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  #41  
Old 09 October 2018, 05:19 PM
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I suppose anything is possible, but an ice storm hitting Los Angeles is not among my top worries. And if a tornado hits, I'm just going to hope it drops us all safely in Oz, because no one around here has a basement or storm cellar.
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  #42  
Old 09 October 2018, 05:53 PM
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I don't really care very much how prepared people choose to be, but there are more than enough disasters that could knock out power and cause supply problems in LA for at least days. And I haven't heard that earthquakes will be made worse by climate change (please, if they will be, don't tell me until next week -- this one has been rough enough as it is) but other disasters can/will be. There are tropical cyclones in the Pacific that can send massive storms to the west coast, and no shortage of wildfires that could take down infrastructure. And tornadoes take out infrastructure as well. Your home can be untouched while blocks away there is a wide swath of total destruction. Not having a storm cellar doesn't mean the only way to be affected would be if your home is destroyed/ you are injured or killed.

ETA: A non-disaster example. Over the summer, the place where I work had issues with toxins from algae blooms in the water supply. The water could not be made safe by boiling. Technically, it was considered unsafe only for kids and pregnant women for most of the time as well as some other specific groups (and deadly to pets). But, there was a period of it being unsafe for everyone, and a lot of people I worked with chose not to drink it while the advisory was in place at all, because there is no "safe" level. Stores were quickly sold out of bottled water. Eventually, water was trucked in and handed out by nat'l guard troops, but it took a while to put that together. Obviously people with good transportation could just drive until they found a store with water, but for people without that, it was harder. At work, lots of us commute from outside the city, so we filled bottles with good tap water and brought it in to share.

Last edited by erwins; 09 October 2018 at 06:06 PM.
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  #43  
Old 09 October 2018, 07:06 PM
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My longest period without electricity was 36 hours when I lived in Hamden CT, and was caused by a tornado. My street was without power that long in large part because areas where the damage was severe were dealt with first. We had nothing more than a large tree leaning into the power lines--no crushed cars, no roofs torn off or windows sucked out.

I'd like to think my early camping experiences and my knowledge of historical crafts would help in the face of a mega disaster, but I'm not really the hero type.

Seaboe
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  #44  
Old 09 October 2018, 07:11 PM
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Oddly, having lived in earthquake- and tropical cyclone-prone areas (Japan counts for both) the most significant "disaster" I’ve been affected by directly was the derecho that ran from the Midwest to the east coast through MD and VA circa 2012 (summer of, I believe). Power was out for several days across wide swathes of decently populated areas, all without warning and after only a relatively short burst of wind. I’m not sure how long because I ended up taking a boat trip down to Norfolk for unrelated reasons.

Oh, and I grew up outside of Dallas, TX. Never seen/been affected by a tornado.
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  #45  
Old 09 October 2018, 08:08 PM
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It's always going to be spotty. And, unless something about the overall situation changes drastically, any given highly populated area in the USA probably won't have its power go off for more than a few hours in any given year, and quite possibly not in any given decade or three, either.

But just about every year, if you look at the national news, there's some significant group of people, somewhere, who had their power taken out for days or weeks by the sort of disaster that doesn't get telegraphed several days in advance; and who were not expecting it to happen to them, at all. And while there are places in the country not likely to be vulnerable to certain specific kinds of disasters -- I'm not in the least worried about a tsunami hitting my location -- there is no place in the country, and I don't think any place in the world, that can't get hit with some kind of disaster that might take out the power distribution system while still leaving significant numbers of survivors in the affected area.

Does that mean it makes sense to bankrupt yourself building an underground bunker and stocking it with enough goods to survive ten years inside, if you don't get appendicitis? No, of course not. Does that mean it makes sense to keep food supplies on hold for such a possible occurence if that means your kids or your cat or you yourself don't get any dinner tonight, because there is no extra money available to buy both? Of course not.

Does it mean that, if you've got the available money and the available storage space, it would be a good idea to buy extra cans of some food items you use anyway, and rotate them out (extra cost over time zilch, and an advantage of sometimes not having to go to the store when you don't feel like it); keep a few gallons of drinking water on hand, whether rotated out from the tap every week or two or by keeping extra drinking water on hand if you buy it for other reasons and rotating it like the canned goods (extra cost over time also zilch, unless you have to buy the containers, and not much if you do); have a couple of flashlights and/or battery lamps, and batteries for them, and maybe some version of a battery-powered radio (storage time for batteries is now up to about ten years or longer; cost of doing all this maybe around $30 though you could spend a lot more if you feel like it); and possibly even put all of about $10 into a Sterno stove? (I'll assume that if you live somewhere where it gets cold you've already got blankets and coats. If you live somewhere that gets hot, pouring water over light fabric draped over your head is better than nothing -- if you've got the water, that is.)

(And, if you do happen to have a wood stove or fireplace, get the chimney cleaned, keep some wood, and don't forget the matches. But for most people that isn't of course an option.)

I think it's a good idea. YMMV. But again, every year there are plenty of people in the news saying, in effect, 'We didn't expect anything to happen here!'
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  #46  
Old 09 October 2018, 09:54 PM
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I'm pretty sure (having lived through it) that no one expected a tornado in southern CT.

I agree with Thorny. If it won't break the budget, make arrangements. Know how to get at the water in your water heater, if nothing else. Know whether your gas appliances will work if the electricity goes out. If you have to have electricity 24 hours a day (e.g., if you're running an oxygen concentrator for someone who would otherwise need bottled O2), invest in a generator.

You don't have to live as if civilization is going to collapse tomorrow to be able to weather an emergency.

Seaboe
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  #47  
Old 09 October 2018, 10:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seaboe Muffinchucker View Post
I'm pretty sure (having lived through it) that no one expected a tornado in southern CT.
They just had one in Maine.


Not for the first time, either.

ETA: Oh, yes. I forgot the basic medicine kit -- whether or not in actual kit form, a lot of people already have the ingredients of one around -- and, if your doctor and pharmacy and vet will let you, avoid getting down to the last couple of days of anybody's prescription meds; get the new stock a week or more ahead of time.

Ditto toilet paper, tampons, etc.

Again, this is almost all stuff you'll be using anyway, sooner or later. (Maybe not a couple of things in the medicine kit, but most of them; who doesn't need a bandage once in a while?) It's just a matter of buying the same things a bit ahead of time, presuming the cash and the storage space are available. If there ever is a problem, you'll be helping to take the load off emergency services trying to get help to those for whom they weren't available. And, in the meantime, there will be fewer emergency runs to the store in your life (if you live next door to the store, of course, that may not be an issue.)

Last edited by thorny locust; 09 October 2018 at 10:28 PM.
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  #48  
Old 09 October 2018, 10:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seaboe Muffinchucker View Post
I'm pretty sure (having lived through it) that no one expected a tornado in southern CT.
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  #49  
Old 09 October 2018, 11:06 PM
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I keep a bit of an emergency kit in my car. I started doing this after people got stranded on the Pennsylvania turnpike for several days due to a snow storm. I drive that stretch of road frequently. A few supplies is the difference between sheltering in place and trudging off in the mountains to keep from freezing to death or dying of thirst.
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  #50  
Old 09 October 2018, 11:35 PM
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A few years ago my employer hosted an Emergency Preparedness Day, during which they had a vendor there selling emergency kits at a discount. I ended up buying one of their basic kits, which is a small backpack that contains a supply of water packaged in "juice boxes", emergency food rations in the form of extremely calorie dense energy bars, a Mylar blanket, a hand-cranked radio, and some other things I'm forgetting at the moment (likely something along the lines of matches and a first aid kit). I keep it in my car for similar reasons as Beachlife -- I stashed it in my trunk the first time I drove up to Lake Tahoe in the winter, along side the mandatory snow chains. I figured if I were to get really stranded it would help avoid a Donner Party type situation.
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  #51  
Old 10 October 2018, 12:19 AM
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What's the expiration date on the food and water?
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  #52  
Old 10 October 2018, 01:03 AM
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What I've used in the past has a 5 year expiration date.
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  #53  
Old 10 October 2018, 02:51 AM
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Now that I'm home and checked my own kit, 5 years appears to be the expiration date. The water specifically says "5 year shelf life" in fact. And they expired in 2016. I guess I bought it longer ago than it seemed, and I should replenish it. I'm sure in a dire emergency it would be perfectly adequate, though. Or better than nothing at least.

BTW the kit actually contains a lot more than I'd remembered. The complete inventory is:
2 packs of 6 food bars, 2400 calories apiece.
6 boxes of water
2 thermal blankets
2 packs of tissues
A pack of 10 water purification tablets
A 2 gallon water bag
2 dust masks
2 light sticks
1 pair of rubber gloves
1 whistle
1 hand cranked radio/flashlight (I'd forgotten that it also featured a flashlight)
1 first aid kit
6 moist towelettes

Actually no matches, though. That would probably be a good thing to put in there.
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  #54  
Old 10 October 2018, 03:12 AM
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2400 calories per pack of food bars, or 2400 per food bar?
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  #55  
Old 10 October 2018, 03:17 AM
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I am fascinated by the homesteading/prepping movement. NatGeo’s Doomsday Preppers was my crack for a while. With most of the people on that show, I was like, “Boys and their toys” about, but there were a few on that show where if the fecal material hit the rotating oscillator, you’d really want them on your side. The people who made up the latter were the ones who didn’t just stockpile guns and canned food, but had actual skills in building or gardening. Then there are guys like this charmer who you will be happy to know that he was arrested shortly after the episode’s airing and will be rotting in jail for a long time.
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  #56  
Old 10 October 2018, 03:18 AM
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For at home emergency supplies, I've heard recommendations that you just keep stock of shelf-stable normal foods like canned beans, veggies, and other things that you consume on a regular basis anyway. Rotating through the stock helps keep it from getting too old, and if you eat it regularly you won't get the shock to your GI system that suddenly switching to emergency ration bars or MREs can cause (there's a reason those things are sometimes called Meals Refusing to Excrete).
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  #57  
Old 10 October 2018, 03:29 AM
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Also clif bars. Find the right flavor of clif bar, stock up, and start eating it for breakfast or as a snack. Right flavor is key, though. I’ve found some of them are downright unpalatable.
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  #58  
Old 10 October 2018, 04:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ASL View Post
2400 calories per pack of food bars, or 2400 per food bar?
I'd thought it was 2400 per bar, but upon closer inspection it's 2400 per pack (400 per bar).

ETA:

Quote:
Originally Posted by crocoduck_hunter View Post
For at home emergency supplies, I've heard recommendations that you just keep stock of shelf-stable normal foods like canned beans, veggies, and other things that you consume on a regular basis anyway. Rotating through the stock helps keep it from getting too old, and if you eat it regularly you won't get the shock to your GI system that suddenly switching to emergency ration bars or MREs can cause (there's a reason those things are sometimes called Meals Refusing to Excrete).
I know... I mean what am I supposed to do with 12 expired emergency ration bars?

Last edited by WildaBeast; 10 October 2018 at 04:15 AM.
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  #59  
Old 10 October 2018, 05:27 AM
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Wildabeast, I'd add some more water to the kit /bag. Recommendations are usually at least 2 quarts per day, 1 gallon if you will be exerting yourself. Most kits I've seen have way less than that.
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  #60  
Old 10 October 2018, 05:27 AM
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Plus, there's plenty of other reasons that having extra water on hand could be useful.
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