Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Prudent Prepping: In Other News

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

A follow-up on my knife at the airport story, some changes to my stored items, and a report from a friend on car prepping.

Airport Wrap-up 
While at the airport getting ready to deal with the Travel Nazis, I discovered my pocket knife in my pocket. My knife arrived in yesterday's (Monday's) mail, just a bit over 3 weeks from dropping the package into the airport kiosk. It was in a padded, tear-resistant plastic envelope with my hand written label pasted to it. Other than being the priciest and slowest way to ship my knife to myself, it was exactly as advertised. Good Job, Airport Mailers.

I now have my favorite pocket knife where it belongs: in my pocket!

Car Prepping Info
A friend who leaves for work when I do (4 AM) recently had a blowout after running over something unseen. He said there was a solid THUMP and 10-15 seconds later, the passenger side front tire went very flat, very fast. Luckily, no one was following him and he was able to get off the road safely and without doing any damage to his car. He followed the steps outlined in this publication on what to do when your car gets a flat.

The highlights of the article (in my opinion) are these points:
  1. At the first sign of tire trouble, grip the steering wheel firmly.
  2. Don't slam on the brakes.
  3. Let the car slow down gradually by taking your foot off the gas pedal.
  4. Work your vehicle toward the breakdown lane or, if possible, toward an exit.
  5. If it is necessary to change lanes, signal your intentions to drivers behind and do so smoothly and carefully, watching your mirrors and the traffic around you very closely.
  6. Steer as your vehicle slows down. It is better to roll the car off the roadway (when you have slowed to 30 miles per hour) and into a safe place than it is to stop in traffic and risk a rear-end or side collision from other vehicles.
My friend did all this in a textbook fashion, moving safely to the soft shoulder and coming to a stop. This is where he discovered something interesting: Everything in his car not tied down bounced around and came out of wherever it was originally placed. One of the items that came out of the driver's door pocket was his flashlight, which ended up under his feet. If a bump had been hit at speed, that flashlight might have ended up blocking his brake pedal, which could have made coming to a safe stop difficult.

After this incident, my friend thoroughly cleaned his car and figured out a fix for his flashlight that I copied:  putting Velcro on the flashlight and also on the door pocket. I can't get a clear picture of the black Velcro on my black flashlight, so you'll have to take my word on this.

Sorting out where to mount the Velcro was a matter of how it fit in the pocket and not just on the flashlight. After firmly rubbing down the soft loop side onto my flashlight, I very lightly put the hooks on and pressed the hook-side adhesive onto the pocket.

Door Pocket

Mounted this way, the top of my flashlight is below the edge of the pocket, so there isn't any way to accidentally snag the light.

(Showing a black flashlight mounted this way also did not come out clearly in any picture I was able to take with my phone.)

Rotating Stores
One item was moved into my pantry and fresh stock added to the buckets: A 52-count box of Quaker Oats, purchased from Sam's Club. I like oatmeal as an anytime snack or meal. With the instant type, all I need is hot water and I'm set. All of my stops for work have microwaves, and several have instant hot water taps in their break-rooms. Five Ziploc bags, each holding ten servings, went into storage.

The Takeaway
  • Do a thorough check of your gear, especially if you are doing something out of the ordinary. I don't fly regularly any more, so checking for my knife was not normal. It costs to make mistakes! 
  • Maintaining a car is more than gas, oil and tires. What is inside the car could cause as many problems as what is neglected under the hood. 

The Recap
  • One package of Velcro: $2.98 from Home Depot; also $2.98 from Amazon with Prime.
  • 52 count Instant Oatmeal: $9.98 from Sam's Club; $14.59 from Amazon with Prime.

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If you have comments, suggestions or corrections, please post them so we all can learn. And remember, Some Is Always Better Than None!

NOTE: All items tested were purchased by me. No products have been loaned in exchange for a favorable review. Any items sent to me for T&E will be listed as such. Suck it Feds.

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