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Cruiser's avatar

Are you prepared for disaster either the natural or man made kind?

Asked by Cruiser (34962 points ) February 12th, 2014

Do you have supplies to carry you through a few days or more of hunkering down at home or even while on the road? For those unlucky ones enduring this nightmare ice storm…are you prepared or caught off guard? Reports of stores with shelves made bare by panicked shoppers because of this current winter storm named ‘Snowpocalypse’ underscores this need to be prepared in advance. Are you?

Go to Ready.gov to find out everything you need to know about being prepared for when disaster strikes.

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26 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

I am prepared for this next wintry blast but not for Armaggedon. I am about to shower and shampoo unnecessarily since I might not be able to over the next few days; ditto with emptying the litter box today in only 4” of snow rather than tomorrow in 12”.

If things get really rough. @LuckyGuy will harness up the dogs and head east to rescue us.

syz's avatar

I’ve got a tank full of gas, my propane heater is full in case of power outages, medications refilled, dog and cat food are stocked up…but doesn’t matter, I have to make it in to work regardless.

Cruiser's avatar

@syz I know what you mean there. My old boss got all the key employees SUV’s for company cars so there would be absolutely no excuse for not getting to work.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I am always ready. Some people might even consider me a bit over the top. Tough! You will never see me panicking or waiting in line.
I have 2 heating oil tanks in the basement that can easily last me an entire season – if I did not heat with wood. I have at least 2 years of wood, split and stacked, for heat.
I have:
– gasoline and kerosene in the barn and rotate the stock periodically so it stays fresh.
– enough candles and matches to light a church alter for a year as well as batteries and flashlights.
– a small generator 1.1kW that can take care of the refrigerator, freezer and sump pump and limited lights.
– bottled water, canned food and other longer life items like toilet paper, paper towels, tissues.
I can last a looonng time.

(And I have ammo.)

gailcalled's avatar

@LuckyGuy, If you fail me, my back-up plan is to move in with my sister and bro-in-law down the road and their new big, gas-operated generator.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@gailcalled I would be honored to be your host. I have plenty of extra everything – except cat food.
All is not lost. I have about 200–300 pounds of kitty litter in the barn for cleaning up oil spills and weighing down the back end of the car in winter.

JLeslie's avatar

I’m not always in a complete state of preparation, but the typical disaster we get in FL is hurricanes, so we get a little warning. During hurricane season I am better prepared than out of season, and then if there is a hurricane within 3 days away I ramp it all up.

The list goes like this:

Check flash lights and batteries (I do have one flashlight radio that works on hand crank). Kniw where a couple candles are and matches.

4 gallons of drinking water. (The recommendation is more actually).

Fill gas tanks.

Buy packaged foods for 3 days. I already have other foods that will work if we actually need more than 3 days of food.

Make lots and lots of ice. Ice that will be maintained in the freezer and also ice for styrofoam and Igloo containers.

Fill bathtubs with water.

Make sure I have a few hundred dollars in cash.

Put up shutters if we have them.

I have both a landline phone and cell phone. Although my landline is through the cable so it has a stronger likelihood of going out than a real old fashioned landline.

Bring inside anything around the property that can easily be picked up by wind. All patio furniture, loose branches, etc.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Everyone should play the “camping out game” twice per year – once in the summer and once in the winter. Pretend the power goes out and see what you need. The kids love it and adults can enjoy the time too. Do it on a Friday or Saturday night and call it a date night.
You will learn a lot about your state of preparedness – and it costs you nothing!

@Cruiser I have a 4WD Z71 Tahoe with crash bar/brush guard and towing package. I can go anywhere.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I have everything but the wood stoves. I know how to drain the pipes if needed, I can cook on the Coleman stove and have plenty of gas canisters. It’s doable, but not something I’d like doing for a few weeks.

JLeslie's avatar

I forgot medication. Make sure I have at least a weeks medication at all times. If a hurricane is coming better to have more. I once got stuck on vacation, because a hurricane hit and I could not fly home, flights were cancelled. I had taken with me plenty for my vacation, but not for if the vacation became extended for unexpected reasons. I was running out of medication. I couldn’t reach my doctor because phone lines were down. Luckily, a friend of my sister’s wrote a perscription for me.

Yetanotheruser's avatar

I’m not an end-timer, and I don’t see the apocalypse coming, but with the weather changes we’ve been experiencing, I can see the need to be prepared. We have several sealed 5-gallon buckets with rice, beans, and hard red wheat, which we cycle out every few years. Also have about 400 gallons of drinking water, in 5-gal bottles. We have a garden which produces pretty well in the summer and fall, and have some veggies in the freezer. Don’t have a wood stove, but we can cook over the fire in the fireplace in a pinch. (or the fire pit). Firewood, no problem; a neighbor had a large tree removed, and I saved the contractor the cost of hauling it away. He was glad to cut it up into fireplace-size pieces and toss it over the fence, providing me with about 3 normal seasons worth of firewood. The only thing I don’t have is a generator and/or solar panels, but that’s the next major investment.

Cruiser's avatar

@LuckyGuy Excellent suggestion!

On a side note, I am a member of the Medical Reserve Corps and our county has partnered up with the Rescue Riders as who better to navigate a devastated area than help on motorcycles. Here where I live tornadoes are our main threat and areas can be impassable even for heavy rigs like yours and motorcycles will get to those in need more quickly. It’s a way cool concept for first response to a disaster.

I helped train the bikers in First Aid and it was pretty cool to see these big bad tattooed bikers tenderly giving aid to disaster victims.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@Cruiser “Playing camp out” prepares kids and adults for the eventuality. If it’s done with fun in mind, and when it really does not matter, the concept of a power failure does not seem so daunting. It becomes “Camp out time!” Yay!

We have emergency teams on snowmobiles instead of motorcycles. The crazy ones ride across lakes and ponds.

ibstubro's avatar

Come on over. I have enough food and beverage in this house to maintain a group for weeks, a month. Pickins might get a little slim after a couple weeks, and we may have to do a little creative cooking, but we’ll not starve.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I’ll bring my rifle. We might eat a little differently but we won’t starve. (Sorry animal lovers. It’s survival.)

Symbeline's avatar

I realize that some places are not used to heavy amounts of snow or prolonged cold but…this is Canada. Three inches of snow? Are you kidding me? That is nowhere near enough to stop anything here. It is no Snowpocalypse.
We’ve had a rough Winter so far, broke a couple of records in places in Canada, especially Winnipeg which has not seen such cold temperatures since 1945, thing is everyone here is used to big colds and tons of snow everywhere. We’re always prepared haha. If it’s cold and there is so much snow up to the point to keep people indoors, then people will stay indoors, but they WILL go out if they have to. Hunkering down over here is not really a solution when Queen Winter goes mental.

I certainly feel for people who are not used to this though. Couple of years ago in France and England they had snow, an amount which made me laugh, but it wasn’t funny for them; everything stopped. That does have to suck, but I bet the kids were happy since all the schools were closed haha.

But here in Canada I can remember perhaps two days…TWO days in my youth where schools closed and I didn’t have to go, and that wasn’t because there was too much snow, but because the temperature went down to like -50. Although Winter here has been rough, meteorologists say it is nothing abnormal and that, in fact, our Winters have become pussies over the last 20 years. Apparently, what we have had this year and last year barely makes the norm as far as Canadian Winters go. Besides the cold itself I mean, the amounts of snow are apparently nothing to get excited about.

flutherother's avatar

I have a Littlbug stove, a wind up torch, wind up radio and some candles. For food I have a packet of porridge oats and some tins of salmon.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

How about a manual canopener?

Cruiser's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe I have a P-38 in my wallet

ibstubro's avatar

Have both manual and battery can openers (and plenty of batteries). Couple 3 dozen working oil lamps. Gas stove, gas hot water and a gas BBC with 3 full tanks.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@Cruiser I have one, too! “Speaker” I take it out and put it in my luggage when I get on a plane.
@ibstubro Nice! I have 3 oil lamps and half a dozen kerosene lanterns.

Yetanotheruser's avatar

I’ve had my p-38 since it was issued to me in Vietnam! It still works!

KNOWITALL's avatar

Our big ice storm taught me good lessons & heat is the only big one for me & my pets.

ibstubro's avatar

If you saw that post about heating a room with a couple tea-light candles, @LuckyGuy, I’m sure we could rig up some oil lamps to heat the house.

laurenkem's avatar

Like @JLeslie , I live in Florida, and the ocean is pretty much right outside my door to boot, so my biggest concern will always be hurricanes. I live on a pretty thin strip of land on Highway A1A between the Atlantic and the Halifax River. If a major hurricane were coming, I wouldn’t even try to hunker down. I’d toss the kittens in the car together whatever I could fit in the trunk, head south to the Granada bridge and then west to a friend’s house to wait it out inland.

All the flashlights, batteries and generators in the world aren’t going to help me if the Atlantic ocean is coming over the dunes and into my first floor condo from the East (because of wind), and the Halifax River is encroaching from the West (because of flooding). And since I live where I do, by the time that it became truly serious, both A1A and John Anderson Drive would be compromised, and those are the only two ways I could get out.

So at the first warning of a “big one”, the kittens and I are long gone. Everything else can be replaced.

longgone's avatar

Of course not. I live in Germany. All potentiat disasters are required to undergo an authorization process and give at least six months’ notice.

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