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pantslesswithwolves
Oct 27, 2008

Ba-dam ba-DUMMMMMM


Pillbug

Scope: What this is and isn’t
Happy National Preparedness Month! Given that half the country is seemingly either on fire, underwater or both and there’s a high likelihood that Antifa supersoldiers will attempt to prevent our beloved President from being reelected, Bored as gently caress and I decided to bring our respective experience, intelligence and devastating handsomeness together to collaborate on a thread introducing the topic of emergency preparedness. This thread is not meant to be a truly comprehensive guide to emergency preparedness, but a foundation for discussion and for people to share their experiences and ask questions. In order to make this more readable, we're going to post this in installments by individual posts.

Read it in good health and an open mind, and remember that you’re not a kook or a nut for wanting to be prepared for an emergency. We have insurance for our cars, our homes and our health - consider emergency preparedness your insurance for everything else. This is not a thread for excessive doomer poo poo or rubbing yourself raw over the prospect of shooting “looters” so take that poo poo somewhere far, far away from here.

One thing this guide will do is try to be a start, especially for those new to prepping. Many prepper blogs, websites, YouTube pages, and forums lean heavily to the right. We will try to save you from most of that, and try to direct you to some apolitical prepping resources.
Though Reddit tends to give you cancer, r/preppers and r/leftprep are actually good resources. We have found r/preppers to be pretty non-political (any political content is an immediate ban), and right-wingers that skirt the line tend to get shouted down and downvoted into oblivion. r/leftprep is for left-leaning individuals like most people here, but it is not active at all anymore. Seems most people have switched over to r/preppers.

Threat Assessments
The first step in preparing for an emergency is determining what types of threats or emergency scenarios you’re likely to face. There are a variety of methods and ways that you can use to guide your thinking, from the more IT-security oriented threat modeling process to risk assessment matrices and many others, but at minimum, a good assessment exercise will entail examining the following:
  • The likelihood of an event
  • The severity of the event
  • Measures that can influence the prevention of the event
  • Measures that can mitigate the damage of the event

This basically means taking a look at your surroundings and doing a little research on issues or incidents that have taken place before. For example, while I live in a place that occasionally gets hurricanes or tropical storms, their frequency is generally pretty sporadic (low likelihood) and the amount of damage they have historically done to my sturdy brick building with nearby well-maintained trees and deep roots is minimal (low severity.) There’s not much I can do to prevent a bad storm, but I can mitigate it further by having a tarp or two and some duct tape so I can secure my windows or prevent water from coming in from my windows if they were to be somehow broken. Another example: if I live near a prominent landmark like a major monument, intersection or plaza, I may want to consider the impact to my area if there’s a major demonstration nearby- is there a history of similar events? What happened during them? How could this influence traffic? Do I have to worry about police firing tear gas?
Asking these types of questions and gaming how what could happen in your area can help guide the types of measures you choose to implement. One of the best features of emergency preparedness is that a lot of the ground work you do for one scenario can get you most of the way to preparing for others- for example, the stuff you’d do to prepare for a bad snowstorm can be equally applicable to a civil event that prompts you to stay indoors for several days.

Some points we think should be emphasized as far as prepping goes. Some of these are opinions, some are just facts.
  • It’s never too late to start prepping.
  • You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars at the start of it. Start small if you’d like - stock up on extra batteries, get an extra thing of toilet paper and paper towels every few trips to Costco or BJs, get one or two extra canned goods every trip to the grocery store, etc.
  • Buying the latest AR-15, rifle plates, and plate carrier is great and all, but it won’t matter if you don’t have enough food, water, medical supplies, or toilet paper. Diversify your spending and attention.
  • Be careful who you talk to about your prepping. There are tons of examples of people telling others about their preps and those people saying “Oh I’m coming to your house when SHTF!” While you may want to be charitable during a disaster, your responsibility is to you and your family and/or mutual aid group. Be as free-speaking as you are comfortable, but be aware that “operational security” is a good thing to keep in mind.
  • Find like minded folks with similar beliefs. Having a group of people you can rely on, and who will rely on you, will be invaluable during any type of disaster, whether it’s a 2 week power outage, or worse.
    In that same vein, try to convince family and close friends to start preparing for disasters, too. Once you’re a little more experienced, offer to help them. Offer to try things together. Make it an activity that’ll bring you closer together. How many of the people of the 500,000 ordered to evacuate around Portland due to the wildfires, do you think were unprepared? Our guess would be most. Helping your family and friends helps you as well - you know that they’ll be able to take care of themselves during a long power outage after a hurricane, or be able to escape with all of their important documents, medications, and necessities if ordered to evacuate. Knowing this will reduce at least some of your stress.
  • The prepping community varies widely in political beliefs - from left wing communes to libertarian conspiracy minded maniacs on the right - but many of the websites, YouTube personalities, and blogs are run by right-wing folks. If you can stomach it, some of these websites or YouTubers actually aren’t complete dogshit, if you can overlook a ridiculous comment here or there. Some are unbearable, conspiracy minded, and can’t shut up about politics and the “urbanites” and poo poo - gently caress those people. But some of the less obnoxious ones have their uses. Don’t dismiss those ones completely - take their knowledge, leave their lovely opinions. As a rule, don’t read the comments, it usually causes cancer. Guys like Canadian Prepper, City Prepping, The Urban Prepper, The Gray Bearded Green Beret are usually pretty okay most of the time, but occasionally say some stupid poo poo.
  • Organize your preps. Get a binder, and make a list of things that you have on hand. Make a list of things you want to buy. Do your research.

Your Home
Part I: Fire/Life Safety
Take a walk around your home. You'll want to make sure you have smoke detectors installed in common areas; it’s recommended to have them installed inside of the kitchen, living room, and outside of where your bedrooms are clustered. Get a carbon monoxide detector for each room, especially in the area around a boiler. Also, position fire extinguishers in each of these locations and one inside of your master bedroom. If your master bedroom is located on the second floor, also consider getting one of those fire escape ladders that you can hang from a window.I'd also get a crowbar and a pair of heavy-duty gloves in case you had to bust out a window. Crowbars are a very versatile tool for breaking some things and lifting others, and are also cheap. Hatchets can also be used to get through debris.

Also take the time to learn where your water and gas shutoff valves are, and whether you need any tools to do so. If you do, acquire them and store them next to the shutoff valves. Make sure you and anyone you live with know how to employ them as necessary.
You will also want to possess tarps/plastic sheeting and the means to affix them (a good toolkit with nails, screws, etc.) to your home in case you lose some windows or part of your roof in a storm.

Part II: Physical Security

Now go outside and take a walk around your property and take a look at potential vulnerabilities. Are there any large trees that are leaning in the direction of your house? Are there other trees that could fall and hit your roof/home? If so, now might be a good time to address them- a tree removal service can advise on that.

Take a look at your doors and windows. What condition are your door locks in? Were they changed when you first moved in? If your locks are in bad shape or if you don’t know if they were changed, you should strongly consider changing them. You can reinforce your doors' strike plates with larger screws that go deeper into the door jamb (this will make them more resistant to being kicked in.) There are commercially available door reinforcement kits like this one but for most people, simply reinforcing the strike plate is good enough. If your front or back door has windows or glass panes that could be chipped out and allow someone to reach a hand in to unlock the door from the inside, you can apply shatter-resistant film to those areas. Also think of getting motion-sensor lights for your backyard area and also for any "dead space" (areas not directly observable from inside of your house, usually along the sides). Getting a camera for your front and back doors is also advisable, but be careful with subscription based services like Ring because of considerable privacy concerns.
If you live in an apartment or a managed property, your options may be a bit limited, especially with regard to doing any kind of modifications to the property such as reinforcing the door, adding lights, etc. That said, you can always do things like get more smoke detectors and fire extinguishers, hang heavier curtains or drapes in front of your bedroom windows, cutting a broomstick to prevent a sliding glass door from being opened, and so forth.

Part III: Personal Documents
Take an afternoon and do the following:
    1. Collect your most important documents. These include:
    Birth certificates and Social Security cards
    Drivers licenses, passports
    Insurance policies and cards (health, homeowners, vehicle, life, etc.)
    Property/vehicle title documents
    Major purchase receipts (appliances, TVs, your collection of Victorian-era softcore pornography)
    Prescription medications (also for vision) and any other important health information, including vaccination records
    Resumes and tax returns
    Email and other account passwords in a document (I also recommend using a password management service like LastPass)
    Pet immunization records (if you are forced to evacuate and have pets, you will need to find a shelter that allows pets, and you will probably have to provide them with immunization records)
    2. Scan these documents. Upload them to a cloud-based service such as Dropbox or Google Docs, and also create an encrypted USB drive for them. If you have Windows 10 Pro, you can use the Bitlocker function for this. If you don't have Win 10 Pro and want it, you can get a legit key for $19 via sellers in SA-Mart.
    3. Store them in a desk drawer (or even better, a small fireproof safe) that you and anyone else you live with can access. Consider storing them in a distinctly colored file so that you both know that if you ever have to leave in a hurry, these are the documents you grab on the way out. You can get a personal laminator with a 100 extra lanating sheets for less than $50.
    4. Also think about doing the same for any important photos, videos you might have.

You can also get a system like Carbonite to back up your system and important files en masse to the cloud- I backed up nearly a terabyte's worth of photos recently.

If you or your cohabitants are on any prescription medicines, think about talking to your doctor about getting 2-3 months of prescriptions filled in advance to have in reserve. This obviously gets tricky if we're talking about anything controlled, but this is a valid reason to ask and it certainly doesn't hurt to try. Also keep your pets in mind- my dog has at least an extra months’ worth of his prescriptions stashed away.

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Bored As Fuck
Jan 1, 2006
Be polite. Be professional. But be prepared to PARTAYYY!

Fun Shoe

Part IV: Your Vehicle

Having preps stored in your vehicle is a good idea.  You can’t always carry around a go-bag, and you have a lot of room in your vehicle to store what you need to get home.  The subreddit r/VEDC, meant for Vehicle Every Day Carry, is a great resource - you can get ideas from people who have spent hours working on what exactly to put in their vehicles.  People who are way more prepared than you are, who have tried out different ideas and have found what works for them.  Take their expertise and use it to better prepare yourself.

A good thing to do is to always fill up your gas tank as soon as it hits the 50% mark - this way, you will always have at least half a tank of gas at all times.  This should allow you to have enough gas if there is a blackout and gas stations lose power, or if evacuation orders come and the line at the gas stations are a mile long.  

The bare minimum you should have in your vehicle is:

quote:

  • A change of clothes appropriate for the season, including 2 pairs of socks.
  • If you tend to wear sandals or flip flops a lot, store a good pair of sneakers or boots in the vehicle.
  • A rain jacket
  • Medical kit/first aid kit (see the Medical Post).
  • A spare tire, and an appropriate jack, and a tire iron for the lug nuts
  • Water - do not store it in plastic bottles.  When they get heated in the summer, they release microplastics into the water.  Store in canteens, or double-walled bottles like this.
  • Emergency food rations, or MREs.  Note: MREs degrade quickly if stored in the heat, so beware of that in the summer.  The Emergency Food Rations, a little less so, but I’d switch 'em out every year or two if you keep them in the summer heat.
  • Tire gauge
  • Can of Fix a Flat
  • Road flares, or the battery powered or reflective mini emergency road cones
  • High visibility vest w/hi visibility trim
  • Multitool
  • Good flashlight (turn around battery so it isn't inadvertently turned on) 18650 battery preferably (can use 2 CR123s instead)
  • Pen, Rite in Rain notepad, garbage bag.
  • Empty gas can


Here is a vehicle kit I originally copied from r/VEDC, and pasted into this Google doc as so not to overwhelm the thread. I’ve since edited it, re-organized it, and refined it a little.  Use it as a starting off point - some things you may not need/want.  I still need to purchase things from this list - it’s extensive.  But ensuring you can get home during an emergency, or evacuate your family safely if evacuation orders come, are of the utmost importance.  There is nothing more important than your safety.   

Bored As Fuck
Jan 1, 2006
Be polite. Be professional. But be prepared to PARTAYYY!

Fun Shoe

Food, Water, and Sanitation

----------------------- FOOD -----------------------

The U.S. government recommends that every citizen have enough food and water for at least two weeks.  That is what you should strive for if you’re starting out.  You can expand from there, but two weeks is what you need to shoot for at a minimum.  Chances are good that you already have something close to that in your pantry.  Click here for a very basic Prepping 101 guide for Food and Water from FEMA (death camp not included).

If there's one place where people tend to go overboard without really considering what they're doing, it's here. A lot of people may be tempted to go out and buy a lot of food without considering calorie values, sodium intake, etc. and delude themselves into thinking that they're good to go. I would think of this in terms of layers as follows:

  • Fridge
  • Freezer
  • Pantry
  • Emergency / Long Term Food Storage
Your fridge should contain the stuff most likely to go bad soonest, i.e. fresh produce, milk, eggs, etc. Most modern fridges will keep cool for at least 24 hours, to a couple days if you're disciplined about when you open it, so these are the items you'd want to eat first.  

Freezers can retain their temperature for much longer and this is where you'd want things like frozen meats and vegetables especially.  Even if you have lost power, goods in freezers can typically last at least 48 hours if the freezer is full. If you have the space for it, consider getting another refrigerator/freezer combo,  or even a dedicated freezer and storing it in your garage or basement - you can get a very basic model for less than $200, and this will allow you to keep even more of "the good stuff" on hand.  It also allows you to also purchase food in bulk more often.  Suddenly those 120 pack pizza rolls from Costco won’t take up your whole freezer.  It’s also a great place to store meat if you plan on getting into hunting and eating what you kill.  

We might address generators in a different post, but be advised that if you’re going to rely on perishables in a fridge and freezer, that it’s a must to have even a small capacity generator that’ll allow you to power your fridge and freezer, and maybe some fans and phone chargers.

Your pantry is where you'll want to store your shelf-stable stuff, i.e. pasta, canned goods, nuts, etc. For this, you'll want stuff that's dense in calories and keeps for a long time. Think dried AND canned beans, dried rice, dried vegetables, etc. Bouillon and spices can also keep things interesting. This is where you'd go after exhausting the fridge and freezer. Acquiring canned food is not something you need to do all at once- it's as simple as adding a couple of extra cans of food to your grocery cart as your budget allows. 

Make note of the expiration dates (I have Google calendar reminders for mine as well as a written record in my pantry) and put newer cans towards the back of the shelves/cupboards so you use the older ones first.  Many people have made custom shelving systems that raises the rear of the shelf, so that the ones closest to expiration/oldest ones get pushed down, like you see with the sodas at 7-11 or Wawa.  This YouTube guy has a whole video on how to do it.  See the description below the video for supplies needed.

----------------- Long Term, Shelf Stable Foods ----------------
For true emergencies (i.e. a large storm or natural disaster forces your evacuation), you should have shelf-stable foods.  There are several types of these foods.  You have your typical military style Meals Ready to Eat (MREs), freeze-dried food, or you can buy the bulk shelf stable ingredients yourself.  You can buy prefabricated boxes of emergency food rations from a variety of vendors. 
For your car and backpack/go-bags, this highly dense and enriched ration bar is a good choice.  It’s approved by the U.S. Coast Guard for boating emergencies, it’s non thirst-provoking, has a 5 year shelf life (probably longer if you keep it in a cool dry place), and is cheap. Buy a few - it could keep you alive one day.

Meals Ready to Eat 
I’m sure many of you reading this had to rely on MREs for at least boot camp, so this isn’t anything new to you.  For everyone else, MREs contain a main entre (breakfast or dinner), a few snacks/sides, a coffee kit, a sweet (Skittles, candybar, Poptarts), a powdered Gatorade-type electrolyte drink, and spreads - sometimes peanut butter or jam or cheese to put on the crackers or bread.  If you want a website with more info about MREs than you’ll ever need to know, go here.

MREs last around 5 years according to their manufacturers, but they, or at least some of their contents, could last considerably longer if stored in a cool, dry environment.  The electrolyte drink mix and coffee are definitely going to last longer than the Poptarts and candybars.  

There are a couple of drawbacks here - one, many MREs are high in sodium so they can result in higher water consumption and two, they are bulky and difficult to store in quantity.  Military-style MREs have their own flameless ration heaters that require a little bit of water to activate, but said water doesn't need to be pure (it can even be dishwater or recycled water as it won't be coming into direct contact with your food itself.) Note that MREs are already very calorie dense and if we're at the point where we're using those, you can probably stretch out a three-day supply to a week or longer.  

I have found that the best MRE brand is Meal Kit Supply.  Here is a review from a guy named Steve who reviews MREs for a living on YouTube.  He looks like Kyle Reese from The Terminator / Corporal Hicks from Aliens, is genuinely funny, and has risked botulism by tasting MRE’s older than your father.  Here is a review of the Meal Kit Supply MRE case (12 pack).

MREs can be found for purchase at several reputable websites (note that since the world is going to poo poo, availability is limited and the good stuff tends to sell out quick):

https://us.mealkitsupply.com/ 

https://www.mremarketplace.com/shop/

https://mremountain.com/ 

Freeze-Dried Food
These can get expensive, quick.  However, properly stored (in a dry, cool environment like a basement or cellar), many of these prepared boxes or cans of freeze-dried food can last up to 25 years.  Buy once, cry once. All you need to do is add the prescribed amount of water, let the food rehydrate for the amount it says on the box, and you’re good to go.  It doesn’t matter whether the water is boiled/heated.  Though most of the food that’s supposed to be served hot will taste better with hot water, you can just pour in cool water in a pinch.  The food has already been cooked.  No cooking is necessary.  

Mountain House is easily the best brand and is recommended by everyone.  Years ago they were geared more towards hikers and adventurers, but they’ve really expanded the amount of bulk items they carry in the last 10 years. 
There are several other brands of freeze-dried food, such as Wise Food, but stay away from them - Wise had a class action lawsuit against them for repeatedly overstating the calories their meals provided.  They are said to be less tasty, as well.  

Most of the freeze-dried food you will see come in #10 cans.  They’re pretty much the standard can size for restaurant sized items as well as prepping supplies, so if you’ve ever worked in a restaurant, you’ve seen them.   Freeze-dried food is very compact.  

See the resources section below for recommendations.

-------------- BULK RAW INGREDIENTS --------------
Bulk flour, grains, rice, beans, sugar, salt, and pepper can last for years if properly stored and properly sealed.  It is not within the scope of this megathread to go over how to do this, but it can be easily done with the right cans, oxygen sealers, oxygen absorbers (silica packets), and storage environment.  It is usually recommended that you freeze the grains, rice, etc for at least 48 hours to kill any possible weevils (little bugs that like eating your stuff).  This will be a lot easier if you have an extra freezer.  Then you simply seal them in #10 cans or whatever you’re using.  

Some quick Google searching provided me with a bunch of websites of various political leanings that instruct, step by step, on how to store bulk raw ingredients.  Just Google it  - my advice for leftist preppers on all these right wing leaning prepper sites has always been to take their actual guidance / advice, skip their politics or conspiracy bullshit, and prep your stuff.  

Resources for Food Stuffs
This Google Doc has a list of places where you can order food, MREs, freeze-dried food, long term storage supplies, raw ingredients, prepared foods, spices, etc.  Found the original list on r/preppers, pared it down a little and added the stores I’ve actually ordered from.  

----------------------- DO YOU EVEN DIG, BRO? -----------------

Another thing you may want to think about is setting up a garden and growing vegetables, then pickling/canning them for storage. This is something I have no experience with but if I ever move into a home with a yard, it's something I'd consider for sure.  There are a ton of guides both in writing form and on YouTube.  

Also remember that you should have additional food on hand for your pets. Ironically enough, Lando was probably the member of our household best prepared for COVID as I underestimated how much dog food we had on hand for him, so I bought two bags of dog food when he didn’t need any to begin with. 

----------------------- WATER -----------------------

You can survive three weeks without food, but only three days without water.  Store water, and several different and redundant ways to purify it if your water supply becomes contaminated.  Even now, when things are supposedly “normal,” you hear about problems with the water supply of a city here or there, where residents are forced to boil their water for at least 15 minutes before they can drink it, or use it to prepare food.  
 
LESSON: STORE WATER. 

The general rule of thumb for water storage is one gallon of water per person per day for drinking, hygiene and cooking. Two weeks for two people would be 14 gallons, but let's call it 20 to build in a little bit extra just in case, and also for your pets, etc. Note that if you are in a hotter climate, and are going to do work around the house or outside, you’re going to need to increase it by at least another gallon per day, making your requirements 2 gallons per person per day.  Pregnant and nursing women also need more water, so allocate at least an extra gallon per day.  Also note that if you are using dehydrated foods like the ones stated above, you should also increase your water storage to accommodate for the water you’ll be using to rehydrate that food.  

Buying Water by the Gallon

For short term storage that you rotate out regularly, you can buy gallons of water from any store in those one gallon containers.  Stores like Costco and BJs sell them $6 for 6 of them.  If you buy gallons of water like this, be advised that the casing is pretty flimsy and it might be a good idea to store them in a large tupperware or some other waterproof container in case they break. This will make clean-up easier and also lower the risks of water damage/mold in your home.  We would be wary of storing them for any more than six months, or maybe a year if it’s in a cool dry place like a basement.  

Long Term Water Storage
The only thing that really sucks about stockpiling water is that it's heavy and bulky (one gallon weighs over eight pounds.) There are many different types and sizes of water containers.  From collapsible 5 gallon containers, to giant tanks you can purchase that contain 5,000 or 12,000 gallons, there’s a lot of products out there.  Note that tap water can last anywhere from 6 months to 1 year untreated.  If you want peace of mind and to just be like Ron Popeil - “set it and forget it” - you’re going to have to treat the water with either bleach or a water preserver chemical, which will preserve it for up to 4-5 years.  Write with a permanent marker on the water container when exactly you first stored the water.  This will help you immensely when it’s time to rotate your stock.  Store it out of sunlight, in a cool, dry place.  Closets, under stairwells, basements, are great.  

Below are the containers we recommend.  

5 Gallon Containers. 
When full, they are heavy, but they are portable and movable.  Most designs are stackable.  On Amazon, we recommend a water kit that has four 5 gallon water containers, 6 lids, 2 spigots, and 1 bottle of Water Preserver that can treat up to 55 gallons (put in before you seal the container).  You’ll also need a wrench to open the bottles and replace it with a spigot.  This kit contains pretty much everything you’ll need.  Buy a couple of extra wrenches, because if you lose one, or one breaks, you’ll have to pretty much destroy the lid to get it off.  Trust us.  The kit is relatively inexpensive for the peace of mind you’ll get.  Here’s a pic of what you get (note - you only get 4 of the containers, not the 10 they show in the picture):
[pic]https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/61BhqtvC86L._AC_SL1000_.jpg[/pic]

5 gallon containers also come in collapsible, sturdy plastic that are great if you’re short on space.  Be prepared to fill these up in a hurry if there’s an emergency though, and be advised that during some emergencies like the water supply being contaminated, these won’t help you at all, as you typically won’t have any forewarning of that type of disaster.

Larger Containers (>5)
Anything larger than 5 gallons, and you’re probably going to want to keep it in one place.  55 Gallon containers are pretty good, but completely full of water they weigh a whopping 440 pounds.  So, yeah.  It’s gonna stay there. Buy quality containers.  Before you fill it up, you may want to place it on a sturdy dolly, so you can at least move it from one side of one room to the other:
 
Amazon sells one kit that includes: (1) 55 gallon barrel, (2) 2" barrel plug fittings, 6' siphon hose with hand pump, Aqua Mira water-treatment bottles, and a barrel opener.  Pic below.  


There are a bunch of other places online that sell them for similar prices. Shop around.

HUGE Containers

If you’re lucky enough to own a home, and you are lucky enough for it to be your “forever home,” you may want to consider some truly massive containers that can store more than 1,000 gallons.  They come in varying capacities, with prices increasing as the capacity goes up.  With these huge tanks, you and your family or group will have plenty of potable water for a LONG time.  There are containers that can only be stored above ground, and these are less expensive.  Some of these are specifically meant for rainwater-catchment systems.  

If we consider operational security here, you might not want to advertise that you have potable water to everyone during a prolonged emergency.  Maybe you, personally, would.  But be aware that people might see someone with a big water tank in their backyard, or somewhere on their property, and think that if they’ve got a water tank, they might have some other stuff they could use, too.  Maybe that’s paranoid, but sometimes it’s better to be safe, than sorry.  

The huge containers that are stored below ground are significantly more pricey than the same capacity above-ground tank, but they’re more durable, as they can withstand the weight of the earth above them.  They also don’t advertise your preparations.
Look into your local zoning laws before purchasing either above-ground or below-ground tanks.  Additionally, not only will you have to factor into consideration the hefty price tag for the tanks, but also any additional shipping and installation costs.  You may have to hire a company to dig the hole where the tank will go in.  

Water Storage Accessories.
Depending on what you buy, you may need a siphoning kit, extra spouts, etc.  Always keep extra wrenches, spouts, siphoning kits, spigots, and water purification supplies.  

----------------------- Water Filtration -----------------------

There are stationary filters, and portable ones.  You should have both.  You can buy those little Brita or Pur filters to affix to the end of your tap, or you can get an under-the-sink filter, or you can get a whole-home water filter.  These whole-house systems typically cost around $1,800+, so they’re a big investment for most people.  

Stationary Filters
The under-the-sink filter is what I personally recommend - they aren’t as expensive as a whole-house filter, and the good ones can take out virus, bacteria, lead, mercury, and a whole bunch of bad poo poo you don’t want inside you.  Some can be had for less than $150, while the more advanced under-the-sink filters can be over $500.  Some cursory Googling landed me with this one, and it seems pretty highly rated.  As said earlier, this megathread is just a jumping off point.  If someone has expertise in water filtration, we’ll take feedback.  

----------------------- Portable Water Filters -----------------------

Portable water filters are great to have for your go-bag/bug out bags.  This is a bit of a blind spot, as we’re not experienced backpackers.  If anyone has better recommendations, let us know!  Below is a list of recommended portable filters by type.  Here’s a guide by REI on the differences between water filters and water purifiers, and may help you decide what you need or want.  

1.  Water Bottle Filters
We haven’t found many recommended water filters that come in either a steel or plastic water bottle form.  We have found a significant amount of negative reviews for the following item, which was widely recommended by a bunch of websites.  The Grayl Geopress was widely recommended, but has a huge amount of negative reviews on REI.  At a hefty price tag of $90, it might not be worth it.  Many people had issues with the press, even putting their entire weight on it wouldn’t make it budge.  Buyer beware.  

The Rapidpure Intrepid Water filter can filter and purify things up to 100 times smaller than .02 microns, and it’s only $60.  However, it only has four reviews on REI, so it may be untested.    

2.  Hand-held Filters
These water filters have more capacity, and they tend to be good for groups of 2 or more. The company Katadyn is widely recommended and well-reviewed.
Katadyn Pocket  Water Filter[/url is $369.  That’s a hefty price tag, but it works well and is well reviewed - we found several negative reviews, as well, though.  It is a hand-pump design that filters down to .02 microns.  

The LifeSaver Liberty Water Purifier Bottle Seems to be a hybrid design, where you can use it as both a water bottle, as well as a hand-held pump to pour purified water in a larger container.  At $125, it’s pricey, though certainly less so than the Katadyn.  Produces up to 440 gallons (2,000 liters) of clean water.

----------------------- Water Purification -----------------------
You can purify water with drops of regular, unscented bleach, or water purification tablets.  Have both.  Keep some tablets in your go bag.  There are a bunch of different types that are sold on Amazon, REI, and prepping websites.  

Here is a guide for purifying water (includes how to do it with bleach): https://www.epa.gov/ground-water-an...-drinking-water

Rainwater Catchment Systems
You can look into rainwater catchment systems with the caveat that you may need to treat said water via boiling and/or with chemicals before you can drink it, but it would be excellent for irrigating a garden.  There are a ton of guides on how to do this online.  
Here are some additional water resources: 
https://youtu.be/VHTSwPnivbU
https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/em...ter-supply.html
https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org...elines?lang=eng
https://www.ready.gov/water

----------------------- Sanitation and Hygiene -------------------

Sanitation is an often overlooked aspect of prepping, but is critical for the health and safety of yourself and your loved ones.  Once the power is out, the water stops running.  If you’re lucky enough to have a pool, and you’re lucky enough for the disaster to happen in a time when your pool is open, you can take baths in there, and use buckets to bring in water to flush your toilets.  Not everyone is so lucky.  This is why you must plan and prepare to clean yourself and dispose of waste.  

You should have baby wipes, paper towels, and toilet paper on hand.  Have a LOT of toilet paper.  If you’re hard up for storage, buy a few sets of these.  These are compressed wipes that are extremely compact, and expand in water.  They’re really, really cool - add water, and what used to look like 2 Tums, turns into this:

Cut or tear them in half, or quarters, and use them as baby wipes or toilet wipes.  Even if you do have a pallet of toilet paper or paper towels, you should buy some of those for your bug out bags and vehicle kits.  There’s a bunch of different brands and styles of them - check out which brand you trust the reviews of, or just buy a set and try some out.  Amazon’s pretty great with returns.  

Trust me when I say you do not want to run out of toilet paper.  You don’t want to start having to use a communal sponge-stick like the Romans, do you?  

Poop and Pee Pee
You’re human.  You’re going to have to urinate and defecate.  Hell, you might be adjusting to a completely different diet now that you’re relying on your food reserves - your stomach might be having a real rough go at it.  You need a way to cleanly and safely dispose of your waste.  But wait - the power is out.  Or the city’s water system is down.  Or both.  Well, there are several products that you can get to cleanly and safely dispose of your poop and pee. You do not want to have to go outside and dig a latrine trench in the blistering winter, or withering heat, though if the disaster is long enough, it might eventually come to that.  

You can get a commode, and use regular or purpose-made garbage bags to dispose of solid and liquid waste.  Many prepping websites and Amazon sell 5 gallon buckets that have a toilet seat on them, and specially-made garbage bags with chemicals meant to sanitize and block offensive odors.  The Luggable Loo is one such item.  You can also buy extra waste bags, such as these that are compostable for it.  You can find other, non-compostable bags for a lot cheaper here.  There are privacy curtains available, as well.  Properly disposing of solid waste will help prevent disease, fly infestations, and horrendous odors.  

Soap, Shampoo, etc.
You’re going to need to clean yourself.  The disaster could happen during the summer, and you may not be able to shower for weeks.  Even during the winter, you’re gonna get pretty gnarly after a while.  Having baby wipes on hand is a great idea, especially if you are low on stored water.  Even if you aren’t, having a few spare cases won’t hurt anybody.  Just rotate them during the year.  Fear not if they dry out - just add water and they’re good as new.  Note: If you use baby wipes to wipe your butt, 1) good for you, you treat yourself!, and 2) DO NOT FLUSH BABY WIPES, EVEN ONES THAT SAY THEY ARE FLUSHABLE!  They will clog your city’s sewer system, or your septic system.  Get some dog poo poo bags and place your used baby wipes in them, tie them, and throw them in a waste basket like a civilized human!  

For showers and cleaning your hair, waterless shampoo and body wash are available for sale on Amazon and any prepping website.  I’d recommend you buy at least two weeks worth.  Some body washes like this require a minimal amount of water (1 quart or 32oz for one person) and a towel of some sort, but it’s way better than just using baby wipes.  Speaking of wipes, you can also get “bathing wipes” that are way bigger than standard baby wipes.  Might be worth checking out.  

Washing Clothes

What about cleaning clothes?  This is where having a rainwater catch system and/or a ton of stored water on hand comes in handy.  There’s some YouTube vids that may help:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mOm...outhernprepper1
https://youtu.be/RtbkXyWFFm8

Here’s a handy article on a bunch of options for washing clothes: https://www.theprepperjournal.com/2...grid-goes-down/

Dishes/Plates and Utensils

Though it may go against your sensibilities, you’re going to need to keep a bunch of disposable utensils and a ton of paper plates and bowls on hand.  You will not be able to do the dishes, much less run your dishwasher, during an emergency.  You will not want to waste precious water on doing the dishes.  Unless you have several hundred gallons of water already, and have set aside 55 gallon drums specifically for clothes washing and the dishes, I wouldn’t even think of using normal utensils.  Keep in mind that this will greatly increase the amount of garbage you make, so keep at least two large / Costco or BJs sized packages of garbage bags on hand at all times, in addition to the one you currently use.  Some paper plates are compostable, so keep that in mind when purchasing them.  

If you absolutely must use normal utensils, stick to using one set per person, and sanitize them after every meal with minimal water.

Bored As Fuck fucked around with this message at 00:35 on Sep 20, 2020

pantslesswithwolves
Oct 27, 2008

Ba-dam ba-DUMMMMMM


Pillbug

Medical
At Home
You should at minimum have one of these Red Cross first aid kits at home as they’re good for treating the symptoms of most common types of injuries and illnesses. There is nothing worse than an unwrapped first aid kit, so I’d recommend that you open it up and examine each item and where it fits in the kit. I would also recommend augmenting your home medical supplies with single-dose units of Benadryl (diphenhydramine hydrochloride), Tylenol (acetaminophen), Motrin (ibuprofen), antacids, anti-diarrhea (loperamide), anti-gas medications like Gas-X, and any generic Zyrtec or Allegra. Adventure Medical is a great company that makes packets of these things for cheap. Buy several of them and keep them in your home kit and the other ones I’m going to recommend.
Also consider your pets - you can get non-adhesive bandages (i.e. won’t stick to fur) like VetWrap for extremely cheap. You can also use this on humans; for allergy purposes, be advised that it contains latex. You will also want a bandanna or something you can wrap around your dog’s snout as a muzzle- animals in pain can react defensively, even with people they know and love. Also, find out the address and phone numbers for both your preferred local vet as well as your emergency one, and store them as well.

Vehicle Kits
A lot of cars come with something resembling a “first aid kit” and they’re all pretty crappy, usually containing a few band-aids and other stuff that’s not super useful. This Red Cross kit is a good start, but I would also augment it with gauze (preferably one with a hemostatic agent like QuikClot, Combat Gauze or Celox), chest seals (for penetrating chest trauma), a SAM splint (for stabilizing fractures), and mylar space blankets (for keeping someone warm- hypothermia is common with traumatic injuries.)
You should store your car kit in an accessible area of the car. Inside of the trunk you should have a couple of gallons of water, some food (granola bars are great for this), some heavy-duty gloves, your flat tire kit, flares/emergency flashers.

Trauma Management
A lot of weirdo preppers fetishize trauma management because they think they’re going to be treating gunshots left and right. The fact of the matter is that they are extremely unlikely to do so, but traumatic injuries can present themselves via a vehicle collision or an accident at home. Regardless of the mechanism of injury, there are a number of things that you can apply in a prehospital setting that will help a patient’s prognosis SIGNIFICANTLY, require next to no skill to apply, and are minimally invasive, therefore bearing little to no risk to the patient. These are the aforementioned hemostatic gauze, chest seals, and tourniquets. North American Rescue is my preferred vendor for this type of equipment - they make this Mini-First Aid Kit (M-FAK) that are tried and true.These are pricy kits, but they’re worth it. They’re meant to be used for individuals.

Training
You can have an entire ambulance’s worth of medical gear and equipment, but unless you know how to use it, it’s completely worthless. Fortunately, there are a number of low-cost or even free courses that provide an excellent foundation of medical skills that you can build upon. These are the Red Cross’s CPR/Automatic External Defibrillator (AED), National Outdoor Leadership School’s (NOLS) Wilderness First Aid (WFA), and Stop the Bleed.

CPR/AED is self-explanatory, and many cities’ Fire/EMS or Red Cross will offer extremely cheap or free courses. If that’s the case, try to get in on one every few years.
NOLS’ Wilderness Medicine Institute has a well-developed…Wilderness Medicine program. Wilderness First Aid (WFA) is their entry-level course and is applicable in austere settings (i.e. post-disaster, areas where definitive medical care may be a lengthy drive away). They’ve partnered with REI to hold courses very frequently. They’re low-cost (around $250) for a 16-hour course that you can do in a weekend, and the certification is valid for two years. They also offer a Wilderness First Responder certification, which is taught over 9 days and significantly expands on the topics offered in WFA.

Stop the Bleed is basically an introduction to the equipment and treatment outlined in the previous section on trauma management. You’ll learn how to apply a tourniquet, chest seals, pack a wound, etc. specifically in the context of trauma management. Pre-COVID, these courses were being offered very frequently and will likely be offered again at the same interval.

Tactical Emergency Casualty Care is a “civilian-ized” version of the military’s Tactical Combat Casualty Care and is aimed at trauma management during a critical incident. While it’s primarily intended for EMS personnel or other first responders, I’ve seen versions of these courses offered at shooting ranges that strip out things like surgical airway management (if you have to ask what that is, you have no business learning how to do it) so that they can be done in a single evening.

[POST]Community
A lot of people in the prepper community like to point at the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina as an example of post-disaster communal violence and societal breakdown, and they’re wrong. While major emergencies tend to aggravate existing security issues, the complete collapse of community cohesion and order is exaggerated, and in most cases, neighbors and strangers tend to help one another out. The first step in doing so is getting to know your neighbors and learning more about what skills, assets or vulnerabilities they may present. For example, through casual conversation (a skill learned by not being a typical goony shut-in!), I’ve learned that I have one neighbor who’s a doctor, another who recently remodeled their kitchen on their own, another who does most of their own car maintenance. I’ve also learned that I have other neighbors who have young kids and others who are immunosuppressed or require extra help in getting around. Knowing more about my immediate neighbors has given me an idea of who I might be able to look to for help, and also, who I may need to help out should the situation call for it.

Beyond getting to know your neighbors, there may be community resources in your area that can be engaged. Look and see if you have a local Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). These are basically teams of volunteers who are trained in a variety of skills, including light search and rescue, first aid, and other disaster response skills in order to support local fire/EMS/public safety. Getting involved with them can be a good way to learn about community resources and give you a view of how your local government/community can respond to an emergency. Again, this doesn’t turn you into a professional first responder- CERT members may do things like administrative work or patient triage to free up more experienced professionals for more critical tasks.

Another thing to look into are mutual aid networks. Mutual aid is something that grew out of left anarchism and basically involves organizing neighbors/communities to address shared and individual needs to the extent possible. A lot of communities organized their own de facto mutual aid networks during COVID, and this is something that could be leveraged during a disaster as well.
We encourage you to look into other local groups or collectives at your own level- the more you know about the assets and liabilities that neighbors and community at large possess, the better.

Additional Resources
I’m throwing here a bunch of links and other things you may want to consider. They range from pretty milquetoast things to some more “prepper” type blogs, so I’d encourage you to read with a discerning eye and take from each the things that speak to you. Anyone who’s spent time doing research on emergency preparedness knows that you’ll encounter some really kooky right-wing poo poo out there, so just gloss over it and learn what you can.

Website: ready.gov
This site is maintained by the Department of Homeland Security and is basically the public-facing information for how the US government recommends people prepare for emergencies. A lot of this information is very general and there are other sites that go into greater/better detail, but this is a very good starting point.

Podcast: Worst Year Ever: The Reasonable Person’s Guide to Prepping
This presents the topic in a pretty accessible way. The main presenter, Robert Evans, is a goon, a good journalist and also a leftist gun nut but in general is a very even-keeled and good resource. His other podcast (Behind the Bastards) is great and pretty funny.

Blog: The Place with No Name: Lessons from Katrina
A guy who lived through Hurricane Katrina put a lot of his lessons to paper. There’s some good information here, including workbooks and checklists, that you can repurpose for yourself.

Website: The Prepared
This was a linked resource from the Worst Year Ever podcast. It’s pretty even keeled and non-kooky. There’s a lot of information here, written in a very no-nonsense and non-fringy way.

Book: Field Guide to Wilderness Medicine
This is a book that’s definitely meant for a medical professional but a layperson can still comprehend a good chunk of it. There are a lot of things here that are outside the scope of practice for anyone but paramedics or physicians, but there are a lot of useful things to apply to an austere setting. There is also NOLS Wilderness Medicine textbook (6th Edition) that is more appropriate for non-medical personnel and may be easier for someone without a lot of training to comprehend.

SA Thread: Post Your Bug-Out Bag
We haven’t covered bug-out bags/run-bags/whatever in the initial posts of this thread, but this is a good recent thread from The Great Outdoors.

SA Thread: TFR’s June Chat Thread
This thread started out with a great conversation about preparing for hurricane season, and has a lot of good stuff in it.

SA Thread: Body Armor and Plate Carrier Megathread
Fellow GIPper and thread collaborator Bored as gently caress did a great thread outlining the various types of body armor and plate carriers if you assess that body armor is a part of your preparedness strategy.

SA Thread: GSW: The pathophysiology and treatment of gunshot wounds.
A medgoon breaks down how gunshot wounds cause tissue damage, and the effectiveness of various pre-hospital treatments. This is a fantastic and well-sourced OP and has some great discussion in it.

YouTube Videos
There are several decent YouTubers that we can recommend. Some decent videos with good knowledge are listed below. Add them to a playlist and explore the YouTuber’s channels - there’s plenty of good info out there, whether the person is a MAGA CHUD or not. Some of the below goes into camping/bushcraft skills - but during an extended emergency, there may be no power for days or weeks - you may need wilderness skills to keep warm, cook food, etc.

15 Things That Preppers Should Hoard
https://youtu.be/WkjwpL8LOgI

How to Start Prepping: Top 10 List
https://youtu.be/hXSV5LXVrqE

7 Campire Techniques Every [One] Must Know
https://youtu.be/Y0iwAzEm96A

20 Wilderness Survival Tips and Bushcraft Techniques
https://youtu.be/fZndJO2jUJk

pantslesswithwolves fucked around with this message at 03:04 on Sep 22, 2020

The Voice of Labor
Apr 8, 2020



I would suggest packing an e-tool in the trunk of your car. It doesn't take up much space and if you have to dig, as in dig your tires out of a rut or dig a fire pit, you have a tool for it.

warsow
Jun 28, 2009


These are really great posts, thank you for consolidating this info.

ASAPI
Apr 20, 2007
I invented the line.

Thanks for the level of effort you put into this. Kinda shocked we didn't already have a thread about this.

Anyone know anything about how to determine friend or foe when reaching out to groups of people in the event everything goes to poo poo? Other than lurk on the HAM radio and hope your neighbors are dicks seems to be all I can find.

warsow
Jun 28, 2009


Another great option for water storage (especially for those of us in urban areas) is the something that allows bathtub storage like the waterbob:

WaterBOB Bathtub Emergency Water Storage Container, Drinking Water Storage, Hurricane Survival, BPA-Free (100 Gallon) (1) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B001AXLUX...b_hCqAFbZCA3HVR

It’s a bladder that you lay in the tub and can hold 100 gallons, fills quick and works very well.

And if a storm or other event is coming and you happen to have room, make as much ice as you can. Tupperware and ziploc bags (leave some space for expansion) work wonders. You’ll be able to keep your cold goods slightly longer, and have extra water if you really need it.

The Oldest Man
Jul 28, 2003



I like these things for supplementary water storage:
https://www.amazon.com/WaterBOB-Eme...e/dp/B001AXLUX2

You are often going to have an opportunity to fill containers before a municipal water shutoff, and this is a relatively cheap and compact way to significantly increase the amount of potable water you can safely store (and the amount of time it'll keep for) if you have at least a little advance notice. The disadvantage is that it's effectively single use because it's hard to sterilize it to use a second time.

Edit: Well poo poo

So that I'm not just providing duplicate information, I think a critical step in preparedness is actually understand what scenarios you're preparing for and what services may and may not be available and for how long. Read your state and municipal emergency planning documents. Read public documents about recent emergency management exercises in your area to see what the people who are getting paid to think about this are training for.

As an example, FEMA recommends that everyone have a 2 week/14 day plan for fresh water. Locally, it's pretty clear from government studies and training exercises that a major earthquake would more than likely disrupt my city's municipal water for 4 weeks with some areas of my city not getting water service back for up to 8 weeks. Ideally there would be military/FEMA relief after the recommended 2 weeks, but maybe not. Maybe it'll be there in 2 weeks but it'll take them 3 to get it running efficiently. And if municipal water is the only thing that's not back up and running after a month, having a larger water storage capacity for me means more breathing room to decide if I want to evacuate or ride it out, more breathing room to decide if it's safe to go to a government water distribution point (or to not have to haul my rear end there if it's hard to reach, I'm sick, my car's been destroyed by debris, etc.) Even in the event it looks like the situation is going to be resolved relatively quickly, storing extra water for a disaster involving a probable water shortage means I can help others who might be forced into doing desperate dumb poo poo for want of a 5 gallon jug of water, or who are homeless and don't have the material ability to prepare at all.

This situation for me is very, very different than someone who lives in a wildfire area and whose most likely scenario is going to involve getting in their car and driving away from whatever static preparations they made at home. I think understanding your likely scenarios and what your biggest bottlenecks are going to look like helps not only decide what you should focus on, but it also attaches disaster preparedness to the real world. "Preparedness" is a collection of related activities that should conform to local material reality, not a single activity that is the same everywhere.

The Oldest Man fucked around with this message at 21:11 on Sep 21, 2020

Nitrousoxide
May 30, 2011

do not buy a oneplus phone




Something I don't see a ton of people talk about when they're prepping is planning ahead for cold weather sleep. In a situation where you don't have access to clean water you are almost certainly not going to have access to heat your house which means you need to be prepared for temperatures that would be as low as would be feasible in your area.

A good cold weather sleeping bag or camping down quilt can ensure that you can not freeze to death. It's a useful purchase even if you don't hike or plan on camping out.

You can almost certainly make do with a sufficient number of blankets piled on top of each other but keep in mind that if you personally require four or five blankets to not freeze to death in sub-zero temperatures without any heating that everyone else in your family will also require a similar number of blankets. You may not have enough for everyone in your family.

warsow
Jun 28, 2009


The Oldest Man posted:

I like these things for supplementary water storage:
https://www.amazon.com/WaterBOB-Eme...e/dp/B001AXLUX2

You are often going to have an opportunity to fill containers before a municipal water shutoff, and this is a relatively cheap and compact way to significantly increase the amount of potable water you can safely store (and the amount of time it'll keep for) if you have at least a little advance notice. The disadvantage is that it's effectively single use because it's hard to sterilize it to use a second time.

Edit: Well poo poo

Buy a waterbob for each post saying buy a waterbob IMO.

The Oldest Man
Jul 28, 2003



warsow posted:

Buy a waterbob for each post saying buy a waterbob IMO.

Buying waterbobs for all your neighbors is probably the most effective per dollar investment you could make in personal disaster safety if you live in a hurricane or earthquake-prone area.

cult_hero
Jul 10, 2001


So I've already dug graves for myself and my family. Is there someway to save effort to fill them in automatically when I die?

Owlbear Camus
Jan 3, 2013

Maybe this guy that flies is just sort of passing through, you know?




cult_hero posted:

So I've already dug graves for myself and my family. Is there someway to save effort to fill them in automatically when I die?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WQ8tuAoyT14

Ice Phisherman
Apr 12, 2007

Swimming upstream
into the sunset





Nitrousoxide posted:

Something I don't see a ton of people talk about when they're prepping is planning ahead for cold weather sleep. In a situation where you don't have access to clean water you are almost certainly not going to have access to heat your house which means you need to be prepared for temperatures that would be as low as would be feasible in your area.

A good cold weather sleeping bag or camping down quilt can ensure that you can not freeze to death. It's a useful purchase even if you don't hike or plan on camping out.

You can almost certainly make do with a sufficient number of blankets piled on top of each other but keep in mind that if you personally require four or five blankets to not freeze to death in sub-zero temperatures without any heating that everyone else in your family will also require a similar number of blankets. You may not have enough for everyone in your family.

Failing to prep for cold weather has a number of knock-on effects that aren't immediately obvious either. Besides getting sick, which could make covid even worse if you catch it, staying warm requires more calories if you don't have warm weather gear. Many people are food insecure and this will make them want to consume even more calories. Everything can be working in society to keep the lights on at least and you can still have a home, but if it's too cold because you can't afford heating or at least much of it, you're going to consume more calories per day. If you're outside you'll want to consume even more because you're dealing with the wind.

Also if you get a cold weather bag, have a good idea about what kind of bag you need. Some of the bags are just regular bags, no more insulating than a bed and blanket. Some are cold weather bags. I myself have a zero degree bag where it can be snowing outside and you can be toasty and warm in it and all you need is a hat to keep your head warm. Some work at even colder temps than that. If it gets colder to put on more clothing when I get in. Though a bag isn't enough. If you've never, ever went camping before you still need something to put between yourself and the earth if you find yourself suddenly outdoors because the earth when it's cold will feel like it's vamping the heat out of you and that process is rapid.

Another thing related to illness. I can't suggest enough to get a flu shot.

https://www.ucsf.edu/news/2020/09/4...d-flu-shot-year

So if you get the flu and have to go to the hospital, that's really bad because not only will the hospital likely be overburdened, but we're still learning about co-infection, meaning getting the flu and covid at the same time. The Spanish flu rendered people susceptible to other diseases like pneumonia which killed them extremely quickly. Your body is going to be busy fighting off the flu and covid at the same time and the resources of your body's immune system are not infinite. So if you're sick with something other than covid, you should still try to stay home and stay away from people as much as possible because getting covid and the flu at the same time can be potentially more lethal than having either of them alone.

I have no doubt that flu is going to race through many of the homeless camps this winter, as is covid and if adequate sanitation isn't developed along with access to clean water, we could see outbreaks of diseases like cholera. If you're not eating well or eating enough of a varied diet to get you the proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals, etc, this renders people more susceptible to diseases. Pure calories aren't enough.

Ice Phisherman fucked around with this message at 02:28 on Sep 22, 2020

stinkypete
Nov 27, 2007
wow

Water Water Water I can't say this enough I am glad everyone is saying this. Good Job Goons.

pantslesswithwolves
Oct 27, 2008

Ba-dam ba-DUMMMMMM


Pillbug

The Oldest Man posted:

"Preparedness" is a collection of related activities that should conform to local material reality, not a single activity that is the same everywhere.

This was a good post and basically what I was driving at in the Threat Assessments part of the OP. If wildfires or earthquakes were a thing in my area, my work would be more oriented toward evacuating than staying in. It’s all about knowing your environment and calibrating your planning accordingly.

ASAPI posted:

Thanks for the level of effort you put into this. Kinda shocked we didn't already have a thread about this.

Anyone know anything about how to determine friend or foe when reaching out to groups of people in the event everything goes to poo poo? Other than lurk on the HAM radio and hope your neighbors are dicks seems to be all I can find.


There’s a book called “Left of Bang” that presents the USMC’s “combat profiling” program. The most basic way of describing it is that it’s about assessing a situation and the people within it to determine their intentions, guiding your observations based on a number of criteria. I may do a post about situational awareness in which I’ll try to describe it better, but here’s a link to the Combat Profiling Journal where you can learn a lot more about the topic.

ASAPI
Apr 20, 2007
I invented the line.

pantslesswithwolves posted:


There’s a book called “Left of Bang” that presents the USMC’s “combat profiling” program. The most basic way of describing it is that it’s about assessing a situation and the people within it to determine their intentions, guiding your observations based on a number of criteria. I may do a post about situational awareness in which I’ll try to describe it better, but here’s a link to the Combat Profiling Journal where you can learn a lot more about the topic.

Thanks!

That is always something that confused me. How do/did people in countries with civil war decide which side to join? How do they select who to help and who to avoid? Without some worn symbol/uniform telling me what "side" someone is on I'm at a loss.

It doesn't help that I am face blind as well.

pantslesswithwolves
Oct 27, 2008

Ba-dam ba-DUMMMMMM


Pillbug

ASAPI posted:

Thanks!

That is always something that confused me. How do/did people in countries with civil war decide which side to join? How do they select who to help and who to avoid? Without some worn symbol/uniform telling me what "side" someone is on I'm at a loss.

It doesn't help that I am face blind as well.

Because civil wars don’t just happen overnight, there’s a ramp-up period spanning several months, years or decades wherein people make value judgments as to which political/regional factions they’re aligned with, and to what degree they’re willing to support them. If you take the Syrian example, the lines were largely drawn between rural/urban, secular/religiously conservative, disenfranchised/those with access to the elite or guaranteed success via the country’s institutions. Plenty of time and reasons to allow the societal fault lines to harden.

Random aside: the next major war is going to be real loving confusing when all combatants show up wearing Multicam.

ASAPI
Apr 20, 2007
I invented the line.

pantslesswithwolves posted:

Because civil wars don’t just happen overnight, there’s a ramp-up period spanning several months, years or decades wherein people make value judgments as to which political/regional factions they’re aligned with, and to what degree they’re willing to support them. If you take the Syrian example, the lines were largely drawn between rural/urban, secular/religiously conservative, disenfranchised/those with access to the elite or guaranteed success via the country’s institutions. Plenty of time and reasons to allow the societal fault lines to harden.

Random aside: the next major war is going to be real loving confusing when all combatants show up wearing Multicam.

Oh yeah, it's going to be nuts. I like the theorycraft and figure out where lines will be drawn. If we collapse, it will be hard to "pick a side" since we will probably have 4 or 5 "sides" to choose from.

The Oldest Man
Jul 28, 2003



ASAPI posted:

Thanks!

That is always something that confused me. How do/did people in countries with civil war decide which side to join? How do they select who to help and who to avoid? Without some worn symbol/uniform telling me what "side" someone is on I'm at a loss.

It doesn't help that I am face blind as well.

Most "civil wars" (which is a really broad term) are the result of ethnic or religious purges, so you kind of get signed up for a team regardless of whether you're paying attention. A couple textbook examples:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rwandan_genocide
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bosnian_War

The other popular option is warlord-driven civil conflict over territory, resources, or people in which case you end up defacto on a team depending on where you were standing at the start of the conflict and in any case you are probably going to be more concerned trying to avoid getting all your stuff pillaged, conscripted, or end up getting your hand cut off with a machete when Your Local Warlord decides you are not paying him proper tribute (unless you are already driving a Toyota Tacoma with a .50 in the bed for him). This is more like an organized crime war at a larger scale without effective civil authority tamping things down. This is what you see in Somalia prior to Al Qaeda and its affiliates taking over, for example.

Ideologically-driven civil conflicts are rare compared to ethno-religious or "stuff" wars. In the vast majority of civil conflict, you don't get to choose which team you're on. And most teams are going to view individuals (even prepared and/or armed ones) as targets rather than as team mates.

Civil conflict loving sucks.

ASAPI
Apr 20, 2007
I invented the line.

The Oldest Man posted:

Most "civil wars" (which is a really broad term) are the result of ethnic or religious purges, so you kind of get signed up for a team regardless of whether you're paying attention. A couple textbook examples:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rwandan_genocide
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bosnian_War

The other popular option is warlord-driven civil conflict over territory, resources, or people in which case you end up defacto on a team depending on where you were standing at the start of the conflict and in any case you are probably going to be more concerned trying to avoid getting all your stuff pillaged, conscripted, or end up getting your hand cut off with a machete when Your Local Warlord decides you are not paying him proper tribute (unless you are already driving a Toyota Tacoma with a .50 in the bed for him). This is more like an organized crime war at a larger scale without effective civil authority tamping things down. This is what you see in Somalia prior to Al Qaeda and its affiliates taking over, for example.

Ideologically-driven civil conflicts are rare compared to ethno-religious or "stuff" wars. In the vast majority of civil conflict, you don't get to choose which team you're on. And most teams are going to view individuals (even prepared and/or armed ones) as targets rather than as team mates.

Civil conflict loving sucks.

It is completely insane. It's something that has been bouncing around in my head for a few years now. For whatever reason, it's my latest obsession.

Steezo
Jun 16, 2003
Now go away, or I shall taunt you a second time!



I've been building up a personal first aid bag for a little bit now. I put this in it . Never thought to make a thread about it.

Good info in the OP btw. Especially the focus on likely local event rather than RED SCARE MISSILE GAP COMMIES GONNA GET YA GET TO DA BUNKAH poo poo I get from people I know military side. The one guy I know who's actually prepared for everything has a plan in place to expand his garden into a small farm if shits real bad.

Before I scatterbrains derail any worse there was a point I made in another thread but wanted to expound upon, as someone else here said once, it's a CAT brand tourniquet. Be wary of cheap knockoffs, they'll break when you tighten the windlass and then whoever you're trying to aid will bleed out. Oh and whatever equipment you have you should know how to use, maybe practice one a month, inspect it, make sure it works, except for opening the sterile bandages and such. Make sure whoever is likely to be using the kit knows how to use its parts especially if it has those weird semi rigid foam splints or something else that can be easily mistaken for something else or used wrong.

With tourniquets, which are mostly for piercing, puncturing wounds with profuse bleeding, up high, well above joints and never on the joint. As high as you can get it on the affected limb, like way the gently caress up there. Bright lights and sharp knives, as they say, will save them, your job at that point is getting them to the surgeon.

Not trying to step on any toes, considering how many have probably gotten the CLS stuff repeatedly, but it has more uses than just after a firefight. Hiking and someone falls, car wrecks, catastrophic construction fuckups, power tool fuckery, have to think about your most likely danger, rather than "oh poo poo ivan sent the big one".

Not sure if this is a de-rail or re-rail at this point but lets run a train like its a barracks party.

Nitrousoxide
May 30, 2011

do not buy a oneplus phone




Steezo posted:

I've been building up a personal first aid bag for a little bit now. I put this in it . Never thought to make a thread about it.

Good info in the OP btw. Especially the focus on likely local event rather than RED SCARE MISSILE GAP COMMIES GONNA GET YA GET TO DA BUNKAH poo poo I get from people I know military side. The one guy I know who's actually prepared for everything has a plan in place to expand his garden into a small farm if shits real bad.

Before I scatterbrains derail any worse there was a point I made in another thread but wanted to expound upon, as someone else here said once, it's a CAT brand tourniquet. Be wary of cheap knockoffs, they'll break when you tighten the windlass and then whoever you're trying to aid will bleed out. Oh and whatever equipment you have you should know how to use, maybe practice one a month, inspect it, make sure it works, except for opening the sterile bandages and such. Make sure whoever is likely to be using the kit knows how to use its parts especially if it has those weird semi rigid foam splints or something else that can be easily mistaken for something else or used wrong.

With tourniquets, which are mostly for piercing, puncturing wounds with profuse bleeding, up high, well above joints and never on the joint. As high as you can get it on the affected limb, like way the gently caress up there. Bright lights and sharp knives, as they say, will save them, your job at that point is getting them to the surgeon.

Not trying to step on any toes, considering how many have probably gotten the CLS stuff repeatedly, but it has more uses than just after a firefight. Hiking and someone falls, car wrecks, catastrophic construction fuckups, power tool fuckery, have to think about your most likely danger, rather than "oh poo poo ivan sent the big one".

Not sure if this is a de-rail or re-rail at this point but lets run a train like its a barracks party.

I'm pretty sure you don't actually want to put the tourniquet as high as you can. The only reason that's given as an instruction for soldiers is because oftentimes the wound will not be obvious given the clothing they tend to wear and the nature of bullets being very small. If you can identify where the bleeding is happening you should only put the tourniquet one or two inches above there provided that it wouldn't be on a joint.

Flying_Crab
Apr 12, 2002




The 2017 Army TCCC handbook (publicly available and downloadable FYI) says this:

quote:

Massive hemorrhage. The number one potentially survivable cause of death at the POI is hemorrhage from a compressible wound or any life-threatening extremity bleed. More than 90 percent of 4,596 combat deaths post 11 September 2001 died of hemorrhage-associated injuries. The hasty application of a Committee on Tactical Combat Casualty Care (CoTCCC)-approved tourniquet is the recommended management for all life-threatening extremity hemorrhages during care under fire (see page 4). It is initially placed over clothing, high and tight. The deliberate application of a tourniquet is addressed when behind cover and during tactical field care to ensure proper hemorrhage control. The tourniquet is placed under clothing 2 to 3 inches above the wound. The application time is written on the tourniquet. Combat gauze is the hemostatic dressing of choice.

So basically for care under fire as high as possible, later when you have time and can expose the wound the 2"-3" above rule of thumb seems to be the guidance. Although my CLS training from 5 years ago doesn't at all qualify me to give advice so don't listen to me.

Soylent Pudding
Jun 22, 2007

We've got people!


Can this thread offer any guidance on getting training or instriction on how to actually use first aid medical equipment and be able to remember it during an emergency? Getting this stuff won't be very useful if the extent of my medical knowledge is a cub scout first aid merit badge I got in the 4th grade.

warsow
Jun 28, 2009


Nitrousoxide posted:

I'm pretty sure you don't actually want to put the tourniquet as high as you can. The only reason that's given as an instruction for soldiers is because oftentimes the wound will not be obvious given the clothing they tend to wear and the nature of bullets being very small. If you can identify where the bleeding is happening you should only put the tourniquet one or two inches above there provided that it wouldn't be on a joint.

High and tight first and foremost, especially in care under fire.

Then when you reassess, locate the wound and place a second tourniquet 2-4 inches above the wound and tighten hard. Slowly loosen the higher tourniquet and continually reassess vitals and lack of bleeding until you are sure it’s good to go. But don’t remove the first tourniquet, just leave it in place loose in case the 2nd one fails.

pantslesswithwolves
Oct 27, 2008

Ba-dam ba-DUMMMMMM


Pillbug

Soylent Pudding posted:

Can this thread offer any guidance on getting training or instriction on how to actually use first aid medical equipment and be able to remember it during an emergency? Getting this stuff won't be very useful if the extent of my medical knowledge is a cub scout first aid merit badge I got in the 4th grade.

From the bottom of the Medical post:

quote:



Training
You can have an entire ambulance’s worth of medical gear and equipment, but unless you know how to use it, it’s completely worthless. Fortunately, there are a number of low-cost or even free courses that provide an excellent foundation of medical skills that you can build upon. These are the Red Cross’s CPR/Automatic External Defibrillator (AED), National Outdoor Leadership School’s (NOLS) Wilderness First Aid (WFA), and Stop the Bleed.

CPR/AED is self-explanatory, and many cities’ Fire/EMS or Red Cross will offer extremely cheap or free courses. If that’s the case, try to get in on one every few years.
NOLS’ Wilderness Medicine Institute has a well-developed…Wilderness Medicine program. Wilderness First Aid (WFA) is their entry-level course and is applicable in austere settings (i.e. post-disaster, areas where definitive medical care may be a lengthy drive away). They’ve partnered with REI to hold courses very frequently. They’re low-cost (around $250) for a 16-hour course that you can do in a weekend, and the certification is valid for two years. They also offer a Wilderness First Responder certification, which is taught over 9 days and significantly expands on the topics offered in WFA.

Stop the Bleed is basically an introduction to the equipment and treatment outlined in the previous section on trauma management. You’ll learn how to apply a tourniquet, chest seals, pack a wound, etc. specifically in the context of trauma management. Pre-COVID, these courses were being offered very frequently and will likely be offered again at the same interval.

Tactical Emergency Casualty Care is a “civilian-ized” version of the military’s Tactical Combat Casualty Care and is aimed at trauma management during a critical incident. While it’s primarily intended for EMS personnel or other first responders, I’ve seen versions of these courses offered at shooting ranges that strip out things like surgical airway management (if you have to ask what that is, you have no business learning how to do it) so that they can be done in a single evening.

There are also YouTube channels like PrepMedic or SkinnyMedic (one of those guys is a little bit of a Tactical Timmy good but otherwise offers fine information) that do some instruction; there’s also the DeployedMed app that has videos that you can download for offline usage about the TCCC curriculum. It’s solid and legit.

warsow
Jun 28, 2009


NAEMT also has all of the TCCC materials (slides, videos, scenarios, grade sheets, cheat sheets) freely available on their website for both all combatants (everyone none medical professional) and medics.

https://www.naemt.org/education/naemt-tccc

If you have taken TCCC before it’s a cool refresher to do yourself or with friends. And all the materials are there that you could teach the course yourself if you are capable / experienced enough.

Nitrousoxide
May 30, 2011

do not buy a oneplus phone




There's also the deployed medicine app which is a really useful resource.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/...eployedmedicine

pantslesswithwolves
Oct 27, 2008

Ba-dam ba-DUMMMMMM


Pillbug

I’m going to attempt to talk about a person’s mindset before, during and after a critical incident. I will be very up front by saying that I am not a mental health practitioner, so if you are, please jump in and correct any incorrect information that I may impart here.

Pre-Incident
In my previous post about medical response and first aid I said that you can have an entire ambulance’s worth of equipment, but it’s useless without the knowledge of how to correctly use it. The same can be said for any kind of emergency plan. For example, let’s say that your plan in case of a natural disaster is to evacuate to a family cabin in the woods. Have you driven the main route and calculated how long it takes under optimal circumstances? How about alternate routes- do they exist, and what condition will they likely be in? What about accounting for heavy traffic? Do you know where the gas stations are, and do you have a fuel can that you can refill as necessary? It’s not merely enough to think “If X happens, then I’ll do Y.” Your thinking should be “If X happens, my first course of action will be to do Y, and I can do 1, 2, and 3 to get me there.”

For those of you who were in the military, you probably recognize this as developing a PACE plan. This stands for Primary, Alternate, Contingency and Emergency, and while it originally applies to developing redundancies in communication, you can easily apply this to formulating your plans at all levels. If there’s a fire in my building, my primary course of action is going to be running out my front door, my alternate course of action is to go out through the fire escape on my floor, my contingency would be to run out of our basement’s door, and my emergency course of action would be to bust out a window and use my fire escape ladder. Practice and rehearse your PACE plans to the extent possible- as the old saw goes, we don’t rise to the occasion; we fail to the level of our training. Any practice and rehearsal- even if your options are limited to doing it mentally- is better than just assuming that you’ll be able to execute a plan while under significant stress.

Situational Awareness
This can be a difficult subject to cover because there’s been a lot of tacticlol ink spilled on this topic, and I’m going to avoid swinging this in a goofy direction. Situational awareness means developing a knowledge of one’s surroundings and assessing potential threats and responses to those threats. While by all accounts Jeff Cooper was a CHUD rear end in a top hat, he did develop what’s commonly referred to as “Cooper’s Color Codes.” Although developed as a “combat mindset” this is equally applicable to everyday life in terms of developing a system of situational awareness.



The biggest takeaway here is that Condition Yellow is where we want to be. In practice, this basically means periodically asking yourself the following questions:

  • What’s the general mood of the place?
  • What’s the “normal” activity?
  • How do most people behave here most of the time?
  • What will you do if the situation does not seem safe?

It means being prepared to move to a different color level depending on changes in the environment or the people inside it. This may sound like a mentally exhausting process, and for those who aren’t used to thinking like this, it can be at first. But as you get used to thinking of those questions, it becomes an almost subconscious process that involves very little mental exertion. What we basically want to avoid is going from “Condition White” (no awareness) to “Condition Black” (panic) without reaching any of the steps in between- think of someone glued to their phone while they accidentally walk into traffic.

As mentioned in an earlier post, the USMC teaches a “combat profiling” which basically breaks down situational awareness into six domains, which are:

  • Kinesics: The study of body movement, which, upon being analyzed to uncover the meaning of the gesture, posture, or expression, becomes body language.
  • Biometric Cues: The body’s physiological responses to stress.
  • Proxemics: Assessments made regarding interpersonal separation and body placement.
  • Geographics: The relationship between people and their environment.
  • Iconography: The visual representation of a person’s (or group’s) beliefs and affiliations.
  • Atmospherics: The collective sense of safety in an area or situation.

There is way too much to go into here, but it’s basically a much, much deeper dive into applying a system of situational awareness in a high-threat environment. You can learn more by visiting the Combat Profiler Journal or by reading the book Left of Bang. If you’re good with situational awareness, you may have bought yourself a few extra seconds of time to develop a proactive response to an emerging situation rather than being purely reactive to one. Let’s talk about what that looks like in the next section.

During an Incident
Oh poo poo, something went wrong and it’s on now! Despite being a switched-on, head on a swivel Mall Ninja, Al-Qaeda got the drop on you by the food court and you now find yourself involved in a critical incident of some sort. Here’s what’s happening inside of your body.

Your brain is going to shift its functions away from the cortex (our so-called “thinking brain”) over to the limbic system (the “survival brain”), particularly the hippocampus and amygdala. I’m no neuroscientitian so forgive me if I bungle this, but basically- these parts of the brain do a few important things, particularly regulate strong emotional responses and also the production of the hormones adrenaline and cortisol. As these hormones permeate your system, your heart rate and blood pressure will increase, the blood vessels in your skin constrict, the rate of blood flow to your brain and muscles will increase as your respiratory rate, heart rate and blood pressure increase, and your perceptions of events and physical stimuli such as pain will shift. Basically, your nervous system will be largely ceding control to usually dormant parts of your brain in pursuit of one single objective: survival.

While this dump of chemicals can aid us by way of faster movement via our large muscle groups and bursts of energy, they come with some side effects. During a high-stress incident, fine motor skills can deteriorate for a variety of physiological factors. This can be mitigated somewhat by introducing stressors during training or practice, such as introducing a timer to achieve a task like putting on a tourniquet or bandage, etc. There’s also auditory exclusion and “tunnel vision,” which entails the degradation of your sense of hearing or fixation on one specific thing in your environment. I’ve experienced the former during some intense training I’ve been through, and the latter when I was so fixated on helping a person injured in a car wreck that I didn’t notice my wife standing next to me. It’s real and it happens, and knowing your own physiological responses to high-stress incidents can help you mitigate it.

Post-Incident
The dust has settled, the danger has passed, and life goes on. Now, your system is bathed in a rapidly cooling stew of hormones and sensory inputs that your thinking brain may be coming to terms with. Here are some of the after effects of a stressful incident:

  • Physical: fast heartbeat, restlessness, startle, gastro- & other somatic symptoms, sleep problems, fatigue
  • Emotional: fear/anxiety, anger, guilt, helplessness/hopelessness, detached/numbness, affected sense of limits
  • Cognitive: poor concentration, forgetfulness, disorganized and/or negative thinking, hypervigilance, vivid memories & images, nightmares, racing thoughts, denial

A good way to contextualize these deeply uncomfortable symptoms is to recognize that you are having a normal reaction to an abnormal event. From here, it’s important to exercise good self-care for yourself, and in the case of others who may have been affected, applying the principles of psychological first aid (PFA).

Self-Care
Again, I am not a mental health professional so I can only really speak in generalities here. Taking good care of one’s psychological and physical needs following an incident is important. If at all possible, try to speak with a mental health professional within 48 hours of an incident. The simple act of open communication can help you return to a baseline sense of normalcy by contextualizing the incident, and a professional can offer other techniques to help you cope. Sleep, exercise, and communication are healthy techniques- try to avoid overindulging in things like alcohol, junk food, drugs or other things that provide a quick but fleeting sense of escape. The CDC has some good resources that I’m linking to here.

Psychological First Aid
PFA is something that’s getting increased attention as a skillset for first and second responders, and is something that’s been touted as improving the likelihood of a satisfactory psychological outcome following a critical incident. There are a number of different models used to describe PFA, but I’m personally a big fan of the RAPID PFA model:

  • Reflective listening refers to the ability to utilize active listening techniques, establish empathy, and determine important aspects of the survivor's experience;
  • Assessment entails, first, screening to answer the binary (yes-no) query of whether there are indicators to warrant exploration into a person's capacity for adaptive mental and behavioral functioning and, second (if necessary), a brief assessment of dimensional factors that are likely to facilitate or impede rapid recovery of adaptive functioning, for example, the ability to understand and follow directions, the ability to express emotions in a healthful and constructive manner, social adaptability, and the ability to access interpersonal resources;
  • Prioritization (of assessed functional needs) is essentially a triage task intended to guide an acute intervention plan for more severe physical, psychological, and behavioral reactions. Beyond physical and medical priorities, the focus is on the ability of the survivor to perform basic activities of daily living;
  • Intervention (once physical and medical needs are addressed) is applied, as needed, using stress management and/or cognitive/behavioral techniques to reduce acute distress; and
  • Disposition, involving the determination if survivors have regained the functional capacity to engage in the basic activities of daily living, or need referral and transitioning to other clinical or social supports (possibly with continuing advocacy and liaison needs).


You can take a free, highly accessible and engaging online course on RAPID PFA via Coursera, and I highly recommend it. While intervention by a trained counselor or mental health professional is the best, PFA can help blunt the impact of a high-stress event and improve an individual’s response to a critical incident.

So there you have it. The more work you put into training your brain into thinking of PACE plans and being situationally aware, the more you can prevent or mitigate the worst parts of a stress response during a critical incident. Following that, it’s important to take care of yourself by decompressing and coping in an effective way, and if need be, to help others do the same by the application of PFA.

shame on an IGA
Apr 8, 2005



ASAPI posted:

Thanks!

That is always something that confused me. How do/did people in countries with civil war decide which side to join? How do they select who to help and who to avoid? Without some worn symbol/uniform telling me what "side" someone is on I'm at a loss.

It doesn't help that I am face blind as well.

Go to the nearest cell phone tower and throw your hat in with whoever shows up to secure themselves comms

SpaceSDoorGunner
May 4, 2018



Just bought an “expeditionary medical kit” which is basically just an expanded IFAK and TQ holder from NAR to add to my plate carrier.

Harry Potter on Ice
Nov 4, 2006
Someone on the internet doesn't like me





This is a really great and informative thread, thanks for putting it together!

maffew buildings
Apr 29, 2009

I'm too dumb to get probated


For anyone separating that has an issued no poo poo med kit in their load out, don't take that poo poo back in to the CIF. I turned mine in and the govvies told me "Yeah dude we don't give a poo poo we don't care if you keep them but you can't take it out of the bin now". Leave it in the car and hopefully you can walk with it.

AreWeDrunkYet
Jul 8, 2006

I am a strawman spewing, non listening, logic challenged douchebag supreme trolling TFR. Ignore me.

How do you budget the maintenance costs of emergency supplies? Most of the things listed in the OP need to be replaced on some frequency if they aren't used, whether it's food, drugs, filters, or medical supplies, so it comes off as an ongoing process and expense to maintain preparedness. And then what's the best way to factor those costs into the threat matrix mentioned, that is, how do you put specific values on the likelihood of a disaster, the impact of being unprepared, the costs of being prepared, and the mitigation offered by being prepared?

Arven
Sep 23, 2007


Mormons actually have lots of good guides on the food part, as having a year of food on hand is part of the religion.

The Voice of Labor
Apr 8, 2020



any sleeping bag recommendations?

Guest2553
Aug 3, 2012


Re: water filter - I recommend the HydroBlu Versa Flow (or Sawyer mini, both ~$25) or Sawyer Squeeze (or micro squeeze, ~$35) having used both for backpacking. Both are 0.1 micron filters with a lifetime capacity of just over 26000 gallons. Flow rate is about half a gallon/min and it'll need to be backflushed more often if your water is dirty, but it's pretty bomb proof. It can be connected straight to a soda bottle, used as an in-line filter, or hooked up to a the included straw to drink straight from the source. I like them because they're versatile and cheap, so having a couple of them kicking around isn't a huge investment.

If you have a bunch of clear containers kicking around (or unlubed condoms, which pack up nicely on the trail and are surprisingly durable), don't forget about UV filtering - put that bad boy out in a sunny place for a few hours and you'll have potable water once the UV radiation murders the life-forms growing inside.

Hot water tanks typically contain 40-60 gallons as well, so draining that manually will give you a few days worth of water at the very least.

e. for sleeping bag, I'd recommend something synthetic primarily because it doesn't lose much insulation value when wet. It'll be a bit heavier and bulkier than down, but synthetics are a lot warmer and have longer life spans than they used to. I'd personally aim for a zero to twenty degree rated bag since it's easier to vent heat than it is to make more warmth (especially if you have one that opens up into a quilt shape), but don't forget you'll need something like a pad or mattress below you to stay warm. Where/how you live will determine what temp rating you need though - a family of six huddled in a single room of a new build townhouse has different requirements to keep everyone alive compared to an individual hiding out in an open warehouse, say.

Guest2553 fucked around with this message at 18:53 on Oct 18, 2020

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Cugel the Clever
Apr 5, 2009

A lucky bird.


Thanks for the thread, OP. I'm easing my election anxiety with some emergency-preparedness buys. It's all stuff that would be good to have in any emergency, so I won't regret the purchases even if the chuds don't try to start poo poo in the next six months. I'm in an apartment in an urban core, which is a context I haven't often seen specifically addressed. My building was built in this century, so is likely relatively earthquake-resilient and the shear population density of the area means it'll likely receive rapid federal relief efforts, barring a scenario where Trump refuses to accept defeat and chaos ensues.

Still, I'd prefer to be prepared to shelter in place as much as possible should power or water be knocked out in order to allow relief efforts to focus on the people who need it. I'm good on food and water, but am missing some essentials:

Cooking
Though a lot of the emergency food requires no cooking, none of it is going to be particularly pleasant at room temperature. If my electric stove is out of commission, I'd love to have an indoor fallback that isn't going to murder me. Does anyone have recommendations? It looks like the majority of camp stoves are an absolute no-go as propane and butane are killers without very good ventilation. Alcohol stoves apparently are less risky, but I'm not immediately finding one that's targeted at this use case. The MREs come with their own heaters, of course, but for canned goods and boiling water, I'd like to have something. I'd rather not be hiking up and down the stairs and cooking on the sidewalk if I can help it...

poo poo
The Luggable Loo in the OP looks like what I should just go with, but I'm still looking for alternatives because it strikes me as something likely to raise a "this person is crazy" red flag to anyone who spotted it sitting in my quite limited storage space. Since I'm looking to shelter in place, maybe just getting the bags and using them with my actual toilet would be the best way to go? I'm curious how cities have dealt with this in the past during emergencies.

Worst comes to worst and my home is outright gone, I'm curious if there's much written on how to make-do as an internally displaced person. I'm pretty new to my city and, between starting a new job, covid, and being a horrible, horrible introvert, I haven't had much opportunity to build the kind of connections that are really important. In a typical disaster scenario, the best bet would probably be to seek out local relief efforts. If SHTF, I'm either stuck finding some good folks and sticking with them or attempting to travel cross-country to people I know. I'm car-free, so that would mean either hitching or cycling a couple thousand miles through areas that would likely view strangers with, at best, skepticism.

Lastly, one thing that should be added to the OP is the importance of having some form of entertainment on-hand in the aftermath of an emergency. Having something entertaining to keep you occupied fights both boredom and anxiety, even if ultimately offering only escapism from the awful poo poo that's happening to you. An e-reader loaded with a bunch of books is a fantastic option and adds minimal weight to your pack. Other forms of entertainment like games have the added benefit of strengthening bonds between participants (so long as nobody is a giant dick). A deck of playing cards or a playing card game is another light addition to your gear that'll keep you and others occupied while building community.

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