Friday, October 29, 2010

Must Have Been Something I Ate orYemeni Al Qaeda

Almost everyone experiences some sort of disaster either man made or natural at some point during one's life if you live long enough. On the off chance you are a novice or blessed I would like to share some things I've picked up along the way from attending the school of hard knocks.

Some of this will apply, some won't, some of it will depend on your setting rural versus urban. Given the times we live in, it doesn't hurt to accumulate some survivor knowledge along the way. By no means are my comments complete, but taken with other information, it should help some of you.

My experiences have been mostly hurricane related, a kind of regional test tube when practically everything you are used to having to making your life easier suddenly goes away.

Evacuation- If there is a situation looming in my opinion if permissible, it is always preferable to leave an area for a safer location. Two key factors though you would need to take into account, time and being possibly stuck out in the open. A large US city or a couple hundred square mile metro area takes days to empty out. Gridlock from point A within a city starts almost immediately, the outbound freeways and highways in the flight direction stack up for one or two hundred miles. So if you are going to flee an area, try to make an early decision to do it. Three days ahead of the deadline if possible. Safe distance motel rooms will more likely be available then, gas stations along your route will not have run dry as they will during a mass exodus, and food will still be available.

If you vacate, take your irreplaceables, and as much of your portable valuables with you. If you have multiple autos have each person of driving age drive a vehicle. This takes more gas, but you can also save/protect more of your possessions. If you don't have a set of hand held UHF radios get a set. Your cell phones may not function. In a caravan situation radios may come in handy. In case of separation predetermine a rally point where everyone can go to meet backup. (children should have a means of identification and parent contact info, or where a relative can be found on their person.)

If the situation is such that staying home is preferable, be prepared if your electricity, water service, telephones including cells go out. There may very well be no internet, cable, or AC. You will likely experience instant gasoline shortages so fill up ahead of time if possible, hardware stores will be emptied, so will grocery stores. Most grocery stores have back up generators, but that isn't any guarantee they have the fuel to run them for an extended period as short as a week. Your home refrigerator/ freezer will remain cold for about a day. After that everything in them will be spoiled and inedible. Service stations that are open will have spotty fuel deliveries. There will be lines, there will be fist fights and arguments as to who is next in line. If you have spare gasoline containers take them with you and fill them at the same time as your auto. It saves lining up as frequently. The police and fire departments will be soooooo business it will seem as if they are none existent. If your home is damaged, repair people will not be available for weeks, and they will be so overwhelmed the only repairs they will be doing are emergency patch jobs. So if you have a hole in your roof or broken windows have some plastic sheeting or a tarp and some duct tape and nails handy. If you have a medical situation or person with a medical condition all I can say is good luck, you are going to need it.

Practical Stuff- everybody has heard to stock up with batteries,candles, 3 days food and water, and medicine. FEMA has a hard time unassing in less than 3 days. In a multi million person relief effort getting help in under 2 weeks would be miraculous. (Think canned goods instead of frozen dinners.) So be prepared for a longer period than 3 days. Some say 2 weeks. It's a crap shoot any way you look at it. But 3 days is too little. Katrina,Hugo,Ike and the San Diego fires taught that.

If you have a barbeque grill have some spare charcoal and lighter fluid or gasoline in a pinch (not my favorite taste). A propane gas grill is better, because it's quicker and easier to fire up, and a whole lot less wasteful. Two normal size tanks can easily last weeks if not months. You can use your grill to cook on and heat water on for bathing and basic washing, such as dishes and laundry .

Your hot water heater will keep water hot for about 3 days after a loss of power. It can also be a source of drinkable water. It is just as clean as from the tap, the only difference is it has been heated . The water pressure in your home's waterlines (another source of water) will be normal initially, but will weaken quickly from pressure drop to the point the lines run dry. So toilets will function only for a short time. Multiple visits can stretch this out. If you have sufficient water from another source, you can use the toilet just by pouring a gallon size bucket into the bowl. That will cause an emptying function, same as if it were flushed. The hot water heater can be drained manually from a valve at the bottom of the unit. It should have the same basic appearance as a garden faucet . That's an often overlooked source of 40-100 gallons of drinkable water. I've never had to resort to it, but each toilet tank itself has a few gallons of water as well. Pets have no problem with it though.

People generally pull together in times of general deprivation, but there is an element in our society that only know criminal behavior and another element that think only the strong have a right to survive, both of those types will surface immediately. So be careful. Stay wary and carry some type of protection.

Take this for what its worth, add to it , or throw it away but if the need arises do try to look out for your fellow man.


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