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flowerseverywhere
10-18-11, 8:00am
As I read various threads here and listen to the news and read books and websites, I feel that part of simple living is being prepared. I would like to discuss planning so you only have to go to the grocery store once a week, to being prepared for the most likely natural disasters, all the way to having stockpiles in an emergency such as a financial collapse or other disaster.

What strategies have you followed to be prepared? Do you make sure you have some cash on hand? Do you have water and food? Could you listen to the radio and prepare food without electricity?

Many years ago we had a freak fall storm and my area lost electricity for over a week, some people longer. I remember the first morning we couldn't figure out how to make coffee or listen to the radio, so we did some preparations so we won't be in that predicament again. But I don't know how much is too much, or what to expect in the future with all the turmoil in the economies around the world and the constant threat of natural disasters none of us can hide from.

herbgeek
10-18-11, 10:10am
I used to camp, so I have supplemental lighting and cooking stuff. We have a woodstove in our house, we use mostly for atmosphere but can heat most of the house in a pinch. I recently bought a weather band radio after we had a freak tornado come through the area and I lost power. I had a battery operated radio, but there were no warnings at all, they were playing music.

I have a hot tub that can be tapped for emergency toilet flushing. Usually have a few weeks of canned goods, and some cash nearby. Fairly prepared for minor and usual emergencies, but not huge ones that take out the power grid for a long time.

Mrs-M
10-18-11, 2:58pm
In the big scheme of things, not much. Our home is well stocked with staples such as homemade canned goods and the freezer-full of meat/frozen goods, but aside from that we live in an area where fresh running water is plentiful, as is wild game, so short of having to go outside to light a fire to cook (in the event of downed electricity), everything we need is close at hand and/or within easy access. And, as with all things small community, people tend to pull together at times of need, helping and assisting others the best one can. I'm definitely an optimist when it comes to this.

treehugger
10-18-11, 5:41pm
I live in earthquake country so I think about this from time to time.

My normal cycle for grocery shopping is every 2 weeks, and we could of course survive just fine on the food that's in the house for a lot longer than that. We have a gas stove that can be lit without electricity, but if it was an earthquake that caused the power failure, then we couldn't use our gas lines for awhile, either. But we have outdoor propane and charcoal grills for cooking.

We have a pool, so plenty of water for toilet flushing and dish washing (after boiling), and even bathing. We have lots of candles and flashlights and batteries. We have a wood stove we could use to heat the house, but we don't have a lot of wood around. We have a wind-up radio. We could charge our cell phones in our cars (we don't have a landline).

Drinking water is probably our biggest contstraint. We do keep some milk gallon bottles full of water, but I don't change that out as often as I should. It wouldn't kill us, but it would taste stale.

We don't keep much cash on hand.

We also have several good neighbors, to help with whatever.

Good topic,

Kara

Marianne
10-18-11, 7:22pm
We have private wells, one an old hand dug, so I could do the bucket brigade for water - plus we have a full container of chlorine tablets for disinfecting. I thought we had a hand crank pump out there, but DH said it wasn't. When a storm is coming, I fill up everything we have with water. No power means no water, here.

We heat with wood, so I could and do easily cook on the wood burner. We have two old cast iron stoves that could be made into outdoor cooking areas in warmer weather. We have the stuff to make three VAWTS (except batteries!!), several passive solar units and a rocket stove. DH just tells me that we have bigger fish to fry. *sigh* All info is either in book form or printed off.

I have a notebook with various home remedies for cough, cold, antiseptic, high blood pressure, etc. Plus all the make it from scratch recipes are in a couple binders. I have printed sheets of wild edibles in our area. We do have chickens, but would most likely eat vegetarian if SHTF.
Lots of stuff in the freezer, so if we had no power, I'd be cooking and canning in a flash. I also have a couple gallon bags of kibble for the dogs in the freezer...just in case, ya know? But it's more in case we get snowed in here for a few days.

I won't stock up on TP, shampoo, stuff like that. I know how to make simple hair cleaner, soap, etc. Instead of water to flush, I'd go with a composting type setup with 5 gallon buckets and a toilet seat. Instead of TP, there's rags! JMO

Ditto on the neighbors helping each other. I have black angus cattle and a little growing herd of goats around here. SIL and grandson are hunters/trappers. Everyone knows that if it's a disaster situation, they best get to walking to our place. Everyone brings something (skills, information, manual labor!) to the table. We have a big house, woods in the back, plenty of hunting around here.

We don't have a crank radio or crank flashlight. We also do not keep much cash here. You can't put ketchup on money and eat it. JMO, again.

jp1
10-18-11, 9:52pm
We live in earthquake country too, so I was glad when we bought the propane grill since it could suffice for cooking if our gas service is out. We're in san francisco so it never gets cold enough that heating would be an issue. I keep 15 gallons of water on hand (Since SO uses distilled for his cpap so we have plenty of clean bottles and I keep adding to our collection of stored water over time.) We have lots of candles and buy stuff like pasta and canned tomatoes in bulk so food wouldn't be an issue as quickly as water would be. I also keep about $3,000 cash on hand in case we need to leave quickly and the atm's are out. (I've done this ever since 9/11 when I lived in manhattan but was in NJ that morning and couldn't get home and none of the atm's were working for several hours.) Our basic plan in the event of earthquake or other disaster is that we'll have enough food, etc, to survive easily for up to a week if we have to and if the disaster is going to be longer then that then we'll figure out how to leave.

One of the things that makes me a bit nervous as far as preparing goes is that SO is the #3 guy at the largest hotel in town, so depending on the nature/scope of the disaster he'll most likely be working 24 hours/day, leaving me to deal with all home issues such as getting the cats out in the event that we can't continue living in our apartment.

jania
10-19-11, 9:41am
I am really bad about being prepared and have to admit I can feel overwhelmed about stockpiling supplies. I recently checked out the book "Just In Case" by Kathy Harrison and it has some good ideas. The author suggests just getting supplies on hand little by little which sounds good to me so that is what I'm doing. Instead of trying to purchase a weeks worth of food all at once I'm getting just a little at a time, the same with water and little by little I've begun to create an "evacuation" backpack. It's now become an enjoyable and "doable" project for me. What I probably don't like the most is the idea of rotating out and replacing the food and water, once I've got it I just want to leave it.....I understand the rotation process, so everything will be fresh or at least useable when/if needed but it seems like such a hassle.

Marianne
10-20-11, 7:22am
Some things won't need to be rotated that often, though. You'll get into a routine.
I haven't read the book, does she say to mark dates on products? The expiration date on canned goods, etc is a farce. Those things will still be good long past that date.
Depending on how much and what items you're stockpiling, there are options available to help with long term storage.

ctg492
10-20-11, 10:59am
Alas, we talk about every so often, after a tornado that left our area with out power for a week. OH dear what about the coffee?? was husband's issue. After a gas scare a few years ago in our town. After all the stuff that has gone on lately in the world. Yet we do not seem to do much :(
Growing up in the city, my mom always was worried about milk and bananas, at 80 something she still has to be ready for the storm with those two items. I was little and aways wondered why we could not just walk if we ran out of milk in the snow storm. Kinda funny, Mom was in the hospital for 10 non planned days a few years ago. I believe it ended up being the biggest snow storm ever in the area. I was stuck out in the country with no plows from three days, Dad could not get out for a few days either. We all joked it was the one and only time she could have been prepared with milk and bananas and she was not home.
Must put that on the list to get prepared.

flowerseverywhere
10-20-11, 12:20pm
Living where there are ice storms and big snow storms and growing up with Hurricanes has us probably more prepared than most.
We have a generator and keep the cars more than half full at all times, and have several cans of gas. We could keep the house warm enough.
We have alternate cooking sources such as grill, solar oven and camping stove. A crank radio and light and candles are always in stock, as well as replacement batteries for them.
We have food that can be eaten cold or heated up such as soups etc that could last for several weeks at least.
I have half a dozen recipes that can be easily prepared, such as pea and lentil soups.
We keep some emergency cash in both cars, and some in the house. Small bills and change.
I try to keep at least one ahead of things like toothpaste, animal food etc. but we don't stockpile much more than that.
I save milk containers and constantly rotate water out of the big freezer and replace it. I also have half a dozen containers of various juices.
We could use a bucket toilet system.
We try to be as self sufficient as possible, garden, do most of our own repairs and try to keep in good health.

without power atm's don't work, but neither do gas pumps. When we get big storms they tell everyone to stay off the roads so we can stay inside for a week or so and not need much.

treehugger
10-20-11, 6:01pm
Speaking of earthquake country, we just had a big jolt of an earthquake here at the office (on the 5th floor of a 10-story building). It was only a 4.2, which is certainly not big, but it was centered about 7 miles from here so we really felt it and heard a big boom, which I think was the windows shaking. My cube neighbor yelled, "Jesus!" which made me jump and then we all laughed. It was an exciting quake. :)

What's funny is that this morning there was a big state-wide earthquake drill. Good timing!

Kara

ljevtich
10-21-11, 8:52pm
As I read various threads here and listen to the news and read books and websites, I feel that part of simple living is being prepared.

1. I would like to discuss planning so you only have to go to the grocery store once a week.

2. to being prepared for the most likely natural disasters, and all the way to having stockpiles in an emergency such as a financial collapse or other disaster.

3. What strategies have you followed to be prepared?
4. Do you make sure you have some cash on hand?
5. Do you have water and food?
6. Could you listen to the radio and prepare food without electricity?

7... But I don't know how much is too much, or what to expect in the future with all the turmoil in the economies around the world and the constant threat of natural disasters none of us can hide from.

I cut up the OP original post to reply in a more logical way.

1. First, make up a price sheet of the foods that you eat all of the time. Which foods are ones that you can stockpile and eat: Cold/or room temp in case of refrigerator not working; Dried goods are best, of course, no refrig needed, but usually need water. Canned goods are usually heavy, and can not always be transported easily if you have to bug out.
a. Several books and websites come to mind, that I used so that it was not so overwhelming:
1) Amy Dacyczyn's Tightwad Gazette books, the bible for frugalness.
2) http://www.sundaysaver.com/category/grocery every grocery store that has a Sunday flyer is here.
3) In September of 2007, I was reading tons of books about being off-grid and how to prepare, so any of the books that is on that page: http://www.laura-n-sasha.com/FTSeptember2007.htm would be good, but especially Making the Best of Basics, Sprouting Book, and Country Living.

2. & 3. Being prepared will depend on several factors:
a) http://www.theplacewithnoname.com/blogs/klessons/index.html About Hurricane Katrina, the author experienced it and wrote about it. Lots of great information here.
b) Hopefully this is not one of the possibilities, but you never know (it is fiction, but could happen): The day the dollar died (http://johngaltfla.com/wordpress/category/the-day-the-dollar-died-series/) I was reading it, but got away from it, and then he made it into a PDF full version, which is good, considering how it was hard to read as a blog.
c) The books on the September 2007 page, as well as October 2007: http://www.laura-n-sasha.com/FTOctober2007.htm
d) http://www.thesurvivalpodcast.com/ (http://www.thesurvivalpodcast.com/)This one goes way out there, but it is good. Again, I have not listened to it in a while, as he was a little crazy for a bit.

3. So what strategies have you followed to be prepared?
a) well, we are better equiped to survive some possiblities. Such as having cash on hand, or a way to get to cash.
b) Well stocked for food and other necessities for 6 months even in a RV.
c) Seeds and sprouting items
d) Books and knowledge on things that are important, like gardening and changing the oil of our truck
e) Know how to use all of the systems in our home from the solar panels, to the electricial systems, to the water and sewer systems. No technician needed!
f) Fully stocked with propane, gasoline and diesel for our truck, motorcycles, and RV. Our truck has a 110 gallon tank, so we can go at least 1200 miles before refueling. We have our own gas station on the RV (it is a toyhauler with a 30 gallon tank) and two thirty pound containers for propane. We conserve so we have yet to go through them fully yet.
g) 100 gallon tank for fresh water, and enough bleach to make water potable if necessary.
h) Knowledge is the key, though, and not something you just look up on the computer. Knowing First Aid and CPR, how to live without electricity, supplimenting your food through gardening, knowing your household and vehicles inside and out, how things work and how to make things go, these are just as important as how much food you have stocked, because if you don't have electricity, can you cook food over a fire? Or over a propane grill? If you ran out of water, do you know how to use the water hiding in your home? Etc.

4. Yes

5. Yes

6. Yes, we have solar panels, but if we do not have electricity, others may not have it either, so there might not be the radio to listen to!

7. And you won't know whether it is too much or not until you are IN IT and IT is real. No one has a crystal ball to see the future, but isn't it better to be prepared and know stuff?

Thanks for asking these questions, I went back to several of the websites I have listed above, and might again read them over.

jania
10-21-11, 10:26pm
Marianne, yes I'm paying attention to the expiration date on the food, trying to just purchase things that can sit around for at least a year and dating them. So far I have 4 cans of soup (woohoo!) and a few gallons of water...hey, I'm trying.

Some things I already have, like crank flashlights and first aid supplies so they just need to get organized in one place.

Marianne
10-22-11, 6:56am
Marianne, yes I'm paying attention to the expiration date on the food, trying to just purchase things that can sit around for at least a year and dating them. So far I have 4 cans of soup (woohoo!) and a few gallons of water...hey, I'm trying.

Some things I already have, like crank flashlights and first aid supplies so they just need to get organized in one place.

Canned food (vitamins, etc) really will be good long past the expiration date so don't worry too much about that. I don't stockpile enough canned foods, etc to really worry about marking the purchased date on them, but a friend does. Then she just uses the oldest dated stuff first.

The Latter Day Saints (Mormons) used to have an old online list of what you needed stocked for a two year (I think) supply. You just bought $5 worth of stuff every week (not that $5 is going to go nearly as far today!).

I'm thankful that I have private wells so I don't have to stockpile water. That in itself would be a real pain if I lived in an apartment or small quarters. I don't stockpile like some do, but I'm already stocked up on a few kinds of dried beans, rice, oatmeal, dried milk, seasonings, oils/fats, flour, peanut butter, nuts...and my freezer is so full with garden stuff that I couldn't get a toothpick in there. Not that it would last long if we didn't have power for an extended period of time. Sigh. But I'm not trying to prepare for a real SHTF type disaster, either. I just like having my own grocery store in my home. :o)

One of the craziest posts I read on another forum a long time ago, was from a gal that had stocked up 37 boxes of Tide. She hadn't started stocking any food yet, but...... LOL. The ingredients to make a year or two of homemade laundry soap would have cost maybe $12 and taken up the same shelf space as two boxes of purchased. I'm all about homemade stuff! I spent less than $25 for an entire years worth of cleaning and laundry supplies. Simple stuff, but it works. I have recipes for this stuff on my blog or you can google homemade ___ to get a variety of recipes using simple ingredients.

flowerseverywhere
10-22-11, 8:27am
a. Several books and websites come to mind, that I used so that it was not so overwhelming:
1) Amy Dacyczyn's Tightwad Gazette books, the bible for frugalness.
2) http://www.sundaysaver.com/category/grocery every grocery store that has a Sunday flyer is here.
3) In September of 2007, I was reading tons of books about being off-grid and how to prepare, so any of the books that is on that page: http://www.laura-n-sasha.com/FTSeptember2007.htm would be good, but especially Making the Best of Basics, Sprouting Book, and Country Living.

2. & 3. Being prepared will depend on several factors:
a) http://www.theplacewithnoname.com/blogs/klessons/index.html About Hurricane Katrina, the author experienced it and wrote about it. Lots of great information here.
b) Hopefully this is not one of the possibilities, but you never know (it is fiction, but could happen): The day the dollar died (http://johngaltfla.com/wordpress/category/the-day-the-dollar-died-series/) I was reading it, but got away from it, and then he made it into a PDF full version, which is good, considering how it was hard to read as a blog.
c) The books on the September 2007 page, as well as October 2007: http://www.laura-n-sasha.com/FTOctober2007.htm
d) http://www.thesurvivalpodcast.com/This one goes way out there, but it is good. Again, I have not listened to it in a while, as he was a little crazy for a bit.


I had forgotten about the place with no name. I had read that at one point and it made me really think about preparedness. I do some voluntter work for the Red Cross and know people that were deployed post Katrina and they came back with horror stories. I will do some reading of the other information. thank you. His story is compelling.

Marianne, great ideas. I hadn't even thought of things like laundry detergent, but I basically use vinegar anyway for cleaning, not a lot of fancy products in my house. Overall I don't want to have to depend on Government help. Obviously right now funding emergency aid is not high on the list of the Washington powers that be.

One interesting thing is that one hundred or so years ago telephone, television, personal cars, electricity, refrigeration were either uncommon for the population or not invented yet. Naturally people had to be self sufficient or die. Today we don't have the experience of learning as we grow up how to survive. One thing that strikes me is if things go south in a man made or natural disaster we may not have access to many things that we take for granted. Phones may not work. Internet access may be unavailable so looking things up might not be possible. So it makes me think I should have printed information available to me about many of the basic things that are necessary to survive or get help. I do have a copy of Carla Emery's book, The Encyclopedia of Country living, and the tight wad gazette, but I think gathering information on herbal remedies, first aid, gardening and survival is a good idea. Also keeping a notebook with all of your contact information for family, agencies like fema and the Red Cross could prove very valuable some day.

Spartana
10-22-11, 4:53pm
Great list Laura! Lots of long term survival tips too. I'm more equipted for short term survival with lots of water, canned food, barbque, flashlight, candles, several thousand dollars in cash, first aid stuff, basic handtools, and some guns for home protection. I'm in earthquake country too so have a tendancy to stash some of that stuff - especially water - outside the house in case it collapses, as well as have basic camping supplies like a tent, in case I can't live inside my house. I can probably live in my backyard for a couple of weeks up to a couple of months or more like that. Being in SoCal I don't have to worry about needing power for heating or cooling as it's moderate year round. I also have a small backpack with some basic survival gear like a single person tent, flint to start a fire, small sterno cook stove, freeze dried food, water purification tablets and pump, first aid kit, extra boots & warm clothes, buck knive, extra ammo, etc... - even a very powerful slingshot and mini crossbow for hunting if needed in case I have to leave my area on foot fast. I also have a tendency to keep my vehicle gassed up in case I need to go fast (also in wildfire country!). All my important papers and a few irreplacable photos are in one small briefcase sized safe I can just grab. For very long term post apocolyptic stuff, well... I have guns and lots of ammo ;-)!

I also have a cousin that lives far out of the area that Sis and I would contact, and where we meet up, in the event communications in our area were down and/or we had to flee.

Spartana
10-22-11, 5:09pm
Also I have pet food and extra stuff stashed away for the dogs as well as a carrier.

Spartana
10-22-11, 5:20pm
.

without power atm's don't work, but neither do gas pumps. When we get big storms they tell everyone to stay off the roads so we can stay inside for a week or so and not need much.

Here in SoCal we recently had a huge power outage that encompassed most of SoCal - including the highly populated Orange and San Diego Counties - and parts of sw az. Millions of people and business were without power. It happened a few hours before the evening commute and lasted into the next day. People (commuters) were stranded at gas stations all night because the pumps wouldn't work. Many ran out of gas on the roads and freeways trying to get to a place where the power was on. It was a terrible disaster for many who couldn't get home, couldn't pick up their kids from daycare or school, etc... Many were stranded in elevators and stuck on freeways and roads for hours and hours because of traffic backup due to traffic lights down. All the hotels were taken and no rooms were available, cell phones didn't work (overloaded), emergency vehicles couldn't get thru, and many many people were stranded in their cars overnight. it was a mess! And that was less than one day! So even with ther best planning it's hard to plan where you'll be and what you'll need when it actually happens. Keeping supplies in a car, and the car gassed up, and an emergeny plan in case you aren't near your home and family in a disaster is important too.

flowerseverywhere
10-22-11, 11:25pm
I have been perusing the preparedness sites and I am getting the overwhelming feeling that many are set up to sell you something and make a profit. I think I am going to focus on the following:

having several months of prepared food like soup, baked beans, granola, dried fruits etc. that you could heat up or even eat cold if need be without a lot of added water or fuel. Preparing Granola in bulk and putting in airtight containers for example seems to be a pretty doable and logical step. You could figure out mixtures that give you most of your nutrients that even taste good.

Learning to fish, getting my gardening skills up to par, foraging ( I have to first figure out what you can eat around here), starting a fire- none of these things have any negative value and you get to be outside and enjoy life.

Doing some camping dry runs to make sure everything works and is useful. My next step is to convince DH that a small camper could be a boon in a situation where we would have to leave out primary residence. Also a great place to store a lot of your basic survival supplies.

storing more water. I see the emphasis on this more than anything on any of the preparedness sites. Purifiers, chemical tablets, storage containers and sources are very important to know about to figure out what is best for you.

having the information you need in printed form. With more and more information being online it is especially important to have written records of the things that are most important. It may be great to have my favorite recipe sites bookmarked however if I have no electricity I better be able to prepare my steel cut oats and split pea soup without the internet.

bae
6-26-12, 9:50pm
I just took this shot (the photo, silly...) about 10 minutes ago, to illustrate the unique challenges of deer hunting where I live....

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-B8Vt193Y6AQ/T-pjDfPQoJI/AAAAAAAAFr8/VaMHtg5Tu80/s800/Awesomized.jpg

try2bfrugal
6-26-12, 10:10pm
Love the deer picture. I wish we had them in our yard more often.

I went through and put emergency packs in all of the cars. I catch my husband taking them out now and them to improve gas mileage. It is okay, though as he usually only does that when we are about to go on a long trip. :)

I never did get around to making one for the house. I need to make a kit for the house and recheck all of the car packs as I am sure the food is all expired and the water is probably all long gone.

ToomuchStuff
6-26-12, 10:24pm
I just took this shot (the photo, silly...) about 10 minutes ago, to illustrate the unique challenges of deer hunting where I live....

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-B8Vt193Y6AQ/T-pjDfPQoJI/AAAAAAAAFr8/VaMHtg5Tu80/s800/Awesomized.jpg

How to not shoot the car behind the deer?:laff:

Tradd
6-26-12, 11:27pm
I love that Listening to Katrina blog. I did the document things the writer talks about, including having an encrypted flash drive on me at all times with scans of my wallet contents, birth certificate, passport, apartment lease (to prove residency, if needed), recent paycheck stub, etc.

I live in a small apartment, so there's only so much I can stockpile. I'm working on increasing my canned food stash (soup and the like). I have an electric stove in my apt. Since I don't have a patio/balcony on which to cook with a camping stove, I have some cans of sterno (safe to store) and a little folding metal stove that goes with them. I can heat up a can of ravioli in about five minutes.

I have a windup flashlight that lives next to my bed. I also have a workhorse of a little AM/FM/shortwave radio I bought from LL Bean maybe 8 years ago. Takes 2 AA batteries and is my daily radio. I have a few other battery-operated lanterns, two headlamps, plenty of batteries. No candles for me, to be on the safe side. Need to build up a cash stash and do a bag for the car. I'm in the Midwest, aka tornado country, so I recently got a NOAA weather radio. It's portable (looks like a walkie-talkie), takes both batteries and wall adapter. $40 at Home Depot, with the flashlights. I even found a battery-operated fan for $5 at Home Depot.

I have a small $10 Tracfone that I keep as a backup to my regular smartphone. I have books to read and writing materials to keep myself amused. I'm TV free, so that's not an issue.

My possible emergencies would be summer/winter storms that took out the power for a few days. After a day or two, depending on the weather (such as how much snow), I would leave and go to a friend's that had power. As I'm just one person and no pets, I wouldn't be too much of a burden. ;)

try2bfrugal
6-27-12, 12:25am
How to not shoot the car behind the deer?:laff:

If he was in our yard you couldn't shoot him or your car. :)

kitten
6-27-12, 4:42pm
I often wonder what would happen in our city if there were a real disaster. People here can't even handle a concert, sports event or parade without becoming blithering foundering idiots, so I shudder to think what would ensue if something really went wrong.

We live in a tiny studio apartment in town. No way to store a damn thing in there, but we do have an offsite studio where we could fit a few water jugs and other supplies.

We once got trapped overnight in the airport here during a freak snowstorm. Within minutes everything just sort of went dark - the restaurants closed up so their employees could rush home, all the rental cars got rented, buses stopped running, the food drained out of the vending machines, and we were stuck in this freezing place for frickin' hours. Couldn't even get a cup of coffee. We walked around, trying to stay warm, and then collapsed on the icy floor and tried to sleep. In the morning it was like an angel had descended from heaven when one of the coffee shops opened and we could get something to eat and drink!

I think our city is massively unprepared for any emergency that could befall it, and I'm afraid we'd be plunged into Mad Max-style dystopia within minutes. I just envision endless lines for food and water, and then people going nuts and rioting. City life is convenient because everything you need is right there. But what happens when it isn't there anymore? City folk can't suddenly become farmers or self-sustaining in their studio apartments. What would they live off of, the tomatoes they try to grow on their windowsills?

mara61
6-28-12, 11:34am
I just took this shot (the photo, silly...) about 10 minutes ago, to illustrate the unique challenges of deer hunting where I live....

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-B8Vt193Y6AQ/T-pjDfPQoJI/AAAAAAAAFr8/VaMHtg5Tu80/s800/Awesomized.jpg



Lol. Love the photo Bae

cjones
6-28-12, 6:30pm
I often wonder what would happen in our city if there were a real disaster. People here can't even handle a concert, sports event or parade without becoming blithering foundering idiots, so I shudder to think what would ensue if something really went wrong.

We live in a tiny studio apartment in town. No way to store a damn thing in there, but we do have an offsite studio where we could fit a few water jugs and other supplies.

We once got trapped overnight in the airport here during a freak snowstorm. Within minutes everything just sort of went dark - the restaurants closed up so their employees could rush home, all the rental cars got rented, buses stopped running, the food drained out of the vending machines, and we were stuck in this freezing place for frickin' hours. Couldn't even get a cup of coffee. We walked around, trying to stay warm, and then collapsed on the icy floor and tried to sleep. In the morning it was like an angel had descended from heaven when one of the coffee shops opened and we could get something to eat and drink!

I think our city is massively unprepared for any emergency that could befall it, and I'm afraid we'd be plunged into Mad Max-style dystopia within minutes. I just envision endless lines for food and water, and then people going nuts and rioting. City life is convenient because everything you need is right there. But what happens when it isn't there anymore? City folk can't suddenly become farmers or self-sustaining in their studio apartments. What would they live off of, the tomatoes they try to grow on their windowsills?

I could have written almost every word of this--except when we got stuck at an airport it was during that summer power outage. We have no space to store anything beyond an extra jar of peanut butter and a jug of water. My biggest fear is if something happens to the water supply. I don't see how anyone living in a small space in a major urban area can be prepared.

didinicole
6-28-12, 6:35pm
We havent really prepared for a week long power outage, but we do have a number of portable solar panels. The ones we have come from d.light, and they can be hooked into a torch or charge a mobile phone. We are looking into getting solar panels installed on the house. That would help on making coffee and radio listening in a major emergency situation.

ApatheticNoMore
6-28-12, 11:55pm
For serious long term collapse scenarious someone needs to study the greek situation in depth. Fit is hitting the shan there, no medications (good grief get those people some medications!) etc. For something short term like an earthquake though I keep many jugs of water and some food and flashlights, not the best prepared in the world. :\

bae
6-29-12, 12:45am
Argentina's economic troubles also provide some handy lessons. There are some books and blogs about it if you go looking:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argentine_economic_crisis_(1999%E2%80%932002)

Tiam
6-29-12, 2:05am
I live in earthquake country so I think about this from time to time.

My normal cycle for grocery shopping is every 2 weeks, and we could of course survive just fine on the food that's in the house for a lot longer than that. We have a gas stove that can be lit without electricity, but if it was an earthquake that caused the power failure, then we couldn't use our gas lines for awhile, either. But we have outdoor propane and charcoal grills for cooking.

We have a pool, so plenty of water for toilet flushing and dish washing (after boiling), and even bathing. We have lots of candles and flashlights and batteries. We have a wood stove we could use to heat the house, but we don't have a lot of wood around. We have a wind-up radio. We could charge our cell phones in our cars (we don't have a landline).

Drinking water is probably our biggest contstraint. We do keep some milk gallon bottles full of water, but I don't change that out as often as I should. It wouldn't kill us, but it would taste stale.

We don't keep much cash on hand.

We also have several good neighbors, to help with whatever.

Good topic,

Kara

I'm working hard on my household stash. I'm trying to save enough for 6 months survival, which would be about 12000.00 I'd say I'm about 10,000.00 off. I have unrotated water. But bleach in case of contamination. Some canned and dry food, but I don't think we would do ok past 2 weeks and we'd be living spare. No way to cook inside. Yet. Electric crank lights. Need batteries for the radio.

nocar
7-9-12, 12:36pm
I went from living in blizzard land / super cold winters to hurricane country so I'm used to being prepared ;)

We have 3 and 5-gallon water jugs filled at all times, plus lots of canned foods. I have camp stoves, headlamps and such from when I did a lot of camping.

ljevtich
7-31-12, 3:04pm
I often wonder what would happen in our city if there were a real disaster. People here can't even handle a concert, sports event or parade without becoming blithering foundering idiots, so I shudder to think what would ensue if something really went wrong.

While I do not think people will turn into Blithering foundering idiots, the June 2012 derecho (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/June_2012_North_American_derecho) that went through the midwest clear to Washington DC metro area and up to New Jersey was a horrific disaster that left 3.7 Million people without power, some for 2 weeks. It was also during an extreme heat wave, and the storm killed over 22 people.

While we were not in that area, our families are and my sis-in-law's family were without power for a while, my parents-in-laws were ok, but lots of our friends were without power, some for almost two weeks. They were going to the offices to cool down, and the government had buses that were used as "cooling stations". While there was not the mass hysteria, being without power for millions of people showed that people were not prepared. While the food supply was still OK, the amounts of wasted food was probably pretty big.

I do know some folks, after this happened, went out and got commercialized connected generator to their homes. Using Natural gas, this makes sense, so that you do not have to have a gasoline tank at home, you just have it connected underground and it needs no electricity. You figure, if you can do this for a natural gas grill, why not for electricity of your home?

Spartana
7-31-12, 4:16pm
Did ya all hear about the power outage in India yesterday that left over 300 million people without power? Pretty crazy!

Lainey
7-31-12, 9:18pm
Did ya all hear about the power outage in India yesterday that left over 300 million people without power? Pretty crazy!

Yes, heard it's now over 600 million. The shakiness of their grid infrastructure is being blamed - same problem that hit us in the U.S. in Aug. 2003, I think.

Blackdog Lin
8-3-12, 8:28pm
A lesson maybe for us? Maybe being a prepper, or at least having some preparedness supplies, is not a totally insane and out-there thing?

I know it's India, but still, 600 million people without power.....that's rather huge.

What makes people like us think that it couldn't happen here?

SteveinMN
8-3-12, 10:20pm
What makes people like us think that it couldn't happen here?
There have been some very large blackouts in the U.S. over the years; Lainey mentioned one of the most recent. I lived through the first two New York blackouts. Well, "lived through" implies they were a trial, and, for us, I think the toughest parts was not knowing what was going on. It certainly could happen here.

But I think people like to play the odds on such things. Here in Minnesota, we had the Interstate 35 bridge fall into the river five years ago, almost to the day. There are lots of contributory reasons why, but our Governor and legislators chipping away at maintenance budgets for years didn't help. I think everyone just wants to kick the cans down the road and hope they're not still there when the damage occurs. In the U.S., we have particular issues with erecting new power plants since nuclear is all but off the table and coal, though cheap to buy and run, exacts its price in pollution. Try to get people to conserve energy, though, and all of a sudden you're accused of running a "nanny state". So I don't expect much positive movement anytime soon. :treadmill:

flowerseverywhere
8-3-12, 10:31pm
In the U.S., we have particular issues with erecting new power plants since nuclear is all but off the table and coal, though cheap to buy and run, exacts its price in pollution. Try to get people to conserve energy, though, and all of a sudden you're accused of running a "nanny state". So I don't expect much positive movement anytime soon. :treadmill:

well they actually are getting ready to build some new nuclear power plants (I believe South Carolina and Georgia) and around us they are erecting new wind turbines up here in NY. I am not saying either solution is perfect, but every little bit helps. I also agree we are missing the boat in not promoting conservation.

Day after day here in upstate NY we are the only house on my street not running air conditioning. We close drapes and curtains on the sunny side, try not to generate heat and when the sun comes down open every window up and run some fans. So far so good. Also we sleep downstairs in the intense heat, when we just have two adults we can adapt. I expect in an electric emergency we will do much better than those who are used to cranking up the air. Of course, if you have an infant, an old person or a sick person in your house it is much more difficult.