Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Technical Tuesday...Ready, Set, GO!!!!

I am a day behind due to a day out with the family yesterday. 

I have been thinking for a while about doing Technical Tuesday about the Technical issues that I have found helpful to myself and my family--both in the RV and for anytime, anywhere.

It was like Mary Hunt (Cheapskate Monthly/Debt Proof Living) read my mind yesterday when I received an e-mail that reminded me that disasters happen.  Spring is here and it is tornado/flooding season here in the midwest and so it is time to check out my emergency kits.

First, here is Mary's article on the subject.  I definitely saw some things that I don't have in my kit and will take steps to add in the future. 

When I was in the house, I had the tornado shelter (Kansas folks!) stocked with supplies which included the big 5 gallon bottles of water.  Those have come in handy on many occasions--like the time that the city lost power to the water treatment plant for a couple of days.  Water flew off of the shelves of stores for miles around.  I just grabbed my water from my emergency stock and no problem.  Or the time that we were under boil restrictions on the water from the city, or the time that we had the get the drift.  It isn't just for the major emergencies!

It also included pet kennels.  Having been in a F5 tornado (fortunately, it skipped over our house and touched down before and after) I can tell you that pets are really affected by the pressure change. 

They whine, turn in circles and are very uncomfortable to the point that it is possible that their humans could be bit, scratched or both.  Cats are especially liable to scratch and try to run off.  To keep them safe, I had a kennel for each in the shelter.

I still have kennels--both for emergencies and for the times that we move from one venue to the next.

And this brings up the items that most often get left out of the lists--our pets.  If you have pets, be sure that you remember their supplies including food (canned and dry sealed in a waterproof container), water, Towels and blankets to dry them and keep them warm, leashes and poo bags, a tie out for each one, dog shampoo, medicines, a copy of their vet records and their ID Chip records and numbers and a pet First Aid Kit.

Seal the documents in a plastic bag.

This leads me to the people meds.  You know, you can get those containers that allow you to sort your pills into the different times that you take them.  This is great and handy to have in the kit.  However, be sure to keep the bottles from your meds as well so that in a crisis you can get it refilled and the pharmacist knows exactly what you take. 

My hubby simply CANNOT go without his meds for his heart for even one day!  This is crucial!  We have two of these containers.  The fresh one is in the kit and the old kit one is used when he refills the new week ensuring that the meds are always fresh and not outdated.  This, as you might expect, is in the ready kit--not our long term storage.  If that confuses you, just read Mary's article about the backpack kits and all.

Having mentioned sealing things in plastic, I might add at this point my favorite gadget--the FoodSaver Sealer!!!!  Oh boy do I LOVE this thing!  I use it all the time to seal my flour, sugar and other staples to keep them dry and bug free.  And fresh corn on the cob with a pat of butter sealed in the bag and then put in boiling water to cook in the middle of winter is a TREAT!!!

When I got my first one, my dad was totally intrigued by it.  He wanted to know if you could seal a pair of socks.  We gave it a try and you sure can!  You can also seal things like wedding dresses (according to Food Saver--I didn't try that one!), towels, blankets, important papers and other items you want to keep dry! 

I am actually on my second sealer, having worn the first one out over the years.  Think about the uses in the emergency sense--dry socks, dry pants and shirts and shoes and blankets and towels and pet papers and insurance papers and money and food and medicines--TOILET PAPER!!! and on and get the picture.

The XXL Ziploc Bags and the SpaceSaver bags work great for keeping things dry as well.

Seal the stuff, throw it in your kit and you are ready to go even if the kit gets wet.

One thing that I have not sealed in those bags is batteries.  I don't have a great deal of knowlege on the effects that vacuum sealing might have on batteries, so I just put them in a plastic box.   I have a selection from D to AAA that I keep on hand for flashlights, etc.  I like this one because you can make the compartments bigger and smaller with the plastic dividers provided.  I found it in the fishing section of Wal-Mart.  It's made for lures and cost about $4.

Last but not least is the Red Cross site.  This has a very good list to get you going.  It has the basics list, a list for work and school and a bigger list.  As you pack, you will come up with your own items that are specific to your family. 

This is good to add to your written material--it is from the Red Cross site and I always forget the recipe for potable water, so here it is:  Emergency disinfection of drinking water If water supplies are compromised and you are unable to boil water for one minute (three minutes at high elevation), you can create potable water by using disinfecting bleach.   Here’s how: Filter all suspended particles or let them sink to the bottom, then pour upper portion into clean container. Add 8 drops (1/8 tsp.) of bleach per gallon of water. Let sit for 30 minutes. Properly treated water should have a slight chlorine odor.  If not, repeat dosage and let sit another 15 minutes.  It can then be made palatable by pouring it between clean containers several times. For cloudy water, use 16 drops (1/4 tsp.) per gallon of water and let sit for 30 minutes.
Oh, and don't forget to go over everything with the family along with a plan on where to meet (along with multiple sites for meeting in case one is not available) and people to contact that do not live in the area so that you can communicate and find each other--even if it is through someone across the country.

I can personally say that my emergency supplies have made our lives easier many times whether it was water, helping someone else out who was impacted or just because payday came a little later than the food lasted.

Grab your backpack and get started today--ANYTHING is better than NOTHING!!!!

So, what do you have in YOUR kit????

1 comment:

  1. I was going to call you Suzy Homemaker, but Techno Sally and Ready Rita comes to mind. Don't be at all surprised if the new camper comes to you for advice, I told him you know way more than Drew does!!