Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Blackouts and other disasters

I think at some point in time we will have to defend our country with our own brand of defense as it looks like the government is getting lax on doing it. So I looked around and found some information on what one would need to make it through a disaster or other attack. I found this info on a militia site and wanted to post it here.
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The time to prepare is NOW, not after the next terrorist attack, not after the next power outage, and not during the next thunderstorm or blizzard.

A simple starting point would be to look back upon those three events and consider what you should have done to be better prepared. Did you not have enough bottled water? Gasoline? Cash? Were you able to communicate with relatives and friends as well as you wanted to? Had you gotten enough practice with your firearms to be able to confidently defend your family and your home? Don't wait until the next blackout to address your shortcomings. Find your weak points. Now. Fix your weak points. Now.

With the threat of terrorism with nuclear, chemical, or biological warfare, we should consider some basic emergency preparedness. We cannot hope to cover everything in a brief discussion, so we will touch on some basic necessities. We will assume a complete power failure, and other normal services down too.

Heat:

Should the power fail, chances are your furnace will, too. A fireplace or wood-burning stove would probably be the best alternative here, if you can find/stockpile enough wood. Kerosene heaters may work also, but again, you must have kerosene already on hand. None will be available in the event of a mid-winter power failure. Do not bring gas grills or charcoal grills into your house. You may wish to consider acquiring good, high-quality cold weather gear, such as cold-weather sleeping bags, for yourself and your family. Many fires have been caused by the use of alternative indoor heat sources, so use extreme caution.

Food:

Stockpiling food for emergencies doesn't have to be expensive. A plentiful supply of rice (preferably brown), beans, noodles, and peanut butter should always be kept on hand. You can still eat this stuff, even if there is never an emergency. Canned food will last up to a couple of years, so start buying canned vegetables, beef stew, and canned fruit soon. Many military style meals can even be eaten without cooking. You can also find military food, and other survival foods at the next gun show, or at camping stores, and military surplus stores. The time to start buying extra food is now. Rice and beans are cheap. So are Ramen noodles.

Recently, we have seen the emergence of of many "Power Bar" type of snack items. These are somewhat expensive, but less so when purchased in bulk quantities. They are great emergency rations to keep in your house, car, or locker at work. Instant breakfast bars, cereal bars, and even old-fashioned granola bars can all be an important part of any survival plan.

Make sure you have a way to cook your food. Do not bring a BBQ grill into your house. If you have to cook with a grill or other fire, do it outside, away from your house.

Food in your freezer can remain frozen for 24 hours or longer. A good way to help keep your food frozen is to keep several bottles of water in your freezer. Once meat begins to thaw, you CANNOT re-freeze it, so it will have to be cooked and eaten or dehydrated once it has thawed.

Be wary of using any dairy or egg-based products after even a few hours without power.

Water:

Ahead of time, stock up on bottled water. Buying it by the case at a local department store or even hardware store can be much cheaper than buying it one bottle at a time from a local quickie-mart or gas station. Buying several cases, and replacing each case as you drink it, will keep several cases on hand. If you have to purify your water, you can always boil it for at least FIVE minutes. To store water, add a few drops of regular bleach to each gallon. Filters are available at any surplus or camping store, and so are iodine tablets. Take some time to become familiar with water purification techniques. Save your milk jugs now.

At the onset of a power outage, in hot weather, soak a few washrags in cold water and keep handy to wipe yourself down with. This has a decent cooling effect. You might also wish to fill your bathtub, washtub, and other containers with water for washing or flushing purposes.

Communications:

You should have a transistor radio with spare batteries. A CB radio is good to have also. You can run it off of a car battery, and use a trickle charger to keep it charged. There are also hand-crank radios available; check the gun show, or electronic stores. It would be a good idea to get your amateur radio license, and get an amateur radio, to send and receive in the two-meter, and 440 megahertz range. Radio Shack may have information on this.

Certain brands of FRS radios also have AM/FM capability. These can be used in addition to a larger, battery powered "boom box" type radio. Large boom box radios require lots of "D" batteries, so keep enough extras to reload this radio at least once.

If you need batteries for your smaller radios or flashlights, you can always consider raiding all of the remote control devices that you have lurking around.

During the Blackout of August 03, many phone services remained operational. Having an electric cordless phone did not enable everyone to take advantage of this service. You should get an older style back-up phone, that only plugs into a phone jack, and does not require the use of an electrical outlet. Many cell phones were operational. Consider getting a cell-phone, and a battery charger for your car.

Electricity/Light:

A gas powered-generator will only work if you have gas, but they would keep the lights on for a few days, at least. There are gasoline additives (such as Stabil) that will help keep gas from going bad, if you want. Solar and steam generators may work, but they are an expensive and time-consuming option. Buy rechargeable batteries for your radios and flashlights, and get a small solar recharger, at an electronic shop. Keep flashlights, candles, and kerosene lanterns for emergency light. Chemlights (light sticks), which are available at military surplus stores, through mail order suppliers, and even in the camping section of some department stores. Check the expiration dates on your chemlights, because they don't last much longer beyond that.

Keep a source of light in your vehicle, in your home, and in your locker or desk at work. Keep your batteries fresh, and keep a spare set or two (or more) on hand. Know where your flashlights, candles, chemlights, and lanterns are BEFORE a disaster hits. Even keeping a small keychain flashlight with your keys is a good idea.

First-aid:

It would be best if you took a Red Cross First Responder Course. They are taught at some community colleges, and private ambulance companies. The commercially available first-aid kits will work, but bear in mind that you may not be able to replace anything that you use. Stock gauze, bandages, antibiotic ointment, and whatever medications you normally use. Pain-relievers, anti-diarrhea medicine, and cold and flu medicines should be kept handy, too. Keep plenty of reference books on hand, and learn some first-aid BEFORE A DISASTER HITS. Avoid buying expensive surgical kits, unless you are a surgeon.

Protection:

All of your disaster preparedness will be a waste if you can't protect yourself and your family. Buy a gun. To protect your home, we suggest a good pump action shotgun, like the Mossberg 500. Buy plenty of shells, preferably 00 Buckshot. If you want, buy a good military type rifle, like an AR15, or something similar, and LEARN HOW TO SHOOT IT. Get plenty of magazines (clips), and plenty of ammunition. If you can, get a handgun, too. LEARN HOW TO SHOOT. YOUR LIFE MAY DEPEND UPON IT IN AN EMERGENCY.

Fitness:

You will survive any disaster better if you are in good shape. Take some time to evaluate your diet and exercise routines. Start getting in better shape now, and it may very well pay off if there ever is an emergency.

Other:

Fire-extinguishers, tools (axes, saws, and shovels, too), extra blankets, plastic sheeting, extra plywood, good boots, extra sets of eyeglasses, plenty of duct tape, rope-string-twine, fishing, camping, and hunting gear, good heavy cooking pots, plenty of salt, cold-weather socks, rain gear, a sewing kit, a wash tub, and any number of books on survival and first aid, can all come in handy in the event of a natural or man-made disaster. The best survival tool you have is your mind. Careful planning and preparation will help you through almost any situation. The time to prepare is NOW, not when the lines are long at the market, and the shelves are empty, and the power goes off.

7 comments:

The Install TEAM said...

Generators:
Today's automatic standby generators can run on natural gas or propane. Neither require you to worry about keeping the fuel fresh. Propane can be stored safely on-site in large quantities and will likely be more available to be brought in than regular gasoline. Natural gas is an "unlimited supply". The gas system is under pressure and does not rely on electricity while still under pressure. In an extended outage, most natural gas pumping stations are backed up with their own standby generators.
Check out www.theinstallteam.com for more info.

Wild Bill said...

No matter what, or how much shit you have ready, you still have to have the mind-set and armament to KEEP IT !!

Estimates are that only 30 percent of the population has prepared itself for disaster, and that 50 percent is gonna rely on the Gubmint to rescue em, and the rest and what Gubmint caint handle are gonna try and relieve you of your supplies..

Cheryl said...

What would I do without you and Wild Bill? Both of you have written on this subject and I sure as hell appreciate it.

Went to a gun show last weekend, and got ammo boxes. I realized, after I loaded them, that I need more shotgun shells. Better get some before Soros and/or the Dimocraps get rid of all ammunition!

Almtnman said...

I need to get more for myself. I load my own, so I need some more loading supplies. And I do need to pick up some more buckshot for my shotgun.

nanc said...

also buy cheap bourbon and cheap coffee - good trading material in times of need. and tobacco - some people would give their gold teeth for these precious commodities in times of trouble.

my husband says, "in tough times, people drink wine - in good times, people drink wine."

go to the feed supply store and stock up on erythromycin - we've spoken of this before.

Almtnman said...

nanc, that's a very suggestion on having the items to barter with.

The Merry Widow said...

Spices are good for barter too. Pepper, nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon, anything that can't be grown in your area. Also stock up on herb seeds, grow and dry your own, these you can use for yourself or as barter. Sugar is good too.
Good morning, G*D bless and Maranatha!

tmw

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