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incendiary_dan's avatar

Did Hurricane Irene (or some other extreme event) get you into emergency preparedness?

Asked by incendiary_dan (13310 points ) September 1st, 2011

This obviously applies most to those on the east coast of the U.S.

I was perusing one of my usual survival/preparedness forums recently and someone said something to the effect of “I wonder how many preppers will be born out of Hurrican Irene”. Certainly, plenty of people have been without power for days and can now probably appreciate keeping backups for basics around. People tend to pay more attention to this stuff when dramatic events like storms and earthquakes happen (though I think backups and survival strategies are more useful for more mundane things, like economic crisis).

Have you created or improved on your disaster kit because of Irene or another extreme event?

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19 Answers

Dutchess_III's avatar

Every spring I move all the crap away from the cellar door so we have free access to it. That’s about it.

JilltheTooth's avatar

I am always at least minimally prepared for power to be out, I lived many years in places where it was hit or miss all the time.

KateTheGreat's avatar

Nope. I’ve always been quite the prepared one. I have an entire room at my house devoted to extra supplies and emergency items.

I did, however, by a new flashlight. It wasn’t until I had lost power for 13 hours from that damned hurricane that I realized I had lost my old one.

Cruiser's avatar

The Bird Flu scare in 2007 got me started on getting prepared and since then am now CERT and MRC Trained, have survival supplies and now EXACTLY what to and not to do in pretty much any emergency. Ammo is your best currency in a real emergency.

incendiary_dan's avatar

@Cruiser Ah yes, I remember that one. I think that was the one that got my partner finally thinking about prepping seriously. She’s a germophobe, so naturally if there was a pandemic we were going to hide out in the woods for six months. :P

Cruiser's avatar

@incendiary_dan and why I got in with the MRC as they would be the ones dispensing the vaccines and meds. I am guaranteed first dibs!! ;)

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

It was a gradual process. First, it was the older siblings coming home from school intent on creating a bomb shelter in the basement. Then it was 11 years of Girl Scouts where we learned how to dig a latrine, start a fire without matches, conduct first aid, etc. As an adult, it came through required emergency procedure training offered by the hotel company I worked for. Later, is was through experiencing tornado warnings and seeing the aftermath of their hit-and-miss destruction.

Despite all of those lessons, I’m still not prepared as a person should be.

TexasDude's avatar

The fact that a lot of preparedness skills and gear is really cool is what got me into it. A long time ago.

incendiary_dan's avatar

I guess I should answer my own question. I kind of grew up in a survivalist house, in that my parents always kept a pantry stocked with at least a month of food, my dad has a HAM license, we lived near a gun club and my dad taught us how to shoot, and I think a lot of this became more common in the late 90’s because of the whole Y2K thing. But I vaguely remember my parents being into the whole homesteading thing, anyway, just a little bit. And part of that was just the reality of living in the woods in New England, and expecting to lose power and transportation at least once each winter, and of course being poor and having to buy things in bulk.

What really did it for me, though, was my own quests to learn about wildcrafting and wild self-sufficiency, and it sort of grew simultaneously with my political leanings. All of that melded with the emergency preparedness, and voila, here I am.

zenvelo's avatar

The 1991 Northridge Earthquake motivated my ex and I to get earthquake ready. We’d been through the ‘89 Loma Prieta, but Northridge was much more of a wake up call.

abysmalbeauty's avatar

We got power back today at 9pm after losing it early Sunday afternoon. In the future I will buy bigger lights and will throw away the food in the fridge sooner.

incendiary_dan's avatar

@abysmalbeauty If you cook food after the power has been out for a while, it lasts longer. This is particularly true of meats.

Brian1946's avatar

@zenvelo

Were you living in the affected area of the Northridge quake when it happened?

El_Cadejo's avatar

Since I took a wilderness survival class 2 summers ago ive always had a little survival kit handy.

incendiary_dan's avatar

Do you all have water purification handled? I realize that a lot of people overlook that. I didn’t have it appropriately handled for a long time, but now I have a few methods for purifying drinking water. If you were one of the people cut off and without power for possibly weeks, would you be screwed because you forgot water?

El_Cadejo's avatar

I have a nifty little portable filter for hiking :)

incendiary_dan's avatar

@uberbatman What kind of volume can that handle? I’ve thought about getting one, but they’re often expensive for the small ones. I might just buy another ceramic element and make one out of an old coffee container.

El_Cadejo's avatar

It can do about a gallon before it needs cleaning if you’re using it in a muky river. It pumps water pretty fast though, only takes a min or so to get a gallon. Cleaning is extremely easy as well, just need to pop out the ceramic and wipe it down. Im not sure how long exactly the ceramic lasts but by the look of mine it still has a lot of life in it. Though if I had to guess ive only put ~25 gallons through it.

I think i got mine for around 55 at REI but im not positive.

zenvelo's avatar

@Brian1946 No, I was and still live in Northern California. But I was affected by it because of the Los Angeles branch of the business I work for. Even though it was in downtown LA, it was affected by the quake. The “uninterruptable power supply” was interrupted because they hadn’t kept the battery bank fresh.

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