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View Diary: Are YOU ready for disaster? Part 5 of 5 - Conclusion (223 comments)

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  •  city boys (4.00)
    I'd just argue that city dwellers (and NO was no exception) depend on a functioning society and external help. And the stuff contained in here "for suburban and exurban dwelllers" are not going to help the city dwellers with no car, no garden, and no storage space.

    Which is fine if we have a working FEMA...

    •  Big city or not... (4.00)
      It's certainly true that not every suggestion in this series applies equally to everyone, and that not everyone will want or need to prepare so many things in such detail.  But the general tenets, that people should have:
      • their most important papers and other shit together in case they have to split in a hurry;
      • working flashlights at home and in vehicles;
      • some amount of water and non-perishable food kicking around if the stores are closed;
      • a Swiss army knife.
      Why just last night, at the city ballpark parking lot, seven of us were stranded for thirty minutes in the back of a covered pickup truck during a sudden, hellacious thunder/hailstorm.  If it weren't for my trusty little camping knife we wouldn't have been able to open the non-twist top Schlafly Pale Ale beers I grabbed at the last second before the hailstones began to fall!  It was also handy for poking holes in a beer can for reasons I can't discuss in public other than to say my Bic lighter came in handy, too.  Had I not been prepared for this emergency the many nearby lightning crashes would have been far less enjoyable.

      The most un-American thing you can say is, "You can't say that." -G. Keillor

      by Eddie Haskell on Tue Sep 20, 2005 at 08:20:11 AM PDT

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    •  Bicycle? (4.00)
      It'll likely get you out of the city faster than a car, and you don't have to worry about gas lines.

      A friend of my daughter's rode from New Orleans to Baton Rouge after the levees failed.

      No-one who voted against the USAPATRIOT Act has lost an election. I am not currently Licensed to Practice in this State. Or Yours.

      by ben masel on Tue Sep 20, 2005 at 08:26:48 AM PDT

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    •  you actually have a really good point... (4.00)
      ... about storage space and cars.  City dwellers living in small apartments obviously can't keep drums of gas and water in the backyard.  And lack of a car means you could only evacuate with what you can carry.

      But being a city dweller (and I've been one for most of my life) doesn't mean you can't keep a first-aid kit and other emergency supplies in the hall closet, and it doesn't mean you can't analyze your risks and make a plan for how to handle an emergency, be it a natural disaster or a man-made crisis.

      Everyone's needs are different.  Use the info that helps you.

    •  A mountain bike and a back pack (4.00)
      or just the back pack would serve you well in this instance.  You can easily put a three-day supply of food, water, and a couple of changes of underwear in a decent-sized back-pack.
      Add in a good small flashlight, and/ strobe beacon, and your set to get out of town if needs be.
      2240-cubic inch backpack with integrated 100-oz water supply
      Additional 100-oz water supply
      inline water filter for pack
      water purification tablets as a backup
      3 days rations
      combination flashlight/beacon light
      emergency thermal reflective sleeping bag
      CS/OC dispenser (AER 1114) for self defense,
      camp tarp/shelter with 100 feet of 550 cord
      hiking boots, poncho,  your own underwear (I am NOT linking to that), a change of clothing, and stick the whole mess in the bottom of a closet or under a bed.
      Total cost=$383.78 not including shipping and handling.
      Total weight is less than 45lbs with water.
      I used Brigade Quartermasters simply because I am familiar with them and they sell high-quality products, but you can shop around and get most of this stuff for less with a little google effort.

      Wounded Warrior Project Give till it hurts. They already did.

      by soonergrunt on Tue Sep 20, 2005 at 09:33:23 AM PDT

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      •  omg (none)
        45 lbs?!

        Now, I'm aware that water is important, and that the army says you should be able to carry 1/3rd of your body weight for a long distance... if you're a soldier. Plus the water will get used up as one goes.

        But, believe you me, there's no way me, or a lot of people for that matter, are going to be able to do this. Just a fact. I'm not trying to denigrate your effort, but you have to be in damn good shape to manage that kind of weight. I'm pretty fit. If need be, I could trek 20-40 miles a day. No way is that going to happen with 45 lbs on my back. Not to mention my back problems, of course... but lots of people aren't going to be able to do this.

        Also a fact: not everyone owns a good bike that they keep in good condition. Or can ride a bike, for that matter, especially us city boys.

        Why am I making a big deal of this? Well, this survivalist stuff is for the wealthy and athletic. Those of us who can't spend 300 bucks for survivalist supplies, and another 200 bucks for a bike, are either going to have to walk out or die. Lots of people, especially the elderly, aren't going to be able to do either.

        You're basically selling the rethug line of self-sufficiency here. That isn't what human society is about. Human society is about helping each other, and giving a hand to others. We need to spend time rebuilding FEMA and other agencies, so when (not if) the next catastrophe strikes, we'll all be able to get out, not just you richy-rich types out in the exburbs with your SUVs and mountain bikes.

        •  I've done more (4.00)
          Using panniers, so that the weight wasn't on my back, I've carried 50-60 pounds on multi-week bicycle camping trips traveling 100 miles/day. If you stop off along California's highway 1 any summer day, you'll see riders carrying similar amounts on a regular basis.

          I'm going to guess that a healthy adult could comfortably carry 45 pounds in panniers for 40 miles per day for three days over non-mountainous terrain with no training. I've seen college students with no physical training cover substantially longer distances.

        •  If you've got the filter (4.00)
          There's no need to haul that much water.

          No-one who voted against the USAPATRIOT Act has lost an election. I am not currently Licensed to Practice in this State. Or Yours.

          by ben masel on Tue Sep 20, 2005 at 10:33:28 AM PDT

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        •  A few things (4.00)
          First, I agree that we need to rebuild FEMA.  I'd take that as a given, but with the current administration, how long do you think that will take?  I'm not betting on it happening anytime soon.  Certainly not until after the 2006 elections, IF (and it's a big IF) the Dems take back the house and senate.
          Second, that list was a suggestion.  Loose the second water bladder, rely on the filter and iodine and you save 6.25 pounds.  Don't pack a change of clothes but only your skivvies, and you save another 8 pounds.  I only guestimated at 45lbs.  Add it all up, and it weighs approximately 26 lbs with one full water bladder, 31 lbs with two full bladders.  One presumes that you'll wear the boots/shoes rather than carry them.  You could also use this stuff to shelter in place for three days or so.
          Third, I am not some "richy-rich type."  Do you think I'd be an enlisted man if I was?  My mountain bike is a $120 Mongoose DXR, bought on sale for $85 from WalMart.  I don't own an SUV.  I didn't buy all of this stuff at once, and I know that you can find most of it cheaper than I've shown here, to say nothing of the fact that you probably have a few things that will do laying around already, like a flashlight.

          Although physical fitness will certainly help one survive a disaster scenario, of far more importance is the WILL to survive, with a little pre-planning to make that will a reality.  All the high-speed gear in the world will not help you if you don't have some idea of what you're going to do with it.  By all means, one should help one's fellow man.  It's the American, the Liberal, and dare I say it, the Christian thing to do.  I just happen to think that I can take care of people better if I've taken care of myself.

          Wounded Warrior Project Give till it hurts. They already did.

          by soonergrunt on Tue Sep 20, 2005 at 10:37:47 AM PDT

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      •  bicycling with backpacks (4.00)
        My experience with carrying backpacks while bicycling is that when I carry any kind of load, it becomes incredibly uncomfortable after 20 miles or so. Weights I can carry comfortablly all day while walking become unbearable after an hour or two, probably because riding a bicycle involves leaning forward.

        If you haven't tried carrying a heavy backpack on a bicycle all day, and are counting on carrying more than 15-20 pounds on your back, I suggest trying it before you commit to using a backpack instead of panniers.

        •  I agree with both of your posts (4.00)
          panniers--saddle bags to the rest of us, can be used to hold a lot of stuff lower to the ground on either side of the rear wheel, thus balancing the load as well.
          One could also, in a pinch, tie one's backpack to the bike, and use it to portage a relatively large amount of weight over broken terrain.  The Viet Cong beat us that way--bicycles on the Ho Chi Minh trail.

          Wounded Warrior Project Give till it hurts. They already did.

          by soonergrunt on Tue Sep 20, 2005 at 10:40:55 AM PDT

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