Continuing the repost, and my thanks to all who are commenting on Part 1, Part 2, and Walking Home. I will put up some reposts later in regards kits and such, but wanted to get this food for thought out first. BTW, I do have some of the items mentioned by Maj. Z but I don't advertise all of them. For one thing, if I did admit to the alcohol stash, a certain Pillsbury Brewboy would finally come to visit, and probably bring Jimbo with him, and my hard earned stash would be no more... For another, uncertainty over some items contributes to my security and the protection of my stash and trade goods. That said, some very good points and ideas are being made -- and you would do well to give them strong consideration. One thing I wil admit to is having added to the emergency supplies so that Jenny is covered too. That said, here we go...
Originally posted May 2, 2003
As a quick recap, remember to focus on the five things that can happen, rather than on all the ways they can happen. This is much more manageable, and allows for reasonable preparations.
While the discussion on personal and structural damage is not over, I don’t want to get so wrapped up in it that we fail to talk about the other three types of damage. They can be equally important, and will factor into later discussions.
Consumables are the things which we need to work and survive. They include fuel, food, water, air, and medicines, While there are more, these are the critical five for an emergency.
Wire systems provide the electricity to you, and data services as well. While electricity is technically a consumable, it is easiest to put it into this category for planning purposes. After all, storing electricity in truly usable quantities for an emergency really isn't practical.
Equipment and records is the third category. These are the possessions in your structure, from the television to the backups of your computer files.
Let’s start with the easiest first: Equipment. Critical records, like vehicle titles, deeds, and such should either be in a safety deposit box at a bank, or in a fire and waterproof box hidden in your home. Include serial numbers and photos of all major (and minor) purchases, from your computer to your television, so that you have insurance records.
Truly important records need to be stored in two different locations. An easy way to do this is one I have used for many years: friends and family. I have stored copies of important records with people who are geographically separated from my location. In turn, I have done the same for them. Simple and safe, and it works as a matter of routine.
Wire damage is less easy to fix, but easy to plan for. Know a good electrician and keep the number handy. Make sure you have plenty of spare fuses, know where the fuse box is located, and how to turn everything off and on. In an emergency, you may need to cut off power to just one place, or you may need to know how to throw the main switch. This is not always straightforward, so plan ahead.
Consumables are the easiest to work with. As discussed before, build up a “pad” in your supplies, from food to toilet paper, and then keep the stock rotated. This covers you not merely from storm, but from the dreaded unannounced visit by family and friends as well. Rational planning does not merely cover you for major disasters, but all unexpected happenings.
There is more to come, and some fuller discussion of a variety of topics, but this provides a good overview and some food for thought. Concentrating on the results rather than on the causes makes planning for emergencies a much easier task. Take a few moments and plan ahead, it can be a lifesaver.