I sit here and read article after article about the “perfect super mega evil scary FRANKENSTORM” (Mwahahahaha! 😈 ) about to destroy the world as we know it and I have no fear, no anxiety, no unease, no distress, no foreboding, no worries…just several times yawning from the boredom of it all…like watching the slow motion scene of an action movie and laughing out loud because the effects are poorly done and absurdly cheesy.
Try as I may, I just can’t feel uneasy about this FRANKENSTORM (Mwahahahaha! 😈 ) 😆
Some of you may remember that we had a practice run for this sort of thing back on June 29th (exactly 4 MONTHS ago) when the Derecho came through here unexpected and unannounced with winds clocking in at 90MPH wiping out our electricity for 11 DAYS during a heat wave (if you didn’t catch that blog post you can find it here and a picture post here.) That storm came through with NO WARNING, absolutely NONE, we were led to believe by the local new stations that it was just a line of strong thunderstorms coming through, no biggie, just summertime thunderstorm business as usual and then WHAM! out of absolutely nowhere! thrown into the most severe survival situation of my life! It was quite the adventure…bahahahahahaha!!
Being realists, we long ago realized the fragility of our consumer based debt driven society of just in time production, like a house of cards at any time destroyed by the smallest breath. When you live in a world where everybody consumes and very few actually know how to produce something actually real…you know like with their HANDS real, through real actual physical labor, like how the majority of mankind has provided for itself throughout most of the history of the world FOR REAL…not punching buttons or click click clickety clicking a mouse at a computer screen or working physically to produce some widgety whatchamathingy for some boss of some corporation somewheres far away, never truly enjoying the fruits of your own labor…given paper IOU vouchers in return to trade in for food and other goods at the local “Big Box” retailer…
Realizing and understanding this long ago (from the moment we got married back in 2002) and constantly working towards becoming ever more self-sufficient and less reliant upon a system whose foundation is nothing more than hot air and empty promises, we were fortunate that, even though we had been slacking off a bit (it happens *shrugs shoulders* I am human after all…), when the Derecho came through we had most of what we needed to fulfill our basic needs and even most of our comforts during that 11 DAY electrical outage. I was utterly amazed at the fluidity with which we so easily switched over into “survival mode”, excited even! I was born for tumultuous times such as these 😀
And so, here I sit, with several days in advance warning of a huge storm that could possibly dump up to 2 FEET of snow on us and produce wind gusts up to 40 MPH and probably knock out the electricity for several days…again. . .and at the same time threatening the whole “mega-population corridor” of the east coast and flooding one of the most popular cities in the world, and I just sit and shrug my shoulders and do my best to suppress a yawn…been there, done that…ho-hum *sigh* 😆
But just in case there is someone reading this with NO IDEA of what to do or how to prepare, if I was in a city situation (and I used to be a city dweller) with no prior preparations made, this is what I would do:
– Fill the car’s gas tank with gas and keep it filled!
-Buy Water (not the type with the added fluoride!), at least 1 gallon per person per day, this will cover basic drinking/cooking needs but not washing. If you have children, then 3 gallons per person per day would be more ideal. You can also get some large containers, like brand new clean trash cans, and fill up with water from the tap to store, fill up the bathtub to and water can even be drained from the hot water heater and used. You may also want to buy powdered milk and maybe some of those instant breakfast protein shakes that you can mix with milk or water.
-Buy Canned Food that does not require cooking. Everybody goes for the tuna, but it’s a poor choice, containing few calories or fat it can fill your stomach but will not provide much in the way of energy and in a survival situation you NEED energy! And FAT, fat is essential in helping your body to properly deal with stress and can even prevent you from going into shock should your situation become especially perilous. Go for the sardines or canned salmon or even canned mackeral, with plenty of hot sauce or mustard and some saltine crackers…it will provide you with REAL (mostly nutritious) energy. Any of the canned chillis taste fine cold, and other canned meats like SPAM or canned ham (NOT the chicken, you need the fat and it doesn’t have enough!) or potted meat even…any of these paired up with saltine crackers (preferably whole wheat saltines if you can get ’em) or other cracker like Triscuits will provide good basic energy for little money and it will not go bad nor does it require cooking. Other good ideas are shelled roasted and salted sunflower seed kernels, banana chips fried in coconut oil or palm oil (both the sunflower seeds and banana chips I get from The Dollar Tree for $1..I mix these with raisins and mini M&M baking chips, or mini chocolate chips if melting isn’t going to be an issue, to make my own trail mix). Peanut butter is excellent as well and BUTTER is a good idea too, the salted kind can remain at room temperature for weeks without going bad. All of these things have A LOT of calories for little money and they don’t require refrigeration or cooking. Also, make sure you have a couple of manual can openers on hand!
-If you live in a place that is going to be cold and snowy from this storm then a kerosene heater with at least 10 gallons (2 of those blue kerosene containers filled to the brim) of kerosene on hand would be a good way of providing heat without electricity, used judiciously (that means wearing a couple layers of clothing and a hat and coat INDOORS and not using heat at night while sleeping) that amount of kerosene could last as long as a month depending on how well insulated your house is.
-If a kerosene heater is out of the question then blankets blankets and more blankets! Especially woolen ones and nice thick quilts. If you go to the camping section of your local “Big Box” retailer they often sell hand-warmers, little pouches of chemicals that mix together to provide a heating reaction, you hold the pouch in your coat pocket with your hands in it or put them anywhere you may need them on your body. Long underwear is a good idea too..
-For light, flashlights are the obvious choice and if you’ve got the dough go for a Mag Light and it’s corresponding battery size…AA or D-Cell. Oil lamps and kerosene to fuel them is a good idea too! If your basic department store runs out of oil lamps then check flea market/antique stores…my most favorite oil lamp ever was one that I bought from an antique store. And make sure to pick up a few boxes of matches and a couple packages of lighters.
There is a lot more that can be said on this topic but this is intended to be pretty basic and straightforward, geared to the city dweller with no previous experience in preparedness or survival situations. Good luck and stay safe!