READINESS AND PREPAREDNESS - Part 2
EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS INFORMATION:
Other than air, water is the most important substance that your body
requires for survival. The average person can only live 3 days without
drinking water. If your power is taken off line, or the municipal water
source is contaminated, you will not be able to turn on your faucet
and use clean water. There may not be any water at all.
Here are six different suggestions to help prepare for this:
1) Using the rule of thumb of 1 gallon of water per person per day
(for drinking, washing, cooking), store enough bottled water for
three weeks. Keep in mind that you may need more in the middle of
summer and if air conditioners are inoperable.
2) If you have enough forewarning about an emergency, clean out
your bathtub with Clorox, make sure the stopper doesn’t leak and fill
your tub with water. This water can be used for cooking, flushing
toilets, bathing, or drinking water for your pets.
3) Purchase new 30 or 55 gallon “food grade” plastic barrels and fill
them with tap water and a “water preserver” that will keep water
fresh for 5 years (can find on-line at several places). Remember to
purchase a hand pump to pump water out into smaller containers.
(You can buy new barrels for around $30 and hand pumps on-line for
4) Buy a pump filter. There are several great types that hikers use
that allow you to filter some nasty germs and make the water pure.
Check your local outdoors shops or on-line camping sites (e.g.,
“REI.com,” “Campmor.com,” etc.) There is one good one called
“MSR MIOX.” This is a very small (pen size) unit that requires a small
cap full of water with a pinch of salt and then you push the button
and it sends an electric charge through the mixture causing it to kill
all of the bad germs in unclean water. The cost of this is around $95
and can be found at most outdoor shops or on-line.
5) You can boil water. This is ok for washing or food preparation, but
it may not help the taste of the water. It is time consuming and
requires a lot of energy which may not be available.
6) Chlorine Bleach. Adding 16 drops (1/8 of a teaspoon) of
unscented, color safe bleach per gallon of water can disinfect water,
but may not kill all germs and bacteria like the MIOX does.
Suggestion: use a variety of the above ideas to be ready for your
POWER and HEAT
If your power is taken off line, you may need to have a backup plan in
order to cope with no lights at night, and with no power to cook with
or store refrigerated food. Having no power means no hot water, no
cooking (unless you have a gas cook top), no tv, washer, dryer,
refrigerator, freezer, etc.
People tend to panic fairly quickly when there is no power, which is
one thing we are trying to avoid.
Here are some suggestions to help with power and heat:
1) You may want to consider purchasing a generator, although this
can be expensive. You can purchase a smaller generator to operate
your refrigerator, stove and some lights for around $500. Or, you
could purchase a generator that runs your entire home automatically
in the event of loss of power. These larger generators may cost up to
$6,000 to have installed (depending on the size of your home). If you
have a generator, be sure to keep the exhaust from entering your
home. Generators must be placed OUTSIDE with good ventilation.
Also keep in mind that natural gas availability could be disrupted, so
you may want to consider getting a generator that operates on
propane and purchase/rent a large propane tank outside of your
2) If you do not purchase a generator, you may want to consider
buying a propane camping stove for cooking and warming water. This
is not expensive, but you will need to have several canisters of
propane on hand (most of these stoves have to be used OUTSIDE,
but some can be used indoors as well – do not use indoors, unless
product specifically says you can).
3) You may also want to consider cooking with a Dutch oven and
charcoal. There are several books on recipes using this oven.
4) If you have an outdoor grill, you can cook using this, although keep
in mind you have to be OUTSIDE to use this.
5) You may want to consider having a wood burning stove or
fireplace insert installed in your home. This can provide an alternate
source of heat if power is out and also a cooking surface for your
home. Keep in mind to have a lot of wood available.
If your power is taken off line, you may need to have a backup plan in
order to cope with no lights at night. 1) A generator would provide
you with lights.
2) Have enough flashlights for your family. One per person is
suggested. Also have back up batteries. Make sure you get good
heavy-duty quality lights.
a. You may want a battery operated spot-light also.
b. For under $20 you can purchase “wind-up” flashlights that do
not require batteries or flashlights that recharge by shaking or
c. L.E.D. flashlights are good options as their bulbs last a long time.
Note: Do not buy cheap rechargeable flashlights from dollar stores.
4) Kerosene, oil, or propane lamps.
This is one area that a lot of people tend to forget. If you have no
electric power, your bathrooms will probably not work for long,
particularly if coupled with loss of clean water.
If you don’t want to be forced outside with a shovel, you may want
to consider purchasing a portable commode. Wal-Mart or Sears
carries these and they work well. It has a double tank – one for clean
water to flush and another for the waste. You can use chemicals to
help with odor. You will also need to have some special, inexpensive
toilet paper that dissolves. The top of the line commodes are about
$99 and can be found for much less.
During many types of emergencies, internet, home and cell phones
may not be operational. We are working on a communication plan
for our fellowship where we can communicate with one another
during these types of emergencies. However, you may want to
consider these as well:
1) Purchasing walkie-talkies that you can buy from many different
places. Some require FCC licenses, while others do not. I would try
to find the kind that has the longest range without purchasing a
2) CB Radios, Trunk Radios or Short Wave radios are also a good
option for two-way communication.
3) Emergency Radio: Along with having two-way communication, it
will probably be vital to be able to stay informed with current
weather, safety concerns or government warnings through the local
authorities. Purchasing a radio is a good idea. You can purchase a
good “wind-up” or “solar” powered radio that carries a variety of
NOAA, FM and AM stations for around $50. Some models even have
a cigarette adapter that will run other electronic equipment.
4) Family Emergency Plan: From “Ready.gov.”
To plan for 6 to 8 weeks of food for your family (plus two others), you
will want to purchase food that does not require refrigeration and
must be storable for the longest time possible.
There are numerous ways in which you can plan for food storage, to
include MRE’s (Military rations which are very good and don’t require
water), dry-food (that requires water or oil, or both) and canned food
(which may not have as long of a shelf life). There are many on-line
sites that sell dried food and packages for families that are very cost
effective. “Mountain House” is a good brand of dried-food and there
are many others such as “Pleasant Hill Grain” which ship in bulk
(even up to a 1 year supply).
Here are some examples of the type of food you may want to have
Salt & Pepper (spices)
Instant Coffee and Tea
Canned hams (no refrigeration)
Spam (helped get our forefathers through the depression and WWII)
FIRST AID KIT
Home First Aid Kits are fairly simple; however, you will need to
customize them to your families needs. Keep in mind that you may
have special medicine that is required (e.g., if allergic to aspirin, etc.).
Suggestions for First Aid Kit:
First Aid Book (a good book that give a lot of information)
Assorted Band Aids with different sizes
Triple Antibiotics ointment
Alcohol (for cleaning, sterilizing)
Cotton balls or Q-tips
Gauge Pads – assorted sizes
Bactine – will not burn
Tums or Rolaids
Personal Doctor’s prescriptions
Option: Dental first aid kit
Extra Blankets or Emergency blankets
Magnifying glassHand Cream (lotion)
Aspirin or Tylenol or Ibuprofen
If you are home without power, the kids will get bored quickly. If you
go by the Boy or Girl Scouts, they have some great books that are
free with great ideas. These books include games that you can make
with house-hold items.
Another way to help the time pass is with some cards, battery
operated radios and televisions, and CD players with stories for
children. Magazines are also great to cut up with scissors, or you can
make puppets, have a puppet show, etc.
Depending on the emergency, I would also suggest the following
items be included in your emergency kit:
Water proof matches or lighter
N-95 rated respirators (adult and child sizes in case of bird flu)
Tent and sleeping bags (if flooded out or have to leave home)
Emergency kits for each of your automobiles with basic
Extra batteries in various sizes
Pens, pencil and paper
Hygiene items for men and women
Toilet paper (several rolls)
Dish soap & dish towels
Basic tools, knife
Cash (Just in case ATM’s or Banks are unavailable)
SITES & RESOURCES
Some of the resources that I have personally used to purchase water
filters, respirators, food, water pumps, etc., and have had good
Book: “The Official Urban and Wilderness Survival Manual”
by Robert Pelton
LINKS to EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS INFORMATION
As you prepare your home emergency kit, please look at the
following sites. Some of these sites have step-by-step plans and
information that you can add to what we have provided above:
READY.gov (Very helpful site from Dept. of Homeland Security. Click
on “Ready America,” to view various information on making a plan,
preparing a kit, etc.)
FEMA.gov (Click on “Plan Ahead” button, then scroll down to
information under “protect your family”)
AvianFlu.gov (Gives all kinds of information regarding bird flu)
Keep in mind that during disasters or pandemics, things are not
normal and good people do not react normally. The bad people get
even worse and the Law Enforcement people are either not available
or very thin on coverage (as we saw with Katrina). Normally these
emergency personnel are dealing with the same problems that you
are with their families. It may be up to you (and the Lord) for your
security either for a short or a long period of time. There are
answers and ways that you can help protect your family.
First, it does help to have an alarm system in your home. A
monitored system will bring help in most cases. If there is no power,
the alarm system has battery backup, and if there is no phone
service, your system may be equipped with a cell connection. If no
cell connection, at least the Siren will alert others.
You can control your doors where no one can obtain entry. Keep in
mind that 85% of burglaries are through the doors. You can also pin
your windows open and still get air but the crook will have more
difficulty gaining entry. There are also several inexpensive ways to
alert you if someone tries to enter. If entry is gained there are
several options other than deadly force.
A dark home has a way of inviting the wrong people. One way to
keep them outside is to pin your windows. Using tomato sticks, not
dowels, that are round but the square ones can help. Cut the stick
approximately one eighth of an inch longer than the window top part
and wedge it into the side. This is an inexpensive way to keep your
windows from being forced open. There is also a door jam that you
can buy from your hardware store for $20 and it prevents your door
from being opened until you wish to exit.
Written by Donald W. Parnell and Matt Peterson.
Feel free to make copies.
Donald W Parnell CLI CFE
Director of Security
Sentry Watch, Inc.
Here is stuff on the bird flu. check it out.
EMERGENCY FOOD SUPPLIES - including MEAT:
WENTZ FARM MARKET - CANNED BEEF, PORK, & CHICKEN:
CASES OF CANNED, WHOLE CHICKENS:
GWEN'S STORE - CANNED EGGS, BEANS, BUTTER, CHEESE, GRAINS,
PLEASANT HILL GRAIN:
FULL YEAR SURVIVAL PACKS:
DISASTER & SURVIVAL SUPPLIES:
EMERGENCY STORABLE FOOD - DEHYDRATED: