Thursday, March 31, 2011

are you ready part 3

in part 2 i talked about the food and water you would need to survive 3 days after a disaster occurs. now it is time to discuss shelter and heat.

imagination is a helpful ally in this endeavor. if you are staying home, and the home is not damaged, you are in good shape. but what if you are on the road or forced to take to the hills when calamity strikes? do you have ponchos or 2 shelter halves to make a tent with? do you have a bivvy sack, sleeping mats and bags? do you have a hatchet to help you build a lean to or debris shelter? remember, if things really go to shit, others will have taken to the hills also, and will be looking for obvious shelter too, such as YOUR home. how will you defend it and your food and water stores?

do you own a firearm? now, do you actually know how to use it? how much ammunition do you have? there is no such thing as too much ammo, you can always use it in trade for something you need, like eggs or vegetables. more on the proper selection, care and feeding of your firearms later.

what sort of furnace do you have? natural gas, electric, propane or home heating oil? most have electric ignition, so what to do when the power goes out? some folks have natural gas powered generators. these are attached directly to your home natural gas line, and kick in when the power goes out automatically i understand. perhaps you own a gas powered generator. do you know how many gallons it burns over a 24 hour period? are you smart enough to keep it outside your home while it runs? how often do you have to change the oil? how much gas do you have on hand? do you have a back up plan such as a catalytic heater for heat and maybe a coleman stove for food preparation?

if you must go live of the land, can you make fire? don't laugh, when the zippo shits the bed, a flint and steel will work, but do YOU have one? how many of you could make fire given a 9 volt battery and steel wool? how many of you know you can do that? do you have a single burner propane stove and propane to go with it? they are very handy but bulky, 3 bottles would take up a significant amount of space in your pack. i just found a wood-gas camp stove that costs less than a hundred bucks (tax not included). they use sticks, leaves and pine needles, which unless i'm atop everest or in the gobi are not in short supply. next we need something to heat our water or cook our vittles in, as plastic and fire don't mix. go light, buy a g.i. canteen with it's aluminum cup and holder. better yet buy 3, as the canteens only hold a quart of water each, which is less than the gallon of water you need a day.

i'll get around to guns and other gear in part 4.

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