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Oh shit kit? I just have a fuck it bucket....

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by downndirty, Jul 8, 2020.

  1. downndirty

    downndirty
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    I just took a new job in disaster response: think search and rescue, emergency power, shelter, etc. Disasters are not an entirely new world to me (gestures vaguely at personal life), but I'm curious about the Board's experience.

    Focus: ever been stuck in a natural disaster? How prepared are you for shit hitting the fan? What kinds of emergencies have you dealt with? What are you prepping for?

    For someone who does this for a living, I am woefully under prepared. I've got about 10 gallons of water squirreled away and a week's worth of dry foods. I use my deployments as an excuse and have meds in 90-day supplies ahead of time. I have the materials I'd need to build a sand water filter around here somewhere, and a kyoto box. I have gas heat, and should that go out I have some space heaters and a toaster oven. That's about it.

    The biggest threat in my neck of the woods, aside from civil unrest, is flooding and wind. I was around for a pretty wild storm in 2015 that dumped 30+ inches of snow, so we were stuck inside for 4 days, and that had some power outages sporadically. I used to think THAT was cabin fever.
     
  2. Kubla Kahn

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    I was stuck in the middle of a pandemic once. Turns out it was all just a hoax. I keeeeed.
     
  3. Fiveslide

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    We rode out hurricane Sandy on a sailboat. We were tied up in our slip on the Chesapeake bay. We had plenty of 12 volt power to get through the power outage, food, propane for cooking, fresh water in the tank and a manual pump toilet. Coffee was the only issue, I got a french press after that. That lifestyle had us pretty well set up for disaster already.

    The only thing that changed significantly was we had to wade through flood waters to get to land and I had nearly a week off work. It was difficult to sleep during the storm, the water was still pretty lumpy in the protected inlet and wind gusts would lean the boat 30+ degrees. If the storm surge was a foot or so higher, the entire dock would have floated off the pilings and took off, that's when it would have gotten interesting.

    I wouldn't do it again. I'd tie the boat up real well, make sure the insurance is paid up and go well inland. The only reason I chose to do it for Sandy... hurricane Irene, I think, damaged our previous boat and I wanted to prevent that since this was our home. But it's still just a boat and I should have left it.

    We're pretty under-prepared now, compared to back then.
     
  4. walt

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    The worst we've had to deal with here has been snowstorms, although really bad ones that cause the county to shut down haven't happened since the early 90's. We've had a couple small tornadoes, one knocked the power out for about 4 days. The worst part of that was there was no AC and it was humid as a mofo. That also caused me to buy one of those outdoor shower set ups that are solar heated. Nothing like a hot shower to keep your spirits up.

    I'd say we're relatively prepared. You don't read and write post-apocalyptic fiction without it making you a little more aware of things. I've always made sure to keep a good supply of food on hand, probably have a month's worth right now. ( A couple months worth of coffee! ) I'm not into the "prepper" mindset, because hoarding a years worth of food does you no good if your house burns down or you have to get the hell out of Dodge for some reason. I think knowledge is key, knowing what edible plants are at your disposal, knowing how to shoot or catch wild game, etc. I have a shitload of ammo both bought and given to me by a friend, some in calibers I don't even own. We have two creeks on our property, so water is never an issue. We'd be able to flush the toilet for years without power. Also, access to our well is indoors, so I'd be able to take the cap off and lower something down in to it for drinking water from the comfort of our basement. Heating would be an issue, since we have an outdoor boiler, however I'd be able to get my hands on a woodstove pretty fast if needed I think.

    I used to keep a "get home" bag in my car for emergencies, but haven't in a long time since I rarely travel more than 10-15 miles from home.
     
  5. downndirty

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    I kind of question the notion of relying on game for food. Unless you are in a really sparsely populated area, or have a farm that has a problem with deer/coyotes/etc., it's insignificant. Fishing is silly, if you have to actually survive off of fish, you use a net.

    I used to get this shit from my dad's friends all the time, and sure a couple of folks can eat on a deer for a week or so, but if you're doing actual survival calculus, the risk/reward for hunting isn't very high. You can sit out on a stand for hours with nothing to show for it. You opt for the sure bet, and for most places that's agricultural. I like trappers for that reason: a lot less time invested, so you set a trap in the morning, spend the day on things more likely to result in food, check it at night, and at worst you've wasted an hour on an empty trap. Sitting in a blind with a rifle all day is just too much wasted time unless there's a particular critter at hand. With creeks nearby, you likely have easy pickings, but for most folks that math doesn't pan out.

    Also, wood is great for a couple of days, but if you think you'll be relying on it for energy for a season, it's a whole other level of preparation. My family went through a cord of wood in about 6 weeks during the winter for sporadic fires in an admittedly huge fireplace. That's why I prefer the solar powered stuff if you can....hauling all that wood is tiring, it occupies a ton of space, and if you rely on it, you burn through it faster than it can grow back, so you're travelling further to get it.

    Out of curiosity, what are your emergency rations?
    I have a pile of canned beans, tuna, and pasta sauce. I buy some stuff like rice and oatmeal in bulk, but I have had to throw some out because of bugs, so it's a toss up.
     
  6. Revengeofthenerds

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    so as a general rule we keep about a month of food on hand at any time. Mostly canned goods or things we can make with boiled water like rice, pasta, beans etc. We have a pretty good sized creek through the place and the idea is to boil water from there in case power goes out for an extended period (it has before, for a week, when there was a fucking snow storm in Texas and my youngest was an infant).

    also look at protein powders, electrolyte powders and the like to keep you going for an extended period. Buoy Hydration makes a real cool little squeeze bottle of electrolytes, I’d link to it but I’m on my phone. Check amazon. It’s great for your line of work anyway to keep in your pocket.
     
  7. Revengeofthenerds

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    If anyone wants I’ll put up a whole bunch of links later to some good products for this stuff. Kinda my wheelhouse.

    I have really bad luck, of course, and have been stuck in everything from hurricanes in Hawaii when I was younger, to earthquakes in Hawaii when I was older, to tornadoes in places that shouldn’t have tornadoes, to bad parts of countries where I don’t speak the language, going good bits without power, to flooding that kept me here and reliant on what we had for a while. Taught myself to trap to fix our hog and armadillo problem (though shooting them is much more fun). Fishing has gotten a bit more like catching here so I’ve made it more difficult on myself, now I use a hand line exclusively.
     
  8. Esian

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    In the event of an actual disaster, I'm pretty much straight fucked.

    My kid's eating habits change so frequently and they are with me sporadically enough that keeping excess food around just results in a lot of wasted food. My own eating habits are up and down enough and I end up changing plans frequently enough when they aren't with me that I'm never more than two meals planned out ahead of time and in general I stop at the grocery store twice a week to just pick up a few things.

    When the pandemic hit and the grocery stores got wiped out it probably should have been a real wake up call for me to actually start stocking up because I quickly realized I have about three days worth of food on hand at any given time. I stocked up on freezer shit after that for a while but didn't continue to do so once the grocery stores went back to normal.

    Fortunately, the only real disastrous weather we face is heavy snowfall and I can't recall it ever being bad enough that I felt that I absolutely had to stay home for anything longer than the night.

    I do have a couple of month supply of booze on hand though... so I guess I could always try and trade with the neighborhood.
     
  9. Fiveslide

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    Everyone really needs nonperishable foods. Stuff you can get by on, even if it's not your normal diet or even things you don't like. I hate cooked vegetables and canned vegetables, but we keep some just in case. I prefer my vegetables raw, crisp, with the exception of corn on the cob.

    When it comes down to it, your child will eat what's available in an actual disaster. They may refuse it at first, but they won't starve themselves for long. Parents these days, myself included especially, let our kids get away with too much pickiness at the dinner table. My parents wouldn't make me my own special meal. Eat what they cooked or go hungry, and I think our children would adjust to that in a disaster, eventually.
     
  10. walt

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    There's an abundance of deer here, and we live in a pretty rural area. Also, I keep chickens, turkeys and ducks so there'd be a plentiful and self populating source of protein, barring theft and predation. I used to be a fur trapper, and kept all my supplies for this reason as well.

    Wood for heat IS labor intensive, no doubt. We have about 10 cord stacked up now. In addition to that, we have a propane fireplace and a gas stove I forgot to mention. While neither are something that would last forever, they would last. And as long as the wood got replenished as we used it ( much like you should your food stores ). It's not perfect, but its the one renewable resource you have for heat.

    A LOT of canned goods. Also, flour, sugar, rice, pasta, etc. I keep the freezer full of meat as well.

    When I first started I was advised to store the stuff you actually LIKE. It doesn't do you any good to have stuff on hand if you wont eat it. Then you take from that in good times and replace it as you go. This way you're rotating your inventory, nothing is going bad.
     
  11. Revengeofthenerds

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    Wind and water knocks out electricity, and we are, sadly, increasingly reliant on small appliances like our cell phones. Accordingly, look into a good solar power bank (that's the one I have and use frequently). The smaller ones are lightweight which is nice, but they only have a tiny solar panel and that really increases how long it takes to charge them on solar alone -- we're talking days for the single panel ones just off solar.

    Of course, if you wanted to increase your available power, you could always look into portable generators which attach to portable solar panels

    You're going to need to look for both what is required to keep you, personally, alive and safe, and then what is required to keep you functioning and efficient work-wise. Some things in those categories will overlap, some things won't.
     
  12. walt

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    A good wind up radio is a morale booster as well. We have one, I should blow the dust off and make sure it works. It was a godsend when the tornadoes happened. It was before smart phones were more common and we had no other way to know what was going on.

    I also recommend having a lot of candles and a couple oil lanterns on hand. Both are pretty cheap.
     
  13. Revengeofthenerds

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    I have this radio and can’t recommend it enough. It gets NOAA and was the only way we knew where the tornadoes were during the last outbreak when power went out and we lost cell signal for radar.

    It’s hand crank, solar, and rechargeable batter through the outlet. Doubles as another backup batter too. Worked so well I got one for the elderly in my family after that last outbreak.
     
  14. joule_thief

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    I've got a similar radio as the one RoTN linked. I kept about 30 days worth of canned goods and about 5 cases of water bottles handy even before COVID, and that's probably extended a bit. I also have 30 days of MREs and water purification if it came to it.

    For more extreme circumstances, I would get out of the city go to a family member's house.

    Come to think of it, I spend an absurd amount of time every couple of months going through my pantry and rotating canned goods.
     
  15. dixiebandit69

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    Whenever I hear 'Nerds or anyone else pull up their pants, cross their arms and say
    "I'm gonna live off the land; I'm in the country!" I chuckle a little.

    Do you realize that if shit hit the fan, every weekend warrior, every litigation attorney trophy-hunter, every neck-beard in camo, is going to descend on the wilderness en masse and decimate those game populations?

    The whole reason why there is so much game out there right now is because the harvesting is regulated.
     
  16. walt

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    In fairness, you have to take into account the human die off as well. A lot of people won't make it, including those wanna be's who will have a heart attack since the only incline they've climbed in the last 10 years is a staircase.

    I meant to post this yesterday, and your post reminded me:

    All of this shit is theoretical. I don't care how well you plan, some shit will go wrong you hadn't anticipated or you weren't nearly as prepared as you thought you were. A lot of those survival "experts"? Completely full of shit. I remember one who I am very familiar with who didn't last 24 hours on a survival show a few years ago. He caught a lot of flack, and rightly so.

    Your #1 survival tool is your brain. Your mental well being and ability to adapt. Because Bandit's right, eventually the wild game, especially the larger species, will be pretty scarce early on. So what then? There's still a lot of protein out there to be had, you just have to be able to wrap your mind around it.
     
  17. downndirty

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    I agree from the perspective of there's not enough wildlife out there to feed 330 million people.

    I dunno about a big die-off, I was concerned during COVID when the meat distribution was interrupted. It wouldn't take much of a shock (especially now) for people to see empty supermarkets and go to hills.
     
  18. Revengeofthenerds

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    yeah so we have deer and the like that stay in this area specifically. Within a half mile or so of us. Well within our property bounds. Because within that half mile is a large creek, as well as a natural spring about 50 yards from the house. I took this picture while I was reading that comment this morning:

    76F7DC68-313A-489E-A376-3B300169E88F.jpeg

    At least a dozen, who go between that area where I feed them, to the ground spring and back. They’re pets, basically, and the 11 point buck closest to the camera I had just gotten done petting behind the ears. Those guys don’t go anywhere.

    In theory, society never gets to that level of break down, but if it does it’s nice to have a backup. Realistically, even during the worst of all this the local grocery stores were still very well stocked.
     
  19. walt

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    Most experts say there's only about three days worth of food in the grocery stores. And a lot of people stop at the store 2-3 times a week.

    I look at times like Hurricane Katrina on a national scale, and the tornadoes we had here. In both instances there were people lining up to be provided for. In New Orleans they stood outside that sports dome, waiting on someone to come save them. Here, they were lining up for free ice and supplies. Meanwhile, I was up the road at Sam's club buying several bags of it to keep food cold.

    My point is, a lot of people wouldn't know what to do. They'd wait around for someone to provide for them until it's too late. And in a complete societal breakdown, I don't think they would survive. Plus, think of the breakdown in the supply chain for medical supplies and other necessities. I could be wrong, but I think a lot of people would be screwed.
     
  20. Wut

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    I live on an island and when the shutdowns started I stocked up on canned and dry goods, as did many other people, resulting in shortages of things like rice. No supply issues occurred but it was a good reminder to keep a decent stock in reserve. I have about three weeks worth of refrigerated and dry and canned goods currently and I'll build up the canned goods later in the summer when we're closer to peak hurricane season.