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Saturday, October 9, 2010

Emergency Evacuation Checklist

Toilet paper
Whether you are evacuating due to a wildfire or hurricane, things get very confusing and hectic during as a result of the emergency. Having a checklist to run through will keep things organized and running smoothly.

Before You Leave

Fill your gas tank.
Charge your mobile phone.
Take cash, checkbooks and credit cards.
Take a back-up of your hard drive or computer files.
Get a map of your emergency route and have a plan B in case the orginal route is blocked.
Identify stopping points on your emergency route (gas stations, restaurants, etc).
Contact your emergency contact.
Take your G.O.O.D manual.
Take your 72 Hour Kit.

Evacuation Disaster Kit

Have These Items Inside the Car:

Emergency phone numbers
Drivers license or ID card
Money and credit cards
Proof of residence (utility bill, home deed, etc).
Prescriptions or medication
Mobile phone charger or car adapter
Food and drinks (extra water just in case).
Things to keep children busy (puzzles, books, drawing pad and pencils).
Papertowls in case of a spill.

If You Have Not Prepared a Vehicle 72 Hour Kit, At Least Have These Items In The Trunk:

Clothing for the season
Toiletries (toilet paper, soap, razors, etc).
First aid kit
Paper products
Tool kit
Disaster food supply
Battery operated radio
Papertowls in case of a spill.
10 gallons of gasoline

Family Emergency Plan Check List

WHERE IS YOUR FAMILY ?Image by Lulu Vision via Flickr
Making the decision to prepare for emergency begins with a level of awareness. A prepper knows that there are possible threats, and it only makes sense to be as prepared as possible beginning with elemental disaster items to sustain basic needs (food, water, clothing and shelter) and then adding more preparedness layers onto it. Basic disaster items are intended to sustain a person and their family for 3-5 days. One of the common reasons why people do not prepare is because of the overwhelming nature of it all. Having a guide to help with assist in determining what steps need to be taken by you and your family members when an emergency arise.

Family – Make a Plan

 Designate an out-of-town contact.
  Designate a local contact.
Create a family and/or neighborhood emergency calling list. Each person calls the next person on the list to minimize time on the phone.
 Set up a neighborhood meeting place.
 Set up an out-of-town meeting place.
 Create an information list of names and information on each member (contact information such as phonenumbers and addresses).
Include important papers (birth certificates, marriage license, insurance information, house deeds, life insurance, car insurance) and vital medical information (allergies, blood types, medical prescriptions needed) on family members and pets, including doctors phone numbers and veterinary phone numbers and addresses.
Create emergency wallet cards with emergency information.
Print out plan to put in G.O.O.D Manual and email to family members.

3 Day Essentials – 72 Hour Kits

 Printed out emergency essentials list.
Checked off kit items already on hand.
Purchased needed emergency items.
 Created a 72 Hour Kit and a Vehicle 72 Hour Kit.

Information Sources of Possible Disasters in Your Area and Country

Collecting informaiton on disasters that threaten your area is a great way to research the disasters as well as prepare for them.  Here is a list of the common types of emergency people typically prepare for:
 Fire Safety
 Contractible Diseases
 Nuclear Disaster

Water Storage - Your MUST Have!

Mineral water being poured from a bottle into ...Image via Wikipedia
Our Bishop has given us a challenge to purchase our 2 week supply of water! This is an essential storage item, and the first thing you should have in an emergency. Here is a PDF file with a shopping comparison of water prices for you. Prices are as of September 2009.

1. What is the #1 emergency storage item? Water

  • According to Scientific American we lose water not only by sweating and urination, but also by way of stress and exhaling (air is water saturated when it leaves the lungs).
  • That fact combined with hot weather conditions means that one could dehydrate or overheat within a very short period of time.
  • Taking sips is not recommended either, as that does not get water to your brain and vital organs quickly enough – taking a good drink when you need it is recommended.
  • Usually, we obtain some of our daily intake of water from food, but with most long-term storage foods in dehydrated form, that is not possible.
2. How much water do I need?
  • Adults need to drink at least 2 quarts of water each day. Children, nursing mothers, and ill people may need more.
  • Additional water is needed for cooking, pets, hygiene and auto maintenance – for a total of one gallon per adult per day.
  • The Church recommends storing a two-week supply as a minimum – for an adult, that’s 14 gallons (53 L).
3. How can I store water?
  • On the chart are a few storage options to consider – think about the size of the space you have in your home to store these items – water should be stored in carefully cleaned, non-corrosive, break resistant, air-tight containers in a cool, dark place.
  • Since many containers are clear, and light can permeate them, you may want to cover them or store them in dark plastic bags. DO NOT store in direct sunlight.
  • Food grade containers labeled PET, PETE and HDPE (High Density PolyEthylene) plastic coded with the recycle symbol and a “2” inside are recommended.
  • NEVER use a container that has held toxic substances or non-food items. Soft drink bottles work well, but milk & fruit juice containers are undesirable due to difficulty in cleaning.
  • Prepackaged water bottles are somewhat permeable to hydrocarbon vapors, so keep away from stored gasoline, kerosene, pesticides or similar substances.
  • Clearly label “drinking water” along with the date.
  • If not using commercially bottled water, replace water every six months. Check pull date on containers when you purchase them to be sure they haven’t been sitting on the store shelf for a year already.
4. How do I prepare containers for water storage?
  • First clean containers and lids with hot, soapy water and rinse.
  • Then sanitize them by rinsing them with a solution of 1 tablespoon of chlorine bleach (no scents or additives) per gallon of water. Leave wet for 2 minutes, then rinse thoroughly with water.
5. How do I treat the water for storage?
  • There are many ways to treat water, although none is perfect. Often the best solution is a combination of methods.
  • If the water has been treated with chlorine by a water utility, you do not need to add anything before storing it.
  • Before treating, let any suspended particles settle to the bottom, or strain them through layers of paper towel or clean cloth.
  • Boiling is the safest method of treating water – bring to a rolling boil for 3-5 minutes, keeping in mind that some water will evaporate. Let the water cool before drinking or storing.
  • If the water is not chlorinated and is clear, add eight drops or about ¼ teaspoon of household bleach (without additives like scents, thickeners – with 5.25 percent sodium hypochlorite) per gallon of water, stir and let stand for 30 minutes. If the water does not have a slight bleach odor, repeat the dosage and let stand another 15 minutes.
  • If the water is not chlorinated and is cloudy, add 16 drops of chlorine bleach per gallon.
6. What are other emergency water sources?
  • Do you know the location of your incoming water valve? You’ll need to shut it off to stop contaminated water from entering your home if you hear reports of broken water or sewage lines.
  • You can use the water in your hot-water tank – be sure the electricity or gas is off, and open the drain at the bottom of the tank. Start the water flowing by turning off the water intake valve and turning on a hot-water faucet. Do not turn on the gas or electricity when the tank is empty. See a professional when you are ready to have it turned back on.
  • You can use the water in your pipes – let air into the plumbing by turning on the faucet in your house at the highest level. A small amount of water will trickle out. Then obtain water from the lowest faucet in the house.
  • In the even of contamination, water from either sources would need to be purified – which is why ready, potable water is so important.
  • Swimming pool water is not suitable for drinking.
Thank you Stephanie for preparing this!!

Advanced Prepping 101 - The Dedicated Bug-Out Vehicle

It’s a simple fact that most people don’t have a dedicated vehicle for bugging out and will use their everyday means of transportation for this purpose. While any vehicle will work for most daily transportation needs, many vehicles may lack the necessary qualities for use as an efficient bug-out vehicle. There are some important considerations that should be taken into account that will help you decide if you may want to have a dedicated BOV.

The first consideration is cost. An additional vehicle will involve the need for extra insurance, maintenance or fuel costs. These items cost money and there aren’t a lot of ways to avoid these. Buying used will save some money but may require additional maintenance costs or upkeep to make them viable options.

The second consideration is capacity. If your entire family or group won’t fit easily inside your chosen means of transportation, you’re going to be in trouble before you even get started. Numerous test runs and actual use of my chosen BOV has also revealed an area that is often overlooked. You not only need space for each person but you will need room for their gear (BOB) and additional things like food and water. My chosen BOV, a large van (1 ton) which has a seating capacity of 15 persons, can comfortably hold 8 persons and their gear and sufficient food and water for several days if necessary.

The third consideration is the type of vehicle. There are quite a few possibilities in this area that may work to your advantage. A pop-up style camper or small travel trailer, a pick-up with a camper unit, a small RV or motorhome are definite possibilities and will depend upon your capacity needs and the amount available in your budget. Depending upon where you will be bugging out to, you may require additional things such as 4 wheel drive capacity.

The fourth consideration is the range of your vehicle. Your vehicle will need to get you quickly and safely to your bug out location. A vehicle loaded with people that is pulling a trailer loaded with gear will require more fuel than in normal circumstances. More fuel may not be available due to power outages, etc. and may limit the distance you can travel before requiring additional fuel. If you wind up with an empty fuel tank, you will have a serious problem. It is vital that the range of your chosen BOV will get you there without the need for additional fuel. Carrying extra fuel is an option but it takes up space and increases the weight you are carrying. This is space that could be used for other needed items. Consideration should be given to vehicles with larger fuel tanks or additional tanks to help avoid this problem.

The fifth consideration is living space. Your BOV may become your home away from home and you will need it to provide shelter from the elements and some measure of security for you and your family. Motels and hotels will fill up quickly during an evacuation. The evacuation of a large number of people will put a strain on all the available resources. Even with a good emergency fund and plenty of cash you may need to be prepared to spend time living in your BOV, even if it is only for one night. A vehicle that provides a sheltered place to sleep and live for your family will quickly become a valuable item.

The sixth consideration is the ability to not attract attention or to go undetected. This can be your best form of protection. A vehicle that blends into the surroundings may be one of the safest options. An expensive motorhome or large RV may attract the attention of those seeking to change their status at your expense. A Jeep 4X4 with a great camo paint job will attract a lot more attention on the highway than you may desire. Cheaper vehicles are also less of a target when things and people start to get out of control due to a crisis or emergency.

The final consideration is optional equipment and ease of maintenance and repair. Will your choice of vehicle allow you to tow a trailer with extra gear, mount a winch, or have the fuel capacity that gives it an extended range? Even simple things like a luggage rack on the roof could come in handy. You will also need something that will allow you to do simple maintenance and repairs should they become necessary. The ability to make simple repairs to your vehicle without specialized tools or additional help will be a big benefit during an emergency.

While there are other things that you may consider important when choosing a BOV, these are some of the basic considerations that should be taken into account that will help you decide on a proper BOV. Having a dedicated bug-out vehicle will also give you the option of having many needed items loaded in advance and ready to go. This will save you additional time in an emergency.

Staying above the water line!


Storage Containers

"1-PETE" resin identification codeImage via Wikipedia
Here are some brief descriptions of the different types of storage containers. Click on the link to view the entire handout from Provident Living

#10 Cans: #10 cans and oxygen absorbers are for sale to Church members at home storage centers. Canning sealers are available for use in the centers. #10 cans may be used to store foods that are dry (about 10% moisture or less), shelf-stable, and low in oil content.

5 or 6 Gallon Plastic Buckets: Plastic buckets may be used to store food commodities that are dry (about 10 percent moisture or less) and low in oil content. Only buckets made of food-grade plastic with gaskets in the lid seals should be used. Buckets that have held nonfood items should not be used.

Foil Pouches: The pouches are made of multilayer laminated plastic and aluminum. The material is 7 mils thick (178 microns) and protects food against moisture and insects.

PETE Bottles: Bottles made of PETE (polyethylene terephthalate) plastic can be used with oxygen absorbers to store products such as wheat, corn, and dry beans. PETE bottles are identified on the container with the letters PETE or PET under the recycle symbol #1. Moisture content of stored foods should be about 10% or less. PETE bottles can also be used for shorter-term storage (up to 5 years) of other shelf-stable dry foods such as white rice.

Storage life can be significantly impacted by the following conditions:
• Temperature: Store products at a temperature of 75°F/24°C or lower whenever possible. If storage temperatures are higher, rotate products as needed to maintain quality.
• Moisture: Keep storage areas dry. It is best to keep containers off of the floor to allow for air circulation.
• Light: Protect cooking oil and products stored in PETE bottles from light.
• Insects and rodents: Protect products stored in foil pouches and PETE bottles from rodent and insect damage.
Source: www.providentliving.org