Tuesday, August 14, 2012
I've been meaning to write more articles on emergency preparation from a basic, common-sense perspective, but life, the universe and everything have been getting in the way. To keep the topic going, here are some links to useful articles and resources I've come across in recent weeks. Click on the title of each section to go to the link.
Warbelt Fun: Ryan at Total Survivalist Libertarian Rantfest offers his thoughts on setting up a basic 'survival belt' or 'warbelt' containing essential items for an emergency.
Junk, Minimalism, What We Really Need and Survivalism: Ryan discusses how prone we all are to accumulate junk, and describes his own efforts to get rid of excess clutter and reduce his possessions to those he really needs and/or can't easily do without. I daresay all of us (most definitely including myself!) could stand to do likewise.
Prepping on $40 a week: The TEOTWAWKI Blog has a very useful series under this subject heading, showing how for a relatively small investment each week you can build up a comprehensive emergency kit in short order. There's a lot of material, but each week's entry deals with only one or two things, so it's easily digestible. Highly recommended, particularly for those of us (including me) on a tight budget.
37 Things You Need in a Crisis: The blog Getting Started In Emergency Preparedness has a two part article about this, listing all sorts of things that will be necessary (including linking to other, similar lists). Very useful. Follow the links to Part 1 and Part 2.
What Are the Boundaries of Your Local Economy? Resilient Communities asks this question, and answers it with reference to common resources such as Craigslist. This is a useful concept in terms of local trade/barter transactions. Establish connections now with like-minded persons, so that relationships are already established in time of need when an approach from a stranger might be greeted with suspicion or excessive caution.
Months of free hot water: In the same article linked above, Resilient Communities links to this article from the Kailash Ecovillage in Portland, Oregon. It describes how a family built a composting greenhouse using a straw bale foundation. They ran a hundred feet of plastic water piping through the compost. Heat exchange warmed the water to a very usable 90°-130° Fahrenheit for 18 months until the structure was dismantled. Hot water will be at a premium in an extended power outage, or if you have to 'bug out' to an emergency location. This offers an interesting, low-cost and easy-to-build hot water system for a makeshift dwelling. As one who's spent more time away from hot water than I ever want to spend again, I can assure you, a steady supply of this substance will make survival a whole lot more comfortable - and hygienic! (Don't just think personal hygiene, either. Hot water makes it a whole lot easier to wash dishes, cooking utensils, clothing, etc. That greatly improves your overall health situation.)
Preparedness and Resiliency: Wendy McElroy looks at how to be flexible, and the need to avoid making excuses to avoid making basic preparations. She points out that a basic one-week survival kit, containing all the essentials except water, can be stored in a simple 18-gallon tote (which costs less than $10 from some vendors, such as this one selling through Amazon.com). That gets around most people's objections that they don't have space or storage capacity for an emergency kit, doesn't it?
Alternate Food Storage: A Week in a Bucket: This article at SurvivalBlog covers precisely what its title says - how to prepare store enough food for a week in a single 5-gallon bucket. It's very practical, and very useful. Recommended reading.
There, that's plenty for you to read until I can get around to writing more about emergency preparedness. There's a lot of information out there, as a simple Internet search will reveal. Ignore the advertisements from companies trying to cash in on the growing interest in this field, and do your own reading among the large number of sites offering advice. You'll find plenty of useful hints, tips and tricks.