Yesterday, I started a new category on my blog – “The End of the World as We Know It.”
This is a topic I’d like to expand on over the next month, so today I have a couple of photos of my cold store that I actually meant to post yesterday (you can’t see the empty mason jars on the top shelves or the plethora of walnuts at the bottom). I’d like to receive comments and have a discussion on what people are doing for emergency preparedness – their “insurance” in case of an extended power cut or other disruptive event.
My list of things to stock up on or do before the winter sets in is below. This is far from being a comprehensive list, but I am not necessarily getting it all. I do not intend to buy a generator, though I know people who have. If I have left anything out which you think should be on the list, please leave me a comment.
- Full tank of gas in vehicles. (It’s a good idea to not let your tank go below half full, just in case you need to evacuate in a hurry. Gas stations do not function without electricity.)
- First aid kit including band aids. bandages. tea tree oil, echinacea, tweezers, Polysporin, painkillers
- Hand-cranked lights
- Stored water (a guideline is 1 gallon per person per day for drinking, cooking and hygiene purposes. The average American uses 40 on a regular day.)
- Water filtration system
- Food – dried and canned, e.g. rice, flour, seeds, nuts, oil, salt, sugar, baking soda, canned tomatoes and beans, apples and potatoes and squash that keep for a while. Frozen foods are not to be relied upon as they would have to be used up really fast if the power went out.
- Can openers
- Radio – hand-cranked/CB
- Water purification tablets
- Propane and camp stove
- Paper and pencils
- Candles and matches, possibly a flint-type fire starter
- Generator (these are expensive and run on gas, so may not be a practical option in the long term)
- Soap, toothpaste
- Bleach (this can be used to sterilise questionable water)
- Bicycles and spare parts in case driving is not an option
- Cash (plastic will be useless in the event of no power, but stores may still continue to take cash)
- Garbage bags (can be used for trash, instant raincoat, patching holes in buildings, etc)
- Duct tape (of course)
- Ziploc bags
- Toilet paper
- Canning lids
- Coats, sweaters, boots, gloves, socks
- If you use them, tampons and pads (a menstrual cup would be a better choice as it can be reused over and over)
Lee Valley (leevalley.ca) is a good source for hand-cranked radios and lamps, and fire starters. Crown Berkey sells water filtration systems – we now have our new one set up in the kitchen. But most of what you need will be the regular day-to-day stuff that you normally rely on getting every week at the supermarket. If their shelves are empty, you need to have your own stocked in advance.