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The Reaper
09-10-2013, 20:46
New scenario.

As usual, try not to read too much into the scenario and focus instead on the actual question.

You have 24 hours warning of an imminent natural disaster (hurricane, fire, flood, earthquake, volcano, etc.).

Pretty easy, right? Let's assume (at least initially) that you are going to try and ride it out. The exact duration and severity of the event are currently unknown. If you must have numbers, assume regional scope and loss of utilities for 30 days or more. It is weekday and stores are still open, at this point.

What are the first five things you do upon receiving the warning?

Make it ten if you think this is too easy.

TR

Peregrino
09-10-2013, 21:20
1. Cash withdrawal (small bills)
2. Fill water storage
3. Stockpile extra fuel (diesel, gas, propane in that order - maybe some more 2-stroke oil and some chain lube for the saw)
4. Stockpile dog food
5. See if the liquor store has any Woodford Double Oaked in stock and secure available quantity

That pretty much covers it if we're "bugging -in". :D I could use the vacation personally. 30-days would give me plenty of time to catch up on all my professional reading, reloading, teaching the wife campfire cooking, warming up the Ham rig, clearing whatever debris I'm motivated to deal with, etc, etc.

Streck-Fu
09-10-2013, 21:52
I already have some supplies but with warning, would add more of:

1. Water
2. Ice (stock the basement freezer. Sure it will melt but will last a few to several days).
3. Canned foods, Mountain House type meals, flour, rice.
4. Pet foods (We buy 30 days supply at a time but would get next months supply)
5. Charcoal. Lots. All our appliances are electric and I have a charcoal grill.
6. double up on batteries.
7. buy a couple of 5gal gas cans and fill to avoid the gouge.
8. coffee
9. wine for the wife and bourbon for me.
10. I'll think of something.

Toaster
09-10-2013, 22:10
Provided that the integrity of my apartment or other shelter isn't/won't be destroyed beyond repair during the disaster.

1. Meet up with local pipehitters (maybe total 5 people)
2. Get 30+ 5 gal buckets and fill with water for water stores, use bleach to keep sanitary
3. Get 100lbs of rice, other food stores and bring the survival food stores I have on hand
4. Get lumber, tarps and nails to board windows and repair roofs (prevents damage from hurricanes)
5. Get cooking fuel propane/butane stockpile going
6. Set up security for location (eventually someone will come knocking)
7. Ensure that tools are on hand for what repairs will be needed to do
8. Ensure there are weapons and ammo for all
9. Get chainsaw, fuel, spare chain.
10. Fuel for vehicles and two fuel cans per vehicle of gas

MR2
09-10-2013, 22:27
Wife takes first car to (3 miles) SAM's for
1. Prescription medications and necessary supplements.
2. About 600lbs. of canned vegetables/fruit and dry staples (rice/pwdr potatoe) etc.
3. Fill the rest of the car w toilet paper.
4. Fill car with gas on way home.

I take other car to (2 miles) hardware store for
5. two Colman cookstoves and ten more cans of fuel.
6. five gasoline cans.
7. additional supplies to build outhouse.
8. fill rest of car with water containers.
9. fill car and gas cans on way home.

10. Fill water containers and empty/refil old water containers.


Already have what we need for 30+ days except meds so that is the priority. Other than the outhouse supplies, most stuff is for community share and trade.

Begin community organizing.

Cake_14N
09-11-2013, 09:00
Here are my thoughts:

1: Water..fill all available containers and go buy as much bottled water as I can.
I have 60 gallons worth of empty plastic bottles for my beer brewing hobby.

2: Buy 50 pounds each of beans, rice, and quinoa.

3: Pick up a couple of buckets of Wise emergency foods.

4: 100 pounds of dog food.

5: Reinforce house, board up all windows and sliding glass doors, allow for ventilation.

6: Refill all perscription meds for humans and dog.

7: Buy 10 bags of wood pellets. I know there will be zero power, but my Biolite camping stove will burn these and allow me to have heat, cooking, and generate power to keep AA/AAA batteries, phones, and possibly laptop charged. Basically anything that I can plug into a USB and charge.

8: Solidify coordination with those around me to ensure safety of our community. Live together, die alone.

9: Secure luxury items such as TP, Candy and booze. Great for morale and barter.

10: Start reaching out beyond our block to expand our safety zone and make sure we are working together to get through the event.

The Reaper
09-11-2013, 09:58
Sounds like several of these are already in the books and rehearsed. Does anyone see value in making a checklist for this?

Great responses.

I would think that it would help to have a commo plan to initiate, both local and long distance.

Also, I suspect that the choke points are typically going to be banks, gas stations, grocery stores, gun stores, liquor stores, and hardware stores. Rather than sitting in line for several hours at each of these watching the shelves empty, how do we gain/maintain our emergency stocks and spend that time doing something more productive?

Keep 'em coming.

TR

Team Sergeant
09-11-2013, 10:10
Turn on the TV and watch the news.

I live in Phoenix, the only natural disasters we have here is the influx of Snow Birds.

That said, if anything did happen here I'd pack it up and leave. In the Valley of the Sun we're short on everything 'cept people.

No wood for fires, no game to speak of, limited water and if the electricity goes out during the summer people die. Staying here is, IMO not an option.

I know some peeps in Montana me and the dog will be there for the duration.

(1VB)compforce
09-11-2013, 10:12
1. Inventory dry/canned food supplies including pet food
2. Water...water...water (ice is water too!!!)
3. dry, pet and canned goods topped off, if needed
4. verify/top off ammo supplies
5. gas cans and car topped off
6. contact the few neighbors on the short list of people I'd trust to coordinate contingency/PACE/E&E plans with. Also contact my employees that live in the local area to talk through their plans.
7. test generator
8. start taping, boarding, hardening the house
9. Begin to organize neighborhood resources and plan for other families' young ones
10. All the things that I forgot along the way...

Also, I suspect that the choke points are typically going to be banks, gas stations, grocery stores, gun stores, liquor stores, and hardware stores. Rather than sitting in line for several hours at each of these watching the shelves empty, how do we gain/maintain our emergency stocks and spend that time doing something more productive?

Agreed. Most of my items are already here, I would only need to top off. My main concern would be damage to the natural gas lines to the house. IF I don't have an explosion, then I'd be OK for a while. If they did explode, well, I guess I wouldn't have to worry about it. Perhaps somewhere in the latter part of the 24 hours I could turn off the gas at the main and then turn on all the gas appliances to try to bleed the supply inside the house dry.

Javadrinker
09-11-2013, 12:49
As I live in a hurricane zone we have most of what we need already in stock. Assuming that we are going to stay and ride it out:

1. Fill all empty 5 gal. water bottles(3).
2. Buy 5 more flats of water.
3. Fill up all vehicles, and extra gas cans.
4. Fill all propane bottles(4 20lb. and 2 40lb.)
5. Test the generator, wind generator, and pull down the solar panels.
6. Wife will be getting prescriptions.
7. pull down and secure all the shutters.

mugwump
09-11-2013, 12:53
I plan for 6 months, so a thirty day event is right in my wheelhouse; there wouldn't be much to do. I'm pretty set for tools, have enough blue tarps/lath to roof the whole block, etc. Most of these tasks aren't linear, i.e. I'd be filling the pool while talking to neighbors, getting fuel while the wife shops for groceries. I'd most likely hit the first item in each category in turn before moving on to the next. Except talking to the kids, none of them are really necessary for eking out a relatively comfortable 30 days.

1. WATER
--Pull cars into the driveway and set up the 12' diameter Intex inflatable pool in the garage. It holds ~1800 gallons for a $100 investment and is surprisingly sturdy. They usually go on sale at Target this time of year. It takes maybe five minutes to set up and start filling. In winter it would go in the basement. This would be insurance against begging neighbors as much as anything.
--Mix up a bucket of calcium hypochlorite to treat the pool
--I might dump and refill/treat the 330 gal tote in the garage, depending on the season and the last time it was filled, but I probably wouldn't risk it.
--Assuming water pressure is holding up, I'd begin topping off the in-ground pool to the top. Even in a hard winter I don't think it freezes through and I have an ice augur. If summertime, I'd put on the winter cover to limit evaporation. I'd keep an eye on how fast the level dropped, but my current plan is to let immediate neighbors use it for washing and flushing (until the sewage lift stations flood).

2. TALK
--Depending on their current location and travel times to my home, possibly gather the kids.
--Check that the neighbors have enough sense to get fuel, food, and store water (hand out polyfilm dropcovers for tub liners if necessary). One or two have some sense, so get them thinking about a neighborhood watch to keep an eye on things for a while.
--Send "Don't even think about coming here!" mass text to selected relatives and in-laws; if it's not winter I'll probably even follow through.

3. FUEL
--Top off cars.
That's about it for fuel. I rotate/refill 5 Sceptre cans so we'll already have more gasoline than we'll use in 30 days if not driving to work. I have 160lbs of propane which should be enough to keep the wolf from the door if it's winter. We wouldn't attempt to keep the whole house warm, just one room.

4. FOOD
--Maybe cooking oil and powdered milk. Those are the only items with short-ish shelf-life that we might need. If there is food on the shelves (doubtful) we'd probably pick up beans and rice to hand out.
--Little Debby Nutty Bars? Bourbon?

5. MISCELLANEOUS
--Top up the Kindle?
--See if anyone needs help?

The Reaper
09-11-2013, 13:26
TS, I agree that you are in a relatively unique personal situation.

I also agree that collecting information should be at or near the top of any list.

I believe that the key for you would be realizing it is time to leave and executing that plan before the masses also figure that out.

For everyone, having a contingency plan that you have planned and worked through well before the emergency occurs will save valuable time and energy.

If you have identified a material deficiency that is non-perishable and you currently have the budget to acquire it, do you really want to be standing in a mob scene down at the Wally-World fighting over the last can of dog food and a roll of TP, in a mile long line at the gas station to fill a spare can, or trying to get the last sheet of plywood, a generator, or a propane cylinder in the trunk of your car at the big box store?

We do not have everything we would like to have yet, but the majority of the things we do not have are the ones that would be in quantities that would likely expire before we could use them in normal times, like powdered milk or cooking oil. Others, like plywood simply take up too much space for now.

But could you not store some extra water now? You could always add to it once a crisis was identified, in bladders, jugs, waterbeds, or a waterBoB?

Would that time spent inventorying after the disaster is imminent, not be better spent doing other things to prepare?

MR2, I agree on taking two cars to go out, but at some point, if security breaks down, I think I would make the call to quit collecting, go home, and batten down the hatches. If we use Katrina as a model, I suppose that most people would not realize that the situation was dire until the event was upon them. That would also be the point at which security forces broke down and the rule of law was suspended, at least temporarily.

Given the fact that cash may be essential, and that banks are paying virtually nothing to "secure" your money these days, maybe you would be better off with a few thousand in small bills in your gun safe.

Whiskey is a good idea, but I think I might rather have three cases of Jim Beam than one case of Woody.

It seems that we all need to store more pet food.

If you are buying food that requires cooking, or boiling water, you do need to consider how you are going to prepare it.

I don't think I would want to be cooking on charcoal for the duration. How about a camping stove and a 20 lb. propane cylinder or several gallons of Coleman fuel? That should easily store with your camping gear in a corner of your garage. Admittedly, your steaks will not taste quite as good.

1VB, I am not sure why you think NG lines are an explosion risk to you beyond ruptured mains. You should be fine inside your house, and if you are worried about explosions at home, get a shutoff wrench and learn how to use it.

mugwump, as usual, you are all over it. Spend the time doing what needs to be done rather than running with the lemmings in a mad scavenger hunt.

Nice tip on the Intex pool, BTW. I would also add the cover, for an extra $10.

And unless you have a huge family, as noted, you are going to have to join forces and work with the neighbors. Also better that they do something for themselves ahead of time than rely upon you for everything.

A few pesky details.

Don't forget that you can only get about 60% of the rated capacity of a full propane tank.

As with you doing multiple things at the home at the same time, I might call the LP company for a top off, if not an extra tank, and see if I could get a Porta-let drop off.

Good plan. You should move to NC.

TR

craigepo
09-11-2013, 13:43
I'm curious about a couple of issues:
1. Whether anybody is set up with old-time rain barrels?
2. For the people that own land:
A. Whether you have a way to keep swine or goats contained?
B. Whether you have a smokehouse or similar building?
C. Whether you have determined a way to operate your water well w/o electricity coming in?
D. Whether you have a home heat source that you can fuel with stuff from your land (wood)?
E. Do you have a root cellar or other structure to use for both storage and protection from dangerous weather?

mugwump
09-11-2013, 17:52
TR, well spotted. The propane supply is easily the weakest part of my preps and a prolonged infrastructure bobble during a harsh midwest winter would be a serious situation. We can't have external tanks in my town and I'm depending on 40lb and 20lb bottles and several cases of 1 pounders locked in the shed. I think I'd make it through 30 days of heating/cooking but there'd be little margin for error. One pound lasted 5-6 hours on the low setting of a F232000 MH9BX Buddy (http://www.amazon.com/Mr-Heater-F232000-Indoor-Safe-Portable/dp/B002G51BZU). Great little heater btw: inexpensive, low O2 shutoff, anti-tip, and seems economical in use. As with most things prep, I checked the RVers' recommendations. I have two (one is none...) and the adapter hose for 20/40 tanks.

Anyone looking at the Intex pools, you want something in the Easy Set (http://www.intexcorp.com/index.php/replacement-parts/above-ground-pools/easy-set-pools.html) line, not the aluminum-framed ones. Get it without the filter pump and make sure that there are two black plugs included in the box to plug the pump outlets in the sidewall. Mine only had one included and I had to get another one sent to me. They are a bit bulky to store.

RE: Neighbors prepping. Never happen. Smart folk but they suffer from severe normalcy bias. Given the 30-day time frame of the exercise I'd be generous to a fault. In any scenario that looked more open-ended I'd have to reevaluate my approach.

The Reaper
09-11-2013, 18:15
TR, well spotted. The propane supply is easily the weakest part of my preps and a prolonged infrastructure bobble during a harsh midwest winter would be a serious situation. We can't have external tanks in my town and I'm depending on 40lb and 20lb bottles and several cases of 1 pounders locked in the shed. I think I'd make it through 30 days of heating/cooking but there'd be little margin for error. One pound lasted 5-6 hours on the low setting of a F232000 MH9BX Buddy (http://www.amazon.com/Mr-Heater-F232000-Indoor-Safe-Portable/dp/B002G51BZU). Great little heater btw: inexpensive, low O2 shutoff, anti-tip, and seems economical in use. As with most things prep, I checked the RVers' recommendations. I have two (one is none...) and the adapter hose for 20/40 tanks.

Anyone looking at the Intex pools, you want something in the Easy Set (http://www.intexcorp.com/index.php/replacement-parts/above-ground-pools/easy-set-pools.html) line, not the aluminum-framed ones. Get it without the filter pump and make sure that there are two black plugs included in the box to plug the pump outlets in the sidewall. Mine only had one included and I had to get another one sent to me. They are a bit bulky to store.

RE: Neighbors prepping. Never happen. Smart folk but they suffer from severe normalcy bias. Given the 30-day time frame of the exercise I'd be generous to a fault. In any scenario that looked more open-ended I'd have to reevaluate my approach.

Hey, mugwump, why not an underground LP tank? Nothing to see, so who knows?

Good tip on the pool model.

I know what you mean about neighbors. An hour after normalcy is restored, you will be back to being "the odd guy down the block." Frankly, I would assume worst case from the beginning and disregard any government provided estimates as pure propaganda.

C, I have a couple of water barrels, but they do not produce potable water due to other contaminants washing off the shingled roof. I have heard that metal roofs are better with regards to that.

As far as a off-grid well goes, the hot ticket seems to be a significant sized holding tank with a solar powered DC pump motor cycling on and off to refill it.

Hope that helps.

TR

Brush Okie
09-11-2013, 19:10
1.Stock up on water for the duration

2.Stock up on Food for us and pets

3.Stock up on medical supplies ie prescriptions etc...

4.Fix up house to withstand disaster as best it could ie cover windows with plywood, reenforce walls fences, clear away potential damaging trees etc etc

5. Help any neighbors that need it especially elderly etc.

PSM
09-11-2013, 19:11
Being 100% off-grid, the only natural disaster that I’m concerned about is a massive volcano that would reduce our ability to tap the Sun for energy. Even then, we have three gasoline generators, two of which can each power the whole house.

We go about 7 months between propane refills but could go 10 or 11 if necessary. This thread has reminded me that we need a propane-powered generator, also, so we would not have to store gasoline for the gennies (although that also gives us fuel for the Jeep and Tahoe [both 4WD]).

Fire is my next concern, but, since we are mostly surrounded by wild grasses and scattered mesquite, I doubt that the threat is very high. But we do have fire resistant gel that we can spray on the house if needed (discussed in the “Colorado is on Fire” thread). We cleared around the house and garage from 50 to 100 feet.

We have a 1550 gal water tank that we usually fill to 1250, but can fill full before a pending emergency.

We also have a small travel trailer that is kept, mostly, ready to go. All we would have to do is turn on the refrigerator and make sure that we have the proper clothing for the season.

Our “neighbors” are a pretty eclectic bunch, with the nearest couple living in a straw-bale house that they built themselves. Of those that I’ve met is a retired Army Ranger, a retired airline pilot with his A&P and AI licenses and 1 and a half serviceable aircraft (he still has to re-install the engine on one) and a runway, a doctor (OD) and his nurse wife, and one guy I haven’t met who has quite an amateur radio antenna array in his back yard.

Of course, there was that earthquake in 1887 that destroyed whole towns. ;)

Pat

mugwump
09-11-2013, 19:33
A. Whether you have a way to keep swine or goats contained?
B. Whether you have a smokehouse or similar building?
C. Whether you have determined a way to operate your water well w/o electricity coming in?
D. Whether you have a home heat source that you can fuel with stuff from your land (wood)?
E. Do you have a root cellar or other structure to use for both storage and protection from dangerous weather?

I bought some farmland about two years ago and we're slowly turning Casa Mugwump into the family retreat. Some time I'll write about my foray into "gentleman farming" as I'd really like to get some advice on homestead security/defense from the hive-mind here. But that's for another day. I have looked into some of the issues above:

A. There is no way to keep goats contained. None. They can get through or over 5-wire barb, chicken wire, tanglefoot and toe-poppers, etc. They will then eat in like 5 minutes all of your new apple trees that you researched and sourced for local conditions and disease resistance and then spent two days planting. :mad: Or they'll escape and eat all the poison ivy in the lower pasture and then run over to you and act all affectionate while they smear you with toxic sap. :mad: The best solution other than selling the damn goats, and it's a poor second believe-you-me, is 5-wire barb with 2 strands of electrified wire on a solar powered energizer. Note: if you don't alternate pasturage like every 3 days, goats get wormy. Note: the coyotes will dig under the fence. They like goat. A lot. I know nothing about hogs but if they're anything like goats, good luck.

B/E. Nope, no smokehouse or root cellar on my land, and I've never seen one around the area. The farmers around here aren't Little House on the Prairie types. They seem to be more into getting their bacon on Wendy's Double Bacon Cheeseburgers, extra cheese, gimme three, they're small. Now the hippies around Madison, they're likely to have smokehouses and root cellars. And bees. And hemp.

C. If you have 4-6 inch casing that's more than enough room to get a manual pump head onto your well next to the electric pump. I have 6-inch casing and our water table is only 35 feet or so, so that was a pretty easy solution for me. The young couple who rent the house from us did the labor and said it was easy, but the guy is some kind of savant with that stuff so who knows. People have told me that newer wells use smaller diameter casing, though, so keep that in mind. I also pulled the 220V AC pump and replaced it with 24V DC pump fed by a solar system and two deep cycle batteries, but then you need to pressurize a holding tank (with a 12V pump/solar this time) so you get water pressure. That's obviously a more expensive option, especially factoring in the holding tank.

D. Yep, wood stoves and lots of hardwood trees in the woodlots that need thinning.

mugwump
09-11-2013, 19:54
Hey, mugwump, why not an underground LP tank? Nothing to see, so who knows?

I know what you mean about neighbors. An hour after normalcy is restored, you will be back to being "the odd guy down the block." Frankly, I would assume worst case from the beginning and disregard any government provided estimates as pure propaganda.

TR

Not worth the hassle or liability to get an underground tank. Any improvements I make are at the Wisconsin farm property. Illinois is headed for a financial crash and my goal is to get out ASAP.

I keep a very low profile with the neighbors. You just get a feel for people over the years. One guy may be ready, the ex-AF airline pilot, but I'd be shocked if anyone else is.

Peregrino
09-11-2013, 19:59
Catching up this evening and I see a few people have hit on a critical that I missed in my initial post. As I was refilling my week-long pill dispenser last night, I realized that I had completely overlooked a critical issue. Prescription meds. Given that HH6 and I both have prescriptions that we get filled through the military pharmacy (and they're a real PITA about not filling prescriptions until you're within hours of running out), it occurred to me that I need a better plan for scenarios like this one. Looks like I've got some "pondering" to do.

JHD
09-11-2013, 20:10
The good thing about banks is that they are required to have a disaster plan in place as well for keeping things running as long as they can, and to get things back up and running as quickly as possible.

To avoid long lines at the ATMs, call in an order for the amount of cash you might want to make sure it is on hand. For a disaster they will plan on having extra anyway, and will have the ATMs stocked, but better to place an order so you are sure. They may need to direct you to a different branch or figure out a way to accommodate your request.

Another lesson learned in Katrina is that the safe boxes aren't always safe. Plan on keeping multiple copies of Deeds, Wills, passports, birth certs., powers of attorney, etc., in your safe box, but also with an attorney, a relative who lives in another region, another safe box at another bank in a different region, etc.

The Reaper
09-12-2013, 21:32
The good thing about banks is that they are required to have a disaster plan in place as well for keeping things running as long as they can, and to get things back up and running as quickly as possible.

To avoid long lines at the ATMs, call in an order for the amount of cash you might want to make sure it is on hand. For a disaster they will plan on having extra anyway, and will have the ATMs stocked, but better to place an order so you are sure. They may need to direct you to a different branch or figure out a way to accommodate your request.

Another lesson learned in Katrina is that the safe boxes aren't always safe. Plan on keeping multiple copies of Deeds, Wills, passports, birth certs., powers of attorney, etc., in your safe box, but also with an attorney, a relative who lives in another region, another safe box at another bank in a different region, etc.

Is locking the door and putting up a "Closed" sign a disaster plan?

Banks have and do impose withdrawal limits all of the time.

You let a disaster hit, and once the word gets out that the is a limit on withdrawals, the lines will wrap around the block and cash will quickly be exhausted.

A $500 withdrawal limit per customer would clean out our local branches in a little over an hour. Faster, if the initial withdrawals were larger, or the bank was slow to recognize the runs and institute the limits. Sure, they may bring in extra money when they decide to reopen. Eventually.

I have been made to wait for a cash delivery from other branches a number of times for cash withdrawals of less than $10,000. I think they have actually had the cash on hand maybe once in ten times.

Call me crazy, but if I had a good gun safe and more than a month's salary in a checking account, I would be withdrawing the excess every month until I had at least month's pay in small bills at home in the safe.

Just my .02, YMMV.

TR

JHD
09-13-2013, 04:12
Is locking the door and putting up a "Closed" sign a disaster plan?

Banks have and do impose withdrawal limits all of the time.

You let a disaster hit, and once the word gets out that the is a limit on withdrawals, the lines will wrap around the block and cash will quickly be exhausted.

A $500 withdrawal limit per customer would clean out our local branches in a little over an hour. Faster, if the initial withdrawals were larger, or the bank was slow to recognize the runs and institute the limits. Sure, they may bring in extra money when they decide to reopen. Eventually.

I have been made to wait for a cash delivery from other branches a number of times for cash withdrawals of less than $10,000. I think they have actually had the cash on hand maybe once in ten times.

Call me crazy, but if I had a good gun safe and more than a month's salary in a checking account, I would be withdrawing the excess every month until I had at least month's pay in small bills at home in the safe.

Just my .02, YMMV.

TR

It sounds like you have had a bad experience. The few banks I have worked for in my work history are open when nothing else is. Banks do limit the cash on hand for various reasons, which is why I suggested placing a specific order. But yes, if you have a safe place to keep it at home, periodically taking out some in small bills is workable.

And, definitely not putting a closed sign on the door. They should be better than that. They have your money, they work for you and the shareholders.

atticus finch
12-27-2013, 15:48
Most of the important things have already been covered extensively, I did want to add one bit of experience.
The grate in your fireplace, for those who are contemplating using the fireplace as a heat source in an emergency. If you have one of the std grates made of roughly 3/8 dia square or round metal bar? It will not hold up under sustained use, sustained use being the fireplace being used for more than 4-5 hours at a stretch. The heat will soften the grate & it will collapse leaving you with folded up useless metal. This will take less than a week to happen if you're using the fireplace daily. That and those heat-oriented distortions they call welds will fail quickly.
I built a new grate for my fireplace (I use my fireplace for home heat in the winter and it does work......for the most part) and it's comprised of 1" bar for the main sections and legs & 1/2" bar for the actual grates. Even the 1/2 grates will burn through eventually, mine lasted only 4 months although I initially set the height too low.
2 & 3/4 " from the grate to the floor of the fireplace is about the optimum height although I'm still experimenting with it, although so far that looks to be around the right height.
Just something someone might find useful.

ADD EDIT: this was probably more appropriate for the be prepared thread, which I just found after posting this.
My apologies if this is on the wrong thread or off the topic.

Pete
12-27-2013, 16:36
... If you have one of the std grates made of roughly 3/8 dia square or round metal bar? It will not hold up under sustained use, sustained use being the fireplace being used for more than 4-5 hours at a stretch. The heat will soften the grate & it will collapse leaving you with folded up useless metal. .....

I've had that happen more than once. The first time it sagged in the middle.

When it cooled I put a couple of bricks (The ones with holes) side ways under the middle. The front was standing up a couple of inches.

Next time I fired it up the front dropped back to level.

But even then after a couple of winters or so the bars get real thin and the grate needs to be replaced.

JoeyB
01-07-2014, 17:11
As I was refilling my week-long pill dispenser last night, I realized that I had completely overlooked a critical issue. Prescription meds. Looks like I've got some "pondering" to do.



A good friend of mine is Diabetic and gets his meds in 6 month shipments. My recommendation is for him to get a decent propane cooler, plenty of 1 pound bottles and when he gets his next shipment, notify the company it was left on the steps and went "bad" in the heat, or that it disappeared.
Better top pay for another shipment and have a 6 month cushion then not.....

The Reaper
01-07-2014, 17:39
A good friend of mine is Diabetic and gets his meds in 6 month shipments. My recommendation is for him to get a decent propane cooler, plenty of 1 pound bottles and when he gets his next shipment, notify the company it was left on the steps and went "bad" in the heat, or that it disappeared.
Better top pay for another shipment and have a 6 month cushion then not.....

Saw a good article on diabetics and preparedness today.

If he wants larger quantities of insulin, the article advises to get pens instead of bottles.

You can supposedly buy straight insulin OTC, at Wal-Mart, it is allegedly $25 per 1000 units.

Unless you cannot store larger quantities of propane, I would be stocking 20 pound cylinders, as a minimum for an insulin storage fridge.

The article says that insulin (if properly stored and refrigerated) is fully potent well after its expiration date, but freezing it will destroy the effectiveness. It would appear that it can be flash frozen safely, with the proper procedures and equipment.

Finally, if your friend is storing food for an emergency, he needs to be storing food that is compatible with diabetes. Many preparedness food units have a lot of carbs and are light on protein for a diabetic.

http://www.survivalblog.com/2014/01/two-letters-re-diabetics-in-disasters.html

http://www.survivalblog.com/2013/12/-disclaimer-i-am-not.html

Remember, always have an alternate plan, if not also a contingency and emergency plan. Two is one, and one is none.

Best of luck.

TR

PSM
01-07-2014, 18:10
A good friend of mine is Diabetic and gets his meds in 6 month shipments. My recommendation is for him to get a decent propane cooler, plenty of 1 pound bottles and when he gets his next shipment, notify the company it was left on the steps and went "bad" in the heat, or that it disappeared.
Better top pay for another shipment and have a 6 month cushion then not.....

My sister is also diabetic. I suggested that she, at least, get an RV 3 power refrigerator (AC, DC, and propane). Assuming that AC is lost, she can balance the propane and DC using a deep cycle 12v battery and the 45w solar panels from Harbor Freight or a similar cheap set up.

I also sent her a youtube video about Zeer pots, just in case.

Pat

x SF med
01-08-2014, 11:05
Catching up this evening and I see a few people have hit on a critical that I missed in my initial post. As I was refilling my week-long pill dispenser last night, I realized that I had completely overlooked a critical issue. Prescription meds. Given that HH6 and I both have prescriptions that we get filled through the military pharmacy (and they're a real PITA about not filling prescriptions until you're within hours of running out), it occurred to me that I need a better plan for scenarios like this one. Looks like I've got some "pondering" to do.

Peregrino-
Have your doctor write you a paper prescription for at least a 90 day supply that can be filled at any pharmacy. Or keep a med list and get one of the Group Surgeons/docs to write a paper prescription that is your backup if the SHTF. Depending on the meds involved, you may have to worry about storage (cold required items, ie. insulin and the like) and shelf life.

Just an idea.

Glasses/contacts... remember the prescriptions for them, have at least 2-3 pair of glasses with prescriptions not too out of date, just in case - and have them with glare free polycarbonate lenses, for the safety and longevity factors.

98G
01-08-2014, 13:51
I'm curious about a couple of issues:
1. Whether anybody is set up with old-time rain barrels?
2. For the people that own land:
A. Whether you have a way to keep swine or goats contained?
B. Whether you have a smokehouse or similar building?
C. Whether you have determined a way to operate your water well w/o electricity coming in?
D. Whether you have a home heat source that you can fuel with stuff from your land (wood)?
E. Do you have a root cellar or other structure to use for both storage and protection from dangerous weather?

1. I use the rain barrels for my vegetable garden.
2. 35 acres in the woods in North GA mountains -- 6 acres are arable and fenced for livestock.
A. Yes
B. Yes -- smoker and a barn for storage and horses used at 40% capacity.
C. Yes a generator and extra fuel for it. Working on getting a solar system put in
D. Yes -- I have 2 wood based Tulikivi ovens that need 2-4 hours stoked for 24 hours radiant heat -- I can also cook in one of them (extra oven)
E. Yes

tonyz
01-08-2014, 14:15
1. I use the rain barrels for my vegetable garden.
2. 35 acres in the woods in North GA mountains -- 6 acres are arable and fenced for livestock.
A. Yes
B. Yes -- smoker and a barn for storage and horses used at 40% capacity.
C. Yes a generator and extra fuel for it. Working on getting a solar system put in
D. Yes -- I have 2 wood based Tulikivi ovens that need 2-4 hours stoked for 24 hours radiant heat -- I can also cook in open of them (extra oven)
E. Yes

What a fantastic base for living off grid - or otherwise.

The N.GA mountain area is simply wonderful and your set up enviable.

Salud.

98G
01-08-2014, 14:38
What a fantastic base for living off grid - or otherwise.

The N.GA mountain area is simply wonderful and your set up enviable.

Salud.

Thanks, I think so. :)

My property also back ends onto 40,000 actress of National Forest (Wilderness area designation) so I have all the fallen wood I could want. I keep 6 months of most supplies just because hay and feed are cheaper that way.

For this exercise, I would have made sure all my extra water storage was full to use the generator sparingly and just done a standard check around the property and get out the short wave radio.

vorticity
01-08-2014, 16:42
When flooding hit Colorado this September, I had almost this exact scenario play out - we weren't sure if our location would be heavily flooded/lose power/etc. but it was a possibility, and while there was a heightened sense of potential damage (within the 24-hour time limit), the actual emergency (flooding, water loss, etc.) would hit with only a few hours' notice (time for a flash flood to work its way down the canyon.) Basically, we ended up half-implementing our plan - getting the pieces in place, to finish everything up once we knew we needed to.

It was a very useful experience, and I definitely picked up some things that I missed:

1.) Food: we have a one-month supply of dry goods that we rotate in-out on a six-to-nine week basis (dry beans and rice, plus some canned goods and candy/chocolate for variety.) I did end up moving that supply to higher shelves in case of floodwaters - it would suck to have your food supply ruined, and more flood-resistant storage is definitely part of the 'new' plan.

2.) Water: I had three 6-gallon carboys already filled with clean tap water, and had our two 100-gallon WaterBoBs out, ready to be filled in the tub as needed. Would keeping a few clean, empty 1-gallon jugs, to be filled from a spare WaterBoB and/or from a filtration system, be useful as barter material for people without clean water?

3.) Sanitation: it's me, my wife, and our two toddler girls, so we have a *large* supply of TP on hand at all times. :) Sanitation was a potential issue, though - in case of sewer outages (as happened in nearby cities) my plan was to build a latrine in the far corner of our backyard, but that made me wonder about how that would work in a flooded situation - when the backyard is under water, where does the waste go? I thought about using a few Homer buckets and garbage bags to store waste, but was genuinely unprepared for a 'toilet's out, can't dig a crapper' situation.

4.) Medical and 5.) Cooking: We're good on meds (no prescriptions), and have a large first-aid kit and resupply set for basic bumps and bruises - not sure what I'd want in addition for a 30-day emergency, though. With 2x-propane tanks and a firepit, I thought I'd be good for a couple of weeks of food/water prep at least, unless the backyard was underwater - have since gone out to get a supply of sandbags to fill up since then, but will still have to learn how to properly use them.

Things that didn't make my 5-point list, but do now:

Money - never even thought about getting a cash supply. Oops. I'd probably hope to barter useful things (gallons of clean water, food, etc.) for things I forgot, but not sure that's a viable solution. In an inflation-run environment, and with the knowledge that banks often limit withdrawals to avoid runs, you're kind of left with keeping a large pile of cash in the house. What's the balance between too-much-that-should-be-earning-interest-somewhere and that's-enough-to-buy-a-$600-chicken to keep around, do you think? Can a month's salary reserve be made of a combination of cash and barter items?

We also found it 'interesting' that all our 'safe' document storage was in our safe...in the basement. Not a great place during a flood, and we ended up moving documents, titles, medical records, etc. to a new fire/flood-proof safe upstairs. Easy to overlook stuff like this.

We were fortunate not to have to implement the rest of our plan, but it was a good exercise nevertheless. Things like sanitation, money, and document security were not things I'd thought about, and getting to think through the plan, but not suffer from things we overlooked, was a really useful exercise.

The Reaper
01-08-2014, 17:17
When flooding hit Colorado this September, I had almost this exact scenario play out - we weren't sure if our location would be heavily flooded/lose power/etc. but it was a possibility, and while there was a heightened sense of potential damage (within the 24-hour time limit), the actual emergency (flooding, water loss, etc.) would hit with only a few hours' notice (time for a flash flood to work its way down the canyon.) Basically, we ended up half-implementing our plan - getting the pieces in place, to finish everything up once we knew we needed to.

It was a very useful experience, and I definitely picked up some things that I missed:

1.) Food: we have a one-month supply of dry goods that we rotate in-out on a six-to-nine week basis (dry beans and rice, plus some canned goods and candy/chocolate for variety.) I did end up moving that supply to higher shelves in case of floodwaters - it would suck to have your food supply ruined, and more flood-resistant storage is definitely part of the 'new' plan.

2.) Water: I had three 6-gallon carboys already filled with clean tap water, and had our two 100-gallon WaterBoBs out, ready to be filled in the tub as needed. Would keeping a few clean, empty 1-gallon jugs, to be filled from a spare WaterBoB and/or from a filtration system, be useful as barter material for people without clean water?

3.) Sanitation: it's me, my wife, and our two toddler girls, so we have a *large* supply of TP on hand at all times. :) Sanitation was a potential issue, though - in case of sewer outages (as happened in nearby cities) my plan was to build a latrine in the far corner of our backyard, but that made me wonder about how that would work in a flooded situation - when the backyard is under water, where does the waste go? I thought about using a few Homer buckets and garbage bags to store waste, but was genuinely unprepared for a 'toilet's out, can't dig a crapper' situation.

4.) Medical and 5.) Cooking: We're good on meds (no prescriptions), and have a large first-aid kit and resupply set for basic bumps and bruises - not sure what I'd want in addition for a 30-day emergency, though. With 2x-propane tanks and a firepit, I thought I'd be good for a couple of weeks of food/water prep at least, unless the backyard was underwater - have since gone out to get a supply of sandbags to fill up since then, but will still have to learn how to properly use them.

Things that didn't make my 5-point list, but do now:

Money - never even thought about getting a cash supply. Oops. I'd probably hope to barter useful things (gallons of clean water, food, etc.) for things I forgot, but not sure that's a viable solution. In an inflation-run environment, and with the knowledge that banks often limit withdrawals to avoid runs, you're kind of left with keeping a large pile of cash in the house. What's the balance between too-much-that-should-be-earning-interest-somewhere and that's-enough-to-buy-a-$600-chicken to keep around, do you think? Can a month's salary reserve be made of a combination of cash and barter items?

We also found it 'interesting' that all our 'safe' document storage was in our safe...in the basement. Not a great place during a flood, and we ended up moving documents, titles, medical records, etc. to a new fire/flood-proof safe upstairs. Easy to overlook stuff like this.

We were fortunate not to have to implement the rest of our plan, but it was a good exercise nevertheless. Things like sanitation, money, and document security were not things I'd thought about, and getting to think through the plan, but not suffer from things we overlooked, was a really useful exercise.

1. I would suggest that you start stretching the food a little bit every week. If you have six weeks now, work on getting eight or nine and then ten or twelve. Obviously, perishables are limited by shelf life. Great idea with the comfort food, especially with small kids.

2. I would not count on selling water and potables in an emergency. I think asking a neighbor to pay or trade for some water for his kids during a flood is not going to make you very popular when the disaster is over. Better to either give him excess or tell him you don't have any to spare. Best yet, give him his own BoB to fill when he needs it.

3. You need to look on Amazon for the kit that snaps on a 5 gallon bucket and has a seat. You put garbage bags in it and keep some powdered lime or kitty litter handy, take it out every day or two for eventual disposal.

4. I would tailor the first aid kit to the emergency you want to cover and items that you can safely use for treatment.

5. A Coleman stove with an adaptor for a 20# cylinder would keep you cooking for a while. Don't forget a good manual can opener and pots/pans/utensils for cooking on the Coleman. A fire extinguisher should be kept handy as well.

I would want at least 3 months of expenses in an easily accessible bank or credit union, preferably in a local bank, and if you have a secure place to keep it, at least one month's expenses in small bills ($20s and smaller) at home. I would not count barter items, which would really only become practical after a few months.

Hope that helps, just my .02 and worth what you paid for it.

TR

Dusty
01-08-2014, 17:39
I'm curious about a couple of issues:
1. Whether anybody is set up with old-time rain barrels?
2. For the people that own land:
A. Whether you have a way to keep swine or goats contained?
B. Whether you have a smokehouse or similar building?
C. Whether you have determined a way to operate your water well w/o electricity coming in?
D. Whether you have a home heat source that you can fuel with stuff from your land (wood)?
E. Do you have a root cellar or other structure to use for both storage and protection from dangerous weather?

1. No rain barrels, but 4 water sources.
2. A. Places for hogs, a Guernsey, chickens, rabbits and a horse. Goats are too much trouble.
B. Curing shed/well house.
C. Amish bucket from Lehman's.
D. Only heat source I have is a woodstove. I've got a Lennox 3 ton heat pump, but I'm not going to sweat the copper or duct it out until I add my den and sleeping porch to the south side of the shack.
E. Yes, but it's too far away (over 60 steps) and I'm putting in another soon.

vorticity
01-08-2014, 17:40
2. I would not count on selling water and potables in an emergency. I think asking a neighbor to pay or trade for some water for his kids during a flood is not going to make you very popular when the disaster is over. Better to either give him excess or tell him you don't have any to spare. Best yet, give him his own BoB to fill when he needs it.

Okay, that's a damn good resolution on the barter issue, then. Maybe keep a supply to share for neighborhood goodwill, but don't count it in the 'money' category.


3. You need to look on Amazon for the kit that snaps on a 5 gallon bucket and has a seat. You put garbage bags in it and keep some powdered lime handy, take it our every day or two for eventual disposal.

I've seen the toilet kits at Cabela's, and that's probably a good $20 buy to just have, especially as we camp more with the girls as they get bigger. Powdered lime I'd need for the latrine, too, so one more thing to get - check.


5. A Coleman stove with an adaptor for a 20# cylinder would keep you cooking for a while. Don't forget a good manual can opener and pots/pans/utensils for cooking on the Coleman. A fire extinguisher should be kept handy as well.

That I've got, including the fire extinguisher(s) - my plan is based on 'let's go camping in the backyard with the gear we already have.' How to camp in an environment that's flooding/recently flooded and maybe strewn with sewage, etc. is something I hadn't prepared for, but is probably outside the scope of the original exercise posted here. I'll search for sandbag applications for good measure, though.

Great thread - hope to keep learning from other people's additions!

atticus finch
01-09-2014, 04:02
I've had that happen more than once. The first time it sagged in the middle.

When it cooled I put a couple of bricks (The ones with holes) side ways under the middle. The front was standing up a couple of inches.

Next time I fired it up the front dropped back to level.

But even then after a couple of winters or so the bars get real thin and the grate needs to be replaced.

Thats how most folks learn about it, even with relatively light or intermittent use. It's not a good situation to be in if it happens in the middle of a long duration event.
I was lucky in that I had some experience from using a wood stove when I lived in the mtns. I moved off the mtn & when I took a look at the grate in the fireplace my first thought was 'that tinkertoy isn't going to hold up long, need to upgrade that now' .