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...gonna kick the darkness 'till it bleeds daylight... musings of a hungarian in texas

©2003 by Annamaria Kovacs. All contents of this blog are the property of the author. Use with written permission only.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Disaster Kit- My Version- In Progress

As I mentioned in the previous post, we begun the process of assembling a Grab-n-Go kit for the house. Given our location (North TX, DFW Metroplex) the reasons for this kit's existence are less natural disasters (short of a freak tornado we are not really getting anything here) and more of either civil unrest, terrorist attack or a major global epidemic (Bird flu anyone? Personally, per our discussion with The Husband, as soon as we hear a smallest indication that this thing hit an airport, we call work, take leave, and head out in the Jeep to the hills. Call me a cry-wolf, but this one scares me.)

Anyhoo, my version as follows here is based on the Red Cross recommendations, and my hazy memories of childhood emergency preparedness classes back in Hungary where we did have atomic fallout shelters in our grade schools in the early 80s complete with radiation showers at the entrance (please don't think I am kidding)...

Water
Stored plastic containers such as soft drink bottles. One gallon of water per person per day is recommended, so for the two of us it would be six gallons. I have two full drinking water bottles now, a gallon each, and I guess I need to start saving some bottles to fill up at the first sign of problem from the tap. Also, fill up the bathtub and all available containers with water as soon as news of any kind of disruption in area start to arrive; can save other lives that way as well. Oh, and extra water for the cats.


Food
At least a three-day supply of non-perishable food. I need to go over my pantry, but I think I have most of the following. Let me see:
Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits, and vegetables (Apparently, I need some spam or sardines, and some canned beans, however much The Husband hates them. A trip to the dollar store.
Canned juices
Staples (salt, sugar, pepper, spices, etc.)
High energy foods (have almost a full large bag of rice from the Asian grocery store)
Vitamins (I always have extra)
Food for infants (not yet, probably next year)
Comfort/stress foods (I have these in the form of raisins and baking chocolate)

It is also recommended to rotate water and food out every six months--note on the wall calendar in the office?

First Aid Kit
One for your home and one for each car. (Need one for the cars, the house kit is in the kitchen; plus extra bandages and ointment in both bathrooms. I am a notorious klutz with razors and the cats can nick us sometimes). I also have extra bandages/gauze pads in stock due to The Husband doing martial arts...:-)

(20) adhesive bandages, various sizes.
(1) 5" x 9" sterile dressing.
(1) conforming roller gauze bandage.
(2) triangular bandages.
(2) 3 x 3 sterile gauze pads.
(2) 4 x 4 sterile gauze pads.
(1) roll 3" cohesive bandage.
(2) germicidal hand wipes or waterless alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
(6) antiseptic wipes.
(2) pair large medical grade non-latex gloves.
Adhesive tape, 2" width.
Anti-bacterial ointment.
Cold pack.
Scissors (small, personal).
Tweezers.
Rubbing alcohol
Hydrogen peroxyde

I would add all of my essential oils to this, as a lot of them have very string antibacterial and antiviral properties (thyme and clove oil for instance was used as field sterilizers in some battlefields in the first half of the 20th century, and Australian troops carried tea tree oil to dress their wounds in WWII), and a bottle or two jojoba oil as a carrier to dilute (non-perishable).

CPR breathing barrier, such as a face shield. (Well, I don't have this one...Anyone knows where to get this? Give advice to the clueless resident alien, please... In old Europe we just one a hankie.)

Non-Prescription Drugs
Aspirin or nonaspirin pain reliever -Again, plenty of this, both aspirin and non-aspirin version. Actually I have bottles in each car as well.
Anti-diarrhea medication --Gotta get this one.
Antacid (for stomach upset) --Check.
Syrup of Ipecac-Nope; this is advised to induce vomiting--there was something my grandma used instead but for the life of me I cannot remember--anyone has a suggestion?
Laxative -Need to get, literally never had to use before (thankfully!)
Activated charcoal-don't have this, but I would actually add some anti-radiation tablets and water purification tablets to this part of the kit.

Tools and Supplies
Mess kits, or paper cups, plates, and plastic utensils- Check. Still have these from various parties last year.
Battery-operated radio and extra batteries- Check. Actually has two-one is a miniature one with earphones.
Add: need a crank-handle operated rechargeable shortwave radio as well sometime in the future, in case it's more than a few days of emergency.
Flashlight and extra batteries- Check. Although I probably need more batteries
Cash or traveler's checks, change-Got the change, need some emergency cash in a ziplock baggie, stahed away. I do not think travelers checks are a really good option--I mean, if that kind oif infrastructure survives, we will just use The Husband's AMEX Gold... otherwise it''s cash and barter.
Non-electric can opener, utility knife- We are good to go here. I never had an electric can opener in my life--I want to work for that can, darnit!
Fire extinguisher: small canister ABC type --it's in the garage, but probably need to check expiration.
Tent- Got it.
Pliers - Plenty, in kitchen tool drawer (my kit) and in garage (The Husband's). Probably would need to get a day and organize the garage toolkit into once place, it's kind of scattered.
Duct tape- Plenty around; need to find it and soon. It's never there when I need the darned thing...
Compass - This is something I need to get!
Matches in a waterproof container -Why not just waterproof matches? My current ones in the kitchen drawer are not waterproof.
Aluminum foil - In pantry; extra strength.
Plastic storage containers - Plenty. Might need larger sizes.
Signal flare -Need to get.
Paper, pencil - Has plenty, need to put a stack in a kit.
Needles, thread - Again, kitchen drawer. Two kits.
Medicine dropper -Leftover from feeding the cat when ill, kitchen cabinet.
Shut-off wrench, to turn off household gas and water - Gotta ask The Husband, I am not sure we have one.
Whistle- Need one. I did not save my old one from my young pioneer days..it even had some useful Morse code phrases on it...
Plastic sheeting -Need a bunch.
Map of the area- check; has MAPSCO Dallas and USA total map as well.

ADD: Axe- from the living room where they hang as[fully functional] decorations (reproduction of medieval Hungarian axes)
Saw- has a little one, might need a bigger
Rope- ::snaps fingers:: No rope!
Twine- in kitchen drawer
Candles: next to matches in kitchen drawer


Sanitation
Toilet paper, towelettes- check. In garage and guest bathroom. Those moist towelettes are absolutely great when camping...
Soap, liquid detergent - Check. Have these in garage.
Feminine supplies- Check. Bathroom. Let me tell you as a woman, while you can make do with some substitutes (ranging from toilet paper through Kleenex and cloth scraps, nothing, and I mean NOTHING makes a woman more cranky and feeling narsty than the lack of these when needed. Really.)
Personal hygiene items- Deodorant, razor, whatever. I could do without these in an emergency, really, but yes, if I can grab them, they come with me from the bathroom. I usually have a travel kit in the black Travelocity bathroom bag I take when I travel, with hotel-size samples of toiletries, etc.
Plastic garbage bags, ties (for personal sanitation uses) --Check. Black garbage bags in the garage.
Plastic bucket with tight lid - Actually I would need two of those.
Disinfectant - Got it.
Household chlorine bleach - Check, got it.

Clothing and Bedding
At least one complete change of clothing and footwear per person. -
Sturdy shoes or work boots- I have my hiking boots iin the same closet I keep a bag to throw clothes in
Rain gear- woefully negligent on this one, as TX is not known for its rainy season. Gotta get at least two raincoats.
Blankets or sleeping bags- Check on both; plenty of blankets adn one sleeping bag. Needs a second sleeping bag, though.
Hat and gloves -Check; in coat closet
Thermal underwear
- Again, not really a priority in TX climate, but probably need at least a pair, just in case the Day After Tomorrow Scenario happens :-)
Sunglasses -Check; we have at least four pairs floating around in cars and kitchen drawers.

Special Items
No baby yet, so no baby meds, diapers or formula

Heart and high blood pressure medication -no need
Insulin -no need; thank God; in case of emergencies, if the power feels, all insulin would spoil in fridge anyway, unfortunately.
Prescription drugs - we do not need any right now.
Denture needs - no dentures yet...
Contact lenses and supplies - for me; in guest bathroom. Proably need to stock an extra bottle of solution.
Extra eye glasses - have those in guest bathroom.

Entertainment

Games and books- well, depends. We have plenty in the house, but if we need to leave, I am not sure I'd take any save the wilderness survival book, the Bible and whatever my much-more- experienced-in-these-things Husband suggests...

Important Family Documents -this is where I need to get my butt planted and photocopy now that we have a copier at home.
In a waterproof, portable container:
Will, insurance policies, contracts deeds, stocks and bonds - Heh. Only insurance policies apply, although we REALLY need to do the will thing one of these days.
Passports, social security cards, immunization records - Copies needed.
Bank account numbers -Copies needed; I'd just include a monthly statement in the pile.
Credit card account numbers and companies- Same; monthly statement
Inventory of valuable household goods, important telephone numbers - You mean, I need to list all my books? Seriously, short of some jewellery inherited from my mother in law and some silver, our most valuable items are our books.
Family records (birth, marriage, death certificates) - Again, need to copy.

Guns and ammo:
As this is TX, and we both like our right to defend our life and property, the Husband has his rifles and ammo, and his .45, and I have my dainty little pistol and ammo as well, by the bedside. If we need to leave, those come with us too. With the gun cleaning kits, of course.

Pets:
Two cat carriers and plenty of cat food, with collars and leashes. I would NOT leave them behind if we go on our own accord.


So: what to add, dear readers? I am sure I left plenty out...as I said, this is a work in progress.

8 Comments:

At 4:12 PM, Anonymous rufel said...

hrm... though a posted a comment earlier -- well...

ax, knife/machete, saw.

 
At 4:26 PM, Blogger Annamaria said...

Knife is already there, I add the saw and axe right away--thanks! Also, I need to add some rope and twine.

 
At 4:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Parenting without a license: why are some parents immune to assistance?
Laura Shaw at Morphing into Mama has a great story about how she thought she knew everything before her baby, Tod-lar, was born.
I love your blog! It certainly looks like you spent a log of time and effort on it! I'm definitely going to bookmark you!

I have a golf iron site. It pretty much covers golf iron related stuff.

Come and check it out if you get time :-)

 
At 4:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 4:46 PM, Anonymous rufel said...

Wow, Anna, you're getting blog-spam...

 
At 5:45 PM, Blogger Annamaria said...

Yikes. And I am unlisted. I was wondering lately...

 
At 11:41 PM, Blogger celogomama said...

Your post makes me want to get our gear back together (half is in storage away from the house)

I completely agree about the bird flu... we'd pull the kids out of school *immediately* and quarantine ourselves. Need to take a trip to Sam's.

Rog just said, "I doubt FEMA would even bother with us out here."

On the other hand, being this close to L3, they might...

But, I think I'd rather not have their help anyway.

Just out of curiosity, where in the hills would you head?

~Steph

 
At 2:35 PM, Anonymous jonathon said...

Iodine/povidone solution, Usually marked as "Betadine": used to be standard in the medic's aidbag. Also a couple tubes of bacitracin (you included that already as "anti-bacterial ointment), some amber solution to treat surface infections promptly (although tea tree oil will probably cover that a little more safely, as amber liquid will necrotize epithelial tissue if applied too often). A roll of splintwire is also pretty standard. I'm thinking back to the shelf we always maintained when I was little. We had sterile patches, bandage tape, lots of gauze, flexwrap (listed as "bandage, sterile, tourniquet" in GI inventories: basically what the civilian world called an "Ace Bandage" but a little denser). Let's see, Ammonia ampules and a couple field bundles. Field bundles can be found at surplus stores and "jawas". They include a range of hemostats, scalpels, surgical tape, needles and thread, all of which come in very handy for a variety of tasks.
As for breathing barriers, it depends on what you're looking for. A simple dustguard can be found at hardware stores. Charcoal barriers are sometimes there, but usually either at surplus stores or chemical supply sources. Anything finer, you're limited to surplus and chem supply.
For anti-diarrhea, we had blackberry balsam.

 

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