Disaster Prep For The Rest Of Us
by Dave Robinson
Now Where Did I Put That?
Originally published April 10, 2012
Twice now I have been asked, “Where do I put my stuff?” We go to a lot of effort to gather our disaster kit. And now that we have it all together, ready for any emergency where do we store it? Ideally we’d all have a storage pod that’s burglar, fire and earthquake-proof. Situated somewhere handy, secure, temperature controlled, but out of the way.
I mentioned a while back that during an emergency, we sometimes don’t think as clearly as when nobody is screaming. If your house is on fire, it’s best to have a pre-arranged meeting place and alternate routes to get out of the house. If this is all decided ahead of time, then when the need arises, people won’t need to be told what to do. My point is if your kit is scattered throughout the house, then you’ll have to stop and think about where you’ve put all your stuff. For that reason it’s best to keep it all in one place. Trying to round up your emergency gear in the middle of chaos is just that, chaos. I recommend you start with a couple of big totes then find a place for them. Which brings us to the next question. Where? In the basement? The attic? The storage shed?
Those choices may all be correct depending on your personal circumstances. Or not, depending on circumstances. In the event of an earthquake, it might not be a good idea to store your kit in the basement. Some items, mostly foodstuffs, recommend storage in a cool, dry environment.
One person I know bought a surplus military communications “cube”. It is six feet square, designed to house military radio gear and to be hauled in the back of a pickup. He remodeled the inside to organize his kit. It is weather tight and portable.
If you own an RV, you already have your cooking apparatus, probably some pots and pans and other supplies. In the event you’d need to evacuate you wouldn’t have to round up all your gear. It’s already in one place.
For the rest of us we need to find the best possible place that would keep our gear safe and accessible. It is impossible to plan for every contingency, but every home has a ‘best’ spot for storing your kit. Make it a family project, get some suggestions, do some brainstorming and I’ll bet you can come up with the best location in your home to store your supplies. If you come up with a unique or interesting location to store your kit, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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