Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Prudent Prepping: Even More Disaster Planning

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

On our Facebook group (join us, we're even nicer in person!), our esteemed Founder and Editrix posted a Bloomberg article which stated that my local utility is planning to cut power to sections of California if and when there is an increased fire danger.  I was asked what my immediate plans would be and I gave a quick answer, but that's not the only thing I'm doing. 

What To Do When The Lights Go Out
The California utility doing the planning is Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), and as of last week it was found to be responsible for two of the recent and largest wildfires in CA recorded history.  They have published a plan detailing exactly what is in store for areas most likely to be hit with a wildfire. The rather long PDF doesn't show where the power might be cut in a wildfire, instead listing all the things that may occur in the event of a wildfire.

Think about that for a minute: with the location of several recent fires being in or near populated areas, this plan is good for any area served by PG&E. This makes sense when thinking where certain fires have started, such as the Camp fire (Paradise CA) and the Tubbs fire (Calistoga and Santa Rosa CA). I posted about another fire several years ago that might have been prevented if a plan like this was in place, but nothing is a sure thing when dealing with natural disasters.  As long as I'm not in the direct path of a fire, losing power for one to possibly several days is not a problem. If there's the chance I'm going to be in a fire, all bets are off and a full Bug Out is in order. 

First Things First
If I get the power outage warning, which PG&E said will be as much as two days before but possibly less, I'm heading to my parents' house to see how they are doing. They're both in reasonably good health for their age, but I want to be there to make sure everything is in good shape. My family traveled and camped when we were kids so there's still a lot of useful gear around, including a generator that's used to power my parents' travel trailer parked on a time-share campground. That generator is big enough to keep their freezer and refrigerator going, and by keeping the freezer closed and not opening the fridge, the generator should need to run for only four to six hours to maintain good temperatures. Based upon what my Dad tells me about the generator's gas usage, that's about a gallon of fuel for each 4-6 hour cycle.

My parents have food stored and ready to load into their truck to take to their trailer when it's camping season, so I'm not worried about their food supply. 

This, however, is going to be a problem if power is out for longer that a few days, especially if it's in the middle of summer. I have enough water to keep everyone going, but not enough for comfort (such as bathing), so I need to convince my folks to buy some water jugs as a supplement to mine. I'll be giving them a Sawyer SP181 filter and showing them how to use it next month. I really like Sawyer filters (see my review of it here) because of how much water they'll filter and their ease of use. 

Fortunately this isn't likely to be a problem, since we are well away from the expected fire zones. If worst comes to worst, though, bugging out to their trailer could be a big problem as it is near the Redding-Red Bluff CA area that burned last year!

The Recap
  • This is another example where proper planning will pay off in fewer headaches and much less excitement.
  • Nothing was purchased this week, but a Sawyer SP181 $49.99 from Amazon with Prime is going in my Shopping Cart.
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