What’s in your emergency kit?

The other day, Bugsngasgal and I were conversing about emergency preparedness.

I asked her what preparations she had made:

I have some basic supplies sufficient for any temporary inconvenience (hurricane? yes, but probably not the likes of Katrina) when it might be difficult to shop or things are short, or if utilities are unreliable. I’m not set up for the utilities to be completely off for weeks but I don’t think that would happen if H5N1 happens to rear its ugly head. Worst case I think we could have temporary outages occasionally if staff shortages cause problems.

My current emergency supplies consist pretty much of a couple of weeks’ dry/canned food that I use regularly anyway, some extra cleaning/sanitation supplies to satisfy my Monkish tendencies, extra water storage (not yet filled), and a camping potty, haha – got to think of necessities ) I do have a box of masks, which even I think is a bit quirky right now but it won’t be funny anymore if all of a sudden it becomes a good idea and you can’t buy them anywhere. I have maybe a couple weeks’ worth of firewood (I don’t normally use my fireplace much at all) but currently no other heat source in case utilities are spotty. I have basic first aid and medicinal items, nothing particularly stocked up except some extra ibuprofen.

My heat and cooking here is electric…if the electricity’s out I have a grill but a more convenient method of cooking like a propane camp stove would be a good idea – I don’t currently have one; also don’t yet have a battery radio or TV on hand (or a generator for that matter). But those items are on my list.

So, other than being short a couple of gadgets I’d want if the power was out, I have some food and basic emergency items that would carry me through a temporary emergency of just about any sort. I definitely don’t have an Armageddon stockpile, although I know that a lot of bird flu “preppers” as they call themselves do – I’m somewhat skeptical of that but I won’t say they’re going overboard because I can’t predict the future. I think that many people out there don’t have much of anything at all set aside, and they are going to be very unhappy if shopping all of a sudden becomes inconvenient or impossible for a short time, the water or the power is unpredictable, and the pampering we enjoy in our everyday lives is suddenly gone for several weeks at a time. I think if you’re prepared for something equivalent to a really bad storm you’ve got a leg up on things at this point.

Here is what I said:

I guess Katrina opened my eyes to the fragility of the societal bonds. I’ve been pretty good about keeping a supply of canned/dried foods, water, fuel, ammo, meds (anitbiotic and antiviral) plus otc meds, and gadgets like wind-up radio and flashlights. We have been campers for years, so propane-based cooking and heating are available, as well as gasoline-based generator. The problem with that is gasoline storage–there really isn’t a safe way to do it. You mentioned masks, that’s a good idea.
Some of the gov’t folks are saying to prepare to fend for yourselves for up to 90 days. That’s a long time. It would start to look like a Stephen King novel long before 90 days.
I wouldn’t call myself an alarmist, or a “prepper”, but even after having been fairly well prepared for Katrina, it was kind of spooky seeing the town go dark for a couple of weeks, transportation immobilized, and hearing the gunshots in the distance at night, wondering WTF was going on.

It has been 5 1/2 years since the surprise attacks on our soil. Since that time, there haven’t been any others, although several “isolated instances”, as well as reports of jihadi training camps on our soil serve to remind us that the threat of terrorism is real, lest we become complacent.

What do you have in your emergency kit?

31 Responses

  1. Don’t really have one. Just a great fall-back position that’s remote, with good hunting and fishing.
    I am very well armed, and will just be a pirate.

  2. You ole dawg!

  3. Henh.
    If chit gets weak, the last place I want to be is in a large urban area. Anything other than my guns, ammo, camping equipment, some clothes, medicinals, and kitty-kat, is just stuff!
    At least at the lake, there are few people, and some of my closest friends, who will work together, watch each others backs, and survive. Thriving comes later.

  4. My goals for 2007 are: liquidity, mobility, and defensibility. I like the fallback position idea. That would be much more practical than trying to have a defensible position in the city.

  5. Okay, in the event of something like a (non bird flu) pandemic, we’re pretty good. We have a couple freezers full of meat and veggies, and there are plenty more on the hoof wandering around. I have way too many eggs (duck and chicken) and 12 new chicks just entered the world last night that I had to liberate from the bucket that the hen hatched them out in this morning. In the event of a bird flu event, of course, the poultry would be culled immediately once the virus started readily spreading spreading to people. Otherwise, the chickens and ducks are hardy and scrounge their own food and bugs, and find their own shelter up in trees and on top of the barn.

    The medical supplies are a little sparse and a weak point; I have a suture kit and surgical staples, some scalpels, penicillin, amoxicillin, liquamycin, tetracycline, various sizes of needles and syringes and dang, need to restock on epinephrine but no antivirals.

    Extended electrical outage, we would not be happy and the freezers full of meat would spoil (but, hey, it’s happened before) and we still have canned goods, jelly, flour, sugar, rice, yeast, dried beans, salt, cane syrup, etc. Once we get a little closer to hurricane season, we’ll stock up on the tuna fish and such again.

    We have a camping stove and lots of little propane tanks stored, the propane grill, turkey fryer, with the bigger propane tanks, a backup kerosene heater, a propane heater, a fireplace, as well as oil lamps and lots of lamp oil, wind up flashlight and radio, and we probably need to get the hand pump repaired for the well. I would like to build an outdoor wood fired oven in conjunction with a grill, too, but that’s probably overkill or so SwampMan tells me.

    I have lots of wool waiting to be spun into yarn and have a couple of hand looms in case that ever becomes an issue, as well as wool waiting to be felted that can be made into hats, blankets, jackets, and foot gear. SwampMan has lots of tools and can pretty much build a house from the bottom up.

    We have plenty of ammo for the rifles, shotguns, and handguns as well.

  6. In an urban area, there would be entirely too many desparate people, and they could come from any direction at any time. At least at my fall-back spot, they would have to climb a hill from every direction to get to us, including from the lakeside. An elevated position doesn’t take as many to defend.

  7. Heh, I live in my “fall back spot”. Generator,(with gas) freezer always full, medical supplies, canned goods, and lots of guns and ammo. That’s the backup. And I live in the woods with like minded people.

  8. So you would just ‘fall-in.’

  9. Wait a minuet, H5N1? Is that the emergency? Sick birds fly into the power lines and cause a National disaster? “When Birds Attack”. Yea, that’s our most pressing issue. Or is H5N1 code for the Islam Radicals?

  10. I’m witchu Robert D.
    That ain’t the scare for me. I’m thinking in terms of EMP weapons frying the power grid, nuclear or bio attacks, not bird chit.

  11. Yep, We would fall in so far that the “hoards of city dwellers” wouldn’t even see us ’til it was too late. 😈

  12. Some big kind of whammer-jammer happens, I’ll be out of the big city tres vite. I wouldn’t wait for the NG to be activated, and start setting up roadblocks, preventing free travel. I would want to get to the woods.

  13. OK n2l, that may be another problem, but I think the informed and prepared have a much better chance of surviving.

  14. Hey! “Head For The Hills” was a real statement before Hills Bros made it their motto.

  15. I’m more concerned on a daily basis of surviving on the mean streets, with all the unregistered, uninsured F-150’s, driven by unlicensed illegals from south of the border.
    Bird scratch fever ranks real low for me.

  16. File this under “Keep An Eye On It.”
    Royal Loses Ground in French Election

  17. I saw that. Interesting, but the french media will try their hardest to give her a boost.
    I gotta call it a night.
    Later y’all

  18. See ya’nuke, and anyone else.
    Gotsta get up early.

  19. OK, g’nite all.

  20. F150? Nah, you’d want at least a F350 if you could keep it running, that is.

  21. Nuke, I was hoping you were planning to post about this part of our conversation:

    Personally I think in a pandemic there would be temporary disruptions, not long extended periods of having to be fully independent. Hope I’m not sadly mistaken! I mean, if things are that bad I’d have to be thinking more about how to protect my silly cans of food rather than just how to heat them up, you know? I hope what happened in N.O. is never seen on a large scale in this country because I think we’d never get over the disgust after it was all over. That would be a country breaker. IMHO.

    What are your thoughts on how people across the country would behave in an emergency? Is it being overly pessimistic to think that taking away the thin veneer of civlization would leave 300 million vicious animals roaming the country looting and killing each other? Would a sense of nationalism bring the country together through hard times, or would we crumble into a kill-or-be-killed pack of starving wolves? What we keep in our emergency stores will probably differ greatly depending on how we answer this question.

    One last question, just curious, how are all of you getting prescription medicines in your emergency supplies? Go to Mexico? Buy online and hope they’re legit? Or do your doctors just hand you prescriptions if you ask for them?

  22. Well, I actually have a more optimistic outlook of people’s behavior during an emergency. After 9/11, New York didn’t have a shortage of people helping; they had so many people trying to help that they had to turn them away from the site. How many times have you seen on television perfect strangers risking their lives to rescue people inside of burning vehicles and buildings? How many times have you witnessed or been in an auto accident and before the car even stopped rolling, people were pulling over and jumping out to help the occupants? After hurricanes, there are always people that quietly load their trucks with supplies and go to do what they can without any fanfare or recompense. I prefer to think that people on the whole are predominantly good with the exception of the few evil outliers that will need to be eradicated (grin) when they show up.

    What is worth thinking about is that in your grandparent’s day, having enough food to get you through the winter was the norm. Now having enough food on hand to get you through the week is the exception.

  23. Before this is over, we will have to re-learn the ways of our Grandparents

  24. […] is National Canned Food Month. I have to admit, canned food is good for some things: if you have to flee during a terrorist attack, or to have something to donate to a food […]

  25. A nice outlook, SwampWoman. Living in northern VA (DC area) these days, I’ve gotten too used to consistently seeing really bad people acting really badly. It seems to be trained from birth out here. Can’t wait to get back to the Midwest someday. Sure hope I get back there before the “end times” ha!

  26. Living in northern VA (DC area) these days, I’ve gotten too used to consistently seeing really bad people acting really badly.

    Well, bugsngasgal, if their mamas would have taught them right from wrong, they wouldn’t have grown up to be politicans.


  28. Ain’t that the truth.

  29. This is a bit late from the prior discussion, but am posting this as an FYI: We may not have a script from an MD for antibiotics, but in days of yore infections were treated with things such as colloidal silver, oregano, olive leaf extract, and lugol’s iodine drops can be taken in moderation internally.

  30. […] Kind of like filling the Strategic Petroleum reserve. If it’s there when you need it, it really doesn’t matter what you paid for it. Previously: “What’s in your emergency kit?” […]

  31. […] there when you need it, it really doesn’t matter what you paid for it. Previously: “What’s in your emergency kit?” Leave a […]

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