Planning for survival in case of disaster is costly. Talking and reading about the possibilities takes time. And then acquiring the appropriate materials and supplies will require several days of time, along with several hundred dollars, at a minimum.
Comparing these costs with unexpected and minimally possible catastrophic losses of unknown size from a disaster is difficult at best. Varying amounts of preparation may provide varying amounts of protection; but the preparation might be useless, too, depending on the nature of the disaster.
Despite all these uncertainties, ever since the floods and hurricanes along the US gulf coast in August and September, we have been thinking about disaster preparation
and have slowly been acquiring items that will help us survive, should we face problems in our area.
Recently, BenS sent me a link to this site
, with information about surviving nuclear fallout. Back in the 50s and 60s, during the height of the cold war, this type of information was readily available. Given the proliferation of nuclear weapons among various countries, it may be worthwhile looking at again. Certainly, the people who maintain the web site think it is (e.g., imagine terrorists bombing a nuclear energy facility).
The site recommends stockpiling water. Lots of water. In addition, the list and suggestions on the last page of the site might be helpful for many different types of potential disaster (I see they forgot to include Scotch). Keep in mind that the list is for people who are rushing out to buy supplies and
who expect to be on their own for quite some time:
It’s much better to risk being a little early when securing your family's essential food and supplies, rather than a few hours too late...
- Canned goods (pasta, soups, chili, vegetables, fruit, tuna, meats, lots of peanut butter, etc.)
- Ready-to-eat foods (pop-tarts, raisins, cheese, granola/energy/protein bars, snack-paks, etc.)
- Some perishable foods (breads and fruits like bananas, apples, oranges, grapes, etc.)
- Assorted drink mix flavorings (with no cold drinks, just plain water, kids will appreciate it!)
- Plenty of potent Multi-Vitamins, Vit C, etc.
- Iodine solution, like Betadine (16 ounces)- NOT TO BE INGESTED OR SWALLOWED!
- Multiple big boxes of dried milk (Could include/use some inside shelter, too.)
- Multiple big boxes of pancake and biscuit mix & syrup
- Largest bags of rice
- Largest bags of beans
- Largest bags of flour
- Largest bags of potatoes
- Largest bags quick oats and other grains
- Largest bags of macaroni
- Large bag of sugar
- Large jar of honey
- Large 2 gallons or more of cooking oil
- Baking powder & baking soda & spice assortment pack
- Bottled water (especially if home supplies not secured yet)
- Paper or plastic plates/bowls/cups/utensils
- Quality manual can opener, 2 if you don’t already have one at home
- Kitchen matches and disposable lighters
- New garbage cans and lots of liner bags (water storage & waste storage)
- 5 gallon bucket and smaller garbage bags sized for it (toilet)
- Toilet seat for the bucket (or use one from inside the house)
- Toilet paper and, if needed, sanitary napkins, diapers
- Baby wipes (saves water for personal hygiene use)
- Flashlights (ideally LED) and more than one portable radio
- Plenty more batteries, at least three sets, for each of the above
- Bleach (5.25%, without fragrance or soap additives)
- Alcohol and Hydrogen Peroxide
- Aspirin/Tylenol/Motrin, Pepto Bismol, etc.
- Prescription drugs filled, and as much extra as possible
- First aid kits
- Fire extinguishers
- Plenty of dust mask filter protectors
- Cheap plastic hooded rain ponchos for everyone
- Water filters and all other camping type supplies, such as Coleman cook
stove and fuel, ammo, etc., if any sporting goods stocks still available.
- And, of course, rolls of plastic sheeting, duct tape, staple guns, staples, etc.