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Help me and my wife prepare

Discussion in 'Survival/Preparedness Forum' started by LSUAdman, Aug 18, 2011.

  1. LSUAdman

    LSUAdman Pew Pew

    1,760
    0
    Aug 3, 2010
    Texas
    Hey guys-

    First time posting in this sub-board. I've been watching and taking notes, but need some advice.

    My wife and I have been gathering supplies and preparing for emergency response for a few months now, but we are still far from complete. We are trying to spend $100-$200 a month to assemble a good hunker down kit as well as two good car kits.

    We have a decent amount of stuff saved up and even more planned, but I wanted some recommendations on what you guys think is the best for the given scenario.

    We live on the Gulf coast, so this kit's primary purpose is to plan around Hurricane preparedness. We are not novices to hurricanes, but we have always survived power outages/water outages by preparing at the last minute. :faint:

    That ends today. We have a 6 month old child and have no plans to evac as we are far enough inland to avoid the worst. At most we can expect a week of power loss and some water loss. We live on an emergency grid, so we are usually the first house up and running when things do go badly.

    What we are looking for are good sources of portable power and water purification. We have a gas home and gas grills so cooking and boiling water is an option, we just want sub options.

    Right now I am looking at this on amazon:

    Goal0 29005 Escape 150 Adventure Kit
    I dont know much about solar, but it looks like with good weather this can keep some batteries, phones and other small things running. Is there a better option? I want something simple so that two people with no wiring experience can pick it up, set it up and get it going all while a baby is crying for food.

    What about water filtration? I want something primarily to kill bacteria/nasties in water. We have several gallons of water saved up, but we want to have a way to use water from the tap or water we collect if water lines go down.

    We are also looking at the Eton survival radios - any recommendations there?

    Yes, I know most of this is vague. Please answer to the best of your abilities. A portable gas/diesel generator is not an option as we have no room for it and our HOA forbids them, even in disaster situations.

    Thanks guys
     
  2. Lone Kimono

    Lone Kimono

    881
    1
    Jul 15, 2009
    Let me start with water. If you are trying to supply a family you may want to go with one of the Berkey models.

    Here is a link to the first site I found when I just Googled it. I doubt it's the best place to buy from, but it lays out the different models.

    http://www.bigberkeywaterfilters.co...ms-c-1?zenid=d29d475980e8862580aabb6f524f5283

    You could also make your own and just buy the filters.
    http://www.alpharubicon.com/kids/homemadeberkeydaire.htm

    As far as solar power, GoalZero is OK. i have their Adventure 10 and am happy. I think their prices have gone up recently though. Just an FYI someone who works for them told me by the end of this year they will be coming out with a system large enough to run a house.

    If you want something for cooking that you can just "set it and forget it" you may want to look at the Sun Oven. Again, if you are going to buy it shop around you can find it cheaper.

    http://www.sunoven.com/
     


  3. quake

    quake Millennium Member

    4,108
    60
    Aug 4, 1999
    Arkansas, USA
    +1 all that, with the caveat that I'm not familiar with the goalzero stuff good or bad.

    As an option to a ~$250-$350 berkey (which is a VERY good unit), if you don't want to home-make one, you might try the "store-bought home-made" version, called the Bucket Berkey iirc, for under $100.



    No help with the eton; I have a grundig and it's fairly good.

    On the no-generator thing due to HOA rules; I'm a a big fan of being a positive part of the community, and a bigger fan of following the rules than most people; but I can't get the phrase "screw 'em" out of my head on that one, as long as we're talking about emergency-use only. If it's an emergency, you may have to hang laundry out on a line, catch rain in a barrel, all kinds of things you normally wouldn't. If nothing else, one of the small (& extremely quiet) honda EU series can let you run a 2000-3000 watts of power while creating not much more noise than a typical conversation. If you have a sunroom, crawlspace, even attic etc, where you could mask it from the public while still keeping it out of the living space, I'd look real hard into those.
    This is the 2,000-watt version; probably the best bang-for-buck model if you can get by with that power level; which most could in a suburban setting. Run your fridge for a while, run your chest freezer for a while, then run your microwave to cook... etc. Just can't do it all at once:
    http://www.hondapowerequipment.com/...tion=P2GG&modelname=EU2000i&modelid=EU2000IKN

    They're expensive compared to other generators, but could be worth it if the only other option is for your baby to be living in a house with no power.
     
  4. Lone Kimono

    Lone Kimono

    881
    1
    Jul 15, 2009
    Wow, it really may be worth saving the aggravation to just buy one of those.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2011
  5. For my 6 month old I stocked up on formula (bought by the case) and baby food. Your child will be able in a couple of months eat what you do but I'd have much extra formula around. I remember seeing babies in NOLA and then Japan with little to no formula. I wouldn't be able to live with myself if I had to watch my child suffer. Even if your wife is breast feeding something God forbid may happen to her.

    FWIW I just purchased a Yamaha portable gen rather than the Honda for various reasons. Similarly priced but the Yami has a few other extras.

    Good luck with your preps.
     
  6. LSUAdman

    LSUAdman Pew Pew

    1,760
    0
    Aug 3, 2010
    Texas
    Thanks Doc, we are doing the same thing. We keep lots of forumula (dry and wet) in several bags, plus in storage. You know how quick that stuff gets used up though. We by a crate of the Enfamil for trips at least once every two weeks and it's gone by the end of the month.

    Wife has been storing/freezing breast milk, so I'd say he has at least a month saved up.

    If we starved, he'll still be fine. Hahaa
     
  7. LSUAdman

    LSUAdman Pew Pew

    1,760
    0
    Aug 3, 2010
    Texas

    Oh trust me, I feel the same way. The other issue is that we have no space left. When we bought, we bought less house than we needed, then we had the baby and it quickly spiraled from less than we needed to OMG we have no room for anything!

    I have been eyeballing a few small units. I might get one of those small storage sheds to put in the backyard, then put the generator back there. I doubt anyone would actually care if I ran it, but like you said, with a 6mo child it's just essentual.

    A friend of mine was pregnant when Ike hit a few years back. Their condo wouldnt let them use their generator (fined them $300 when they caught them). They were out of power for I want to say two weeks. I dont know how they did it.

    I was out of power for an hour yesterday while our damn "smart meter" was installed and it was miserable with the kid. Southeast Texas heat and no a/c, fans and a 6mo make it very hard.
     
  8. wjv

    wjv

    13,794
    1,217
    Jan 17, 2002
    Pacific NW
    Katadyn makes good water filters also:

    http://www.moosejaw.com/moosejaw/sh...dyn)-Water-Filter_10007434_10208_10000001_-1_

    I have a Yamaha 2000 watt generator. Very small - (Smaller than typical airline carry on luggage.) Fuel efficient. Cost was ~$900 from Wise Equipment Sales (on-line store). Since you have a baby, if the HOA gives you crap about running the gen during an emergency, just tell them that if ANYTHING happens to your child because of their stupid rules, you will hold them financially and criminally liable. . .

    Priorities should be something like:
    - water
    - food
    - shelter/heat
    - security (firearm)

    Things like medicines that you can't live without should also be high on the list. If you need some med to survive, consider having a 90 day supply on hand at all times.

    Also consider the option that water/sewer might not be running.

    I just picked up a couple of these with extra bags/chemicals.

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000FIAPXO

    Also consider items such as (amazon.com):

    Pack of 10 Light Stick Green 12-Hour for Emergency Disaster Preparedness $10.77
    Stearns SunShower 5.0 with 4-5 showers (Capacity- 5 gallons) $31
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2011
  9. Aceman

    Aceman

    6,982
    57
    Nov 30, 2008
    Tampa
    Fantastic. I have been a gulf coaster for 20 years.

    Let me ask this, and then I'll yell at you anyway: How far inland are you?

    #1 HAVE AN EVAC PLAN!!!!! Example:
    Trop storm - verify current pantry, check extra gear
    Cat 1. Fill pantry, ready extra, check go-gear
    Cat 2. Fill pantry, ready extra, ready go.
    Cat 3. Ready go, verify destination A & B
    etc...

    You have a kid. The WORST thing to deal with in a SHTF. Useless and completely degrades your ability to handle anything.

    That said - it's a lot of personal decisions. I myself, prefer to have a good ready supply on hand, with the ability to stock quickly, followed by the ability to gather.

    For example:

    Water - three people = a bunch of water bottles, plus stocked soda etc..., waterbobs for filling tubs, purification gear for pool water, plus a filter. Along with fire/fuel and a space blanket, the bay is full of water.

    Fuel - same deal: Triple propane cans for the grill, half dozen backup cans for the camping grill, axe to chop wood for fire (and fireplace). Turkey cooker/pot for heavy duty boiling.

    You have to decide how long you want to stick it out and how safe it is. Tornados come all over from storms, a big fast move can make a mess far inland, as can a stalled slow one. And they can pick up the heat fast.

    But like i said - a tiered approach. Have you and the wife went camping with the baby try it for three days and see how well it goes. You'll reconsider bugging out!

    And of course, needless to say...powdered milk and baby food!!!!!
     
  10. Aceman

    Aceman

    6,982
    57
    Nov 30, 2008
    Tampa
    Oh yes - 12g and sign that says "Eff you you nazi-fascist homeowner association losers"
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2011
  11. UneasyRider

    UneasyRider C.D.B.

    4,011
    3
    Dec 1, 2005
    I would store a couple of 55 gallon barrels of water, buy one of the drip filters talked about above and make or buy a solar oven to pasturize all the water that you will ever need for free. Filters by themselves can not be counted on to make all water safe to drink, pasturization can. You will also need a long term source of water like a well or a pond nearby.

    Do a little research on youtube on long term food storage and you will find that you can buy huge quantities of food that will last decades for a very small amount of money. I would do this before I started with supermarket foods, those are good and I keep a lot that I buy on sale but calorie per dollar go with the long term foods and your solar oven and you will be full.
     
  12. bdcochran

    bdcochran

    3,327
    333
    Sep 23, 2005
    Los Angeles
    Go to greenpowerscience on youtube. Think about in-place solar handling of water purification and solar cooking because you are not going to evacuate. Yes, things can be clouded over, I guess.

    Consider comforters and layered clothing as contrasted to having to have "power". Consider canned food, hardtack, and jerky so that you don't have to cook.
     
  13. sebecman

    sebecman

    2,297
    0
    Jun 13, 2008
    Maine
    On the subject of water - Yes everyone should have a good filter.

    In addition I believe you should also have some bottled water for convenience and in case you are unable to leave your house during the first few days/weeks of a crisis event.

    We have young children and I can tell you during the last several several power outages the added peace of mind/convenience factor that comes from mixing their formula with pure water is well worth the money.

    I reccomend the bulk sizes (we like stackable 3 liter) but hand held is good too. Just be sure to buy bottles that are made from PET plastic (clear) not HDPE plastic (opaque like a milk jug). The PET does not degrade over time like HDPE and regardless of what anyone tells you comercially bottled water will store indeffinately. I rotate but I have cases from 2005 and the water is fine.

    :wavey:
     
  14. LSUAdman

    LSUAdman Pew Pew

    1,760
    0
    Aug 3, 2010
    Texas
    Thanks for the good recommendations guys, I am taking notes.

    Some of you have asked here and through PM, so here are the more "specific" items.

    - I was raised 20 miles from the gulf, and have been through four high cat storms, including Andrew, Katrina, Rita, Ike and the less memorable ones - so our ability to weather out storms is pretty high. But we are young and mobile, and that helps.
    -Our house is only 2000 sq ft, and we have a two car garage. Yard is tiny, maybe another 500 sq ft with no outside storage. I like the idea of the smaller generators, especially if its something light that I can store upstairs. If the HOA causes **** we'll deal with that when it happens.
    -No room for massive water storage. We have about 20gallons saved up, but have plans to fill both bathtubs (should put us over 200 gallons). We just need a way to purify what might be sitting in the tubs or coming out of the taps should the water sit for too long.
    - Matches, lights, chem lights and lots of batteries stocked. We have gas inside the house as well as a gas grill. You guys are right, now is the time to stock up on more propane!
    - The baby has tons of food, thank God. That has been our biggest worry, and I am sure all of you parents know that you sometimes think of your kid's wellbeing before your own.
    -Safety is taken care of, but ammo counts could always be higher.

    That said, I really do appreciate the all the recommendations and keep them coming. I am going to try and put together a checklist this weekend because while we have lots of stuff prepared, it's scattered between the utility room, the pantry, the BOB and two BIBs.

    I've been using Amazon wishlist to keep up-to-date with you guy's ideas. Might not have everything 100% by the end of this season, but we will be 100% by next year.

    Keep the ideas coming!
     
  15. LSUAdman

    LSUAdman Pew Pew

    1,760
    0
    Aug 3, 2010
    Texas

    Good post Ace. I agree with your outlook, and you know how it is with a kid. We have squirrel, fish and deer within easy walk from here if things got too insane. Other than that, we keep a good amount of frozen food. We ate great during Ike. Our neighbors were so POed as we would be outside every day eating steak, grilling fish, etc.

    I wont lie, a few days we are Ramen, but hey - food is food when everyone else around you is without. Yes, we did share.

    One thing I want to add is hygene. I sweat a LOT during hot weather, and during our last major storm I was raunchy after 5 days without water. I have now seen the light and stock up on baby wipes. Yes, they are mostly for my son, but my gosh do they help when you have nothing else.

    We take our hygene for granted until our hair is sticky, we smell like week old cheese and our skin looks like the Exxon Valdez spill. :rofl:

    Mouth wash was also a God send.
     
  16. sebecman

    sebecman

    2,297
    0
    Jun 13, 2008
    Maine
    LOL - "only 2000 sq ft."

    My house is 1000 square feet and I have 2 children. We have plenty of room for our stuff.

    you would be surprised where you can put things if you need to.

    Water should be a higher priority for you - especially if you live on the Gulf coast.

    Do you have a basement? Probably not, how about a crawl space? Cases of water fit nicely under beds. Also you can stack bottles in the backs of the kitchen cupboards where you can't reach anyway. They will be there when you need them.

    :wavey:
     
  17. LSUAdman

    LSUAdman Pew Pew

    1,760
    0
    Aug 3, 2010
    Texas

    I wish it were so. Just about every square inch has something. We are planning on selling and moving in the next year, so I dont think I am going to finish flooring the attic.

    Its not that the house is small, per se, it's just that it has a very inefficient layout and very little storage space. My garage is packed, with all my tools, our bikes, both cars, oil change stuff, extra propane, lawn care stuff and lawnmower. We literally have to scoot out sideways to get ina nd out of the garage.

    Water is one of our top priorities and we are getting there. I always thought it silly to hoard water (dont flame), but my wife convinced me to see the light and we are trying to get better.

    I found some inflatable water bags - they hold I think 10-20 gallons each, but collapse when you dont need them. I might pick some of those up. If we see a storm coming, just fill them up from the tap. Going to check reviews on them this afternoon.
     
  18. kirgi08

    kirgi08 Watcher. Silver Member

    34,257
    3,438
    Jun 4, 2007
    Acme proving grounds.
    It's not hoarding,your spending your money ta prepare your family.If folks would rather spend on vacations and whatever thats their business.Myself my families safety and well being comes first.'08.

    PM inbound.
     
  19. quake

    quake Millennium Member

    4,108
    60
    Aug 4, 1999
    Arkansas, USA
    Good ideas all, and reminded me of one that we do ourselves but I'd forgotten. If you have a standalone freezer (especially a chest freezer), 2-liter soda bottles almost-filled with tap water, capped tightly and laid down as a bottom layer in the freezer will not only be a potential source of emergency water, all the thermal mass also keeps the freezer from thawing as fast when the power goes out.