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Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Prudent Prepping: Reflect, Review and Prepare

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

It’s time for me to clean up and check my equipment as I move, and in the middle of the mess I hear a report that a dam in northern California may be releasing water very soon due to all the rain and now snow melt.

Reflect
Yes, it’s the Oroville Dam I talked about in these posts. The thing that has the locals worried are the cracks in the face of the spillway, similar to the cracks that caused all the problems mentioned in the news articles (linked above) from February 2017. The state water department says everything is just fine, but area residents are understandably worried. After a billion dollars spent to repair and supposedly improve the dam, everyone believes it should work much better than previously.

This was what caused me to go down the rabbit hole of explaining to the people I’m living with why I have emergency gear and food. This is a conversation I wanted to have, just not quite so soon. I thought it could wait until everyone was settled, unpacked and rested.

Review
Everyone to whom I’ve been talking remembers the dam problem and knows what a flood looks like, at least from news reports. Only one person was living in the San Francisco Bay area for the Oakland/Berkeley Hills fire in 1991, but the recent fire in Paradise and fires elsewhere in the state were real wake-up calls about what can happen in an urban area close to open spaces. My new place backs up to open space/grasslands with scattered trees, but the lack of trees isn’t a guarantee against winds blowing embers onto everything. My friends have several fire extinguishers from previous rentals, but I don’t know how current they are. These are for the kitchen, laundry room and garage, and don’t count the one I have for my room.

New meet-up locations have to be set, alternate places to stay found, emergency phone numbers for friends passed around, along with everyone learning the locations of the water meter and gas meter, as well as how to turn them off.

I’m making a list of everything the Master Chief and I had worked out as the starting point for where I’d like to see everyone in one month, six months, and a year from now.

Prepare
Oh boy, where to start? I’m going with personal safety at the top of my list. I have a fire extinguisher and first aid kit, but I’m on the second floor and I seriously hate being off the ground if there is a fire. What I’m looking at is something like this, the First Alert EL52-2 Two-Story Fire Escape Ladder.

https://amzn.to/2I8pj0u

I like this model since it has stand-off legs. From the Amazon listing:
  • Easy to use two-story 14-foot fire escape ladder
  • Fully assembled, ready to use
  • Strong steel construction, tested to 1,125 lbs
  • DuPont Cordura nylon strapping for extra strength and maximum durability.
  • Complies to ASTM standards; 6-year limited warranty; For sill widths of 6 to 10 inches.
My window sill is less than 10” deep, so I’m set, but I need to convince my friends on the other side of the house to get one also, which shouldn’t be too difficult. As I really do have a Blue Collar Prepping budget, this will be my first order for my new place.


The Takeaway
  • Never stop thinking about how to be safe.
  • Planning isn’t expensive; figuring things out under stress can really cost.

The Recap
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Just a reminder: if you plan on buying anything through Amazon, please consider using our referral link. When you do, a portion of the sale comes back here to help keep this site running!

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 or given 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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