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Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Prudent Prepping: Last Minute Preps

The dust has settled and the First 72 Hours have passed. Follow along as I build a long term plan via Prudent Prepping.

The topic of Last Minute Prepping came up while talking to a friend who recently moved from Oregon to Tennessee and who is renting a house while waiting for the sale of his Oregon house to close. He can't do much in the way of structural or permanent changes to his rental, but he has done several temporary and very simple things to be ahead of the changeable weather where he is now. Over the past month, the weather in Tennessee has gone from 30's and rain to 90's and cloudy, with wind, thunder storms, and tornadoes thrown in randomly. My friend has improvised some low cost and easy things to be safe in the crazy weather.

Quick and Easy Preps Around the House
Since he is on the outskirts of town, when the power is out his doesn't get restored quickly. This means he has to be ready to cook, heat his place and have lights. The last time lines went down it took 4 days to get everything restored.

Heat
If you have a fireplace or a wood stove, make sure you have enough wood to keep going for at least a week. Since weather knocks out the power regularly where my friend lives, he has several cords of wood on hand. 

Light
A generator is not in my friends budget, so gas or Coleman lanterns are his primary backup light sources, along with flashlights for personal use. He does not like candles, having had a bad experience with a fire as a kid. 

Cooking 
An expensive gas grill was moved East and it has been given a workout this winter. If no grill or barbecue is available and you have a wood stove, cooking can be done on top if that. An extra propane tank or two is not a bad idea, either. 

Weatherproofing
The house doesn't have window shutters, but it does have an overhanging roof that should offer some protection from falling branches. To prepare for window breakage, several rolls of 10 mil plastic and duct tape are placed around the house. 

Waterproofing 
No, not like that! The town temporarily ran out of sand bags early in the winter, so my friend filled trash bags with dirt to keep water out of his garage. The bags aren't in very good shape now, but are filled with dirt which can be easily dumped/shoveled or broomed off the concrete and back to where it came from.

    Personal Care
    With power potentially out for a week, plans needed to be made for the care and feeding of the people in the house.

    Food
    Because my friend moved from a semi-rural area in Oregon to a similar place in Tennessee, a reasonable supply of emergency food is on hand. The freezer has water-filled gallon zip lock bags which can be used for ice or in a portable cooler if needed. Before the bags freeze, they flow and fill gaps between the items already in the freezer, meaning they take up less obvious space than one-gallon milk jugs. 

    Water
    I've spoken to him about a bath tub water bladder for water storage, but there isn't any interest. What has been done is just filling the tub. As a camper, he does have a water filter system as a backup; I'm not sure which one or how big it is though.

    Backup Supplies 
    Smaller amounts of everything, including clothing, is placed into my friend's small motor home in case the house takes any major storm damage. Personal information like prescriptions, documents and spare glasses are also in the motor home. Everything is in plastic bags or in totes, just in case the motor home takes a hit too.

    The Takeaway
    • Any place can be prepared for bad weather or emergencies in just a few hours.
    • It's better to be prepared ahead of time to reduce the amount of stress on everyone around you. 
    • Any of the listed steps can be done in less than a day if you know there is a storm coming, but reasonable people living in severe weather areas should already be prepared for the worst.
    Nothing was purchased this week or removed from my gear.


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