So just in our 6th day of no power/running water with Hurricane Sandy hitting us, I'm trying to decided to what to/what's essential to our survival stash. If we had to go more than 2 weeks without power, or running water, or anything. Or shit hits the fan or WHATEVER -- my long term goal is to be slightly off grid but for shorter term things, what do you keep on hand?
Things we have currently:
Freeze dried food
First aid kit (both regular type and a natural one with oils, tinctures etc)
Loads of flashlights/batteries and matches
Portable water filter
Water filter tablets
Plenty of water period
I'd like some sort of solar powered generator.
I always try to keep some canned/jarred foods that are still good to eat unheated - stuff like vegetarian baked beans, applesauce, canned beats or bean salad, etc.
Battery op. outdoor lanterns are one of my favorite power outage items of ours - they have handles so I or the kids can carry them around easily, and they seem to actually illuminate a whole room better than candles or other lanterns we've owned (we've got the ones with the big round paper lantern-ey part, originally for a party but we've used them for several major outages we've had over the past 5 years or so, plus they have a spot to store an extra bulb built into them, which is handy).
Haven't had a need to use it at home, but I've always been glad to have a tiny camp stove. I should keep more fuel for this.
Hot water bottles (should get more of these - we've got 1) - I've been able to warm water easier than finding/having other ways to heat ourselves in the past and this would have been useful this past week, not having a fireplace especially.
Not totally necessary, but would have been really nice:
Already ground coffee. I mean, we did use a mortar and pestle & the kiddos had fun doing it for me, but it wasn't as delicious. A small jar of regularly ground coffee, or a manual grinder would be great.
We're pretty set for a long term power outage... we have a hand pump for water and an outhouse thats been here forever as well. I try to keep a decent stock of food around of varying types - various canned goods, dried pasta, flour, beans, grains, condiments, etc. I do this partially in case we get trapped down here (ie trees on the power lines - we're pretty far down the list of 'need to get to them' though we've only been out of power for more than a few hours once in the 32 yrs my dads lived here), but also so that when I'm cooking I don't have to send someone into town for a can of beans or thing of pasta or whatever - we're ~7 miles from a grocery store so its just a PITA to be in the middle of coooking and realize 'crap! I'm out of XYZ that I *NEED* for this recipe!!' yk? We'd be fine for a good long time food wise - it might get awfully boring, but we wouldn't starve for quite a while :)
We do have a generator and usually a decent amount of gasoline to keep it going for a while to keep our freezers going - though in a real SHTF we'd simply be canning, drying and otherwise consuming as much of whats in the freezers as we could ASAP (we also have a propane camping type stove outside along with a couple propane tanks). For heat we have woodstoves & a good bit of wood cut & stacked with ~40 acres of woods to harvest from at need - they kept us warm for the last 32 yrs :)
I am laughing at this because the same thought recently occurred to me. I realized I need to buy some ground coffee for our emergency stash. Since we got a bean grinder this year, we rarely buy ground coffee anymore. I realized that I would be out of luck in a power failure and the lack of coffee would make a bad situation just that much worse.
-battery-operated camp lantern,
-flashlights (1 crank and 2 or 3 battery-powered) and candles
-extra blankets and sleeping bags.
-first aid kit
-purse-sized bottles of hand sanitizer
-emergency cash in bills and coin
-lots of dried pasta, beans, lentils, quinoa, tinned tuna and salmon, peanut butter, Lara Bars, cold cereal, etc. (our usual inventory for day-to-day cooking, it would see us through a few days up to about a week)
I think we need
-at least 2 more crank flashlights
-more propane cylinders for the camp stove
-water treatment tablets
-some canned food - I don't cook much with canned vegetables so I don't have many in the pantry.
-large bottle of hand sanitizer
I hope everyone is safe and the power has come back on and life returns to normal soon.
Yep, that was my plan.
During my Sandy prep, I considered what we had in the freezer and how I would use it if the power went out for an extended period of time. I stocked up on jarred pasta sauces, dried pastas, seasonings, etc to go with the rices, beans and so on already in the cupboards. I brought up (from the big freezer) lots of ground beef and chickens, things that would be easy to cook on the grill and gas ring. My plan was to avoid openning that large chest freezer at all costs to preserve that food as long as possible.
I also thought about my cookware. I added a Lodge dutch oven and a Lodge frying pan that I could use on the grill, on the gas ring and in the fire place. My every day cookware would not have worked for this sort of cooking. New cast iron is reasonable enough to buy to have in case of emergency. (Unlike a lot of people, I do not like cast iron for daily use.)
We need a crank radio. General purpose body wipes was something I didn't think about that was suggested on the news.
mommariffic, first I want to send my best thoughts to you and yours. I can't even imagine going through all that you've been up against.
Your list is great and I also like to have food to eat that doesn't need heating. My main concern now is sanitation. I'd love to have an outhouse but we live in the burbs and I'm not so sure it would fly. Still, we have lots of extra tp, large plastic bags, and I've started saving my empty dish soap bottles and filling them with water to wash dishes with. I don't want to have to use our good water for that if I don't have to.
I hope that you have your power and water restored very soon.
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