Disaster Prep For The Rest Of Us

by Dave Robinson

Dave Robinson

Building Your Kit Part 2
Originally published December 12, 2012

Last week we survived our first major storm of the winter. Winds in the 100 mph range were recorded in various places along the coast. Heavy rains brought flooding in the low-lying areas with no major problems. I did see one dairy cow either swimming or wading in deep water away from the barn. Electricity outages were limited although power fluctuations caused havoc with computers in several offices. I also noted several trees and branches blown down along my morning commute. The fallen trees simply underscore the need to drive a bit slower during and immediately after a windstorm. Coming around a blind corner and facing a tree across your lane of traffic is an adrenalin-pumping eye-opener in the early morning darkness.

Also last week, I addressed the question of, “How do I get started building my kit?” Truly some folks are simply overwhelmed by the task. “What do I buy? How much do I need? Where do I store my kit?” are all questions commonly asked. Each week for seven weeks I will create a list of items to buy and things to do. After seven weeks, if you follow the steps, you will have created a kit capable of getting you through the first three days of most disasters. My recommendation is that you keep building on your own until you have a minimum of 14 days’ supplies, but this is a great start.

Week Two shopping list:

1. Manual can opener.

2. First aid kit. Should start with gauze and bandages, tweezers, scissors and antiseptic ointment. Add some hydrogen peroxide, alcohol, suture kit, the list is endless.

3. Airtight bags, storage containers and a permanent marker. I find that both two gallon and five gallon buckets with lids are ideal for storage. Use the marker to list the contents and the date.

4. Extra prescription medications, eyeglasses and contact lens solutions. Collaborate with your doctor on this one. He (or she) will probably be sympathetic once you explain why you need extras. Your insurance provider may not be as sympathetic, but you might work with your pharmacy on this one.

5. Bring home another gallon of water.

6. Non-perishable food. Start with a few cans of meat, fruits, some peanut butter and crackers. Try to stick with food that you are accustomed to eating.

7. Plastic sheeting, tarp and duct tape.

Tips for Week Two:

1. Collect your supplies in one place. When the lights are out and confusion reigns, it is just simpler when your kit is together.

2. Consider having two kits. One at home and one in your car. Not everyone is at home when disaster strikes. There is a multitude of kits on the market, but it is still best to build your own.

3. Rotate your stock of food, water, medicines and batteries every six months to ensure freshness.

As always, send your comments or questions to disasterprep.dave@gmail.com.

Note: Dave Robinson is Bandon's Postmaster and has worked for the postal service for 30 years. He has a background in law enforcement, served in the Air Force in Vietnam, worked nine years for the Coos County Sheriff's Department, and serves on the Myrtle Point School Board, where he lives.

additional columns by Dave Robinson