View Full Version : What disaster(s) should YOU be prepared for?

cedar savage
09-05-2005, 07:47 AM
I've been thinking that I may not "be prepared" as I should be.

I live in the Keeweenaw Peninsula (that part of the Upper Peninsula that sticks out into Lake Superior). Our "normal" disaster is snow. Lot's of snow. Up to 300 inches of snow a season. But it's the howlers that blow in from Lake Superior with high winds and very heavy snowfall rates that make me need to be prepared. Twice I have been snowed in so badly that the county had to send their snowblower truck - imagine a snowblower with a 5'x 8' opening - to clear a spot that was drifted in 10' deep. Once it took two days, and once three days for the snowblower to show up.

Only not having a road is no big deal, just snowmobile or x-country ski the seven miles to town for supplies.

I suppose a failure of the bridge that connects the tip of the Keeweenaw to the mainland during the time the ice is too thick for boats and too thin for semi's to cross safely would seriously disrupt supplies, but there are so few of us living up here that supplies could probably be airlifted in.

Nahh - we'd just go over to the Pamida in Houghton on snowmobiles.

As far as I know, tornadoes are not a problem this far north.

This whole gasoline supply disruption has me confused and concerned. I'm thinking I should get a vehicle that runs on propane and then add another propane tank just to be more prepared.

So, what kinds of disaster(s) should you be preparing for?

Phillip Allen
09-05-2005, 07:53 AM
The only really do-able preperation is mental...the only one I can rely on, if even that.

09-05-2005, 08:00 AM
Personally, just survival, I plan to put a woodstove, a month's supplies, and a hand pump on my well head, in.

I don't think disruptions will happen, but if electric went down, for even a week, I'd be screwed. With those simple measures, I'd be fine.

09-05-2005, 09:38 AM
Dubya stacking the supreme court with knee jerk conservative power freaks.

Bob Adams
09-05-2005, 09:41 AM
Originally posted by Mrleft8:
Dubya stacking the supreme court with knee jerk conservative power freaks.Can't you give it a rest, even for 1 post?

Phillip Allen
09-05-2005, 09:41 AM
Originally posted by Mrleft8:
Dubya stacking the supreme court with knee jerk conservative power freaks.Common Mrleft8, he is PREVENTING the Democrats from stacking the SC with knee-jerk, left wing, liberal, tyrants (whose ox is being gored this time?)

Phillip Allen
09-05-2005, 09:42 AM
Originally posted by Bob Adams:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by Mrleft8:
Dubya stacking the supreme court with knee jerk conservative power freaks.Can't you give it a rest, even for 1 post?</font>[/QUOTE]Maybe he can resist...but he won't...it's a personal choice

[ 09-05-2005, 10:42 AM: Message edited by: Phillip Allen ]

Bruce Hooke
09-05-2005, 10:16 AM
With my camping gear, and the skills to use it, it should in theory be possible for me to survive for quite a while outdoors (assuming there is dry ground to be found!). I could get and boil water from a small wetland near me. Food would obviously be an issue, but a person can of course stay alive for quite a while without food, IF they are a healthy adult.

However, in the end we also have to face the fact that we are pretty much all dependant on the services that only a society can provide by working together. Sure, if there is a severe gas shortage someone with a truck that runs on propane will still be able to drive, but if there is no gas to deliver food to the grocery store and so on then where are you going to drive and to what end? Someone who is homesteading obviously has the best prospects if society collapses for some reason, but even they, except in the most extreme cases, still need access to the larger world...

George Roberts
09-05-2005, 11:59 AM
cedar savage ---

I used to live on 119 acres east of Mohawk.

For you a few days of being snowed in is normal. I chose to stay at home (Tulsa, OK) for the one 6" snowfall we have every few years. It seems much safer.

I don't think there are any disasters that I can prepare sufficiently for. I need to depend on my neighbors or others.

09-05-2005, 12:32 PM
We have ten cords in the yard, and plan to burn six this winter, but it wouldn't be so efficient without the furnace blower to move air around the house.

We generally stock flour in 50# bags, as we do some commercial baking. Oatmeal too. And we stock lots of other dry stuff. Pasta. Nuts. Beans.

The downstairs chest freezer contents would have to be eaten as they thawed mostly.

We can start growing our own greens in the unheated greenhouse in March. And there's the root cellar stuff.

If push came to shove we have Willard, the shetland wether we got to keep our ram company durning the enforced non-breeding season. Willard has been suspecting something like this might eventually happen ever since his balls were removed some years ago.

We have lots of oil lamps, although not like the nice bright Aladins with the mantles. Still, we'd get by for the few hours between dark and bed in the winter.

I've got a solar panel that I know will power a radio when the sun is out. I also have books, oil paints, and musical instruments to while away the winter hours.

In the longer run we'll have our own goat milk/cheese and some lamb and chevon each year. I'm still working on harvestable grains of our own. The cabbages failed early this year and replanting slipped through the cracks, but I'd like to start putting up more 'kraut each fall.

And then there's damage control. A big storm could put out a window, I guess. We'd have to patch with plywood, which we have on hand, until another could be had. For smaller breaks we stock sheet glass and putty. I'm not too worried about the roof, as it's new and the tabs have glued down well.

It's an 11-12 pitch roof, so snow load isn't going to bother. The sunporch roof is flatter, but I think it could take whatever came.

In case of forest fire we'd have to get the irrigation pump up to the house, pump out of the lawn pond (shallow bunch of cattails, but at least 10,000 gallons) and keep the roof wet with a soaker hose.

If the house burned that would be bad, but we'd regroup as best we could in the barn, I guess.

Katey's opinion is that one of our biggest dangers is an outbreak of bad flu. In that case we can still stay home for a month or two.

Never step down into a lifeboat. It should always be a step over or up.


Wild Wassa
09-05-2005, 03:21 PM
Bushfires and fast moving grass fires. They do move fast and they are the most likely here.

Good hazard reduction is essential ... and keeping the household insurance upto date, is even more essential.

I make sure there are no elevated fuels around the home, come the fire season. Like dead branches in trees or leaves in the gutters. Fuel builds up on the ground in the gardens very quickly here thanks to the big Eucalypts, this debris also gets reduced come the fire season.

The neighbours are fire savvy which is good. In the past we have had a street fire crew but this year the other four guys have moved out of the area. I feel naked having no other qualified Firefighters in our street now, so I keep the hydrants in the street free of ant nests ... because every second counts fitting a standpipe to a hydrant.

The photos in Macgregor were taken by me, during our last fire.

http://canberrafires.xsnet.org/ - Photo Galleries, then go to the bottom of the page - Macgregor.

In my neighbourhood only a dozen or so farm houses were raised, unlike in the suburbs that lost close to 600 - 650 homes (at the final bulldozed count) plus 100 businesses and a couple of veternary hospitals. Even the Emergency Services' HQ was raised ... with only four deaths thankfully.

I've been to a few campaigns as a Firefighter. Emergency Services' personnel call the disasters, campaigns, not disasters.


[ 09-05-2005, 06:40 PM: Message edited by: Wild Wassa ]

cedar savage
09-06-2005, 09:16 AM
Wildfire is something I hadn't considered.

Thanks for bringing that to my attention.

Dan McCosh
09-06-2005, 09:24 AM
Aside from the occasional urban riot, the main concern is a tornado, or long-term loss of electricity. A major thunderstorm is sometimes indistinguishable from a tornado. For some reason, strikes in an urban area re rare, although Flint, I think, set a record for loss of life. The short duration of these things and small area tends to leave most of the infrastructure intact. Loss of electricity, on the other hand, is so common these days that gen-set sales today out number most Japanese car sales.

Alan D. Hyde
09-06-2005, 09:41 AM
Adequate supplies of food and water are a must.

Several changes of clothing that will keep you warm and dry are a must, as are blankets and tarps. Extra eyeglasses, medicines, medical devices, etc., may be a must for some. Toothpaste and toothbrushes, soap, towels, and toilet paper are good to have.

A good tool box, containing all the basic tools needed, is also most helpful, as may be firearms and simple fishing gear.


Alan D. Hyde
09-06-2005, 01:42 PM
Not to mention a boat. :D

A satelite phone could be a big help, too.


09-06-2005, 01:44 PM
How do you prepare for the invasion of Yooper dweebs? :D

Dan McCosh
09-06-2005, 01:45 PM
Last time we had a 3-day blackout, we went down to the boat and stayed there. Self-contained survival system. Even slept under the stars. Wouldn't work in the winter, however.