The Countertop Chronicles

"Run by a gun zealot who's too blinded by the NRA" - Sam Penney of

Friday, September 02, 2005

Are You Prepared??

Says Uncle links to this post on what it takes to survive.

Nobody lives without risk. Let's toss that one into the dumpster, and we can follow it with the rest of the nonsense, too: this is not Bush's fault, it was not because of global warming, and even legendary corruption of New Orleans government played only a minor supporting role. Most of the victims are not responsible for their plight; they are coping as best they can, often showing the sort of heroism and concern for one another that we would expect of ourselves. They are in deep trouble now, simply because trouble is always a real possibility in this world. Too many of us forget that.

Shit happens. It's our responsibility to deal with.

He then goes on to list a number of items necessary for survival.

Tranistor Radio - Check. Actually, we have a couple of different options. We have a large flashlight/lantern/B+W TV/Radio/police scanner that uses 6 C batteries. Last time DC was hit by a hurricane it ran for two evenings on those batteries. It is stored together with an additional 32 batteries (2 multipacks of 16) . I estimate that will last me at least 10 days of prudent use. We also have a weather band radio (slightly bigger than a pack of cigarettes) that operates on AA batteries. It is stored with 48 other AA batteries. Lately I have been contemplating one of those self powered crank radios. Will probably pick one up this week. Communications are key.

Pure Water - Check. In addition to about 10 gallons of frequently rotated bottled water (3 2.5 gallon bottles with the tap like spouts and 2 cases of Deer Park 1 pint bottles) I also have a Pur Hiker Microfiltration System. It has a new filter in it (200 gallon capacity) with a spare right next to it. I've taken it around the world and it has filtered some nasty water and works like a charm (the reason its the number 1 selling backpacking filter). We also have at least a case of bleach (6 1 gallon bottles) in our basement at any time.

First Aid Course - Was re-certified in first aid and CPR 10/20/2004. Will be recertified October of next year.

Medicine - We have what we need, in sufficient quantity to last some time. No one in our immediate house has any need for refrigerated medicine.

Protection - thats what this blog is all about. Actually our bug out kit includes handguns for my wife and I as well as an assortment of rifles for the task. Right now, the go to rifles are probably Marlin 336 with about 150 rounds of .30-30 and a Browning BPS with a couple of hundred rounds of birdshot. Thats enough for our defense. If things get real scary, I am bringing out the Garand. All told we have thousands of rounds of ammo in various calibers.

Light - I've already talked about the portable light/lantern/radio. We also have a number of other battery operated flashlights (waterproof) as well as an oil lamp (Coleman) and a number (6 or so) of little candle lamps (with about 100 little cocktail floating candles - we get the bulk bags at Ikea).

Handheld Radios - nope. Thats something we are going to have to consider.

Backpacking Stove - Check. I have the Whisper Light International that he recommends too, along with a simple aluminum oven contraption that will fit over it (nothing like fresh baked bread to warm the heart and keep you going). Here's the impressive list of fuels it will reliably run on. Mine was actually rated for use with distilled spirits (ie: vodka) when I purchased it. It runs (though not as efficiently) on vodka and other booze (and yes, in Eastern Europe I have resorted to that as fuel), though the news one don't indicate that they can run on it. Hmmm.

Food - Just rechecked the bug out box last night (what we take if we need to evacuate - it has lots of rice, some seasonings in it, and other food items. Enough to keep us comfortable for 3-5 days depending on caloric intake. Overall, we have about a months worth of food in the basement pantry - again, depending on daily caloric intake (which will undoutbaly be much reduced in an emergency - heck I should reduce it now).

I'd like to offer a simple proposal - nobody is allowed to blame the government, or the police, or the victims for being unprepared for this crisis unless they themselves are prepared to care for their own families under similar circumstances.

It's not their job. It's yours.

Couldn't agree more. Here's a couple of other things to consider.

Spare gas. Used military cans are cheap, and while more expensive than it used to be, gas is still relativly cheap. We keep 15 gallons on hand, though we are considering doubling this to 30 (15 for each car) once we figure out appropriate storage. If your going to travel with it, throw it on the roof.

A camp ax - it can be used for all manner of purposes (breaking throw your roof if your in New Orleans, basic close quarters self defense, and harvesting fuel, etc.

Beyond that, throw in those things that make you comforatable. I've always got plenty of books on hand that I haven't read yet.


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