Doomsday Preparation. Things to Keep on Hand for Survival
Survival Items To Keep At Home
"Doomsday" can mean many different things to 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, an earthquake or dirty bomb could cause major urban areas to become 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'll 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 needed for survival. Fire, light, water, food, and some kind of means of self defense are essential.
For defense, a good solution for some is to own a shotgun. Shotguns are cheap and are not subject to the same strict laws that handguns are. You can use a shotgun for both protection or 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 type of glass water-cooler jugs. These can be found in wine making supply stores and hold up to six gallons. You should try to have at least a half gallon of water per person per day, for at least a month and then try to catch extra water off the roof as well. Having a small water catchment system, such as one made from a 55 gallon barrel and attached to your gutter's downspout, can give you extra emergency water.
f you think that your water supply may be going to fail, hurry and fill all of your bathtubs and any spare containers that you can find. Later you can set up catchment devices, such as cleaned trash cans, under your gutters to gather toilet flushing and washing water.
Emergency Food Supplies
A good supply of food is critical. You'll need food that doesn't take a great amount of energy and time to cook, such as instant rice, or canned beans and some spices to make it taste better. Beans and rice, when consumed together, can form a complete protein source that can sustain your for a long time.
Keep several kinds vitamins on hand, especially vitamins C an D, along with protein powder, instant milk, dried pasta, canned and dried fruits and vegetables. If you can afford it, MRE's or Meals Ready to Eat, as supplied to our military, can last for a months, even years without refrigeration.
Have a good first aid kit and keep a few weeks supply of medicines that you may need for chronic conditions such as thyroid or heart condition.
In order to cook food, you'll 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 side burner can be very handy to have.
A generator of at least 2000 watts, preferably an efficient inverter type generator, can be handy to keep frozen foods in your freezer for a few days longer, that is until your gas supply runs out. Always store your gas in approved metal, vented safety cans.
A generator that runs on propane can run for a couple of weeks when connected to a large outdoor propane tank. Models such as Generac are available and can be wired come on as soon as your power goes out. Typically these cost anywhere from $6,000 to $15,000 though and may not be an affordable solution for everyone.
You'll need some sources of 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. LED flashlights, which can run for hours on small AA or AAA batteries, as well as a good supply of these batteries, are a good solution.
Stay In Touch With Your Neighbors
One of the keys to surviving a societal collapse in an urban area is to form alliances with your neighbors and start a neighborhood watch ahead of time. In the event that something drastic does happen you'll have those contacts already in place. You can use FRS - GMRS radios, which can transmit up to five miles or more, to keep in touch with like minded people in your neighborhood. Tune your FRS (Family Radio Service) walkie talkie to channel 1 in the event of a disaster and establish contact with other neighbors who may have the same kind of radios. FRS channel 1 is the unofficial "go to" channel for prepper use.
Keep a shortwave - AM - FM radio handy to pick up news broadcasts. Battery powered radios that feature the TV and NOAA weather bands are also 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. Some of these same radios also allow you to use the hand crank feature to charge cell phones.
Disaster Gear For Your Car
Consider keeping some of the things mentioned above in your car so that you can be prepared for anything, even if you're caught away from home. Keep a backpack in your trunk with enough food to last you and your family for several days, as well as some cash in case the networks are down and credit cards become useless. Always keep your gas tank full at all times. This is not only better for your car, as it prevents water from condensing inside the tank, but keeps you prepared if fuel stations close or run out of fuel. Keep some extra blankets and a small tent in the trunk along with a good spare tire, jumper cables, several gallons of water in a water jug that's rated for potable water. (Ordinary gallon water jugs from the store break down over time with heat, and can release harmful chemicals into the water.) Consider installing a portable, emergency CB radio in your car or truck for emergency communication. Truckers still use these radios, and you may be able to listen in on their conversations to find a better escape route.
A Well Stocked Tool Kit Is A Necessity For Urban Survival
A good tool kit is a major part of essential urban survival gear. A good saw, either a small 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 tools you might 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