When you say the term “survivalist” or “disaster prepper” it conjures images of some guy, armed to the gills, living in a bunker in the mountains. While those guys certainly exist, in reality there are a wide range of preparations, depending on locale and resources everyone should have. And no – this doesn’t involve various forms of guns and armaments…Unless you are preparing for the Second American Revolution against Trump and the Reich.
Now, as I have said before I live in a fairly remote area near the ocean. Common problems in my environment beyond the normal stuff other’s face include Hurricanes, Nor’Easters (which are actually worse). There is a fault-line off the east coast which poses an average to the rest of the country outside of California threat – as well as fire and flooding in big storms (similar to what happened in North Carolina a few months ago.)
That means, I do some things that you folks living away from the coast have to do. Those issues include massive flooding (I have had 3-4′ of water under the house (It is designed to survive 12′). 140 MPH winds (It is designed to survive as Cat 5 Hurricane..and has).
Because of the flooding issue, I keep a small Jon Boat hanging up on the pilings not far from the door – so I can row or walk to dry land. Because electrical can be out for days – I keep a small generator ready to go in a box on the second floor. I also keep an indoor propane heater (get it cheaper off-season) in the event a Nor’Easter knocks the power out during the winter. A bicycle in an elevated shed on the property. Two 20 gallon propane tanks (the grill ones) as well as a couple of dozen of the little 1 lb propane bottles for use with the heater, or propane lanterns.
The point being that a emergency/disaster kit is tailored to your environment.
Then there is a list of basic stuff everyone should have for a 3-5 day outage –
A 5 or 6 gallon water storage jug per person. You need fresh water! Two types, a plastic 5-6 gallon (forget the “blob” soft side type) – and for the “prepper”. And no, you will find out very quickly should the situation arise, 6 Gallons isn’t much water. I generally use a teaspoon of Clorox to stabilize the water in the jug, but there are other ways.
The next item is flashlights or lanterns. The choices are Battery, Solar, propane, or Coleman.
I tend to keep a combination of the battery, Solar, and propane. Even with a stack of batteries, you are going to run out pretty fast although you get lots of light. Besides a collection of flashlights in convenient locations around the house, I keep several lanterns for area lighting. With the new LEDs you get more battery life, even though you get less light. Forget rechargeable (if you are using these you have no power to recharge!). When buying a light, check the “Lumens” which is a measure the light puts out. Go here for a comparison. A regular incandescent 60 Watt bulb puts out 800 Lumens.
Battery area/room Lights (4 D Cells)
Personal light – These are a take on the old Miner’s lamps, updated. Have been in tunnels underground, and these work great. Also useful for working on small objects where there isn’t any, or enough area light. They run from $5 – 20 a set. I keep several around. Makes it easy to navigate around a dark house and keep both hands free.
If you want a flashlight that is the best buy the Pelican line. I keep a Pelican Sabrelight and a Mitylight in my car and tool kit. They are waterproof, and survive almost anything. Other thing to consider is a hand-cranked flashlight.
I keep a solar/hand cranked flashlight with built in radio. These have a USB Port for phone charging. You will build muscles doing it though. The advantage to these is the radio to pick up emergency signals and directions. Under $20. Without the Radio and USB – flashlight under $10.
Gas and Propane for lighting a room or area – Coleman is pretty much it, although there are several companies which produce lanterns a 2-5 times the price.
Last ditch emergency lighting – Solar
Solar lights are generally pretty crappy. But if you just need a light to get around the couch – they will do when all else fails.
Wow …That was longer than I planned and I only covered two items!
Will add more the next post…And here you thought it was only about guns.