes. It is up to us to
be prepared!

  1. PEOPLE: Have a plan for getting out of the house and make sure
    everyone knows it. Have an emergency bag of food and water for your
    family. Include wholesome snacks and treats for the children: dried
    fruit, nuts, peanut butter, crackers and granola bars.

2. PETS: Keep pet carriers and leashes readily available to lead pets
to safety. Also take pet food with you.

3. PICTURES: Keep negatives or CDs of pictures in a lock box or at a
family member's home. Have picture albums in one place ready to grab
and go at a moments notice.

4. PAPERS: Have all your important papers in a lock box at a bank and
only keep copies at the house. This keeps you from panicking. If you
have them at home then put them in a folder that you can easily grab
if you have to move fast. Color code it so you can find it!

5. PRESCRIPTIONS: Take your medications with you. Don't forget the
ones that have to be refrigerated like insulin. Have small ice chest
and cold packs readily accessible to pack and go. If you have babies;
remember their formula or medications.

6. PURSES and PETRO: This is where you keep your identification,
credit cards and cash. Keep a stash of cash for emergencies and grab
it. You may not be able to use an ATM in the event of a power outage.
Make sure your car always has a half a tank of gas.

7. PROPER CLOTHES and COMFORT ITEMS: According to the weather
conditions; gather up a change of clothes along with outer clothing:
coats, rain gear, boots, gloves and hats. If you have babies remember
diapers. Remember to grab your children's favorite blanket, stuffed
animal or toy. A game or a deck of cards could keep them occupied and
calm too.

8. PLANNER/CALENDAR/CONTROL JOURNAL: These documents have all the
information you will need from phone numbers, insurance numbers and
important dates. They are small and filled with things you don't have
to try to remember.

9. PERSONAL PROTECTION: Many of us still have that time of the month.
Be sure and grab a box of your preferred protection. It may be hard to
find if you have been evacuated. Stress can cause our bodies to do
strange things too. So be prepared. Take medication for cramps too.

10. PHONES, RADIOS, FUEL FOR THE CAR: Many of us have cell phones now.
Always keep them charged up and have a charger in the car or an extra
battery. They may not work in the event of power outages, but then
they might. Know which local radio station has emergency bulletins.
Keep your battery powered radio tuned to that local station and have
plenty of batteries for it. Also keep a old type regular phone that
does not operate with electricity. GAS PUMPS don't work without power
either. You can't leave if your car is on empty. So keep your car fuel
tank topped off when it hits a half of tank. This way you will have
gas to drive at least a couple of hours. Evacuation routes are usually
bumper to bumper traffic. Having a tank filled will keep you less

11. PATIENCE: This is one of the most important things to pack. Keep
it inside of you so that you have a clear calm head. Having your P's
to Preparedness list guiding you will keep you patient. In the event
of an evacuation there will be lots of displaced people. Being patient
will make things less stressful. Your children need to see you calm
and collected. This will help keep them calm too.
We can FLY in the face of Danger and Emergency if we are prepared.
Don't wait till you are being asked to evacuate. Everyone thinks that
it could not happen to them. Well it could and it is up to you to make
sure you are prepared.

Don't wait! DO IT NOW!!


    Bookmark   July 24, 2006 at 7:55PM
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If rising water might be an issue, floaties or other flotation type devices - possibly blow up style so they pack compact. Could be used for young children, those that can't swim well or have stamina to stay afloat for lengthy periods. Also could be used on your backpacks, etc.

After watching the helicoptors tossing needed supplies into the water, I wondered how much of it would float for a considerable period of time.

Floaties are cheap and could be used in many useful ways when high water is involved.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2006 at 11:12PM
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I've been trying for years to get an Emergency Preparedness forum but there was not enough interest. I have so many links to great sites and how to do things and survive. I'll try and get some things posted. The ideas so far are great and I'm going to print them out and study them.
Here is an intereting site that someone found a few days ago.
It will give a link to the threat assesment for your state and ways to plot an evacuation map if need be. On the right hand side is a list of clickables for bug out bag tents water etc.

Just one of hundreds of info places. Hope you find something there.
I'll be BAAAck with more!!

Here is a link that might be useful: Rogue Turtle Research: Maps

    Bookmark   July 25, 2006 at 12:29AM
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Communications within and into a disaster area WILL NOT WORK. Accept that and plan for it. Outgoing calls are easier to complete, and the internet (if not dialup) is often in better shape than the phones.

Set up an "out of disaster area" contact person who will be the relay to everybody else outside the area. Here's how it works: you call the relay, or your scattered in the area family all calls them ... they call everyone else on your "please notify" list. Call them ONCE, unless the situaiton changes, and keep it SHORT. Don't clutter the lines and air with chit-chat, because you could be blocking a call from someone who REALLY needs to get through.

When the SF Bay quake cut loose, none of my siblings there could call each other, but they could call me in Arizona, so I relayed for them.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2006 at 12:00PM
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quiltglo, Thanks for the flylady steps; I actually used them to help me plan when I was pulling this together. Space blankets are in the car, although looking at them I wonder how much help they can actually be!

Lisa, I thought about water, but had not considered flotation devices. Since I don't live in a flood zone, this makes me wonder if we typically plan for the type of disaster we would normally expect in our area. It could certainly happen if I was in an area I wasn't familiar with I suppose. Hhhmmm, something else to consider. I did think about the packs getting wet, so I've put everything in ziplocks to help keep the contents dry. I've also included a couple of trashbags each (emergency ponchos or extra protection) just in case.

Minnie, great! Please come back with more. If surviving a disaster means Preparation meeting Opportunity, I'm there. I'm not into scaring myself, but sometimes reading about something will put a thought where it never was before and could mean the difference between life and death.

Lazygardens, good point. The third person on my Contact sheet is our out of state contact, so we realize the need for that. (It includes all the mobile phone numbers too.)

Thanks for helping me make my plans...I need all the help I can get!

    Bookmark   July 25, 2006 at 12:35PM
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one other point--having all those systems, etc., in place, will be great in a big, splashy emergency--but it could also be useful in smaller emergencies (your neighborhood gets blocked because there's a potential gas leak in someone else's home, for example, or the power goes out in your neighborhood for a week!)

I remember when they really started leaning on people not to call in to the site of the emergency--I was in Jr. High or HS, I think, and Oklahoma or somewhere got really trashed bya tornado. And rescue folks w/ rigs and ambulances couldn't call in to find out where to go, bcs every Tom Dick & Harry was calling in to see if cousin Susie was OK.

I don't want to belittle their worry, but honestly, not everyone needs to call. And what would they do w/ the info anyway? Pray now, find out later, after all the rescue folks have gotten their marching orders.

I feel really strongly about this.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2006 at 1:28PM
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Get yourself some two way radios. Cell communications aren't as reliable as two way.

Also, we once saw a home for sale by some Mormons who had stocked their basement with food for a year. If that is something you are interested in, search for Mormon and food storage and you will find some links.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2006 at 4:58PM
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Our only real potential natural disaster is a tornado.

When the kids were infants & toddlers I always kept a playpen in the basement. If I had to put the baby down real quick for some reason, I wanted to be able to find him again in the near darkness!

    Bookmark   July 25, 2006 at 5:39PM
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When I lived in San Francisco, I took the NERT (Neighborhood Emergency Response Team) training, which was a great opportunity to get prepared for the next big one. I had emergency bags in the car, at work and at home, and I learned that the most important thing to do in the event of an emergency is to be self-sufficient because you really can't count on getting help for 72 hours.

There are some great checklists and other info on the NERT site at http://www.sfgov.org/site/sfnert_index.asp.

Of course, now that I've been settled in NY for the past 7+ years, I've done nothing other than keep a few extra gallons of water in the garage. Until now...now I think I'll get started on pulling together some emergency supplies.

PS - don't forget duct tape - it's useful for so many purposes!

    Bookmark   July 25, 2006 at 11:30PM
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Chrisa, Thanks for the link. I'm glad it's been a reminder for you; that's great. I just bought a roll of bright orange duct tape this very day! I'm also updating my First Aid kit for the car and for my packs, to include a few more items than I'd packed previously.

Julie, good idea to have a place to bump into for your baby!

(dgmarie, that's a thought. I don't know about going the Mormon route; if things are that dire, I'm not sure I'd want to survive.

Talley Sue, good point. At least all I'd have to do is go get my backpack, wherever it ends up.

I'm making headway, and hope to be done with this by tomorrow. Have you seen backpacks for dogs? I'm considering packing my pet's stuff in her own backpack, (since we travel with her anyway) and letting her tote her own stuff if we needed to.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2006 at 11:47PM
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Several people have mentioned cash, but I want to re-emphsize it.

I have lived in very unsettled (politically and natural disaster-ly) areas, and a good stash of money is very, very helpful. Keep it divided up, though, so you could give some of it up if you were robbed, and not be totally without any.

I grew up in a part of the world where the slang word for folding money was "effectivo", which means pretty much what it sounds like.

Set it aside, and forget about it, so you don't use it like a bank when you're otherwise short of money to pay the pizza guy.

The other suggestion I have concerns more everyday situations (and could keep them from escaling into personal disasters). I live in an area with a very cold winter climate, where any casual winter car trip could turn fatal if I got stranded. While I could easily survive with the right clothing (either by staying put - the best choice - or by walking out) I am not usually wearing my survival gear. My tip is this: for every family member, in every car, keep a box in the trunk with a complete set of winter clothing, including socks, underwear, sweaters, t-neck, boots, pants, coat, etc. This needn't be expensive, as it is the perfect place to "use up" clothing that for style (or age) reasons would just be sent to Goodwill. I could change from heels and a business suit to winter back-packing, right in my car. (And if I'm stranded who's there to be modest for?)

With my luck, of course, I would survive and finally regain civilization and be interviewed on TV. Most viewers won't be thinking, "Wow, she's so lucky to be alive". No, they'll be thinking, "Gad, I wouldn't want to be caught dead wearing those clothes!"

Anyway, that's my suggestion. (And if you see some rescued person being interviewed on TV in incredibly tacky winter clothing, hey, you'll know it's me!)


    Bookmark   July 26, 2006 at 12:48AM
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Molly, I'm in a winter climate also and it isn't usual for people to be stranded for a couple of days due to an avalanche on the road. Our worst roads are closed off for the winter, although it's not unheard of for people to get off on them and get stranded. For my winter pack in the car, I also keep food and water. We don't leave the urban area or main roads, so if something happened, it would be a wait with the vehicle situation. I hate to wear boots, so I keep mine in the van.

claire, space blankets conserve body heat. So even if you aren't in a cold climate they are very good if someone is injured or wet and chilled. Our schools also have to be ready to keep the kids in place for 72 hours, so they have stocks of water, food and space blankets.

One other thing I thought of was who we put down for emergency contacts. I know the first thought is a friend with whom your kids are comfortable, but that's usually another parent. If Anchorage splits in two, I don't want someone who is trying to get to their own kids to be the ones I need to find mine. I've been putting down neighbor couples who have grown kids, so that their first focus could be on my children rather than their own. I need to give this some thought and call some people, because our friends who we have listed the last few years are moving to Texas this fall.

We have a large Mormon population here. That large supply is for the second coming of Christ if I understand it correctly. I do know there are some families with the supply, but with the earthquake preparedness, it could end up under a huge pile of rubble (same for tornado alley.) In the best case, the food supplies would be spread out so that if one supply was ruined, others could be used. Kind of hard to do for a family storage for much more than meeting immediate needs.


Here is a link that might be useful: dog packs, who knew?

    Bookmark   July 26, 2006 at 2:57AM
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Molly, we're on the same wavelength...I got cash last week and have it ''stashed'' in three places. I had to grin about your description of being interviewed in your tacky winter clothing! (Since basically, tacky is what's going in my backpacks.)

Someone else (during the Katrina disaster) mentioned that having an extra can opener could be used for barter.

Gloria, good reminder about space blankets. The best thing about them is that they're small, lightweight and easy to pack. DH and I keep a small down comforter stuffed in a bag in the back of the car during the winter months. Your link for dogpacks is better than those I'd been looking at, so Thanks!

I just saw on Good Morning America that most cities are not prepared for diaster. (Funny it would be mentioned today, in light of what's going on in my head.) It's going to be a case of help yourself...

    Bookmark   July 26, 2006 at 8:20AM
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I just put my updated First Aid Kit together. Now that school supplies are so front and center, I decided to buy a good sized Lunch box with a zipper lid, a pocket on the backside and a place for bottled water. I figured I could use water to wash hands/wounds before attending to any first aid. The box is barely big enough but I managed to get everything in. I'm relocating this near the garage door, so I can grab it along with meds and backpacks. After going through my old first aid kit (for the car), I found the heat was murder on it, so I've decided not to keep it in there unless it's for a road trip/emergency.

I also included scissors, an eyeglass repair kit, needle/lighter/tweezers, nail file and anything else I could think of.

I found a backpack for my dog...it's next! I can't wait to be done with this.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2006 at 4:13PM
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I also included scissors, an eyeglass repair kit, needle/lighter/tweezers, nail file and anything else I could think of.

sounds like a Swiss Army knife.

I want to give my friends the "Swiss Mommy knife," w/ scissors for cutting the straw to make it shorter (to keep toddlers from tipping the glass upside down to ge ttot he too-tall straw), a knife for cutting grapes in half, a small Phillips screwdriver for opening battery compartments, etc.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2006 at 4:31PM
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Talley Sue, you know it does sound like a Swiss Army Knife! I just needed the bigger version...you know the one I could find without my glasses.

We also cut our straws in half; the big smoothie ones so I can drink them from a smaller glass. I like that idea of a Swiss Mommy Knife.

I just realized the floursack dish towel I included in my kit is the perfect size to make an arm sling. I'm digging in my sewing box for safety pins.

I'm almost done, I'm almost done...

    Bookmark   July 27, 2006 at 12:13AM
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Food Storage on Five Dollars a Week

This list has been around a long time from the Latter-Day Saints site. This plan is awesome and I suggest printing it out and shopping the sales. You don't have to buy it in order - just make sure you check it off when you get it and I personally think that you should buy extra when you can afford it.

Week 1: 6 lbs. salt
Week 2: 5 cans cream of chicken soup
Week 3: 20 lbs. of sugar
Week 4: 8 cans tomato soup
Week 5: 50 lbs. wheat
Week 6: 6 lbs. macaroni
Week 7: 20 lbs. sugar
Week 8: 8 cans tuna
Week 9: 6 lbs. yeast
Week 10: 50 lbs. wheat
Week 11: 8 cans tomato soup
Week 12: 20 lbs. sugar
Week 13: 10 lbs. powdered milk
Week 14: 7 boxes macaroni and cheese
Week 15: 50 lbs. wheat
Week 16: 5 cans cream of chicken soup
Week 17: 1 bottle 500 multi-vitamins
Week 18: 10 lbs. powdered milk
Week 19: 5 cans cream mushroom soup
Week 20: 50 lbs. wheat
Week 21: 8 cans tomato soup
Week 22: 20 lbs. sugar
Week 23: 8 cans tuna
Week 24: 6 lbs. shortening
Week 25: 50 lbs. wheat
Week 26: 5 lbs. honey
Week 27: 10 lbs. powdered milk
Week 28: 20 lbs. sugar
Week 29: 5 lbs. peanut butter
Week 30: 50 lbs. wheat
Week 31: 7 boxes macaroni and cheese
Week 32: 10 lbs. powdered milk
Week 33: 1 bottle 500 aspirin
Week 34: 5 cans cream of chicken soup
Week 35: 50 lbs. wheat
Week 36: 7 boxes macaroni and cheese
Week 37: 6 lbs. salt
Week 38: 20 lbs. sugar
Week 39: 8 cans tomato soup
Week 40: 50 lbs. wheat
Week 41: 5 cans cream chicken soup
Week 42: 20 lbs. sugar
Week 43: 1 bottle 500 multi-vitamins
Week 44: 8 cans tuna
Week 45: 50 lbs. wheat
Week 46: 6 lbs. macaroni
Week 47: 20 lbs. sugar
Week 48: 5 cans cream mushroom soup
Week 49: 5 lbs. honey
Week 50: 20 lbs. sugar
Week 51: 8 cans tomato soup
Week 52: 50 lbs. wheat

Some weeks you will have leftover change. Save the change each week in a kitty to be used for the weeks you may exceed $5.00 (for example, as when purchasing wheat or milk). You will end up with:

500 pounds of wheat
180 pounds of sugar
40 pounds of powdered milk
12 pounds of salt
10 pounds of honey
5 pounds peanut butter
45 cans of tomato soup
15 cans of cream of mushroom soup
15 cans of cream of chicken soup
24 cans of tuna
21 boxes of macaroni and cheese
500 aspirin
1000 multi-vitamins
6 pounds of yeast
6 pounds of shortening
12 pounds of macaroni

This should be enough to sustain two people for one year. For every two people in your family, add $5.00 more and double or triple the amount of the item you are buying for that week.
This is a list I copied back in 2003. I think the idea of the list is good. Just set aside $5 each week to buy a particular item. It doesn't have to be what is on this list. Last week I bought 12 boxes of K mac & Cheese on special at Target 12/5.99. If I can store enough water we won't starve for a couple of weeks.

Sanitary pads can be used for bandages and to use on those really cold days when maybe the john is unavailable or you can't get to it in time and "drip" (sounds awful but it is easier to change a pad than change all your clothes. Speaking of johns. Get some extra clumpable kitty Litter. You can make a portable potty with big plastic store bags and your own toilet. You use two - one to line the john to make sure nothing goes into the john, The other one to tie up and put in a sealed G Can. (Had to do this when the water was shut off during our ice storm.)
Also make sure you have a supply of whatever meds you take or toiletries In my case tooth glue!!

Be back later with some sites Thanks for the ones you all have posted. Some new to me!!

    Bookmark   July 27, 2006 at 1:08AM
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This site is a web page made by one of the gals on AOL we all contributed a little for the references. She was going to take it down but I think most of the links work. What I do is visit a link and then cut and paste what I want to save in an email and send it to myself. Then convert it later into a word doc.
Hope you find something interesting. Please share the ones you find helpful!!

Here is a link that might be useful: Web page Be Prepared

    Bookmark   July 27, 2006 at 1:30AM
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Claire, I think I'm going to get one of those crank radios with the cell phone charger I have three different wind-up radios and flashlights but not the charger. But if your server is down the cell won't work but I'd rather be prepared!!

    Bookmark   July 27, 2006 at 1:32AM
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true, if the relay station is down, nobody can make any calls. But that's actually far less likely than your individual battery running down.

I don't have a cell phone, but if I did, I'd have one of those crank chargers in my car at ALL times.

Like I said, being prepared for a disaster means you're prepared for everyday life and all its LITTLE difficulties.

Safety pins! definitely safety pins.

Needle and thread, too--a small sewing kit.

(duct tape could make a sling--as chrisa2711 says, it can do almost anything. Use it and a branch or two, and I bet you could make your own crutches)

    Bookmark   July 27, 2006 at 10:10AM
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If there's anything you've learned from Katrina (and that I've learned from Frances and Jeanne) is that you use the G.T.F.O. Plan!
I'm sure you can figure out what that stands for. It's doesn't make sense to stay for hurricanes.
I do a bit of camping and picnicing and you don't need a long list of supplies.
Here's what I stock up on.
Aseptic Foods:
2.)Canned Tuna
3.)Canned Red Salmon (I have a couple of things I make with this)
4.) If you must have milk, there is powdered.
5.) Cereal and poptarts
6.) PB&J Requires bread and individual jars of jelly- (Jelly should be refrigerated.)
6.) There is canned chicken and beef too.
7.) I get the canned vegetables like peas, greenbeans and carrots.
8.) Raisins, cookies, potato chips, apple sauce (individually wrapped single serve)
9.) Bread!
10.) I make hushpuppies and potato pancakes from the pre-mixed boxes.
11.) Potato flakes /Canned mashed potatoes
12.) Canned soup that doesn't require milk. Campbells Golden Mushroom, french onion, and tomato bisque are my favs.

A $9 propane camping stove will solve most of your electricity woes when it comes to eating. You have to use it outside so have a folding table or stand for it. You also need matches. I would also suggest a fire extinguisher just in case.

I stock up on gallon and 2 gallon bottles of water in addition to small bottles. I also fill up a few water containers that I have which hold 5-6 gallons each. These also make good sinks.

Paper plates and plastic picnicware is handy as are cleaning supplies for any pots and pans.

I keep first aid supplies obviously but don't overdo it. A lot of that stuff has expiration dates so just make your own with a bottle of advil, some antiseptic and some bandaids and gauze. You don't need to spend $50 or more on a first aid kit.

Stock up on toilet paper and paper towels and garbage bags. Have some shaving supplies and teeth brushing gear.

Any these are supplies that I always keep in the pantry ready to go. I use a lot of this stuff everyday anyway. When I was living in Florida, I packed this stuff in milk crates and threw in the truck and I evacuated for the hurricanes. When I got to where I was evacuating to, everything was closed because they thought they were going to get the hurricane so luckily I was able to have a feast in a hotel room.

I would highly suggest familiarizing yourself with how to choke down dry tuna salad, heating up spaghettios and so on and so forth before you actually have to do it.

Why dilly dally with crank up radios when we have these things called batteries? You can also get a power inverter to use 12vdc from automobiles to power fans, computers, TV, lights etc etc. I guess a deck of cards will work but wouldn't you rather be watching TV?

Don't forget extra fuel. Get it beforehand. Even if you evacuate you may find gas stations along the way are sold out. And cash.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2006 at 11:31AM
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I just lost a long post I started. I hate when that happens.

Minnie, that list is certainly worth keeping as a reference. I'm not personally interested in storing a year's worth of food, since rotating the stash feels like a job in and of itself (it's just the two of us, and I tend to buy in bulk anyway.) I noticed I keep a lot of those things on hand already. The Be Prepared website looks interesting, and I'll be sure to comment when I've had more time to read. I had read that about sanitary pads being good bandages, and included them in my first aid kit. I'm including the link for the hand-crank cell phone charger I'm considering, since the adapters are included for the phones we own and we already have a radio. I keep the cigarette lighter phone charger in the car, but if all batteries are dead, a hand-crank could be a lifesaver.

Talley Sue, check, check and check! It feels great to check those off my list.

Quirkyquercus, your list is handy as well. I have a lot of those supplies at home already, which gives a little piece of mind. Part of my plan is to ''position'' them so they're easy to grab and I don't forget anything in the process. I'm putting my Grab and Go List with my cash. I can see losing the location of a list, but I always know where the Cash is! A portable camp stove wouldn't be a bad idea, and one of the things I put on my GO list is a SS dishpan. I figured it's a great dual purpose item since you can bathe, drink, cook or clean-up with it. I've used it on top of my stove enough times to know that! The other thing I keep on hand is plenty of batteries, but there are times when I've run out...

Here is a link that might be useful: Hand-Crank Cell phone charger

    Bookmark   July 27, 2006 at 12:32PM
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Speaking of GTFO---if you have to evacuate for a major emergency, lots and lots and lots of others will be leaving also. Getting stuck in a traffic jam is a real possibility so it's a good idea to take some version of a portable potty in your car along with some TP.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2006 at 3:49PM
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I wonder if you could make one with minnie's idea of plastic bags, clumpable cat litter and a five gallon bucket with a tight fitting lid?

    Bookmark   July 27, 2006 at 4:02PM
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They are called Honey Buckets up here. Lots of places in Alaska still don't (and probably never will) have plumbing so they are all fitted with toilet seats. The cat litter wouldn't last too long if used much.


    Bookmark   July 27, 2006 at 9:35PM
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If you get a chance try and get one of her books from the library. She has terrific ideas and used to appear as a guest on the old Family Show on
TV. One of her ideas is to keep an old umbrella in the car and a shower curtain. It seems the holes in the shower curtain fit the umbrella ( upside down)making a little "private" area if you hang it on the branch of a tree. She has other practical ideas too. A handy little book to keep on hand

Here is a link that might be useful: Dian Thomas -- Backyard Roughing It Easy

    Bookmark   July 27, 2006 at 10:32PM
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Gloria, I hadn't heard that term before! I think a regular portable potty is probably preferable. (OK, I know, but I just wanted to say it; precisely.) I think I'm feeling goofy now that my bag is packed and stowed in the closet! The First Aid is updated (and stowed); there's cash on hand, extra meds and the Grab and Go list is made. I'm leaving my G&G list out for a couple of days so I can add anything that I forgot. I did end up adding a small, portable dolly to it (since I have one) along with the campstove/fuel. If I don't count wanting a new inventory of household stuff for the safe deposit box (or putting it on my hard drive) or putting favorite photos in a plastic ''GO'' box, I'm almost there. It's great to see the end of this project in sight!

    Bookmark   July 27, 2006 at 11:19PM
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I didn't mention it but I do take toilets with me. I'm a guy so I use 1 gallong water bottles with the top cut off for going #1. Sorry to be gross but the cops can and do arrest people for going on the side of the road. And I also have a homebrew shower when I take my big water tank with me.

As far as organizing your "GO" supplies. I have a part of my basement where I stockpile stuff that I use (Sort of like an overflow pantry so when paper towels go on sale) And that's where I have about 4 milk crates (Sold at the container store (.com) These are the real ones not cheap plastic) and I put my supplies in those. It keeps the bread from getting squashed. Then I have a hand truck and stack the crates, wheel them out. Load in truck and drive off into the sunset.

I also have checklists that I use just to make sure everything is there.

What's great about the supplies I use for emergencies as they are pretty much the same supplies I use on a daily basis anyway so if they are starting to get old I just use them. I may have to buy two of something like I have more than one box of aluminum foil but I'm not going to go down to the basement everytime I need foil. I know this sounds looney but I do mark purchase dates on stuff with a magic marker. Even non food items.

Even if you never use this stuff I think it's really satisfying to be prepared and "evacu-cations" as I call them can be kinda fun when you're prepared.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2006 at 11:22AM
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Good points Quirkyquercus. I found a portable potty today at my local K-Mart; the hassock kind that stores TP in the lid. Check!

The milk crates are a good idea. Since I have trouble bringing things up from the basement, I'm going to reorganize a place in a cabinet in the garage this fall for some Emergency Supplies. I actually use the crate system when we take long road trips and use them for things like shoes, books/maps and food, so I know why that works for you. I always have a couple in my car anyway, to hold whatever so it doesn't roll around back there.

I like your idea of putting purchase dates on things. I'm going to try that. How nice to never have to ''wonder'' about something again!

One of the things I found today in the ''Reduced'' section of the store was a plastic tote for scrapbooking which holds pictures. Since most of my pictures are in boxes, this will be the perfect thing to sort the most important ones into. It has a handle, and will be easy to find if the need arises. Check!

    Bookmark   July 28, 2006 at 5:06PM
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The biggest problem with portapotties is that when it comes right down to it... do you have a place you can actually use it? Without a van or something like that it's hard to do.
Now I do most of my travelling solo or with my dogs so if I was in the middle of nowhere and I had to go I would at least be able to do so without family members making fun of me. Then there's the issue of cleaning them out. It's much easier just to line a 5 gallon bucket with a plastic garbage bag and put a toilet seat on top then throw it away or bury it.

I can't really picture using the toilet for that purpose in close proximity to where I eat ... so I was inspired by the movie "Karate Kid" to make a privacy screen for showering and toileting. It was the scene where they were at the halloween dance and Daniel was dressed as a shower. I made a ring that was similar with a shower curtain and mounted in on a stand in the truck so at least I will be outside.

I also have carboys (small water containers with faucets) I think I mentioned that. If you fill them with water the day you leave they stay warm for a couple of days. I remember in the winter I used them and it was real cold out and the water stayed warm in there. You can be reasonably sanitary with camping and in emergency situations.

Clara you also brought up a good point. You would want to take irreplacable photos and things like that. In this day and age you should have backup disks of photos and copies of printed pictures so you can take the backups with you. I forgot to say that I have a whole crate full of computer disks with files for work. I take all my music CD's with me too.

And as for the dates... I wanted to get one of those price guns they use to stamp the dates on everything but they were too expensive so I use a Sharpie.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2006 at 9:52PM
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Good Idea about photos on disks. That was one of our suggestions long ago. I too have a whole plastic box of copies of just about everything on my computer too. I figure somewhere along the line there will be access to a computer in the future.
Here is an old photo of my TP wall in my craft room. This is about 2 years old. Now I have doubled the length. so this i just about half of what I have "in stock" I keep getting cents off coupons in the mail and can't resist a TP Sale.
I also got a lot of great small stuff from the Target dollar aisle recently, compasses, fire starters a fold up shovel and was delighted when even that went on sale. You never know where you'll find something to be used later.
I agree with Quirky that it can be kind of fun being prepared.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   July 28, 2006 at 10:24PM
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Some great lists have been posted. This is one I posted at another place back in 2003 (How Time flies)

Date: 2/7/03 6:39 PM Central Standard Time
On the Clark Howard show today he was talking about and asking Do you have an emergency plan?
Some of the questions asked were:
Do you have your children's school telephone numbers
Do they have yours?
Does you school have a plan for emergencies and if so what are they?
Do you have an emergency cell list or some way to let loved ones know you are ok in the event of phone outages and cell phone outages.
Have you decided on a place to meet with other family members.
Do you know where your important papers are etc.
Does you community have any kind of a plan?
Does the company you work for have a plan? (The bank I used to work for had a plan but I can't remember all of it now)
Some other things to consider are:
Is your gas tank filled?
Do you have an ample supply of meds for those who have to have them
How about your pets, do you have food and water for them and an emergency first aid kit for them?
Do they have proper identification?
Do you have some cash on hand? (In case the ATM's won't work as some didn't a couple of weeks ago when a "worm" hit the net)
Make sure you have a lot of ones (no sense giving someone a $10 tip for helping because you only have tens.)
Do you have several routes to get you out of town besides the main roads?
Do you have a good map of your area and surrounding areas
Do you have Poison control telephone numbers handy?
It's not paranoia just common sense.
Just a few things to think about under any circumstance.

some of these are repeats I know.

Does you community have any kind of a plan?

I think this is the hardest one of all. I tried to find out but hit blind alleys

    Bookmark   July 28, 2006 at 10:31PM
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Minnie, your TP wall cracks me up. When they moved into Assisted Living, my parents had a closet full just of TP! (It was very important to my Dad to have a well stocked supply.) Thanks for the list. It's always good for review.

QuirkyQ, You're right about needing a place to use the portapotty. In that case, I think the umbrella/shower curtain idea is a pretty good one. The portable that I found has a wide bottom (no pun intended) for stability which is good. I like that I can keep it in my basement which doesn't have a bathroom, in case we have to head down there because of severe weather which is our more immediate threat.

You both sound very well prepared. Thanks for all your help/tips/concern. I'm grateful to have a Plan in place (with locations noted! a very good tip), and feel I'm in much better shape than before. This gave me an opportunity to clean my car out as well, so I know what's in there and where everything is. Although I'm ready to take a break, this should also help motivate me to clean out the garage/basement when the weather cools off so I can find what I need easily. Preparation happens in stages around here!

    Bookmark   July 29, 2006 at 9:06AM
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I thought stockpiling TP and PT when they went on sale only ran in my family. I kid you not I fill up two shopping carts with paper products when they go on sale. I don't have an impressive stock of it right now though or I'd take a picture. I think I have only three 8rl packs of PT's and 3 Packs of TP. Sometimes the Angel soft which is my favorite brand is buy one get one free so I hoard it. LOL

    Bookmark   July 29, 2006 at 11:10AM
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Quirky, when I lived in the apartments I used the trunk of my car to hold my extra TP. I figured I'd make a mint in a terrible highway tie-up lol

Another thing I do is make sure the used by dates are at least a year or two on a lot of products that you just have to open and heat etc.

I feel sorry for the people around the USA who are without electricity in this heatwave.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2006 at 8:01PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

I'm surprised no one has mentioned nuclear war. That's the one diaster that made me start preparing recently.

I still have 6 giant buckets of wheat in the basement that I haven't thrown out, leftover from y2k and a bunch of weird canned goods, but I've started doing the mormon thing recently although I'm not a mormon.

For some strange reason, having lots of chocolate in many forms and olive oil have been at the top of my list so far!

I guess if we actually have to eat all that rice, beans and wheat I better have some ghiradelli!

    Bookmark   August 1, 2006 at 9:18PM
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I just can't worry about a nuclear war. If that really happens, I hope we are the first to go. We live in an isolated area and it cannot support the population here. Within just a few days, all of the available game would be gone and I can just imagine that anarchy that would break out. Nope, just shoot me.

I think preparing for a short term emergency makes a great deal of sense. Anything more than that, and you are just postponing the end anyway.


    Bookmark   August 1, 2006 at 10:02PM
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Don't forget to worry about avian influenza or some other pandemic. That shows some promise as far as needing to use the emergency supplies.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2006 at 11:05PM
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I wasn't going to post this but since the subject came up I decided to. This is a lot to read and very good hints and ideas. Strangely it is an encouraging site (to me)

Here is a link that might be useful: WHAT TO DO IF A NUCLEAR DISASTER IS IMMINENT!

    Bookmark   August 1, 2006 at 11:10PM
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minnie, that site reminds me of an old medical journal I have from the early 60's ''duck and cover'' period. Those lean-to shelters seem, uh...sort of retro.

Who among you has masks in your supplies?

    Bookmark   August 2, 2006 at 12:02AM
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This is an old list from 2004 I think I have a few more now.

I'm trying to get my books in order ala preparedness so I can keep them in one place.
I've rounded up
Stocking Up by Editors of Organic Gardening and Farming
Kitchen Gardens -Betty Crocker-I think I got it because it is illustrated by Tasha Tudor
Root Cellaring by Mike and Nancy Bubel
The Manual of Practical Homesteading by John Vivian
Roughing it Easy by Dian Thomas
Roughing it Easy !! by Dian Thomas.
The Essential Knot Book by Colin Jarman
Pasport to Survival by Esther Dickey (My newest one)
Putting Food By by Hertzberg,Vaughn,and Greene
Home Preserving Made Easy byGeWanter and Parker
Living the Good Life by Helen and Scott Nearing
Continuing the Good Life by Helen and Scott Nearing
Fresh Food, Dirt Cheap All Year Long -Organic Gardening Magazine
Tips for the Lazy Gardener by Tigner
Two Acre Eden by Logsdon
Square Foot Gardening by Mel Barthlemew

I know I have a few more but have to dig them out.
These were Great finds over the years at Thrift Stores.
I've acquired mostly for the enjoyment of reading them I do not have a green thumb but like to know how.

Maple Sugar Book, together with remarks on Pioneering as a way of life by the Nearings
Tips from the Garden Hotline by Snodsmith
The Egg-free, Milk-free, Wheat-free Cookbook by Hamrick and Wiesenfeld
In Defense of Ourselves -an illustrated book of womens defense tactics
200 Fabulous, Frugal uses for Baking Soda
Bull Cock and Authentic Historical Recipes and Practices by the Herters of Minnesota
The Vinegar Book
City PeopleƂs Guide to Country Living by Cobb
Emergency First-Aid for Dogs
Expecting the Unexpected by the American Red Cross,(How to prepare your family for times of emergency) 1986
The Build-it-yourself Furniture Catalog
The Complete Care of Abandoned Baby Animals
How to Tutor by Blumenfeld
How to Build a Solar Heater by Lucas -very technical

Survival with Style by Angier (in the wilderness)
20 Basics of Self-Sufficiency -Rodale Press 1980
Pleasure Packing by Wood How to backpack in comfort - good skill illustrations
Survival - Dept of the Air Force 1969 (Search and Rescue) Native plants and shelters
Eat, Drink, and be Ready (for tomorrow you will live) Kline &Strube,Jr. 1977
How to Survive a Nuclear Disaster by Smith -Before, during and after -supplies and weapons

    Bookmark   August 2, 2006 at 4:17AM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

I appreciate that list minnie! I recently ordered from Amazon
Crisis Preparedness Handbook: A Complete Guide to Home Storage and Physical Survival by Jack A. Spigarelli but I have not received it yet.
If I want to get just one or two books on your list that would be the most useful what would you recommend? I have extensive gardens books (mostly ornamentals) but not books on foraging for greens and such. We have five acres with a big creek on one end.

In addition, where does one buy wheat? What I bought 7 years ago was through a mail order company and it is in sealed buckets but can it be bought locally? How do you find those places? It has to be cheap if it is on the five-dollar list. And, hard, soft, winter, ...what keeps best?

    Bookmark   August 2, 2006 at 10:23AM
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I did a google and found lots of places to visit about foraging for food. Hope you find something interesting and workable.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2006 at 6:44AM
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lots and lots of info about shelters. Probably more than we'll ever need to know

    Bookmark   August 3, 2006 at 6:51AM
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What would you do with wheat even if you had it? Make a wheat sandwich? A wheat burger? I mean there's things to eat for basic survival and then there's supplies to tide you through your every day nuclear attack, tornado, earthquake or hurricane with some level of comfort. There was this episode of survivorman where the guy had boiled water in his hat to cook these underwater tuber things. If you ask me that's called not being prepared when you have to eat underwater tuber things rather than canned sloppy joes and watch TV or call for help on the satellite phone or ham radio. ;-)

    Bookmark   August 3, 2006 at 9:17AM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

That's why I need lots of evoo and cheese whiz.

I figure I could grind the wheat in my non electric coffee grinder and make bread. Sourdough, of course, cooked in my outside solar cooker or fire pit.

My wine cellar, coffee storage and pet food are at the top of my surival basics. And a huge to-be-read pile.

I can turn our shed into a chicken coop for future potpies.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2006 at 9:54AM
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I guess there isn't much you can't do if you pack the right gear!

    Bookmark   August 3, 2006 at 12:07PM
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Gloria said:
I think preparing for a short term emergency makes a great deal of sense. Anything more than that, and you are just postponing the end anyway.

Gloria, I'm with you! I'll stock up in preparation for a blizzard or power outage, but that's about it for me.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2006 at 6:57PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

I an serious about preparing for a nuclear war. Who would have ever thought that the World Trade center wouldn't exist one day? It's unthinkable, after all this is America!
During a nuclear war major cities would be targeted.
It's quite possible, even likely, that many people will still be alive for quite a long time after such an event and without power.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2006 at 8:03PM
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Would you really want to be the only person left alive after a nuclear explosion? You have to wait in your bunker for 50 years to come out I think. Just like that movie... Blast from the past.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2006 at 10:22PM
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well, I live in NYC, so I guess I won't be stockpiling any wheat, etc.

as for stockpiling cash (which I did this week in case ATMs got browned or blacked out), I'd suggest trying to stockpile in $5s and $10s, or smaller.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2006 at 11:46AM
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Someone mentioned that you can get $60 cash with your Sam's club card. (if ATM's go down) I don't use my ATM card.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2006 at 2:17PM
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if the ATMs in NYC were going to go out, it could easily be because of a brown-out or blackout (that was this week's fear), and then you couldn't get money from anything electronic, bcs they wouldn't be working either. That's the whole point of having some level of cash on hand.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2006 at 4:06PM
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How to Make Your Own Wicks for Candles

*Dissolve 2 tablespoons of table salt and 4 tablespoons of borax in 1 1/2 cups of warm water.

Soak a 1-foot length of regular cotton kite string or twine in the solution for 15 minutes.

Hang each string with a clothespin for 5 days to be sure it is completely dry.

Use a paperclip to dip each string completely in melted wax 3 to 4 times, coating it completely.
Hang it up to dry as before...

Store wicks rolled up in a newspaper.

(from my files)

    Bookmark   August 4, 2006 at 7:05PM
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Ok but rather than have to go through all that why not just stock some candles?

Or better yet, battery powered lanterns since many further disasters result from candle mishaps.

Not trying to be a wisealeck, I'm just sayin.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2006 at 10:04PM
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Nuclear winter, and you think you'll be making wicks!?!?!

    Bookmark   August 4, 2006 at 11:11PM
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I liked it when the survivor guy used the lint from his socks and the spark from an old cig lighter.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2006 at 1:44AM
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This isn't for preparedness, but the kids make fire starters using dryer lint from the towels (and when I wash wool for my rug projects.) We put the fluff in paper egg cartons and pour melted wax from bits and pieces of candles over the mess. We use our fireplace a bunch, as well as for Scouting trips. It's a fun way to use up trash and comes in very handy.


    Bookmark   August 5, 2006 at 3:36AM
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Gloria, I think it is a great idea and could be useful if one had to depend on an open fire for cooking etc. (pit or Dutch oven etc.)

    Bookmark   August 5, 2006 at 4:27AM
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This is a nice site. You might find something of interet here.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2006 at 4:55AM
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Claire, you might find this site interesting. It lists the 100 things that disappear first after a disaster in an area.

1. Generators (Good ones cost dearly. Gas storage, risky. Noisy..target of thieves; maintenance, etc.)

2. Water Filters/Purifiers (Shipping delays increasing.)

3. Portable Toilets (Increasing in price every two months.)

4. Seasoned Firewood (About $100 per cord; wood takes 6 - 12 mos. to become dried, for home uses.)

5. Lamp Oil, Wicks, Lamps (First choice: Buy CLEAR oil. If scarce, stockpile ANY!)

6. Coleman Fuel (URGENT $2.69-$3.99/gal. Impossible to stockpile too much.)
to see the rest of the list go to this site.

I don't think/or look forward to a nuclear winter but feel we should really take seriously the need to be a little independent as long as we cn.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2006 at 4:30PM
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Minnie, That's an interesting list. I have the first 10 covered except for a generator. We're looking for a good deal secondhand, maybe something a bit bigger than usual. It's good to bear in mind, and having a list like this helps a little.

I ordered my handcrank cellphone chargers this week.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2006 at 4:42PM
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That's great Claire. I think the handcrank charger is a must get for me. I think Home Trends has them.

DS here in town has a generator and found in his stash an inverter for me. During our ice storm in 2000 my neighbor used an inverter and was able to get a little electricity for the house. My Sterno stove saved me and my cats haha

    Bookmark   August 12, 2006 at 9:13PM
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Actually that's not a bad idea... Sterno cans could be used indoors as a heat source. Other gas stoves can't.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2006 at 1:39PM
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I boiled water with mine and then filled empty plastic juice bottles (small) I put one under each cat and one in each hand under my gloves. I was able to reboil the same water. Arkansas had had an ice storm a week or so before and when I was in Walmart I saw the little stoves and got one and several cans of heat. I also bought (available at the time but no longer) 2 boxes of tall candles in glass. Each one burned for 120 hours. Iwas able to keep one lit in each room I traveled to during the storm and up high away from the cats. I had some of those cup of soups in foam cups that only needed hot water to reconstitute. I sealed off one room with heavy blankets strung across the doorways. Thank goodness for my radio since the phones went out. At least I could hear what was going on in other parts of the country. No local news however. I listened to old time radio from Chicago. The cats actually got under the covers with me (I kid you not) so that made it a little warmer. At night it sounded like gun shots (tree branches snapping).

    Bookmark   August 14, 2006 at 3:11AM
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Minnie, we had a severe ice storm several years ago. We were fine since we have a gas stove, and had plenty of firewood for the fireplace. (We made sure that the electronic starter wouldn't keep us from using the stove without power, and it didn't.) That storm (and several others) taught us to be prepared with plenty of batteries. I have a big drawer full of candles, and we fared pretty well for the week that it took to get our electricity turned back on. We lost the contents of our freezer (for us) but managed to donate the food to a school so it wouldn't be a complete loss.

That year I also found that I had trouble breathing from the wood smoke, so we changed our fireplace to ventless gas logs, which roll heat back into the room. That has kept us from being cold more than once, when the power has gone out.

I like your sterno can idea; it wouldn't hurt to stock up on a few of those.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2006 at 11:12AM
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Claire, my house is heated with gas and has that electronic starter but I had no idea how to fix it to start up without it. If I ever move again I'll make sure I have a gas log. My water heater is gas too so I could take a bath by candlelight - until the water shut off. They are expensive to install and I don't know where I could put one in this house. The man next door had one and I'd go over there for a few minutes to unchill!!.

I have about 12 kitty litter jugs that I keep filled with water and have them on my patio and water the plants with them. It is comforting to know if the water goes off again I'd still be able to flush for a while. Since we have had very little rain here recently I've started filling some up with used bath water and taking them out in front for those plants. I was watering a little outside with the hose but my water bill started climbing.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2006 at 3:22PM
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I'd like to hear a little more advice from pet owners (spec., owners of dogs).

    Bookmark   August 14, 2006 at 7:48PM
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Well pammy, Last month we had a little drill so to speak where I tried to corral the boys (dogs) in the saferoom (guest bathroom) when we had a very scary thunderstorm with heavy winds that did some minor damage. It was not the smoothest drill. So if I were to cough up some advice I'd say practice getting your pets into a saferoom. I think the rest is just some basic supply stuff.
Oh yeah for folks that need to evacuate from tropical storms, be ready to be able to take your pets and know where you can stay (hotels) with pets and make reservations early. OR if not, build some kind of suitcase where you can sneak your dogs into a hotel. I know that's awful but when it's every man for himself, you gotta do what you gotta do.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2006 at 8:52PM
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Quirkyquercus, it's a great idea to practice the drill with your dogs. I don't know how you feel about treats, but even keeping the smallest jar in your guest bath as a reward will probably have them leading you in there when things get a bit dicey!

The dog backpack I got for my dog is great. When I first brought it home, I put it on her right away and left it there for the afternoon. After making the proper adjustments, she didn't mind it at all. Of course I haven't loaded it with much yet, so that is something we should practice. I'm thinking about taking her to the dog park and walk to the lake with her wearing it carrying water, some treats and a towel. (Like she'll drink the water from a bottle at the lake, but I will!) It won't hurt to get her used to wearing it occasionally. Frankly, I really like the idea of letting her carry her own stuff!

My dog food is in bins in a cabinet already, so if I had to leave quickly, I'd just grab those and go. Since we usually travel with her, I keep a bag packed for her with travel bowls, a ball, a bone and some chewy, long lasting treats (which I've transferred to her backpack.) The retractable leash is right by the back door, and I have an extra webbed leash I keep in the car. I'll usually buy a 40 lb. bag of food when one of my two bins is empty. We keep AAA books that let us know which places are pet friendly, which is a good reminder that I should add this to my list of ''Things to Grab''. Since the phone numbers are included, it would be handy for making those reservations on the way out of town during an evacuation.

pammyfay, is that the kind of thing you had in mind? Or were you thinking of something more specific?

    Bookmark   August 15, 2006 at 12:34PM
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I don't have any dogs right now but have you thought of those tatoos they do now for identification? sounds like a good idea and I hear that he are not harmful.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2006 at 1:42PM
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Mine is microchipped, which we did when she was a pup. It gives me a little peace of mind, although I don't think she'd let either one of us out of her sight if we weren't at home!

    Bookmark   August 15, 2006 at 3:10PM
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DS gave me two of these fans years ago. I keep one in the bathroom with other tornado supplies.
I don't know where he got them,. They take 4 D batteries and make a nice little breeze I found them today on the internet under Caframo Fan. you can google them. When the bathroom door is shut it is stifling in there so these would play a part in comfort.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2006 at 8:30PM
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We're in EQ country also. We might have to leave the house fast, but probably could come back to retrieve the important things later, so our plans are a bit different.

We keep a multi-pocket vest handy with cash, car keys, first aid kit, LED flashlight, and EQ. insurance policy handy in a ready to go spot.

When we replaced our 40 gallon water heater with a tankless insta-hot heater, we moved the old one out into the yard as a water storage tank, and we have an old camper trailer which has a propane stove and refrigerator that could see us through times of no electricity.

In addition to that, I've started collecting rechargeable batteries AA batteries and have a solar charger to go with them. It is much easier to use battery power when every thing uses the same size.


    Bookmark   August 18, 2006 at 10:20AM
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Check this out, The Solar Ventilator works directly and immediately from sunlight.Pretty neat

    Bookmark   August 19, 2006 at 2:17AM
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Claire--yes, that's on track with what I was wondering.
I'm preparing to welcome my very first dog (a puppy) into my home in a week or two, and my head's been spinning with all the stuff one little pup needs!

    Bookmark   August 19, 2006 at 10:26PM
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Ah, there is nothing so sweet as that puppy smell. . . . .

    Bookmark   August 20, 2006 at 12:24AM
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Pammyfay, congratulations on the new member of your family! I'm with minnie about puppy smell. If you have any questions about your new pup, feel free to ask. I've been there many times...

    Bookmark   August 20, 2006 at 1:29AM
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Just in case nobody's ever tried this before...
Water heaters keep the water hot for quite some time without power. And lasts 2-3 days with one person and quick shower. Cold weather outages might be a diff story.

So I wouldn't use backup power for the water heater.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2006 at 12:27PM
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I imagine that those in Hurricane country are making their preparations for a fast getaway if neccessary.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2006 at 4:21AM
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Jan - thanks for the tip about the vest! My mother got me a fishing/hunting vest a few years ago and I thought it was kind of cool but have never used it. Lots of big pockets. I'm right on the San Andreas fault, so it's not if...it's when.

My biggest worry with earthquakes is that dd, dh and I will all be in separate locations. But what can you do?

    Bookmark   August 28, 2006 at 5:31PM
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Jan I missed the part in your post abut the vest. What a neat idea. I'm going to be scouting the estate sales for one. It would be kind of like a personal doggie vest.

postum I read once that in your neck of the woods you should have a flashlight and bottled water in every room. I think I'd keep a little portable radio there too. Of course you'd have your cell phone glued to your body (or in one of those pockets)

    Bookmark   August 29, 2006 at 2:00AM
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My parents live in Dade County, FL and they have fleed up here to my place in GA to get away. They are in a mandatory evac zone for certain catagories of storms but the rule they live by is "If you ain't leavin', you ain't livin'."
I borrowed that saying.
Anyway that last hurricane catagory I did about $50k in damage to their apartment because water blew in through sliding doors. Hi-rise condos all around them had windows blow out. That was a year ago and they still can't get anyone to fix some of the stuff.

But the fact is people don't learn from past mistakes that easily. They will claim that it's not a high enough catagory of storm or they can handle it or they don't want to sit in traffic or they don't want to leave their posessions unguarded for looters to take etc etc. Hurricane fatigue also plays a part. It takes in some cases several hours to bring stuff inside and board up windows with the aluminum shutters and that gets old after a while.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2006 at 11:51AM
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I read through this quickly, but as you can see from my name, I live in Florida, Lee County to be exact. We've been very busy the last two years with hurricanes. We didn't see any that really hit us before that. We kept on hearing prepare, but after preparing so many times you get, well, complacent.

When Charlie was coming, I got some stuff, but then started to wonder if it was going to be worse as it got closer. I was at the store getting ice and sandwich stuff when it turned toward us and they evacuated the store! I was going to stay at home (thinking that it was going to Tampa) but decided to take off to my parents in the blinding rain to the safety of their shutters.

What I learned from that storm was

-with night coming on, I NEEDED to see and hear what was going on. A battery operated TV is a must! I was so scared for all my friends, and I wanted to know what was happening. The TV people were helpful and comforting. During the storm, we were able to see what was happening on the radar at my parents house. They let me use a Walkman when I returned home that night and that little 2" screen was my lifeline to information. I bought my own little batter TV after that.

-that hot canned food is not something that you want when there is no AC and the temps. are almost 100.

-that some sort of fan was a must.

-clean up supplies and gloves for your hands are so needed.

-tarps on hand can help with bad spots on your roof.

-we had no electricity, so you must have a plug in phone. Luckily the phone lines stayed.

-most cell phone networks didn't work. Alltel was the only one in our area. Nextel, which most emergency, city, and county workers used was terrible.

-battery fans are wonderful

-those little headlamps or the the lights that you can clip on a hat from Walmart are a must. It helps you to walk around the house and have both hands free

-if you're OK, get out there and help others.

-preparing for each hurricane is important, and the year of Charlie it was exhausting and really took over out life. It seemed like just when you were ready to get back to normal, another was on it's way.

After those experiences, we bought a generator and it came in so handy for Wilma. We had wood shutters as a last minute fix, but our hurricane shutters are on order and should be delivered any day.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2006 at 11:18PM
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Thanks for sharing your experiences. When I lived in Miami many years ago the hurricane season was an exciting one (with little boys) I can't remember which ones made landfall during that time but I remember all the planning and tracking of the storms. . I too have a little portable 7" TV and try to keep good batteries in a bag next to it. During our ice storm it was very difficult to find out what was going on even with a radio. Nothing local came on but got some info from other states.
It must have been awful for all of you with all those storms coming in one year.
It pays to be prepared!!
Thanks for your input.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2006 at 12:31AM
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Amazon is getting into the act too.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2006 at 8:36PM
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Good thread!! You can get a free book from Fema that is excellent about preparing for catastrophes. Check their site online. Also another excellent book is called Building your Ark www.millenium ark.com that goes into a lot of detail about preparing your home and food pantry also storing foods and water. It is recommended that you have a two week supply (plus) other items on hand at all times.I have go bags ready but I think its also important to stock your own home too. Catastrophe planning truly depends on your location in the states. We would not leave our home (I'm in the NE) unless we had to because the idea of going to a shelter and taxing the govt (especially after seeing what happened with H. Katrina) would not be something we would want to do.So other ideas are purchasing a small vacation home, going to a friends or family members in another state or having enough money to temporarily rent. If you are planning to leave in your vehicle is it suitable for travel? Don't forget all the things necessary for maintaining your vehicle.where would you go? Another idea would be to have a list of public campsites. Call your town and find out what they are doing for emergency preparadness. I keep id info and insurance copies (also my kids carry their own) and numbers also photos of family members in my purse, along with my swiss army knife, mace, a whistle. My vehicle has a kit in it with items such as snacks, canned goods, water, cooking items,handiwipes, repair items,flares, wrenches, duct tape tools, rope, fold up shovel and a blanket. My home is stocked for 6 months of food,(will plan to get it up to a year) extra wool blankets, full medical first aid kit with iodine pills and antibiotics, painkillers, defibrillator. Home supplies include-toiletry items, food, water, cookware without using electricity, wood, viscuyne for the windows, tools, a garden, firemens window ladder, fire extinguishers, guns, items to barter with including alcohol, coffee etc., warm clothing and boots.tons of good lists to help you plan for your lifestyle and location! Here are some of my favorites:
www.millenium ark.com
www. frugal squirrel.com
www. survivalforum.com
for supplies- www. campmor.com, Lehmans
hardware, Dicks sporting goods, cc crane,
- among many others.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2006 at 7:59AM
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Good info shadybug. I used to go to frugal squirrel.com a lot but have forgotten about it. It is somewhere in my favorites file. I'll have to go and visit again.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2006 at 1:06PM
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Thanks Minnie, I'm glad these girls started this thread too! I am rechecking, restocking and going to some of these old sites. I was on www.millenium ark.net ( I think I put com but its net) for almost a week and whats nice is you can print out the lists from her site. It was also developed by a women. Also some of the sites are a little nerve wracking but I think necessary and important to read. I know on one you can go to the homeland security site. You could spend hours on that one! Another helpful site I found: homesteading today.com
.I love reading about the boy scouts and wilderness groups and they were mentioning the importance of staying in shape.The more you read the more you hope others are preparing and stocking up and the more I realize I need to do. Especially keeping the food pantry stocked. We go through a lot of food in my household and storage and stocking is keeping me busy! Water is tricky because its good for 6 months. I rotate my cans and date them with a marker on top which helps. Also store items on pallets and shelves in basement which you can get the pallets for free usually. It helps to shop at tag sales for supplies. ( you can save a lot of money this way) and buy a few extra groceries everytime you shop. I keep an eye on the sales, Just this past weekend we found someone (tag sale) selling sleeping bags and cooking gear and large storage containers for a dollar apiece so that's the way to look for camping gear and other items.
God bless America and after 9/11 we will not forget!!!!

    Bookmark   September 11, 2006 at 3:42PM
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Fori is not pleased

Fun thread!

I didn't see an answer above (I may have missed it) to the question about starting a gas stove with electric start in a blackout. Just use a match!

There is an interesting series of short articles about emergency preparedness (and escaping) running at slate.com with useful tidbits about how bad certain disasters actually are, and that it's not difficult (or silly) to prepare for a nuclear bomb.

After all, we aren't going to have nuclear winter--that's the result of the US and USSR firing all their nukes at once!

    Bookmark   September 14, 2006 at 3:19PM
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Thanks fori, I don't think I've seen that site before. I'll give it look. As to starting a gas stove with electric start in a blackout. Just use a match! I think I'd have to call the gas Co to come out and do it LOL I'm scred of that stuff!!

I just looked and have 12 kitty litter jugs on the back porch (filled with tub water) I have water for the plants without increasing my water bill!!

I didn't scroll up to see if I mentioned getting a couple extra Clumping Kitty litter jugs to keep on hand for a personal potty if need be!!

    Bookmark   September 15, 2006 at 12:53AM
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Recently on another board the subject of coolers came up.
Someone wrote about theirs: "I bought a 20 lb bag of ice on a Monday when we were expecting Ernesto. I put some bottles of water in there but nothing else since the storm wasn't bad at all, so it was probably half empty. I dumped it on Thursday and there was still some ice in there.
Mine is called the Coleman E-xtreme 5 day cooler."

Another mentioned one called "Maxcold". It's by Igloo.
I'm going to look for these next time I go to W Mart.
It would be nice to have one if the Electricity goes out for a day or two. I'm assuming that they would hold quite a bit. Anyone have any experience with these or this type?

    Bookmark   September 24, 2006 at 7:43AM
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Do you have a plan for keeping safe those things you like the most or are dearest to you?
We think of preparedness as just surviving but what about that favorite quilt or portrait of dad etc. I have about 10 things I'd want to cart along that have now practical use.
I would take a sewing kit or my crocheting for something to do. How about you?

    Bookmark   September 27, 2006 at 3:58PM
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I think this really depends on the type of disaster for where you live. Since we are earthquake country, I don't feel like there is any way I can secure items. If we had to evacuate because of a wild fire or something I could easily find the items I value depending on how much time was allowed. I really think I'm to a point in my life I could just grab the kids and not worry about stuff. "I think." I hope I'm not put to the test. But stashing a really thick book in with the emergency supplies sounds like a good idea. Be just my luck it will be needed in the dead of winter here and I won't be able to have the light on for that long.


    Bookmark   September 27, 2006 at 4:59PM
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Does anyone have anything new to report???

    Bookmark   October 9, 2006 at 7:10PM
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Ever since Katrina last year, I started getting serious about my own emergency kit, and between this thread, and another one that was started in this forum last year, I made up my own list. I finally am just about finished compiling the contents of the list, and putting it all together in a large plastic tote. In case this might be of use to anyone:


first aid kit
water (2 people x 1 gallon per day)
water purification tablets
small propane stove
plastic plates, bowls, silverware
small pot/pan
Paper Towel
Aluminum foil
Toilet paper
Cat food
Cat box/litter
Can opener(s)
Duct tape
Swiss army knife
Garbage bags
Toiletries: toothpaste, toothbrush, shampoo
Couple changes of clothing
Handheld tv
Matches & lighter
Hand sanitizer
Wet wipes
Deck of cards
Extra house and car keys
Paper & pens
Small sewing kit
Small tool set
Extra pair of glasses
Bleach & medicine dropper
Small hand axe
Prepaid phone cards
Something for protection? We bought a bat ;)
Backpack (x 2)

Food enough for 3-5 days, replaced every 6-12 months.
Low sodium chili
Dried fruit & nuts
Canned veggies & fruit
Low sodium crackers
Peanut Butter
Pasta & sauce

Important Papers, in something easy to grab and carry
Birth Certificates
Copy of Driver's License
Important Phone Numbers
Marriage Certificate
Copies of SS# cards
Bank Account records

Keep the cat carriers near the emergency supplies


My husband likes to joke about being prepared if the zombies attack (hard to explain -- we watched Shaun of the Dead recently, so he's got zombies on the brain) -- "If the zombies attack, that bat will be really useful!", "When the zombies attack, we'll have plenty of canned chili to eat." It feels good to at least have something prepared, though. Not necessarily for zombies, but, who knows for what...

I'm open to suggestions for additions...

    Bookmark   October 11, 2006 at 8:15PM
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Thanks rivkadr
I'm printing it out. It looks good.

This is a new site I haven't seen before but I have seen the magazine

    Bookmark   October 11, 2006 at 9:01PM
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Anyone watching the TV series Jericho? Not too bad. The townspeople don't seem to realize they should start conserving their electic/water etc.

My favorite book is Alas Babylon. Which I'm reading for the zillionth time. for some reason it gives me encouragement.

I started printing out my different hints/helps etc so I'd have them handy in case the computers went down.(or maybe I mentioned it before)

    Bookmark   October 20, 2006 at 11:53PM
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That's a whole lotta stuff, Rivkadr.
Are these things you'd use to, as they say, "shelter in place"? That is, stay in your home?
Have you figured out what you'd grab if you had to evacuate?

    Bookmark   October 21, 2006 at 9:29PM
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Heads up on a new "Survival" program coming on Discovery Channel

    Bookmark   November 8, 2006 at 10:37AM
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Is anyone getting ready for the big snowstorms? I heard that out in the NW they expect roads to be closed etc.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2006 at 12:30PM
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It's "Alas Babylon" in which the local doctor is assaulted and his glasses broken, right? And he can't see at all?

Lately, I keep wondering, why didn't he have his old pair hanging around?

I think that novelist never wore glasses himself. Any of us who wear glasses keep the old pair (or two or three) around, just in case we drop the current ones, or lose the screw on the ear piece.

In fact, every year I have the same argument w/ my DD, who wants to just get new lenses in her old frames, and I tell her she can't. Because she needs to keep her OLD glasses intact, so she can wear them again in case something happens to mess up her current ones.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2006 at 2:28PM
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I think he kept his spare in the doctors bag which was stolen with the car. Randy had Bill look specifically for it when they caught the highwaymen. I don't think they found it.

I think I have 20 pair of my "walk around " glasses #10's which I get from Carol Wright catalog. and I have 4 of my prescp reading glasses.

I just finished reading Alas Babylon for the umpteenth time. My favorite. I'm disappointed in that new series Jericho, talk about ill-informed people. As I said before, as long as the bar is open they seem to be happy enough.
I understand there is to be one more episode then they are off until Feb.
BTW I just heard on the news that they found a family of 4 who had been missing for several days. They were huddled together in their vehicle. Another good reason to keep some supplies in the auto. IMHO

    Bookmark   November 27, 2006 at 7:09PM
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Want to see what is going on in the world disaster-wise?

This site is live. You can click a button to explain the icons,

    Bookmark   November 29, 2006 at 8:37PM
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A lot has been made of being prepared while traveling by car, especially since the tragic accident out west this past week. One newscaster advised keeping one or two old CD's in the car. These can be use for signaling; they would act like a mirror when trying to signal a rescue aircraft of some sort.
A good tip I think and one that wouldn't take up much room.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2006 at 7:32PM
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I even have extra teeth!!

    Bookmark   December 13, 2006 at 2:54PM
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I have about 6 pairs back, of glasses. Of course, they're as ugly as all get out (funny--they weren't then!), and some of them have slightly broken frames. But I could see if I *had* to.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2006 at 6:07PM
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It's been a while since I've been to this thread. pammyfay posted:

That's a whole lotta stuff, Rivkadr.
Are these things you'd use to, as they say, "shelter in place"? That is, stay in your home?
Have you figured out what you'd grab if you had to evacuate?

Yes, a lot of the stuff is emergency supplies that we just want to keep all in one place, for "sheltering in place". But all of these things are stored in a large rubbermaid storage container in the closet by our front door that could be immediately loaded in our car. If we did have to evacuate, I figure we could be out of the house within 5-10 minutes (the majority of that time being us getting the cats into their carriers) and out into our car, and on the road. Now, the one thing I am working on is figuring out what stuff to put in the backpacks so that if we had to walk out or be taken out in someone else's evacuation trucks, what we would want the most. Still thinking about it.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2006 at 7:41PM
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Yesterday while touring Walmart I saw a nice mesh backpack in the sporting gifts section. I got one It is a nice size and I thought it would be good to have on hand I think it was only $3.97.
Have you added anything to your stash??

    Bookmark   December 18, 2006 at 9:07PM
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Interesting thread. The biggest question I have is: Do we go or do we stay.I live in South Fla (NAPLES) and of course hurricanes are our most common threat and we stayed for Wilma (Cat4)2005. My brother in TX tried to evacuate his family for Rita but he turned back after 4 hours of highway gridlock because he found it was more dangerous on the road.
I feel the same way here in FL because we are so far south and only one north-south exit highway (I75) and because hurricanes change direction so rapidly. Many people evacuated to the east coast of FL and then back to the west coast.
We were without power for almost a week although neighbors across the street had power in 4 days.
Here's what we learned: it will be nearly impossible to get local information after the event. There is no central government agency letting people know what's going on (Katrina WILL happen again, in a different place).
We didn't mind lack of electrical power but the sewer lift station was electric and when that didn't work then sewers started to backup and we were advised not to flush even though we had water stockpiled for that reason.
Because 80% of the people did not evacuate they continued to flush and shower and you could smell the sewer outdoors.
Food and water was not a problem. Lack of toilet was.
We left town each night to the nearest motel that had a room and returned each day to check on things and to see if power had been restored.
Our biggest complaint was the total lack of information on the radio since there was no electricity for TV or internet.
I have no faith at all in any government entity in any disaster, large or small.
Make your own plans and decisions. Keep cash on hand, gas in your tank, water in gallon jugs, toilet paper and paper towels.
One good sign-our county now has a shelter where pets are welcome. That's the reason so many people didn't leave New Orleans or go to the shelters, they couldn't abandon their pets. Our dog died a year before Wilma and we know how much more stress that would have added to our small ordeal.

Denise in Naples FL

    Bookmark   January 6, 2007 at 8:10PM
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Thanks for your input Denise.

We have to take on the responsibility ourselves I agree. We don't live in an atmosphere of fear when we are prepared as best we can be.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2007 at 12:34AM
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Thanks for starting this thread Claire--because altho we live in SoCal and don't have hurricanes, we actually had a little tornado in our town. It took out the electricity and thanx for this opportunity to think about it, I could put my hands on matches, a battery operated lantern, and a battery operated radio. I was surprised at how dark it really got and how you had to know where the stuff was. with our earthquakes we always have flashlights around though and lots of batteries, first aid kits, water.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2007 at 4:54PM
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Speaking of electricity:

I drove with DS to KMart to see if they still had the Superman lamp we saw there last week, (He's a collector) Anyway when we got there they had no electricity. They were gathering people to the front from the back. We got in and I went right to the area where the lamp was - still there. We can't ring it up was the answer from all the clerks. No electricity, no scanners, no registers to open etc. So we said we'd pay cash. The manager said ok. fortunately they had a hand held add mach to figure the tax on 12.99 @ 8.25%. "Make it $13" Ds said it would be easier to figure. Then he gave her the money - rounded up also. She said she couldn't give us a receipt but I said you can just hand write one...ah ha what a solution.

We had just been talking about reports from the snow bound states where it has been a problem for stores to conduct any business especially since the trucks can't get in to replenish the shelves etc.
I just thought the KMrt situation was one that no one had anticipated.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2007 at 6:48PM
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you can just hand write one...ah ha what a solution.

Isn't it funny how people end up enfeebled by technology?

i remember once, when i was working at McCall's, I needed a caption to be written and approved by an editor before she went to into an hours-long meeting. But the computer server was down. "I can't write it," said the edit. assistant.

"Use a pencil," I suggested. Oh!

"But how will I know if it's long enough?" she wondered. (Normally, she'd set the margins to the proper length.)

"Count the characters," I said. Oh!

    Bookmark   January 9, 2007 at 10:19AM
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I live in Oklahoma and did some eleventh hour preparations before we were hit by an ice storm last week. Fortunately, we haven't lost power, but I was planning to put food in an ice chest outside, if necessary. I have thermometers to monitor the temperature in those containers -- especially if you plan to store meat or other perishables that could result in food poisoning if not at proper temperatures.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2007 at 1:40PM
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Good idea. I'm glad that you didn't get the outages.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2007 at 7:15PM
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What did you find most helpful of your supplies this season during your own weather crisis - if you had one?

We haven't had one yet but I'm thankful that I do have a supply of heating materials and lighting supplies on hand.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2007 at 11:26PM
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We had a severe ice storm here in upstate NY a couple of weeks ago. Lost cable for 24 hours but kept electricity, tho many weren't so fortunate.

When we have had power outages, I use the hand-held Scripto fire lighters to light the electric start gas stove. Just have it lit and by the burner when you turn the stove on (or use a match) just as if it were an old gas stove, before they had electronic start.

The vests are fishing/fly fishing vests. What a great idea.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2007 at 6:29AM
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Anybody caught in the big snows??

    Bookmark   February 10, 2007 at 7:47PM
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I received this e-mail and thought I'd share. I wrongly followed #6 during an earthquake a few years ago.

My name is Doug Copp. I am the Rescue Chief and Disaster Manager of the American Rescue Team International.

The information in this article will save lives. There would likely have been 100 percent survivability for people using my method of the "triangle of life."

The first building I ever crawled inside of was a school in Mexico City during the 1985 earthquake. Every child was under their desk. Every child was crushed to the thickness of their bones. They could have survived by lying down next to their desks in the aisles. It was obscene, unnecessary and I wondered why the children were not in the aisles. I didn't at the time know that the children were told to hide under something.

Simply stated, when buildings collapse, the weight of the ceilings falling upon the objects or furniture inside crushes these objects, leaving a space or void next to them. This space is what I call the "triangle of life" The larger the object, the stronger, the less it will compact. The less the object compacts, the larger the void, the greater the probability that the person who is using this void for safety will not be injured. The next time you watch collapsed buildings, on television, count the triangles" you formed. They are everywhere. It is the most common shape, you will see, in a collapsed building. They are everywhere.

1) Most everyone who simply "ducks and covers" WHEN BUILDINGS COLLAPSE are crushed to death. People who get under objects, like desks or cars, are crushed.

2) Cats, dogs and babies often naturally curl up in the fetal position. You should too in an earthquake. It is a natural safety/survival instinct. You can survive in a smaller void. Get next to an object, next to a sofa, next to a large bulky object that will compress slightly but leave a void next to it.

3) Wooden buildings are the safest type of construction to be in during an earthquake. Wood is flexible and moves with the force of the earthquake. If the wooden building does collapse, large survival voids are created. Also, the wooden building has less concentrated, crushing weight. Brick buildings will break into individual bricks. Bricks will cause many injuries but less squashed bodies than concrete slabs.

4) If you are in bed during the night and an earthquake occurs, simply roll off the bed. A safe void will exist around the bed. Hotels can achieve a much greater survival rate in earthquakes, simply by posting a sign on the back of the door of every room telling occupants to lie down on the floor, next to the bottom of the bed during an earthquake.

5) If an earthquake happens and you cannot easily escape by getting out the door or window, then lie down and curl up in the fetal position next to a sofa, or large chair.

6) Most everyone who gets under a doorway when buildings collapse is killed. How? If you stand under a doorway and the doorjamb falls forward backward you will be crushed by the ceiling above. If the door jam falls sideways you will be cut in half by the doorway. In either case, you will be killed!

7) Never go to the stairs. The stairs have a different "moment of frequency" (they swing separately from the main part of the building). The stairs and remainder of the building continuously bump into each other until structural failure of the stairs takes place. The people who get on stairs because they fail are chopped up by the stair treads - horribly mutilated. Even if the building doesn't collapse, stay away from the stairs. The stairs are a likely part of the building to be damaged. Even if the stairs are not collapsed by the earthquake, they may collapse later when overloaded by fleeing people. They should always be checked for safety, even when the rest of the building is not damaged.

8) Get Near the Outer Walls Of Buildings Or Outside Of Them If Possible. It is much better to be near the outside of the building rather than the interior. The farther inside you are from the outside perimeter of the building the greater the probability that your escape route will be blocked.

9) People inside of their vehicles are crushed when the road above falls in an earthquake and crushes their vehicles; which is exactly what happened with the slabs between the decks of the Nimitz Freeway. The victims of the San Francisco earthquake all stayed inside of their vehicles. They were all killed. They could have easily survived by getting out and sitting or lying next to their vehicles. Everyone killed would have survived if they had been able to get out of their cars and sit or lie next to them. All the crushed cars had voids 3 feet high next to them, except for the cars that had columns fall directly across them.

10) I discovered, while crawling inside of collapsed newspaper offices and other offices with a lot of paper, paper does not compact. Large voids are found surrounding stacks of paper.

Spread the word and save someone's life!!!

    Bookmark   February 11, 2007 at 12:49AM
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Thank you Marie, that is very important information. It makes sense, yet if I hadn't read it, I might have resorted to my ''duck and cover'' days. Thanks for sharing this.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2007 at 4:00PM
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Thanks Marie. I hope you don't mind I'm going to post this over on our AOL Be prepared board!!

    Bookmark   February 11, 2007 at 10:26PM
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I think it has very important information. Please feel free to post it anywhere. I'm sure the person who emailed it to me would agree.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2007 at 11:29PM
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With crazy things going on all over now it pays to be prepared for anything I think. Thanks again for the post!!

    Bookmark   February 12, 2007 at 1:05AM
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Ummmm.... I thought this e-mail ran its course years ago. And now you are passing it along again...

The American Red Cross disputes his findings

as does Snopes

    Bookmark   February 12, 2007 at 1:55PM
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Well, that's nice to know but I still think the bulk of the email is good advice. Thanks for your post

    Bookmark   February 12, 2007 at 3:59PM
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Here is what the Red Cross site posts regarding what to do when in an earthquake: Personally, I think getting out of the car and not staying in bed make more sense. I lived through a bad earthquake about 7 years ago and I'm not taking this lightly. Weeks of aftershocks really do stay with you.

Prepare a Home Earthquake Plan

Choose a safe place in every room--under a sturdy table or desk or against an inside wall where nothing can fall on you.
Practice DROP, COVER, AND HOLD ON at least twice a year. Drop under a sturdy desk or table, hold on, and protect your eyes by pressing your face against your arm. If there's no table or desk nearby, sit on the floor against an interior wall away from windows, bookcases, or tall furniture that could fall on you. Teach children to DROP,

First aid kit and essential medications.
Canned food and can opener.
At least three gallons of water per person.
Protective clothing, rainwear, and bedding or sleeping bags.
Battery-powered radio, flashlight, and extra batteries.
Special items for infant, elderly, or disabled family members.
Written instructions for how to turn off gas, electricity, and water if authorities advise you to do so. (Remember, you'll need a professional to turn natural gas service back on.)
Keeping essentials, such as a flashlight and sturdy shoes, by your bedside.
Know What to Do When the Shaking Begins

DROP, COVER, AND HOLD ON! Move only a few steps to a nearby safe place. Stay indoors until the shaking stops and you're sure it's safe to exit. Stay away from windows. In a high-rise building, expect the fire alarms and sprinklers to go off during a quake.
If you are in bed, hold on and stay there, protecting your head with a pillow.
If you are outdoors, find a clear spot away from buildings, trees, and power lines. Drop to the ground.
If you are in a car, slow down and drive to a clear place (as described above). Stay in the car until the shaking stops.
Identify What to Do After the Shaking Stops

Check yourself for injuries. Protect yourself from further danger by putting on long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, sturdy shoes, and work gloves.
Check others for injuries. Give first aid for serious injuries.
Look for and extinguish small fires. Eliminate fire hazards. Turn off the gas if you smell gas or think it's leaking. (Remember, only a professional should turn it back on.)
Listen to the radio for instructions.
Expect aftershocks. Each time you feel one, DROP, COVER, AND HOLD ON!
Inspect your home for damage. Get everyone out if your home is unsafe.
Use the telephone only to report life-threatening emergencies.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2007 at 9:44AM
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Thanks for posting the earthquake info. I heard tht it is a good idea to keep jugs or a jug of water in each room. I think I'd sleep with my cell phone in my pj pocket or near-by.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2007 at 2:16AM
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Our local emergency group is taking issue with some of this Red Cross advice. They are in line with the Doug Copp advice and his makes much more sense to me. Frankly, I'm out of the house if it's that bad and it would be a heck of a quake if you can feel it while driving.

Anyone living in earthquake country should have tall funiture attached to studs. No heavy pictures over the beds.

Minnie, the cell won't do you any good if the earthquake is that bad. Chances are the towers will be down.


    Bookmark   February 15, 2007 at 3:08AM
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Minnie, the cell won't do you any good if the earthquake is that bad. Chances are the towers will be down.

That's true they were down during our 2000/2001 ice storm here too.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2007 at 4:40AM
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What a fascinating thread with priceless information. Thank you!

    Bookmark   March 6, 2007 at 3:02PM
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Please add a few of your ideas. We welcome all the info we can get and welcome aboard!!

Today I bought a keychain with 6 different little screwdrivers . I won't use it as a keychain but will keep it in the glove compartment.

Also from the $ store I bought a little velcro strap thing for the wrist and it has a little flashlight on it. Who knows when something like this will come in handy.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2007 at 12:01AM
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Just keeping this thread up. Anyone planning any summer provisions not mentioned before??

    Bookmark   May 17, 2007 at 3:43AM
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Well, my goal for the summer is to clear some space in the basement so I could actually go down there if I needed to during severe weather. I'm working on it the entire summer, since I imagine it may well take three months! (First I need to clean out the garage to make room for stuff removed from the basement.) The whole space needs a major makeover, but cleaning it out is a start.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2007 at 2:33PM
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You're so lucky to have a basement. I wish I had one. Get it ready first then worry about where to put stuff!!IMHO

    Bookmark   May 23, 2007 at 4:31AM
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Any visitors out there? We need your input!!

    Bookmark   July 16, 2007 at 9:09AM
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Wow. I printed out pages of helpful info. What I had set aside was too basic. I really like Minnie's six screwdrivers and I have one of those tiny flashlight things too. Never found a use for it but now its going in one of my emergency backpacks, thanks to Claire.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2007 at 3:18PM
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Well, I can see this topic is almost a year old, and it's time to go through my backpack and look everything over, recheck the batteries, etc. I actually needed a small pack for a weekend trip and I thought about dumping everything then, so I could use it for the weekend! It's not a bad idea really, to take it out and ''testdrive'' the pack itself, since I've never really done that. Hhmmm, I may just have to plan another weekend trip!

    Bookmark   July 16, 2007 at 3:35PM
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After GD goes back to California I have major rehauling to do in the garage. Nice to see you all!!

    Bookmark   July 16, 2007 at 5:31PM
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Hey, I would like to say that if you are traveling by car to keep your seatbelt fastened at all times and please do not keep unnecessary items in your car. Please keep them tied down, closed in a glovebox or your trunk. I know that sounds weird but last year a tornado picked me up while I was driving and carried me down the street. If I would have had some stuff in my car it could have hit me. Right now I keep a sleeping bag, a flashlight, and a first aid kit in my trunk.


    Bookmark   July 20, 2007 at 3:03PM
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Gee Surfer that was awful what an Experience - thanks for the tip. Also DS said not to keep carbonated drinks in the car since they will explode in extreme heat too.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2007 at 1:45PM
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I posted this at the KTable too Since we have supplies stored up it is good to check to see if you hve any of these Castleberry items

    Bookmark   July 22, 2007 at 1:47PM
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even in non-weird accidents like Surfer's tornado incident, it's best not to hav ea lot of loose stuff int he car. I know I've read recommendations from state police agencies about that.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2007 at 3:35PM
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Surfer, that's a great reminder. I'm sticking the cover back on in the back of my car and keeping it closed.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2007 at 7:06PM
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I've read a lot of useful info on this forum on how to react during earthquakes but fortunately we don't have them here. We do have plenty of hurricanes, tornadoes, forest fires, and zombie attacks. In elementary school, we always had hurricane and tornado drills, but it was the same thing - we would go out to the hallway, kneel down and put our arms over our heads.

I am most concerned about tornadoes.
My house is very open with lots of windows. We don't have a basement. When a tornado appears, the students have to leave school and go home where it's safe. So we have to run in the rain to our cars and drive home. Of course no one wants to ride with me because of what happened. When I get home, where is the safest place to be? Upstairs (the attic office) or downstairs(everything else)? An open area or one surrounded by walls? Near, on, under, or away from furniture? Is it possible to prepare for a tornado, or will my supplies just blow away?

Ooo I have an idea.
I take most of my classes in an old theatre. Downstairs, below ground level, is an old greenroom where the students always hang out and eat lunch. I think it was built to the 1950s bomb shelter code. Do you think that instead of going home like I'm supposed to and risking another flight, that it would be a good idea to just chill in the greenroom until the tornado stops?

    Bookmark   July 27, 2007 at 2:34AM
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Go in the bathroom. Get in the tub.

You want to be as low a possible--away from the winds, and below the dangling tail of the tornado.

You need to be away from glass, with solid walls around you.

Bathrooms are often good places to be bcs the room is small, and that adds to the strength of the walls.

I can't understand why your school would send you out INTO a storm. If someone got hurt because they were forced to leave, the school could really be liable! Were I your mom, adn I found out you were in that car because the school kicked you out of the bldg because of the storm, I'd sue their pants off!

I'd be screaming at the board of governors at the next meeting!

The car is one of the worst places to be in a tornado; you're supposed to get out, and get in the ditch. That school is sending you OUT into danger! What morons!

Absolutely, the basement of ANY brick building is the safest possible place to be--you're almost untouchable. And a former bomb shelter is a great idea.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2007 at 9:58AM
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Surfer, I've lived in Tornado Alley most of my life. The bomb shelter is the first place everyone should go in a tornado. I remember growing up, I went to a very old school that was built in the early 1900's. The basement had been turned into a fall-out shelter in the '50's, and if there was ever threat of tornadoes, the entire school would end up in the basement. Underground is best, and like TS says, away from all glass.

The main bathroom in my house wouldn't be a good choice, (even when there was a tub) because there's a window nearby. We do, however, have a very small bathroom in the middle of the house with no windows, and if I didn't have time to make it to the basement, that's where I would go. If you're at home, pick a closet on an interior wall, closest to the middle of your home. You want to be surrounded by walls and no windows, on a ground floor if there's no basement. My mom would always stuff that particular closet with her extra pillows and bedding for some extra cushion around her. She was horribly afraid of tornadoes, yet lived in a house without a basement. It certainly kept that closet clutter to a bare minimum!

Can you prepare for a tornado? Not really, regarding supplies. The best thing you can do is prepare a place to go, or know where the basements are around you. If you need to head there, grab a cell phone and hunker down. I think you were extremely lucky to have survived being picked up in your car. F5 tornadoes like the one in Greensburg, KS are rare, but being prepared and going underground is the only thing that kept that town alive.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2007 at 11:31AM
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I still remember the day we had a hurricane brush NYC, and my DH *insisted* that I go home.

So I did, and there I was, standing on the open, elevated subway platform, when the winds were at their worst.

And I'm still grumpy that they closed our building at noon on Sept. 11--sending us out into the streets to get in the way. Subways weren't running, how was I supposed to get home?

On Sept. 11, the smartest thing anybody did was, the schools chancellor said, "schools will stay open, and kids can stay there, until their parents come get them."

At least we all knew our kids were in a safe place, sheltered, and not running around.

I still can't BELIEVE they throw you out of the building--out of shelter--during a tornado warning. Or do they send you home the minute it's a tornado watch? That seems excessively alarmist to me, too.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2007 at 12:44PM
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