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Old 10-30-2013, 09:13 AM   #29
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We recently bought this little item, and posted it on the Small Space Living thread.

A 1-burner, 8,000 btu Camp Chef portable butane burner.

We would have this in the Interstate, would put it with a couple of extra cannisters in the bug-out bag when we are at home.

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Old 10-30-2013, 09:14 AM   #30
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I would also recommend a complete household inventory (including videos) for insurance purposes.

There is a chance that if you bug out, there will be those in your community that will help themselves to what you leave behind in your residence.
Digital still photos are easier. Plus with photos you don't have to watch the whole video to get to the item you want to ask about. But insert a brand-new data card in your camera for the inventory, and don't use that particular data card for anything else. When the inventory is done, take that card out of the camera and don't use it again. You don't want ANYTHING on that data card to have been edited or deleted in case it has to be admitted as evidence in court.

Only include those items in your inventory that would be expensive or difficult to replaceó furniture, appliances, electronics, power tools, jewelry, and firearms in particular. Clothes only if you've got lots of expensive shoes. Personally, I wouldn't bother inventory of clothing, cookware, dishes, bedlinens, or other items that are pretty much a given in any household. I wouldn't bother with books, either, unless you've got rare first editions or something. You might include a photo of your full closets, cabinets, and bookshelves, but not necessarily the individual items in the closets, cabinets, and shelves. For anything that has a serial number, a list of the model numbers and serial numbers, kept separate from the photos.

But definitely include photos of hobby equipment if it's unusual; if you've got a dozen fly-fishing rods, a set of scuba gear, or something the average person wouldn't have in the average home.

A handy tip for "forensic photography." Start with an overall view that includes a recognizable background in your home (you did remember to take photos of the home itself, right?), then gradually zoom closer in with each shot on distinctive features such as logos. The overall view establishes that, yes, this item is in your home; the close-ups establish that yes, the wristwatch is a Rolex and not a Timex.

If you have a receipt for purchase of the item, it certainly would help to photograph the receipt alongside the item, especially for small portable items that are easily pilferable.

And by all means, use a digital camera that puts a date stamp on the photo, and take new photos every year so that you've always got a current set.

Resist the urge to post-process the photos. No Photoshopping or Lightrooming or anything else. Forensic photography requires that every photo be original and unedited. If a photo doesn't come out the way you wanted it, take another.

I'm not a professional photographer, but I have been called upon to do forensic photography during accident investigations at work. The lessons have stuck with me.
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Old 10-30-2013, 12:01 PM   #31
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Interesting thread! Thanks for the post d&m.

It isn't hard to imagine finding oneself in a life threatening situation as a result of any sort of disaster, natural or otherwise. For such a situation, where you are stranded and have no other means of communication I suggest you consider a 406 Mhz PLB or alternatively, a Spot tracker type device. Each has advantages and disadvantages.
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Old 10-30-2013, 01:20 PM   #32
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Some great approaches and ideas here.

Not yet mentioned is referencing your own official sources of information and advice for emergency planning. Included below, just as an example, is the link to our Provincial resource for Ontario that guides residents through preparing for their own response in an emergency. I am certain that your own relevant agencies (Municipal, State and Federal) will have similar information and advice.

Emergency Management Ontario :: Be Prepared


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Old 10-30-2013, 02:06 PM   #33
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Communications Gear

  1. Weather radio - very cheap
  2. Multi-band handheld HAM transceiver - now under $60
  3. AM radio - cheap
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Old 10-30-2013, 02:18 PM   #34
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Some great approaches and ideas here.

Not yet mentioned is referencing your own official sources of information and advice for emergency planning. Included below, just as an example, is the link to our Provincial resource for Ontario that guides residents through preparing for their own response in an emergency. I am certain that your own relevant agencies (Municipal, State and Federal) will have similar information and advice.

Emergency Management Ontario :: Be Prepared
State of Louisiana puts out a hurricane preparedness guide every year, which gives great general advice, but is light on personal touches to fit one's unique requirements.
http://gohsep.la.gov/evacinfo/Emerge...46b_7-1_4p.pdf

One thing they don't tell you, but I've found useful: If you expect a power outage, place a coin on top of a block of ice in your freezer. A small plastic cup filled with water and then frozen works well. As long as that coin is on top of the ice, nothing in the freezer has thawed. But if you ever see the coin inside the ice, that means the freezer has thawed and refrozen, and it's time to throw everything away. That's not only a good tip for emergencies, but also in your Airstream when you're camping!
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Old 10-30-2013, 02:35 PM   #35
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It just occurred to me......none of us mentioned clothing, like a change of undies.

I'm thinking if you're taking shelter from a major tornado or experiencing the aftermath of an earthquake......it becomes life or death and may just may not matter, in the great scheme of things.

I just ordered one of these (and a couple of other things ) from ebags, which can lay on the top of the fresh water tank in the Interstate. Baggallini, zip-out shopping tote, ripstop nylon, water resistant, etc. 17" x 17", on sale for $19.99. Love baggallini.

Thought about a smallish rolling duffle......but it's the space/bulk issue when on the road. Needs to be stowable full, although will still require a list on it of last minute grabs, like medications.

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Old 10-30-2013, 03:15 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doug&maggie View Post
We have been tallking for some months about preparing a "bug-out bag", to grab at home or when we are traveling, in the event of an extreme emergency/natural disaster.

We dislike putting ourselves in survivalist mode (actually, we did that for years in another context) but the likelihood that we will experience at some point a natural disaster seems good.

Are ready to stop talking and put some things together, and would like to hear what others are doing along this line.
Your choices should be guided by what sort of emergency you are preparing for, and its anticipated duration.


Quote:
Just to be clear, we are talking about being prepared for natural disasters here....earthquake, tornado, hurricane.
Good, now you have to figure out possible durations you want to plan for, the degree of disruption you anticipate, and the approach you want to take (e.g. stay vs. leave). A bug-out bag, you say, so your approach is to depart via car or light truck, without the Airstream.

Quote:
Our initial list is as follows:

First aid kit
* Be sure it includes things you need for a more extended emergency, to the extent of your medical/1st aid knowledge. In practice you're more likely to encounter insect bites, allergic reactions, scrapes, burns, pink eye, foreign objects in eye, slivers, etc than much of anything else

Quote:
Water purification tablets
How about:

* Means of transporting and storing water for drinking and washing. As much of a nuisance as 5 gallon collapsible containers are in actual use, they are small and light. Also include smaller containers for drinking water
* Means of purifying water of doubtful safety. The Katadyn filters are the best but are expensive. I would not rely on purification tablets except as a last resort

Quote:
Emergency blankets
Better than nothing but how about:
* Stocking cap (per person)
* Heavy coat (per person), Carhart or similar -- heavy shell unlikely to be damaged
* Blanket or sleeping bag
* Gloves of some kind -- especially in places like Illinois where it gets cold

Quote:
Waterproof matches
I would suggest also carrying a disposable lighter. They will not work when wet but in most other circumstances they are far more practical, and you can use them more than once.

Quote:
One medium size pot
How about:
* Inexpensive set of nesting cookware
* Fork and spoon
* portable grill suitable for use over an open fire

Quote:
Single burner butane stove/butane cannisters
OK but remember they don't work below 20 degrees. It gets colder than that in Illinois, right? Instead, choose one of these inexpensive options:
* Esbit solid fuel stove with extra pellets
* MSR XGK - expensive, requires practice to use but in experienced hands extremely reliable and will run on many different fuels (including unleaded gasoline and diesel)
* Optimus hiker stove -- like the MSR but somewhat less fiddly to use, and very expensive
* Any of a number of inexpensive propane stoves, easier to use than the MSR and Optimus, but require the propane cylinders

Quote:
Small supply of dried foods...???

Are less concerned about food, as I think that would be available from one source or another. Thinking dried items which would cover a few days.
You'd be surprised how much food you can go through in a few days. It's not a survival item per se as healthy people can live for weeks but being hungry affects your thinking. Therefore:
* At least a couple of items that store well and can be eaten cold without much preparation:
** Crackers
** Peanut butter
** Sardines or other canned meat or fish.
** Spray cheese (I can't remember the real name)
** Jam or jelly
** Powdered drink mix. Lemonaide etc
** Dried fruit
** Nuts
* Then a few things that require heat, in case you are stuck somewhere longer:
** Tea bags, or instant coffee, if you need caffeine to get through your day
** Instant hot chocolate
** Instant oatmeal or other hot cereal
** Freeze-dried backpacking meals
** Bisquick, rice, noodles, if planning for longer scenarios

Quote:
Fire starter
Have several of these. I carry a few pieces of old candles, which together with some cardboard or paper work great

Quote:
Flashlight/extra batteries
Be careful, the cheap ones are junk and you can't depend on them. How about:
* Small, reliable LED flashlight. I am fond of the Gerber Infinity Ultra. They are relatively inexpensive, but quite reliable, and provide enough light for most uses.
* Several Cyalume sticks. Even the best flashlights can fail when you need them. Cyalume sticks last for years, and I've never had one fail. You can only use them once but there are plenty of times when once is all you need. Also, you can leave these behind or give them away and still have your flashlight
* If space and weight allow, carry one of those handheld 6v lanterns that takes a big square battery. They're cheap and produce all kinds of light. Bring a spare bulb

Quote:
Leatherman-type multi-tool
Those go a long way but won't do everything. Everyone has their own tool list, but minimally, I would suggest:
* a small axe
* a folding saw
* A lockback folding knife. I'm not a knife geek but something like the Kershaw Blur is what you want -- durable, reasonably priced, holds its edge, and a suitable size for basic food preparation as well as utility use.
* Box of drywall screws, being sure that you have a matching bit or blade in your multi-tool.

Quote:
Personal medications
Yes, also:
* Copies of prescriptions and health records if controlled substances or drugs with a high abuse potential are prescribed for you for ongoing use
* Any drugs you may need to deal with high stress or unusual situations: Tums, tylenol, sleep aid, etc.
* Any drugs you need to deal with any episodic conditions that you are prone to (varies among individuals)

* Alternate ID documents that can establish who you are if your DL and passport are lost. e.g. expired DL and passport, birth certificates, marriage license, photocopy of DL or passport
* Evidence of any military service, professional accreditation, or licensing you have that you may find useful in an emergency
* Contact details for people close to you - phone #s, email, addresses
* Resume and job references if you are preparing for a situation long enough that you anticipate having to seek new employment
* Extra keys for your bugout vehicle
* Cash
* Soap - a bar is best as less prone to accidental wastage than liquid
* Sunscreen
* Lip balm
* Bandana or washcloth
* Towel
* Shovel - for sanitation. Be careful of the cheap folding ones, some are pretty much worthless for actual use
* Some extra clothing - at least socks, shorts, and a tshirt
* Insect repellant - a small container of the 95% deet takes up little space and lasts a long time
* Toothbrush
* Tampons or pads if needed
* Condoms if you use them
* Disposable razor

All that will cover a fairly wide range of situations for 3-5 days whether you're stuck in a forest, barn, or football stadium. No deserts around here so someone from AZ or somewhere will have to hold forth on desert-specific items

Remember that survival depends not only on staying alive but on being able to maintain enough of your normal routine and normal activities that you are psychologically able to deal with the crisis that presents itself.
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Old 10-30-2013, 03:48 PM   #37
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* Tampons or pads if needed
Actually, carry some Kotex Maxi-pads in your kit even if you're a guy. A paramedic friend of mine once told me they make the best field-expedient pressure bandage for wounds that bleed heavily. Not only are they very absorbent but they also resist soaking through to your hand when you apply direct pressure to a wound. Just the thing for treating someone else's wound in these days when you have to worry about blood-borne pathogens.
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Old 10-30-2013, 03:59 PM   #38
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If it's a tornado, some folks advocate having a helmet for protection (like a bicycle helmet).

Can a Helmet Protect You From a Tornado? | Scholastic News Online | Scholastic.com

I've been known to travel with a construction hard hat in the car when heading to Oklahoma during tornado season. It's not a heavy duty hard hat, more like the kind they have visitors wear when touring a construction site.

You might ask why would I travel to Oklahoma during tornado season -- the tug of family ties.

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Old 10-30-2013, 04:36 PM   #39
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Our thought, Jammer, is emergency supplies for at least three days, and things such as medications which we would need if our home were destroyed.

We see this as an event which would require leaving our stick home or the Interstate, to shelter.

The truth is, you just don't know what could happen, when or where. We want to have something ready we can grab if leaving or hopefully retrieve after the dust settles.

A bug-out bag has to be relatively small, is our thinking, and not geared toward sustaining life for the long term.

Natural disasters are area-specific, and help does arrive.

With regard to anything that could be long term......we aren't ready to go into that kind of mode.

And, we have a saying in the business......."Don't talk about it, you might wake it up".



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Old 10-30-2013, 08:50 PM   #40
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You said your not talking about a doomsday situation, but you call it a 'bug out bag'. Most of our friends who are preppers call it this. So I also assumed you were referencing a doomsday like situation.

In western NC this is apparently a really popular concept. As farmers we put up food and have a big stocked freezer and have well water and septic and plan for solar. But not because we expect zombies or some financial or energy collapse. I still think its funny preppers are 'prepped' for 2 Weeks or a month... But what then? Living sustainably would help you get a lot further...for a lot longer.

We experienced 9/11 in NYC and a 3 day blackout in NYC in 2003. After 9/11 most offices had a kit with some basics for each desk - a kit with a water bottle, Mylar blanket , a few other things. ( And women stopped wearing heels and wore sneakers or shoes and changed at work. )

I agree , having some bottled water Stored, batteries , flash lights , first aid kit is common sense. We have first aid in every trailer and carry extra water. We don't have a 'bug out bag' because unless there's a fire or nuclear fallout we plan to stay put.
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Old 10-30-2013, 11:00 PM   #41
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cell towers

Quote:
Originally Posted by doug&maggie View Post
We have looked at those small, solar chargers.......assuming there were towers standing to allow wireless communication.

It is more common than not that power is out for weeks after hurricanes, major tornadoes, ice storms, etc.

I am less concerned about wireless, really, other than to check on my family and they to check on us.

Maggie
If you pay attention the cell phones will be one of the first things working after a disaster. I work for a disaster relief company and that is what we do. We are on 12 notice when a hurricane is forecast to make landfall and if power goes down we haul generators to the cell phone sites so all of you can have your smart phones up and running very quickly.
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Old 10-31-2013, 01:10 AM   #42
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Something else to consider, is that it isn't only what you take with you or have stockpiled at home, but what you know.

We take back-ups on all kinds of things when we camp, simply because we like the back-of-beyond sorts of places. We know from experience that roads can wash out, or something mechanical can break down far from help. We are often beyond the range of cell phone service (at least beyond our cheesy service provider.)

So some things to know, in addition to Protagonist's fund of information in hurricane country and Jammer's detailed list:

First aid, preferably a wilderness First Aid course, as these are designed for people in places where there are no nearby paramedics. (BTW, aspirin really is supposed to be beneficial in case of a heart attack.)

How to light a campfire, with all sorts of fuels, some of which might be wet; and how to cook on it.

How to keep up morale up in the event of a long wait or difficult situation. A panicked or depressed person is a survival nuisance.

A good social network.

Seriously, most disasters will be of limited range and suitable for evacuation: forest fires, severe weather events, floods. Unless you get stuck on a freeway route, you can probably wait it out in a safe environment or drive beyond it.

Jammer, you've got a great list except for the menu department. Spray-on cheese? Kool-aid? A lot of highly prepared foods are low on nutrition and high on salt, sugar, and chemicals. The following are nutritious, space-saving, and instant or close to it.

powdered milk. (cow and/or soy. better if mixed in advance and shaken to oxygenate it. Doctor it with cocoa mix, if needed.)

raw nuts. Peanuts will balance out the amino acids in grains.

peanut butter or other nut butter.

dried fruit

canned meat, fish, or beans

hard cheese like Parmesan (keeps better than soft cheese.)

granola or muesli (check what's in granola bars: they may or may not be nutritious)

"gorp" otherwise known as trail mix

These could be filled out with less nutritious crackers, minute-rice, or quick-cooking pasta. Dried onions, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic and herbs are light space-savers that perk up an otherwise plain meal. Salt in desert areas. Fruits and veggies that keep well: lemons, limes, potatoes, carrots, cabbage.
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