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Sat Nov 3, 2012, 03:05 AM

Disaster preparedness

Last edited Sat Nov 3, 2012, 10:57 AM - Edit history (2)

Been reading a number of threads here at DU on the subject and I think much of what is discussed here in this group applies.

I could last a long time without electricity, gas or running water. Lake Superior and a river are not far from where I live and I could melt snow during the winter on the woodstove in my basement. I don't have much cut wood but there are trees and brush all around my place and I do have an axe and a couple of hand saws. I have lots of books still over at my ex wife's place and she's also giving me a book cabinet so there would be plenty of reading material. I'm used to the temp in the house being in the 50's, at lest during the day when I'm active and at night when I'm sleeping. As the basement is warmer, it wouldn't be a problem to move a mattress to the basement and live down there during the very cold times of the year.

The pantry isn't well stocked yet so food would run out quickly but with the garden next year and with continuing to purchase canned goods, I ought to have enough stock on hand sometime next year to last for weeks if not months.

I'm on blood thinner medication and usually only get a 30 day supply at a time so that may be a problem altough I could do some research on-line for natural blood thinners. If I get blood clots, my life would be short despite all other preparations I would have made.

Edit: I forgot about the two large tubs of homemade sauerkraut, 9 bags of apples from my apple tree and the bunch of onions given to me by my former wife and in-laws. If a major disater were to strike now, I could live on that for awhile. I wouldn't be very kissable though. i ought to sit down some day and figure out what I need to stock up on for a varied diet and how much I'd need to last for 30 days?...60 days?...90 days?... or longer and what that would cost. A diet of sauerkraut, onions and apples would get old very fast.

Moving down to the basement would make sense as I'd burn far less wood heating just that instead of trying to heat the whole house. I have about 1/2 a cord of wood stacked outside and covered with an old shower curtain which would last me for a bit. There's enough space in the garage to stack two cords of firewood there in the future. I have a large, old maple tree in my backyard which should be taken down soon. I talked to a tree service company and was told it'd cost about $700 to do the job and that's with leaving the wood on site. Wood I can cut up for firewood. Expensive firewood but the main thing is the tree needs to be taken down before it comes down on its own and possibly hits the house or garage.

One of the 5 gallon buckets I have could be used as a makeshift toilet if there was no running water available. I already pour my urine on the compost pile everday and i could do the same with solids.

Read last night about natural blood thinners. Garlic (which I don't have), onions, vinegar, cider (which I do have) and drinking lots of water are good. They are no replacement for coumadin but if I can't get that, at least I could resort to the natural remidies to keep me going for as long as possible.

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Response to Kaleva (Original post)

Sat Nov 3, 2012, 03:07 PM

1. Coupla thoughts....

Depending on your blood-thinning prescription and where you can get it filled, some prescriptions filled for 90 days actually come out cheaper than buying it 30 days at a time. Might be worth looking into, and it definitely pays to call around for the prices. Learned that the hard way with one of mine...had a 20 dollar difference in prices.

Having a supply of water nearby doesn't necessarily mean it won't be contaminated with lots of nasty things that filters just can't handle. I'm thinking oil and gasoline,etc. Of course, filling up 5 gallon buckets adds to your water bill, though. Catching pre-storm rain water might be an option.

This storm really has me thinking about other ways I need to prepare. High on my list is acquiring more 5 gallon buckets.
I've got some 5 gallon buckets I got from a bakery, and have some promised from a chinese restaurant. Food grade, with rubber seal and free.

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Response to Lars39 (Reply #1)

Sat Nov 3, 2012, 03:58 PM

2. According to the Mayo Clinic site, an average male ought to drink 3 liters a day

So, if my calculations are correct, a 5 gallon pail of drinking water ought to last about a week for one adult male.


A member had posted in a thread in GD a link to a govt. website where it was stated that everyone should have at a minimum, a 3 day supply of food and water on hand in case of an emergency.

I'll check into getting a script for a 90 day supply of coumadin the next time I need a refill.

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Response to Kaleva (Original post)

Sat Nov 3, 2012, 06:43 PM

3. Although this isn't a replacement for the coumadin,

remember that aspirin is a blood thinner. It is cheap and would be easy to have on hand. So just make sure you have that available if you ever would need to look at a time without your meds.

You are right that the foods you have available will keep you from starving, but would get old fast. I have always said that I can live a long time on food in my house, but I would not have the healthiest meals....although who cares as long as you are not starving.

You sound like you are in good shape if you need to be without utilities for a while. Not a bad way to go, but don't get loony like the survivalists who are excited about the a time when the world will go to hell in a handbasket.

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Response to Curmudgeoness (Reply #3)

Sat Nov 3, 2012, 10:34 PM

4. Much of my "disaster preparedness" would be a by product of efforts for other reasons

The woodpile I have is a result of finding a use for the scrap lumber that was in my garage and it'd be way to reduce heating costs.

The garden plots are worked up, covered by a mulch now and I have a compost pile. The main purpose of having a garden and learning how to preserve foods is to reduce food costs.

When I was married, my then wife and I were into couponing and we'd buy in bulk what was on sale and for what we had coupons for. We had shelves in the basement well stocked with canned goods, cereal, fruit juices, ketchup, mayo, mustard, coffee, bags of flour and sugar, laundry detergent, soap, cleaning products, dog food, shampoo, toilet paper, paper towels and such. Combining the coupons with store sales, we had much more but spent much less. I'd like to get back into couponing again. A by product of this is a well stocked pantry with enough provisions that would last me for some time in case of an emergency. But the main goal of buying only what is on sale and what I have coupons for, as with the garden, is to save money and not be prepared for a disaster.

There's a small gas grill in the garage, left by others who lived here, which I decided to keep instead of tossing. It uses hand torch cylinders for fuel. I figured I might grill every so often in the future and I do have a full torch cylinder. There's my emergency stove if need be. Maybe tomorrow I'll clean it up and put my bottle of gas on it, light it and make sure it works properly.

The idea about the aspirin is a good one and I do have a bottle of such in my medicine cabinet in the bathroom.

It's entirely possible that by this time next year or earlier, I could last for months without gas, electricity, running water and without having to acquire extra food. Not because I wish to be a cammie clothed survivalist with guns ( I do have two bolt actions rifles) but because my efforts at living frugally just made it possible.

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Response to Kaleva (Reply #4)

Sat Nov 3, 2012, 11:01 PM

5. I don't think I could go long without utilities,

but I do know from 8 days without power and 4 of those without water after a hurricane that I can pull it off without a great deal of difficulty. But it isn't a party. I hope I don't have to ever do it again or for longer.

One thing about being frugal is that we don't have the need for too many luxuries.....we can make due with a lot less than others.

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Response to Kaleva (Original post)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 12:03 AM

6. i found it surprising how unprepared people were


I think its a rural versus urban thing. I dont know anyone who couldnt ride out a month or so of roughing it. Never thought all the ice storms and blizzards etc would be training.

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Response to Kaleva (Original post)

Fri Oct 25, 2013, 06:48 PM

7. Basic food and water supply for 1 person for approx. 30 days

Last edited Sat Oct 26, 2013, 09:51 AM - Edit history (1)

First the list for a 2000 calorie daily requirement and water:

380 calories provided by 4 tablespoons of peanut butter

100 calories provided by 1 5 oz can of tuna in water

490 calories provided by 1 16 oz. can of pork and beans

400 calories provided by 4 cups of Cheerios or other cereal such as Total, Raisin Bran or Chex. Eaten dry.

600 calories provided by 2 cups of rolled oats (makes 4 cups when prepared)

60 calories from 1 tablespoon of honey

13 cups of water for drinking

3.5 cups of water for cooking

2030 calories total with 16.5 cups of water

For a 30 day supply, I'd need the following:

30 5 oz cans of tuna
2 40 oz containers of peanut butter
30 16 oz cans of pork and beans
4 42 oz. containers of rolled oats
7 18 oz boxes of Cheerios
1 32 oz container of honey
6.5 gallons of water for cooking the rolled oats
24.5 gallons for drinking

The above is a bare bones list for which items could be added to for variety. I do have a LP gas stove which is supplied by a 500 gallon LP tank. In case of a power outage, i could not use the oven but the stove top would be functional. I'd just have to light the burner(s) with a cigarette lighter or match.

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Response to Kaleva (Original post)

Sat Oct 26, 2013, 11:53 AM

8. Congratulations - I bookmarked my first thread in ten years!



This one.

After living in a 17 foot trailer for 6 years, never any running water, and no hydro for the last 3 years I learned a few things.

I see nothing here to argue with, and learned some stuff as well

- my turn to share.

I had a small solar panel system, 3 - 15 watt panels and 2 deep-cycle batteries (one would suffice with a larger charging/panel system).

I had 12 volt LEDs for lighting, and some 12 volt fans from computers I installed on the end of large tomato juice cans, lay them on my cook stove when enough hydro available to circulate the heat. Hang the fan end off the edge of the stove with it sucking the heat off the stove into the room - computer fans are 12 volt - old desktops are readily available - and fans can be bought new for around $5-6 on line.

I now have a regular home - hydro and all that, but a recent power outage prompted me to revive my old habits - saving water in empty jugs (drinking water should be kept out of light - even artificial light, so my drinking water is kept in the back of the cupboards underneath my kitchen counters). Presently have 5 gallons drinking water, and 30 gallons rainwater tucked away inside my home.

I have a 7500 Watt generator back-up system, but cost of gasoline would prevent me from running it for extended periods - so it would only be used sporadically (recharge my batteries, run well pump to recharge tanks etc.,)

Also have two deep cycle batteries, and 2 inverters (makes 110 Volts)

Even one deep-cycle battery with an inverter would be more than enough to run your gas oven - it only needs about a minute of 110 to heat up that thermocouple that lights your oven

Also, 110 is handy to recharge laptops, watch a bit of tv (a very small bit), but a larger solar/inverter system would be needed for fridges, freezers etc.

OH - how do I know about the gas range? - Funny story that -

During the purchase of the property and house, owner felt obligated to tell me that the house had a gas range, but the oven didn't work. Gas range is 8 years old - turned it on - nothing happened. Pulled the drawer out of the bottom, there was a brand new broiler pan in there (bottom "drawer" is really a broiler!) - everything, including the oven was as clean as new.

Tried to light the pilot, nothing.

Being a curious old mechanic I found and downloaded the manual for it, seeing what I needed to repair it - hmm - durn thing is electric - gotta wait 45+ seconds - so - waited - 55 seconds later - "whomp!" it lit.

Oven's gettin' dirty now - -

Have an airtight woodstove in my home here with 2 EcoFans on top - the heat of the stove creates electricity that turns the fans.


Also, I have a propane wall heater, and over 1200# of propane. Wall heater runs off a hydro powered thermostat -- trying to find a battery operated one, but the pilot will run without hydro - and it puts out a fair bit of heat on it's own.

Bought and installed a direct vent (mounts on an outside wall - no chimney required) propane heater in one of the rooms furthest from the wood-stove - no hydro needed - 2 holes to the outside - voila - done deal.

My first winter in my new home - very busy, so bought cordwood for this winter - over 25 acres of woodland here, so will putter around slowly replenishing what I burn - most likely never have to buy another stick.

Have a snow plow, snow-blower, and a snow shovel.

OK winter - bring it on . .

I'm ready!


ps: good thread!

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Response to ConcernedCanuk (Reply #8)

Sat Oct 26, 2013, 02:13 PM

9. Interesting stuff! Thank you for posting that.

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