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Doomsday Preparation. Things to Keep on Hand for Survival
Survival Items To Keep At Home
Doomsday can mean different things to different people. For some it means the end of the world and for others, such as those who experienced hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, it can just feel like the end of the world. There are many scenarios that could occur in other parts of the United States that could cause the kind of chaos that hurricane Katrina did. An explosion of Mt Rainer or any of the other sleeping volcanoes in the Northwest, large scale power outage, earthquake or dirty bomb could cause major urban areas to be disaster zones.
There are some steps that you can take to help prepare for a variety of disasters without having to become a survivalist nut with a cache of weapons buried in the back yard.
Assuming that you will be forced to stay put in your home for a long period of time until services and law and order are restored you should have the basics of survival. Fire, light, water, food, and a weapon.
For defense, a good solution for some is to own a shotgun. Shotguns are cheap and are not subject to the strict laws that handguns are. You can use it for both protection and to kill game to eat if necessary. Keep one in a locked gun cabinet for the day that you might need it.
It is a good idea to keep on hand a few weeks supply of water. Plastic jugs tend to degrade and contaminate the water after a couple of years. A better way to store water is in the old fashioned glass water-cooler jugs. These can be found in wine making supply stores and hold six gallons. You should try to have at least a half gallon per person per day for at least a month and try to catch water off the roof as well.
A good supply of food is critical. You will need food that does not take a great amount of energy to cook such as instant rice, canned beans and spices to make it palpable. Beans and rice together can form a complete protein. Some spices to make them taste better are good to have.
Keep vitamins on hand, protein powder, instant milk, noodles and ramen and canned and dried fruits and vegetables. If you can afford it MRE's or meals ready to eat, as supplied to the military, will last for a long time.
Have a good first aid kit and keep a few weeks supply of medicines that you may need for chronic conditions such as thyroid pills or heart pills. You can order extra from an overseas pharmacy.
For "fire" you will need to have on hand enough propane in an outdoor storage tank or a number of propane cylinders such as for a barbecue pit. An outdoor barbecue pit with a burner you can cook a pot over can serve as your outdoor kitchen.
A generator of at least 2000 watts can be handy to keep frozen foods for a few days longer until your gas supply runs out. Store gas in metal, vented jerry cans.
A generator that runs on propane can run for a couple of weeks on a large outdoor propane tank.
If you sense that your water supply is going to fail fill your tubs and any containers you can find. Later you can set up catchments such as cleaned trash cans under your gutters for toilet flushing and washing water.
You will need some light to cook and live by if you don't have a generator with a large fuel supply. Keep a good supply of batteries and wind up flashlights as well as many candles.
A Well Stocked Tool Kit Is A Necessity For Urban Survival
A good tool kit is part of essential urban survival gear. A good saw, either a chainsaw or hand saw, can help you to clear debris away from your home, etc. Check your home's water meter and determine what kind of tool you need to shut off the supply, then keep that tool in a handy place. You may need to shut off your water to prevent sewage, gas, and other unwanted substances from entering the system in a disaster. Have rags, towels and other things handy that you can stuff down toilet drains to prevent water from back-flooding your home through the sewer system
Stay In Touch With Neighbors
One of the keys to surviving a breakdown of order in an urban area is to form alliances with your neighbors and start a neighborhood watch. In the event that something drastic does happen you will have those contacts already in place. You can use FRS - GMRS radios, which transmit up to ten miles or more, to keep in touch with like minded people. Tune your Family Radio Service walkie talkie to channel 1 in the event of a disaster and establish contact with other neighbors who may have the radios.
Keep a shortwave - AM - FM radio for news. Battery powered radios that feature the TV and NOAA weather band are good choices. Some emergency radios feature a hand crank generator feature, which allows you to charge internal batteries in the event you run out of disposable batteries.
Disaster Gear For Your Car
Think of keeping some of the things mentioned above in your car so that you can be prepared for anything, even if caught away from home. Keep a backpack in your trunk with enough food for several days, some cash in case the networks are down and credit cards are useless. Keep your gas tank full at all times. Keep blankets and a small tent in the trunk along with a good spare tire, jumper cables, several gallons of water in a tough water jug. Consider installing a portable, emergency CB radio in your car or truck for emergency communication. See the resources section for more info on long range CB radios.