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Old 01-08-2014, 14:38   #31
98G
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Location: Blue Ridge, GA and Orlando, FL
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Originally Posted by tonyz View Post
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.
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Old 01-08-2014, 16:42   #32
vorticity
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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.

Last edited by vorticity; 01-08-2014 at 16:59. Reason: edits to fit 5-point format as specified in first post
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Old 01-08-2014, 17:17   #33
The Reaper
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Originally Posted by vorticity View Post
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
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Old 01-08-2014, 17:39   #34
Dusty
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Originally Posted by craigepo View Post
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.
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Old 01-08-2014, 17:40   #35
vorticity
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Originally Posted by The Reaper View Post
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.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Reaper View Post
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.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Reaper View Post
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!
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Old 01-09-2014, 04:02   #36
atticus finch
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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' .
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