Peace of mind: Get ready for ‘anything’ by preparing ahead of the need

November 2012 Posted in Other

By Brenna Wiegand

Bare Bones Kit

In the home
Family Emergency Plan; one gallon
of water per person, per day for
three days; three-day supply of
non-perishable food per person;
filter mask or cotton T-shirt;
manual can opener; plastic sheeting
and duct tape; garbage bags;
battery powered radio; flashlights;
batteries; First Aid kit; whistle;
wrench or pliers; car charger;
extra blankets or sleeping bags.

In the Car
Full gas tank; water; non-perishable
food; blankets or sleeping bags;
warm clothing; flashlight;
batteries; spare tire;
jumper cables; chains;
flares; duct tape

Visit American Red Cross at
www.oregonredcross.org

Did you know you can purchase food with a 28-year shelf life – or that bandanas have 30 different uses?

Seemingly minor, such tips have their place in a repertoire of survival techniques embraced by those readying themselves for disaster scenarios, whether a spate of unemployment, earthquake or economic collapse.

It is a rapidly growing group, and “prepper” websites, clubs, lists – and loads of products – have become widely available.

Everyone does it their own way and to their own degree, but many begin their quest for greater self-reliance by putting together a “bug-out bag” (BOB).

These packs, useful at home and at hand in evacuation scenarios, are carefully put together to sustain life for a couple of weeks, months – even years.

One local woman who prefers to remain anonymous – and who doesn’t like the “prepper” moniker – has kept a 72-hour BOB since her search-and-rescue days.

She lives simply, growing and putting up much of her own food. She composts almost everything.

The single mother of a young child sees her home differently than most of us, whose idea of feathering the nest is scattering our stuff all over the place. Her home contains the bare necessities of life within easy reach with a portable BOB stowed near the door.  The pack allows her to fly the coop quickly and confidently in the face of disaster. She knows where she’d go and all possible routes to get there, honing the art through weekly drills toting her 28-lb. bag and a daughter who nearly doubles the load.

She’s prepared to treat water to make it potable, and employs space-saving freeze-dried MREs (Meals Ready to Eat), and has sought out lightweight grocery items – instant oatmeal, dehydrated entrees and soup mixes and pouches of tuna.

Her shelter kit weighs just 4 ½ pounds and consists of two space blankets, two heavy duty garbage bags (ponchos, water collectors and more), two high quality sleeping bags and a 6-by-8-foot insulated tarp that doubles as a silver/red signaling flag.

She prefers wool clothing for battling the elements, and, while bandanas are useful, it’s a sarong she swears by because this simple wrap “has 1,001 uses in the wild.”

Basic gear includes survival knife, rudimentary cooking gear, a small alcohol-burning stove and knowledge accumulated over a couple of decades, including a few different ways to make fire.

Preparing for an emergency camping trip of unknown duration widens the scope to communication and navigation equipment, writing utensils and many other items. She’s been there, done that.

…Power outage? A mere blip on the radar.

“It’s funny – most people think about electricity first when preparing an emergency kit,” she said. “Unless you medically need electricity, you really, in real life, don’t need it.”

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