Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Tinfoil Hat or just Responsible Thinking?

I have actually started researching emergency preparedness and survival. No kidding. I didn't watch a bunch of disater movies or sit glued to the TV watching documentaries about Katrina or Haiti either. I just suddenly got the urge to consider the "what if" questions?

Here's part of my thinking behind this. Last winter the power went out for nearly 6 hours. This is actually pretty serious up here in Saskatchewan. It was frickin' cold out that night. No power meant no furnace. The first few hours were okay, we had flashlights and candles to occupy us. After about the fourth hour the house got quite cold. In the fifth hour, it was very cold, and I was starting to get concerned. Luckily the power was restored. What if it went on longer? How long could we stay there with the temperature dropping?

Now my plan is to install a secondary heat source. But why stop there? I decided that we should be prepared for future emergencies. The Canadian government (as well as the American government) is actually recommending that citizens be prepared for at least three days. Are you prepared to survive for 72 hours in an emergency situation? I am guessing most people aren't.

After carefull research on the topic, I have begun to store food, water, and medical supplies. The food is all long shelf life food, that we will rotate to ensure freshness. Water is easy to store, and we are already planning on gaining filtering and purification supplies. Looking at our present first aid supply, I realized that we are in serious need of better medical too.

There's a lot more to it of course. Many factors have to be considered. I am actually planning on water, food, medical, heating, waste management, electricity, lighting, vehicle fuel storage, auxillary shelter, and more. Does this all sound paranoid? Maybe it does, but I am now thinking that having and not needing, is better than needing and not having. I am expecting something from the Road Warrior? No.

My goal is to be prepared for months, in any climate. I also plan on creating portable solutions for each vehicle, as well as preparing the obligatory BOB (Bug Out Bag). What's a BOB? Essentially, it is a pack or bag, packed carefully with the proper items and equipment to prolong survival in the event I have to leave in a hurry. Sounds crazy, doesn't it.


Lurch said...

Welcome to the club....

We have two BOBs, one small backpack for when in a hurry and one larger on wheels if we have to hit the road for a while.

Wood stove for heat was installed before Xmas. Backup power box is good for 8 hours for a couple of small appliances. Lots of wind up flashlights & radios. LOTS of water (this is most important)

And the coolest was a windup flashlight that will charge my blackberry,iphone and others. And a knowledge kit which is a old microsoft mobile phone with book reader and is loaded with 8gb of e-books like first aid, gardening, alternate power plans, wild fauna, construction and more.

And one last thing that you should always carry with you: A thumbdrive with copies of every single piece of paperwork you would need if your house burned down. Bank accounts, house insurance details, medical records, SIN#s, tax records, family photos, eye glass prescripts and more. And of course use some encrypt software that can run on windows,mac and linux to be able to read it anywhere.

Just because you are paranoid doesn't mean it isn't going to happen.

Schick said...

So I am not alone in this. Good to know. Tinfoil hats are in fashion.

I'd like to know about that windup flashlight and portable device charger. What's the make/model?

Great idea about the storage of important docs. I'll have to think of a solution. As for the BOBs, I'm still developing mine. We're working on a BOV (Bug Out Vehicle) too. Right now we have a huge list prepared of everything we plan on storing and doing. It will take time, as there is a surprising amount of items needed.

Lurch said...

The flashlight is a Noma from CanadianTire, it's black and silver and has a USB port at the end under the flip up handle.

I strongly recommend a good USB memory stick with all important documents in a ziplock baggie in the BOB. And I also carry one on my cars keys.

And yes, I've been wearing this tinfoil hat for some time.

I'm curious to the need for a bug -out vehicle? Where are you going to go? You are out of the city so you should be OK? What disaster would make you leave home? I used to live in a earthquake zone in a big city so that would make me leave. Now I'm under the shadow of a volcano, and that would just fry me.

Schick said...

I'll have to look for that flashlight.

I store numerous things on a USB stick, but never considered the important stuff. Good idea.

As for the BOV... Last year it flooded so bad near our town that two lanes of the highway dissappeared. In som eplaces the ground sunk or washed away down to 40 or 50 feet. We're pretty close to the river. It took months for them to get everything reinforced and rebuilt. I just want to be prepared for anything, even a tornado (they happen). Either way, if anything were to happen, it is nice to know that having a truck with supplies, and numerous containers of diesel will get me somewhere safer. A kit for the vehicle isn't that hard to put together.