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The price of survival

As a followup to my prior piece:

12 cans of Dinty Moore Beef Stew (540 calories/can): $23.88
10 gallons store-brand springwater: $5.50
5 cheap Dollar Store flashlights: $5.00
5 4-packs of batteries for flashlights: $5.00
Cheap AM/FM Radio from Dollar Store: $5.00
5 4-packs of batteries for radio from Dollar Store: $5.00
Manual can opener from Dollar Store: $1.00

All prices from Hannaford Markets and Family Dollar.

Total expenditure for survival kit: $50.38

Surviving disaster despite best advice of Kos, Atrios, and the rest: Priceless


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Comments (121)

I'm going to pose a simple ... (Below threshold)
JAT0:

I'm going to pose a simple question. What government in this world could have erected a sea wall or some barrier that could have prevented the storm surge from hitting an area from the Florida Panhandle to Westside of New Orleans in 5 days? Answer: None!

Lot’s of things could have, and should have been done. However, no one could have prevented the damage from occurring. It would have taken 10-20 years to build such a barrier – if possible.

All of the preparation should fall to the local governments. Big picture – democrats, republicans, ET all, should be accountable but only for the aftermath. No one has yet been able to stop Nature.

When will we learn to walk together? When will we put aside our differences? When will we see things as a whole? Everything that happens today – comes off as “them” against “Us.” I tell you I for one am getting tired of this crap. Is it too much to ask that we all just pull together for the better of all?

OK, I’m done venting…if you have not in some way donated, or offered to help the victims of Katrina – please do.

No beer and you refer to it... (Below threshold)

No beer and you refer to it as a survival kit?

That puts it on a personal ... (Below threshold)
NtvAmrcn:

That puts it on a personal level, about which I agree with you. It discusts me to see our "leaders" pointing fingers instead of getting the job done. When you cut to the chase, the people who are really doing something ignore the burearcrats and just DO SOMETHING! God I love the common sense every day type American person!!!!

Sorry, Bullwinkle, I don't ... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea:

Sorry, Bullwinkle, I don't drink, so I don't know the price of beer. What is it these days -- about ten bucks for a twelvepack? You can do the math from there...

J.

Don't forget, you need a $2... (Below threshold)

Don't forget, you need a $200 shotgun and $30 of ammunition so you can manage to keep all that other stuff.

harkyman:I haven't... (Below threshold)
fatman:

harkyman:

I haven't priced shotguns in a while, but I'll bet you could pick up a good used Winchester or Mossberg or even an Ithaca pump for $100.00-125.00. A Remington would cost a little more. And a double barreled side-by-side would be even cheaper.(If you can find one; everybody these days wants the over-and-unders.)

Heck, shop at Costco and fo... (Below threshold)

Heck, shop at Costco and for about double that, you could *gain* weight during the emergency.

Hmmm."Heck, shop a... (Below threshold)
ed:

Hmmm.

"Heck, shop at Costco and for about double that, you could *gain* weight during the emergency."

You got that right. I'd like to know who really needs 5 gallon containers of mayonnaise.

Well. Maybe not. :)

Actually double barrel side... (Below threshold)
chad:

Actually double barrel side by sides are getting pretty pricey. I was looking for one a couple years ago and the cheapest I could find (including pawnshops) was $500 and that was in Montana. I haven't seen one for under $1000 in the Seattle area. I will stick with my Mossberg pump ($125)

I'm with Bullwinkle, withou... (Below threshold)
Toby928:

I'm with Bullwinkle, without beer, its not really surviving. A case of beer in one of those 30 gallon coolers will double as a liferaft.

Tob

Good post Jay. Just some co... (Below threshold)
Waldo:

Good post Jay. Just some comments on it. A lot of the people trapped in NO don't have 2 nickles to rub together and for them to spend $50+ dollars for survival gear is just not going to happen. They live hand to mouth and day to day.

This thread of conversation... (Below threshold)

This thread of conversation about survival kits is so off-the-wall bonkers that I can hardly believe it is being discussed. There hasn't been a single person who's said "10,000 people wouldn't have died if we'd all gotten some Dinty Moore stew ahead of time."

The call for survival kits in 2002 also called for duct tape, which would have done a lot of good for the victims of Katrina, I'm sure. The arguments about survival kits 3 years ago weren't against preparedness but against the idiotic distraction tactic that they were used for. They seriously were trying to tell us that duct tape and canned food should be procured in case of a suitcase bomb? Give me a break.

And I know this survival kit business seems like a fun thread to keep going, because it allows you to take little jabs at some lefty bloggers. That's fine if you want to concentrate your ire on Kos and Atrios... I'm certainly not in the business of defending other bloggers.... but you are inadvertantly blaming the vicitms of Katrina by saying they wouldn't have died if they'd just heeded the administrations plea to get together a couple of flashlights and some canned goods... give me a break.

But, I will say this: If "b... (Below threshold)

But, I will say this: If "being against survival kits" is the best you can do to impeach the lefty bloggers, then I feel pretty good about which side I'm standing on.

I'd like to know who rea... (Below threshold)

I'd like to know who really needs 5 gallon containers of mayonnaise.

Sounds like an even better looter-deterrent than the shotgun.

I know I've never mentioned it, but I loathe mayonnaise.

The best survival kit I've ... (Below threshold)
moseby:

The best survival kit I've heard of so far was a pair of sneakers going 3 MPH hightailing it out of there in the first place....

I suppose that the Manual c... (Below threshold)

I suppose that the Manual can opener from Dollar Store would be of value to those individuals so negligent and unprepared as to not have a P-38 on their keyring.

They seriously were tryi... (Below threshold)
joe:

They seriously were trying to tell us that duct tape and canned food should be procured in case of a suitcase bomb? Give me a break.

Then you're not too bright. Outside the immediate blast zone from a suitcase nuke would be chaos for days, lost power, that kind of thing. Canned food would be quite helpful right about then. And sealing up the windows of the house to keep excessive amounts of fallout from getting in wouldn't be a bad idea either.

The cheap food version of t... (Below threshold)
cirby:

The cheap food version of the list above:

10 pounds rice: $5
5 pounds beans: $5

My husband is retired Air F... (Below threshold)

My husband is retired Air Force- enlisted. We have seven children, and we will take that five gallon jar of mayo.
We spent five years in a typhoon prone location, and we spent time in Alaska, and other locations where blizzards were common. We've been without power and without water for a week at a time because of a blizzard. We've been unable to get out of our home because of a blizzard.
The nicest thing I can say is that it's shortsighted to suggest that duct tape would be useless. Windows break, and in bad weather being able to duct tape a garbage bag or sheet to the gaping hole in the wall is a good thing. so is being able to tape together found items to make an emergency crutch, a raft, a shelter, to seal up a hole in your food supplies- it's simply incredibly useful.
I also think I can safely say that we have, for years at a time, lived 'hand to mouth,' and yet, we managed to stock up three days worth of food and water for a family of seven every single year.
I fully understand that there still exist some people so poverty stricken that they can't, and I understand that very likely some people floated out one window while their emergency supplies floated out another.
What I will never, ever understand is why just because *some* people can't, the left feel compelled to make the situation worse by promoting the view that doing what you can to lay by some emergency supplies is too hard for all the dumb poor people. That kind of compassion is deadly.

If anybody is interested in how we managed to stock emergency supplies while supporting a family of seven on one enlisted man's salary, I've been giving tips on frugal preparedness over on my blog for the last week or so, and plan to continue. Cans of Dinty Moore Stew are, frankly, out of our price range for emergency supplies for nine people- but I do not begrudge them to somebody who can afford them, nor do I think that because we have to do it differently, it's somehow unfair or unkind of Jay to stock up on stew. There is just something horribly, murderously, demeaning in the thought processes of those who would discount the importance of urgently encouraging everybody to do as much as they possibly can to try to have three days worth of emergency supplies.
The poor, and I have been very poor, do not need that sort of 'compassion.' It'd be more humane to shoot us, frankly.

I'd be interested to find w... (Below threshold)

I'd be interested to find where someone on the left said that poor people were too dumb or too black to put together an emergency kit.

But it is incredibly idiotic to believe that duct tape will stop nuclear fallout.

"But it is incredibly idiot... (Below threshold)
Toby928:

"But it is incredibly idiotic to believe that duct tape will stop nuclear fallout."

Why? Fallout is dust. Anything that keeps dust out will work. I'm old enough to have taken manditory civil defense courses in school. I still know how to open a contaminated can to minimize the risk of fallout getting into the food itself.

Its weird the things that stick with you.

Tob

Toby, I'm guessing Dylan go... (Below threshold)
joe:

Toby, I'm guessing Dylan got his knowledge of radiation from horror movies and thinks it crawls, of its own volition, around all barriers in its path.

Laugh about duct tape all y... (Below threshold)

Laugh about duct tape all you want but it's worth it's weight in gold if you need it. Fallout isn't the only thing it can help keep out, it can provide enough of a seal to keep you alive in case of of a chemical or biological weapon attack, can cut down on the amount of glass flying through your living room during torandos and explosions and also works great to keep unruly children quiet.

http://my.webmd.com/content/article/61/67284.htm

DeputyHeadmistress,<p... (Below threshold)
Cardinals Nation:

DeputyHeadmistress,

You're my kind of gal! From one AF enlisted to another, you've got the right stuff.

Proud to be on the same side as you.

Cheers,

Cardinals Nation

Has anyone besides me notic... (Below threshold)

Has anyone besides me noticed that the group of people that deride the duct tape thing the most is the exact same group of people that rely so heavily on keeping the Reynolds Wrap™ attached to their walls, ceilings and heads?

Dylan,Hate to brea... (Below threshold)
Robert Modean:

Dylan,

Hate to break it to you buddy, but they didn't invent the survival kit meme a couple of years ago, it's been a standard recommendation from FEMA and the Red Cross for decades. Get it? DECADES. As in more than twenty (20) years.

Now you sound as if you've never actually been in a disaster before, and logic doesn't seem to be your strong suite, but let me step you through this:

It's accepted SOP that State and Local emergency relief agencies have sufficient supplies and manpower for 72 to 96 hours of operations without Federal support. FEMA resources can take that long to get deployed even when the person in charge isn't a raging incompetent like Brown. To this end FEMA and the Red Cross have long recommended that every individual and family have a disaster preparedness kit with the following:

You should have at least a gallon of water per person per day in your kit. Why? Hydration, Food Preperationa, and Sanitation.

You should have enough food to provide 1200 to 1800 calories per person. The food should have a long term stable shelf life, MREs are perfect but expensive. Canned goods are a good backup. The Dinty Moore would make me wretch.

You should have a decent first aid kit, at least one large pressure bandage and a couple of rolls of gauze in addition to a standard store kit are my suggestion.

You should have a flashlight, batteries, a battery-powered radio, a manual can opener, a mess kit and some cash on hand because it may be a while before ATMs and Banks are available.

You should have at least one complete change of clothes and an extra pair of shoes per person.

You should pack any special items you might need, like diapers, formula, meds, etc.

You should have at least one roll of duct tape and some plastic sheeting or a plastic tarp. This is used for what's called "Sheltering in Place". Where you've taken shelter may have become exposed to the elements, plastic sheeting and duct tape can provide an excellent temporary weather barrier.

With regards to DHS uses, the Israelis have used plastic sheeting and duct tape to protect their populace against chemical and bio-agent attack since Gulf War I. They do this by establishing safe rooms within homes and appartments and protect people form chemical attack.These materials were chosen because of their ability to effectively reduce infiltration and for their resistance to permeation from chemical warfare agents. The seal doesn't have to be air tight, it just has to reduce the particualte infiltration rate.

BTW, I'm a volunteer MEMA (Missouri Emergency Management Agency) coordinator and have been doing EOP and Disaster Relief work for over 12 years now.

They do this by establis... (Below threshold)
Sue Dohnim:

They do this by establishing safe rooms within homes and appartments and protect people form chemical attack.These materials were chosen because of their ability to effectively reduce infiltration and for their resistance to permeation from chemical warfare agents.

Exactly. The seal can be too good sometimes.

Dylan, I fear, is one of those people who rants against the (Republican) government but fully expects the government to save him when disaster occurs. Except he doesn't have the "poor and disadvantaged" excuse to fall back upon.

Poor people don't have $50.... (Below threshold)
GoMommyGo:

Poor people don't have $50. Try watching 30 days where Morgan Spurlock & his girlfriend try to live on minimum wage.

Uh, GoMommyGo, I guess you ... (Below threshold)
fatman:

Uh, GoMommyGo, I guess you didn't read DeputyHeadmistress' comment on how to do it for a helluva lot less than fifty bucks.

Re: Dylan"s comment (9/6/2005 @ 1:54 PM)

Who on this thread said poor people are "too black" to put together an emergency kit? As for being too dumb, isn't that the underlying theme of liberalism? Aren't we sheep are too dumb to watch out for ourselves so we need liberals to sheperd us through life?

Since the sewage sys... (Below threshold)
B Moe:


Since the sewage system is usually the first to go I would recommend alot of cheese.

GoMommyGo:...and I... (Below threshold)
cirby:

GoMommyGo:

...and I guess you skipped the part where Morgan Spurlock and his girlfriend kept having to turn down job offers with more money, plus refused any sort of public aid (which would have been a hundred bucks a month in food stamps alone).

As I pointed out above, you don't need really cool stuff, or expensive items. Rice and beans and candles and refilled empty bottles make a decent emergency kit - certainly enough to make it a week without help - and it won't cost more than a few bucks.

If you're living the "po' folks" lifestyle (I have), you already buy bulk lots of cheap food, since that's most of what you can afford.

Thank-you, Cardinals Nation... (Below threshold)

Thank-you, Cardinals Nation, and right back to you.

You know, something else that bothers me about the naysayers in this thread is their assumption that encouraging people to be prepared is the same things as assuming they all have fifty dollars to buy a ready made emergency kit right now. You don't have to buy all the emergency kit items in one day. You can, and most of us do, build it up over time.

Dylan- as far as I know, you are the only one to bring race into this thread. Wonder why.

There are babies who died of dehydration during this disaster. If somebody near them had had an emergency kit, it would have included water and they might not have died. I understand that some EMT and First Responder guides outline the use of duct tape for emergency bandaging of gunshot wounds, and I know that campers and hikers recommend it for sealing the kinds of wounds where you need a great big butterfly bandage and can't get to the doctor in a timely manner- you know, sort of like in the aftermath of a hurricane. After three surgeries, a metal plate and six screws and a skin graft, duct taping a plastic bag around the cast is what our doctor recommended to my husband to keep his cast dry when showering- I imagine if you have a wound, or something that just needs to be kept dry, a plastic bag and duct tape would be great to have in an emergency.
I'd also point out that it was duct tape that figured prominantly in a recent dramatic space shuttle repair.
They use duct tape to seal shut the arm and leg openings of hazmat suits.
Basically, anything that needs patched, bound together, or sealed can be taken care of with duct tape.
Anybody mocking the addition of duct tape to an emergency kit has simply never, ever thought about it very hard or done any homework. There is nothing stupid about including it in an emergency kit- but there is something very stupid about mocking it without having a clue.

Raman Noodles.... (Below threshold)
moseby:

Raman Noodles.

Toilet paper: Remembered by... (Below threshold)

Toilet paper: Remembered by few, missed by many.

OK, it's a luxury and once it's wet, it's useless. But it allows you to feel somewhat better about things.

Also, I would advocate buying several can openers; it's too easy to lose one. P-38s are great, P-51s (I think these were the jumbo versions) are better.

Seems like Dylan is suddenl... (Below threshold)
LJW:

Seems like Dylan is suddenly absent. Duct tape is a miricale item. With that and some bailing wire, we fixed just about everything on the farm. I wouldb't be caught without it. Oh, and my Winchester pump was $165 brand new. I'm going to get another one so my wife can be loading one while I am firing the other. 250 shells is only $30, so I plan on stocking up. Don't know if I'll ever need it, but if I do, I'll be ready.

I'd definitely add a Swiss ... (Below threshold)

I'd definitely add a Swiss Army Knife (may I suggest the Huntsman) or Leatherman? A good multi-tool is frequently worth it's weight in petrolium.

Mossberg Defender all the w... (Below threshold)

Mossberg Defender all the way baby. Short tactical barrel, holds 8 shells. Nobody will be taking MY food and water. :)

For those of us in the uppe... (Below threshold)
Brown Line:

For those of us in the upper Midwest (I live in Chicago), the biggest problem is not flooding or storms, but a possible disruption of fuel supplies during winter. If something happened to disrupt transportation or break gas pipelines during the middle of winter (e.g., a suitcase bomb or a major earthquake along the New Madrid fault), we would have to stay put and stay warm. It's impractical for the average apartment dweller to stock enough wood or charcoal to warm a room for a couple of weeks, never mind the carbon-monoxide hazard; but adding a few five-pound sacks of sugar to the survival kit could make the difference between survival and dying of hypothermia. Also, the duct tape and plastic sheeting would come in very handy for making heavily insulated shelters within one's home or apartment.

There's a lot to be said fo... (Below threshold)
lbphilly:

There's a lot to be said for preparedness; in a desultory way, I make sure we have enough food and batteries for a five-day siege, and I have a slew of empty 1 gallon water jugs and a big bottle of bleach in the basement so that we can tank up. Not to mention plugs for our two bathtubs...

On the other hand: it would be very difficult for an elderly/disabled person to pack 60-70 pounds of survival gear to a shelter of last resort such as the Superdome; and it would be just as difficult, or more so, for a single mother to carry enough for herself and her children (along with personal hygiene items if those children were very young).

In fact, the space taken up by survival kits, clothing and bedding would drop the number of possible evacuees on those vaunted school buses way down. That evaucation total of 12,000 per run bandied about the blogosphere might drop to 6,000 -- or less.

I still think being prepared is a good thing; it's just critically important to think of what happens when you try to scale that up to such a large population.

(Of course, the problem with many of the local plans is that they didn't scale up their thinking.)

Is there any group less pre... (Below threshold)
Otto:

Is there any group less prepared for a disaster than middle-class liberals?

I base that on the fact that the overwhelming majority of them live in dense, urban areas and, the things I’ve seen my urbanite coworkers do makes my jaw drop.

For one, many of them have NO food in their apartments, outside of some condiments and maybe a half-eaten box of crackers. They just eat out every night or bring something home from the deli. If they want to cook, they buy the stuff they need on the way home and use it up.

In addition, they have no idea how to repair things (since the landlord takes care of it) and own no tools (since all you need is a shoe for a hammer and a butter knife for a screwdriver). They mock duck tape because they’ve never even seen it in real life.

If something happened that cut Manhattan totally off from the mainland for a week . . . man, just send Snake Plisken in, ‘cause that island is GONE, baby.

I know, some lib will now step in and say that he has a portable generator and a room full of beans in his apartment, but you’re just the exception to the rule, bub.

Dylan strikes me as the kin... (Below threshold)

Dylan strikes me as the kind of person who doesn't even have an extinguisher in his home. After all, what good could it possibly serve in a nuclear blast, right?

People on WIC can get lots ... (Below threshold)
Mary in LA:

People on WIC can get lots of items that are suitable for survival food. They even get peanut butter *free*, no cost, for nothing, $0.00.

Peanut butter is great survival food for everyone (except the peanut-allergic, of course) -- it keeps well, it's high in protein and calories (which is a *good* thing in a survival situation), and kids like it (very important -- in an emergency, little kids will be terrified and under stress because their routines are gone).

One of the most pernicious things revealed in the aftermath of Katrina is how people's natural resourcefulness has been leached away by the attitude of "let the government do it." People relied on the government to save them -- and, tragically, they died from this misbelief.

Why trust the government to save you? Obviously it can't. But it costs nothing to build a network of friends, to join a church, to think ahead for the sake of your family. It costs very little to buy one extra can of tuna or bottle of water every two weeks. It costs nothing extra, if you are a soda drinker, to fill empty soda bottles with water and put them on the floor of your closet. The most important thing is to make up your mind to do it.

Poor people are not stupid (or at any rate, no more stupid than any other kind of people -- we humans are all pretty stupid, frankly, in different ways and at different times). I hope that all Americans, rich or poor or in-between, will take the tragic lessons of Katrina to heart.

To the invaluable duct tape... (Below threshold)
JorgXMcKie:

To the invaluable duct tape, add a cheap roll of electrical tape, the old-fashioned black, friction tape. And you'll be needing something to cook that rice on. IF you keep dry a small bag of charcoal briquets, you can cook in a hubcap (old style) with a discarded grill top from a cheapy grill if you can't afford that. Also, saving large cans (the 39oz coffee can type) is very useful and cheap.

GmMommyGo, you are not only credulous if you believed that BS about 2 people living on minimum wage, you've never been poor. Not all poor people are helpless. I've been poor, and two people on minimum wage is troubled, not really poor. Minimum wage *should* be short-term, until you learn enough or prove yourself enough to get more. Anyone who stays for long at minimum wage either is doing it for some other reason, or really isn't worth even the minimum wage.

Anyone who is dim enough not to know the survival value of duct tape, plastic sheeting (or the rough equivalent, newspaper), etc. is just asking to become a Darwin Award winner. Dylan sounds like the worst emergency he's ever had to deal with personally was a really, really bad hangnail. (And I'll bet a little duct tape would have worked wonders on that. I'm currently using a piece of duct tape on the back of my cheap [

Re. Dinty Moores and retchi... (Below threshold)
James:

Re. Dinty Moores and retching.

That's why it is great for a survival kit. It's nasty enough that you won't eat it unless you really really need it... :)

Here in Oklahoma people hav... (Below threshold)
Mark:

Here in Oklahoma people have been without power for days after both severe storms(tornados and high winds) and after ice storms in winter. Having some supplies just in case is smart wherever you are.

Might want to include a few... (Below threshold)
A Comment:

Might want to include a few packs of hand wipes for cleaning up, maybe some disinfectant wipes for when things look just too icky.

Among the flashlights, consider having at least one that use C and one that uses AA batteries. In emergencies, D cells sell out fast but you can probably still find C and AAs easily.

Dylan,You seem to be... (Below threshold)

Dylan,
You seem to be totally clueless.
1) ANything that will help seal up your house will assist with fallout. Most problems associated with the radiation can be avoided if you can keep from ingesting the radioactive materials in the period immediately after the explosion; the majority of the radiation has a very short half-life.
2) The emergency kits are designed for self-sufficiency in food and water for a few days, and with any medications someone is required to take. Other items are aimed at general preparedness/handyman type situations.

OBVIOUSLY!!

I am planning on putting to... (Below threshold)

I am planning on putting together a survival kit for my family. You never know when there will be an earthquake here in California.

Problem I am facing is that there is very good chance that the family will not be in the same place when a disaster strikes. So, my current plan is to stock emergency supplies at my and my wife's work place, at home and in our car. Is that an overkill? Does somebody have a better ideas?

Thx,
Ashish

Those have to be the cheape... (Below threshold)

Those have to be the cheapest batteries in existence.
My guess is that they would not last as long as the water.

Seems to me like it would b... (Below threshold)
gb_in_ga:

Seems to me like it would be a good thing to have a little single burner or 2 burner camp stove as well. Either canned butane/propane gas or white gas would work (mine is an old 2 burner white gas one, still works). Ok, so they aren't just super-cheap, but still not extravagant. Seems to me like you can get one for about $25 at a discount store, and the fuel is cheap as well. A whole lot of the unpalatability of the stew goes away with a little heat. Likewise, it would be necessary to cook the rice & beans if that is the rations you opt for. As a bonus, you can use it to boil water for drinking. Can't follow the "Boil Order" without a working stove, ya know. Of course, you have to be careful to only cook outdoors because of carbon monoxide poisoning. Oh, and be sure to have some waterproof matches or a butane lighter, you have to start the stove somehow. You'll also need a bean & rice pot (probably already on hand) and some dish soap. Don't forget salt. Hydration alone is not enough, you need a little salt, too. Especially if it is hot. Along the lines of water supply, you'll need to keep a small supply of chlorine bleach, or those iodine water purification tablets -- I've got the iodine tablets, they are more stable. But bleach works just as well, is cheap and probably already on hand. Of course, that won't help you much if the hazzard is chemical or nuclear.

Having been through hurricanes on the coast before (Alicia in '83), I'd also suggest getting some instant Gatorade to go along with your water -- added calories & electrolytes, and the instant stuff is cheap. Recovering from a hurricane is hard work, let me tell ya. If you are really poor, skip this and just go with the salt, and add the extra calories with some sugar.


Also, it is a good idea to have a charcoal grill, charcoal and starter fluid, especially if you have a freezer. Several times I've had to have a "Hurricane Feast" where the power goes out for several days and the contents of the freezer thaws out. You end up cooking all of your once frozen but now thawing meat at once and eating. And eating. And eating... Might as well cook it and eat it as opposed to letting it go bad. Seems like I remember this one talking head going into hysteria when that was suggested for the people on the coast -- it showed me just how clueless she was, she had obviously never been through a major hurricane before.

Ashish,I am a Califo... (Below threshold)

Ashish,
I am a California resident as well. At a minimum you should have a flashlight and at least some water in your desk at work. Have emergency kits in your car, that way they are always with you, as well as at home. And figure out a family plan for where to meet in case of an emergency when people can't get home, and a couple of points to contact (at least one of which is not in the same area) such as non-local relatives or friends. That way everyone can leave a message on their condition/location in case you can't be reached at home/work due to communications problems.

You heartless bastard! How... (Below threshold)
Kool:

You heartless bastard! How could you doom the entire city of New Orleans to death over $50?! How are these poor people supposed to find an extra $50, what with the prices of malt liquor and menthol cigarettes rising every year! Shame on you, you racist jerk!

Here's a nice little one th... (Below threshold)
Carlos:

Here's a nice little one that comes in it's own little bag for $55.

http://beprepared.com/product.asp?pn=K7%20A400

Quote from cirby: "The chea... (Below threshold)
Josh Reiter:

Quote from cirby: "The cheap food version of the list above:

10 pounds rice: $5
5 pounds beans: $5"

Actually these would make poor survival foods. They take way to much water and fuel to prepare adequately. Unless, you like raw rice and dried beans. Canned soups would be best since they have a long shelf life and are already cooked.

Ashish: I heard a good one... (Below threshold)
Ryan:

Ashish: I heard a good one for Earthquakes was to put a few items in a heavy plastic ziplock bag and duct tape it to the bottom of each bed in your house. You can also keep one under your car seat and at work.
- Cheap Flip Flops (it sucks to roll out of bed naked and find broken glass across every floor in the whole house)
- Small wrecking bar (aka crowbar, 8 inch is fine)
- Leather gloves
- Flashlight (the little "sqeezy" kind work fine)
- Whistle or other loud noise maker
- small clean cloth towel (old flanel shirt works if your up north)
- small bit of Duct tape (I like Gaffers tape better, it doesn't have to be a whole roll)
- small pocket knive
and least importent:
- powerbar and a 20oz bottle of water (people go a long time without food or water. but if you are trapped 20oz of water is better then none)
This isn't for long term but just to help out during the first few hours.

12 Cans of Dinty Moore Beef... (Below threshold)

12 Cans of Dinty Moore Beef Stew? You might need to include a gas mask in that survival kit.

Hey, I LIKE Dinty Moore ste... (Below threshold)

Hey, I LIKE Dinty Moore stew. With a little Lee & Perrins Worchestershire sauce in it.

Good post. Better comments.

Instead of $24 bucks for th... (Below threshold)
dave:

Instead of $24 bucks for the Dinty, take advantage
of the numerous sales of store-brand can veggies.
Green beans, whole kernel corn, sweet peas, and
the like. Those "off brand" or store brand labels
will often sale out at 4/$1.00. Four dozen cans
come in at $12.00... and although they're much
better when heated, the fact is that they
are fully cooked when they are canned, so they
can be safely consumed right from the container.

Forget about rices or pastas or dried
goods (needs water and cooking), or about breads
or crackers (relatively short shelf-lifes).
It may not be 'balanced' nutrition; but it will
get you through the week or so you need to
survive.

Even if one argues that "poor" people can't spare
the $50, don't tell me they can't spare $5.00 for
water (find and save 2-liter soda bottles... free)
and food (16 cans @ 25 cents = $4) and a can
opener (99 cents). The flashlight and radio and
batteries are nice to have, but just the simple
$5 investment and a few minutes to set aside the
water bottles and can foods would have been a
major aid for those who found themselves waiting
for days down in NO.

FYI to everyone,If y... (Below threshold)

FYI to everyone,
If you are in any survival situation and you don't have plenty of water, you are better off not eating anything. The body uses a lot of water to process food, and dehydration is virtually always a bigger danger than starvation. Some foods take more water to be processed than others (i.e. anything with caffeine in it, such as chocolate) With limited water, there is also no benefit in "rationing" water after about the first 12 hours. You are better off drinking normally and delaying dehydration, than saving the water.

Finds from my surivial trip... (Below threshold)
Norman Conquest:

Finds from my surivial trip through the 99-cent store:

A 10-pack of single-edge razor blades.
A pack of six plastic utility knives.
Pork and beans, 2 cans for 99. The excess gas from Can One can be used to heat Can Two.
Plastic cutlery. 50 forks.
Rubbing alcohol, 2 pints for 99. Great for soapless cleanup.
Condensed milk.
Bobo-brand cola, 2 for 99. Caffeine boost!

Good advice on prepareness.... (Below threshold)
Matt:

Good advice on prepareness. Have been through some situations and ramen and canned stew are life savers. I lean toward chow that doesn't require extra water since I live in the SW. Drought is tough to deal with and water heavy to carry. Consider food for pets you might have. Good dog/cat can be a lifesaver (kills vermin, guards) and is edible if things go really, really bad. Don't forget a personal evacuation plan of where to go and how to get there if you home is unlivable and shelters are not an option. Everyone knowing where the rally point is is important espceilly if you have mobile teenagers.

Duct tape, sanitary napkins/tampons etc make great 1st aid, add some neosporin and you have it made!

With regards to heating foo... (Below threshold)
Barbara of the North:

With regards to heating food, if you do not manage to pack a small grill as noted in other posts, and your vehicle is not under water, you can heat food in containers on the carberator of the car. We used to do that with MREs during winter military exercises in Europe.

"10 pounds rice: $55... (Below threshold)
gb_in_ga:

"10 pounds rice: $5
5 pounds beans: $5"

Actually these would make poor survival foods. They take way to much water and fuel to prepare adequately. Unless, you like raw rice and dried beans. Canned soups would be best since they have a long shelf life and are already cooked.
"

Actually, beans and rice are good survival foods, but you do have to have a stove, and you will need extra cooking water. Just budget for the extra water and fuel for your camp stove. Water is cheap, as in approaching free. And stove fuel isn't expensive, either.

Canned soups are not bad. Not as many calories as the canned stew, but still not a bad choice. You'll still want a stove to heat it with.

It is too bad I didn't stock up on C Rations before they became rarer than hen's teeth. Those were ideal, even without the heat tabs -- the individual boxes when burned provided just enough heat to warm them up, we used to do that when I was in the Army back in the '70s.

Actually, canned tuna or sardines and saltine crackers make for good emergency rations, too. They are cheap, and they don't require heating. The salt from the crackers is good in the heat, too. Peanut butter is good alongside of the crackers, too. Unopened jars of peanut butter have a long shelf life, as does unopened saltines, and canned fish lasts indefinitely.

Just wanted to add one more... (Below threshold)
Mary in LA:

Just wanted to add one more thing: All the emergency supplies in the world wouldn't have helped those people who were flooded out. So please add to your emergency kit the following:

1. Have a place to go. In our mobile society, even the poorest people have out-of-town friends or kin. Have somebody you can call to come get you if you have no car.
2. Have the mental attitude of thinking ahead. That costs nothing.
3. Have the mental attitude of not trusting the government to solve your problems. That also costs nothing, and as I said above, this is (I think) the most pernicious thing, and the thing that killed the most people in the hurricane's path.
4. If you do decide that you're going to trust the government, know exactly what it is that you're trusting the government to do.

Phone books have emergency instructions in them with contact numbers, all kinds of assistance lines, and lists of where to go to get help. Most poor people in this country are not too poor to have phones -- in fact, there are "LifeLine" programs that provide phone service to poor people, and free phone books are everywhere.

Please don't get me wrong -- I'm not "blaming the victims". I hope that I'm teaching people that they don't have to be powerless.

And there was no excuse not to use the New Orleans school buses and transit buses to get people out. None at all. None. Bravo to that kid who "stole" the bus and got 100 people out!

(quoting myself)Have... (Below threshold)
Mary in LA:

(quoting myself)
Have the mental attitude of not trusting the government to solve your problems. That [the attitude] also costs nothing, and as I said above, this [trusting the government in that way] is (I think) the most pernicious thing, and the thing that killed the most people in the hurricane's path. ..."

Sorry I was a little inarticulate there... posting in a hurry. Hope the italics clarify.

Great blog here, with lots of good advice. May we all learn well.

There are also now three ty... (Below threshold)
Mark:

There are also now three types of flashlights to consider, they cost more but...
1. LED flashlights. Put out a lot of light, and the batteries last a long time.
2. Shake lights. Shake them, it charges a capacitor; doesn't run too long on a charge, but you only have to shake again.
3. Crank lights. Instead of shaking, you turn a crank and it charges the capacitor.

Ashish said:"...my c... (Below threshold)
Mary in LA:

Ashish said:
"...my current plan is to stock emergency supplies at my and my wife's work place, at home and in our car. Is that an overkill? "

I think it's a very wise idea. You never know where you'll be, and if there's extra stuff, you're in a position to help others who weren't prepared. In fact, I think I'll take your suggestion and do the same thing.

A previous thread mentioned... (Below threshold)

A previous thread mentioned "some waterproof matches or a butane lighter"

If you're preparing for cold weather survival, opt for matches. Butane liquifies at around -33F. Lighters don't work without gas to burn.

Learned that the hard way on a winter survival campout as a scout. Trust me, you don't want to have to put that cold lighter in your pants or under your armpit to warm it up.

Our 'live thru CA falling into the sea' kit at home has both.

Also Raman noodles, dried pasta, rice and beans can all be eaten dry. If you're hungry enough sucking on some dry beans to soften them up enough to chew starts sounding pretty good. All in all though I recommend food with some moisture content, ie soup.

The main thing you need is potable water. With water to drink, food becomes a luxury you can live without for several days.

According to the Air Force Captain who taught me survival as a scout there are only two hard fast rules to survival that pertain to any emergency situation.

1. If you panic - you are dead.
2. If you give up hope, or give up trying - you are dead.

Everything else will vary depending on your current situation.

Pertaining to eating pets: ... (Below threshold)
gb_in_ga:

Pertaining to eating pets: Yes, if it got that bad you have a point. But before then, well, there's no shortage of rabbits and squirrels around here -- none at all. I've got a .22 (handgun, 6" barrel) and an ample supply of ammo for it, and that would be just the ticket for a little subsistence hunting -- also good for small varmits, some of which are tasty. And I've got heavier stuff for the bigger varmits, both of the 4 legged and 2 legged variety if needed. As Mary points out, you need the attitude of not trusting the government to solve your problems, and self defense is one of those problems.

I've always carried emergen... (Below threshold)
Matt:

I've always carried emergency supplies in my vehicle, thought everybody did. Water, flashlights, matches etc. Include a steel bowl for water, can use to boil/cook or water dogs. Yes, I travel with dogs constantly.

A good blanket and tarp are on hand too. Always have a shovel and good rope as well as hat and gloves. Living in the SW means being prepared for extreme heat and extreme cold at different times. Always have a basic tool kit.

If you might need to walk somewhere and have the space you might consider a walking stick and pack/bag to put supplies in.

For cooking consider the Esbit Falcon or other folding stove that uses solid fuel (not sterno, to fumy and bulky). Realatively cheap, compact, waterproof and can use bits of wood as well. Heats water fast.

"If you're preparing for co... (Below threshold)
gb_in_ga:

"If you're preparing for cold weather survival, opt for matches. Butane liquifies at around -33F. Lighters don't work without gas to burn."

I didn't know that, but then again it never gets anywhere near that cold around here (Atlanta area). Unless I have to move up north (SHUDDER!) I'm not concerned about that.

"The main thing you need is potable water. With water to drink, food becomes a luxury you can live without for several days."

In know that a lot of people don't realize this, but it is the truth. With adequate potable water, you can last for over a week with nothing to eat, assuming you have "average" body fat to start with.

Hm...How many of t... (Below threshold)
Rife:

Hm...

How many of those people who "can't rub two nickels together" still manage to find the cash to SMOKE a pack a day?

Good comments & suggestions... (Below threshold)
Evil Otto:

Good comments & suggestions all (OK, not Dylan or GoMommyGo). I keep a "bugout bag" with a change of clothes, toiletries, some bottled water, powerbars, a small first aid kit, a rain poncho, a small roll of duct tape, radio & batteries, and a leatherman tool. I've also got a two-week supply of canned foods, bottled water (and extra empty bottles), bleach, sterno, and a small battery-powered TV.

Remember, just because you're dirt poor and can't afford $50 doesn't mean you can't stock up. Try buying a couple of extra cans of Spagettios (or similar canned crap) whenever you go grocery shopping. It sucks, but I practically *lived* off Chef Boyardee canned food when I was in college. It's cheap. So, so cheap. You can even get generic store-brand versions of most products.

Oh, and if anyone's interested, I found a great web site showing how to make a dirt-cheap alcohol stove. Or you could just buy one, I suppose, if you're not Morgan Spurlock.

"If you're preparing for co... (Below threshold)
David:

"If you're preparing for cold weather survival, opt for matches. Butane liquifies at around -33F. Lighters don't work without gas to burn."

Opps, My bad. That should be -1C or about 30F.

Sorry

You can get hand-crank cell... (Below threshold)

You can get hand-crank cellphone chargers for $10, and hand-crank radio/flashlight/general appliance chargers for $40 or less. These are key because batteries that sit in your drawer for years will go dead right about a month before you need them. Worse, they might explode and leak battery acid all over your emergency supplies.

Another useful tip: a lot of people have solar lights in their yards. In an emergency these can be plucked from the ground and used as portable candles without being fire hazards.

Evil Otto, very cool alcoho... (Below threshold)
Mary in LA:

Evil Otto, very cool alcohol-stove link!

That brings to mind something else that could usefully go into an emergency stash: Potable alcohol, such as vodka or EverClear. Useful as:
- Emergency disinfectant
- Emergency anesthetic (e.g. for setting a broken bone)
- Stove fuel (?)
- "Trade goods"

I wouldn't flash it around, though, as it might attract bad guys if word gets out that you have an alcohol stash. :-/

Sounds like this very "simp... (Below threshold)
GoMommyGo:

Sounds like this very "simple" concept of a survival kit and what should be in it isn't so obvious, even to the highly educated and well-fed with internet access. Or are you blogging from the public library?

Of course it's wise to make preparations for a disaster. It's wise for the individual, but it's the REASON for FEMA's existance, or so we thought.

If FEMA's policy is every man, woman, child, infirmed, elderly person for himself, then please spend FEMA's tax money on said survival kits and send them to every man, woman, child, etc.

They were paid to do a job. They failed. The individuals who failed to prepare -- or DID prepare but were unlucky, or were too young or old to prepare, paid a very high price.

What price will be paid by those who took the money, but failed to do their jobs?

Is their a limit to the number of medals of freedom Bush is allowed to award?

One word: COSTCO. Most peo... (Below threshold)
digipaws:

One word: COSTCO. Most people leave there looking like they're prepping for nuclear winter anyway...

Here are a few things in my kit that haven't already been mentioned. I'm in earthquake country, and we rotate everything out every 6 months.

House & Evacuation Kit:
1. Good flashlights (don't recommend skimping on these...you get what you pay for at $1 store)
2. Bulk boxes of individually wrapped peanut butter crackers, cookies, granola bars, nuts, etc. (from Costco).
3. Two cases of water, two cases of Vitamin Water (to offset the bad food we're going to eat).
4. Stockpile batteries (large paks from Costco)
5. Fifth of Southern Comfort (for my nerves)
6. Fifth of Chivas (for his nerves)
7. Copies of all financial information in a Ziploc
8. CASH in small denominations in a Ziploc
9. Dog food
10. Extra contact lenses
11. Hand sanitizer

If there's time to load up car:
1. TWO GIANT rubbermaid bins in garage are packed with our camp kitchen and camping gear. Ready-to-go.

In my car right now:
1. Backpack with two sets of clothes, hiking boots
2. Three days of food (dog too) & water, flashlight, blanket
3. Radio and two-way radio

Things I'm considering adding to my kit:
1. Guns
2. Ammo

FEMA doesn't exist to "prep... (Below threshold)
Mary in LA:

FEMA doesn't exist to "prepare for" disaster (in the sense of "take the place of what individuals should do for themselves to prepare for a disaster") -- it exists to clean up after a disaster.

I can't think of a single disaster we've had in this country that FEMA could have prevented. And I can't think of any way that FEMA could have done anything pro-active before the hurricane damage happened, certainly not without the state governor and the mayor calling them in.

As for "highly educated", h... (Below threshold)
Mary in LA:

As for "highly educated", how much education does it take to look in the front of your phone book? As I said in my previous posting, the vast majority of people,even poor people, have access to a phone book.

I'm looking in the front of my phone book right now, and I see a "Free Info On Call" listing on all kinds of topics: news, health, women's health, pediatric emergencies, phone numbers for the Red Cross, the county Victim Assistance Center, and a whole bunch of service organizaitons, both government and private.

I also see two pages entitled "Emergency Preparedness", with a list of basic emergency supplies to keep on hand, what to do in case of an earthquake, how much bleach to use to disinfect water, and how to evacuate in case of a flash flood. (We don't usually get hurricanes in southern California, but we do get flash floods.)

It's all there, right in the phone book. No expensive Internet access needed. The information is free, and it's in every public place and pretty much every home in America. All a person has to do is think ahead -- and that is something anyone can do.

Jato said: "I'm going to po... (Below threshold)

Jato said: "I'm going to pose a simple question. What government in this world could have erected a sea wall or some barrier that could have prevented the storm surge from hitting an area from the Florida Panhandle to Westside of New Orleans in 5 days? Answer: None!"

Er, no.

1/3 of the Netherlands is below sea level; much of that land is reclaimed from the sea. After a big flood in the 1950s that killed thousands, they put into effect a master plan to protect themselves from a once-in-10000-year fllod. Their levees are twice as high as New Orleans were, thye have multiple redundancy, the ability to divert water to unpopulated areas, and flood barriers that can be put across rivers when the water is high.

They've been doing this for centuries (their water councils predate the Dutch state) and are very good at it, because they have to be.

"Is their a limit to the nu... (Below threshold)
Mary in LA:

"Is their a limit to the number of medals of freedom Bush is allowed to award?"

He hasn't awarded any yet that I know of, certainly not with regard to Katrina, and I don't see why he would -- nobody was exactly covered in glory. (Though personally, I would support giving the "bus kid" the Medal of Freedom in an instant!)

...nobody in authority</... (Below threshold)
Mary in LA:

...nobody in authority was exactly covered in glory, I mean... Just wanted to clarify that.

Bravo to all the military and civilian rescue workers, and to all the organizers of relief efforts around the country and the world! (I'm even in charity with France at the moment -- sending a team of Red Cross workers was a nice gesture on their part.)

My families survival kit in... (Below threshold)
AJackson:

My families survival kit includes (in addition to food):

Two burner portable propane stove
Small propane tanks
Sleeping bags for whole family
Several large 5 gal water jugs
Waterproof matches
LED flashlights
Krill Lamps (last a WEEK on two AA batteries)
Bunch of batteries
Portable battery powered AM/FM radio
Cell phone
Family band walkie-talkies
Tents
Swiss army knives and multi-tool
Hammer and hand axe
Firewood & starter bricks

Incremental Cost - $0 (Cause I bought the stuff for camping)

not to be absolutely cynica... (Below threshold)
hwk:

not to be absolutely cynical, but an AR-15 and 3 30 round magazines gets you everything mentioned above, with no advance planning. You don't even need morals (in fact, they would be a hinderance).

Seriously, without the means to protect your emergency kit, it is almost worthless past the first day if any sort of social disorder erupts. There are plenty of arguments about the best way to protect you and yours, but undisputedly the best way in N.O. would have been to evacuate to safety prior to the (well publicised in advance) disaster.

You can now get tear-open t... (Below threshold)
D.C.:

You can now get tear-open tuna-fish pouches at the supermarket for $1.60-$2 per 4 oz. pack. I've seen them at the 99 Cents Only chain also (obviously for 99 cents). No need for a can opener, they are light, easily storable and you don't have to drain them (won't smell as much as trash).

The crank-driven flashlights are a good idea; so are crank-driven radios. (Small, cheap LED flashlights are a good idea too).

If toilets don't work, and if a person couldn't go outside, I've been wondering if it would be good to have plastic bags to execrete in, since they can be sealed?

Quick note on flashlights; ... (Below threshold)
Tom on the Rez:

Quick note on flashlights; C batteries or smaller allows you to hold the flashlight in your mouth leaving both hands free (an old campers' tip). D's are too big.

Sounds like this very "s... (Below threshold)
Evil Otto:

Sounds like this very "simple" concept of a survival kit and what should be in it isn't so obvious, even to the highly educated and well-fed with internet access. Or are you blogging from the public library?

What the hell are you talking about? Is there some disagreement about the basics? FOOD AND FRIKKIN' WATER! Do you need an internet connection to figure that out? People here might have suggestions or disagreements about what else should go in, or how much, but everyone agrees about what's most important.

This is just another attempt by you to shift responsibility away from the individual to the government. Governmental help in a disaster is appreciated, but personally I don't assume it's going to be there for me, and I plan accordingly. Last year it paid off; I went through *three* hurricanes.

Of course it's wise to make preparations for a disaster. It's wise for the individual, but it's the REASON for FEMA's existance, or so we thought.

FEMA is a federal bureaucracy; with all that that implies. It's up to the individual to make sure they're prepared, because waiting for the government to step in and save your ass is foolish. One need only look at New Orleans to see that.

If FEMA's policy is every man, woman, child, infirmed, elderly person for himself, then please spend FEMA's tax money on said survival kits and send them to every man, woman, child, etc.

So it's the government's responsibility to make sure that you can survive an emergency? Before, you were making excuses, saying that some people were too poor to be able to afford the $50 needed. Several people showed that it doesn't even take that much, and that the supplies can be accumulated over time. I've been dirt poor, and I can assure you that human beings are capable of surviving weeks on generic canned food. Go to Wal-Mart when they have a sale and you can pick up cans of store brand spaghettios 2/$1. Five bucks will give you enough to feed a small family for a day. Empty two-liters and a few drops of bleach will give you enough water for days.

They were paid to do a job. They failed. The individuals who failed to prepare -- or DID prepare but were unlucky, or were too young or old to prepare, paid a very high price.

What a load of crap. FEMA doesn't come in to play until after a disaster, and in the case of Katrina the disaster was overwhelming. Do you have a clue about the scale of this? It's not just New Orleans. A good chunk of several states have been leveled. The USA has never seen anything like this.

FEMA will assist, but IT. TAKES. TIME. If you aren't capable of putting a little bit of food and water aside to survive until then, I'm sorry, but I don't have a hell of a lot of pity for you.

What price will be paid by those who took the money, but failed to do their jobs?

What price will be paid by people who didn't make the slightest effort to plan ahead, who never assumed that anything could happen to them?

Is their a limit to the number of medals of freedom Bush is allowed to award?

Umm... OK. Whatever.


Water, food, tools, and fla... (Below threshold)
Richard:

Water, food, tools, and flashlights are the basics, of course, but toilet paper would be highly appreciated by the women in my household. If the sewer system won't accept donations a non-toilet place to relieve yourself would be appreciated, too. This reminds me of a product named the "Bumper Dumper." It is a toilet seat which attaches to a vehicle's trailer hitch, thus providing a place to sit, but no privacy. You need something to catch the mess. At home I would probably just remove a toilet seat and find a way to keep it on a five-gallon bucket--probably with duct tape. I have a few hundred Wal-Mart bags in the garage headed to the recyling bin. I may keep a few of them around now.

Evil Otto, you missed GoMom... (Below threshold)
Robert Modean:

Evil Otto, you missed GoMommyGo's point - she considers herself highly educated and yet she's a complete moron on this subject. So obviously all those poor folk couldn't possibly add one and one and get the same answer twice.

BTW, GoMommyGo? If the reason for FEMA's existence is to make sure every individual is cared for in case of a disaster, what did we do before it's creation in 1979? And I for one have no problem with FEMA being abolished, return the money to the states. Heck, my SEMA can get a huge funding boost and then it's every state for themselves like the old days.

But I really like this part:

They were paid to do a job. They failed. The individuals who failed to prepare -- or DID prepare but were unlucky, or were too young or old to prepare, paid a very high price.

Lady, you don't even know what their friggin' job is. I've actually worked in disaster relief with my atate EMA and jointly a few times with FEMA - get a clue, then talk to me about this. As it is your ignorance actually pains me.

Oh, and as far as I know - no limit to the number of medals Bush is allowed to award, but don't count on getting one anytime soon.

TTFN

One Lb. coffee can will hol... (Below threshold)
GrayOne:

One Lb. coffee can will hold a roll of TP
and keep it dry. You can use the can as a cooking vessel or water boiler. If heat becomes vital,
a cheap pint of rubbing alcohol poured into
the can with TP inside will soak the TP and can be lit to provide an alcohol burner /heater.

A 5 gallon bucket with TWO lids and a roll of
small size trash bags can provide a good toilet facility- and hold TP, Pads a plastic tarp and duct tape inside while in storage. Buckets are often free at donut shops/cafes, etc.
Cut a hole in the second lid to make the seat, line bucket with a trash bag, snap seat lid down
to hold in place. Use tarp/ duct tape to provide a privacy curtain if possible. Remove and tie bags
and replace as needed. Use solid lid to cover for
odor and sanitary control.

Oatmeal is another bulk food that cooks with a little boiling water, can be eaten dry.

Large 55 gallon trash bags are another usefull item. Can be cut at bottom to provide a head hole, making a wind & water proof poncho. They are
also useable to seal food and clothes in a water proof carry bundle (using duct tape to seal and reinforce) if you need to carry stuff out.

Duct tape can also seal wounds to prevent infection if you have no better bandage and may have to enter polluted water.

Most all of these are "salvage " items you can gather one or two at a time at almost no cost.

If I lived in NOLA, I'd hav... (Below threshold)
Bush Sycophant:

If I lived in NOLA, I'd have this set aside and stored in a cheap canoe or boat. What kind of city has to pump its sewage uphill but doesn't have generators and fuel in place for when the power goes out? In fact, why wouldn anybody want to live in such a place, especially when it is hurricane country. Most flood pass naturally, when the water runs off. Earthquakes quit shaking after a few minutes. Fires run out of fuel. But when you live in a sump, nothing goes away by itself.

I think a lot of the people who have sent aid, and volunteered to help would be perfectly justified to tell New Orleans that when this happens again, don't call for help. In fact, next time, I won't send a check until after I see whether the locals are doing all they can for themselves.

That's cold, but the reason I feel that way is because those who have actually been there with help have received nothing but complaints and accusations. This whole mess has a strong resemblence to the guy who killed his parents then asked for mercy because he was an orphan.

The rest of the nation has and will pour aid into this city, $60 billion and counting, and the response of the Democrats is 'why wasn't it there the day after the hurricane?'

DylanI'm skipping ... (Below threshold)

Dylan

I'm skipping some of the comments, so maybe someone else has covered it..

but WTF is your problem?

I live in CA...you know, earthquake country? "Survival kits" are just a matter of course here and something that has been drilled into my brain all my life. It's not like a huge deal, just a thoughtful "do ahead"... working flashlights, water, keeping the propane tank on the BBQ filled, keeping a well-stocked firstaid kit, knowing where to turn off the gas outside..having a food/water/firstaid kit in the trunk of the car.

Do you know at the beginning of each school year parents (in my school district) are required to make a kit for each of their children to be stored at school? (they get them back at the end of the school year)

We don't get warnings of earthquakes so we know if the BIG ONE hits we could be stuck anywhere.

And we've always been told to be prepared to be on our own 3 to 5 days.

Jaysus on a Pony, too many people these days believe society should treat 'em as babies rather than expecting them to act like adults.

::Sounds like this very "si... (Below threshold)

::Sounds like this very "simple" concept of a survival kit and what should be in it isn't so obvious,::

In what way is food and water not simple? What varies are the details- some people will prefer (or find cheaper) spaghettios, some would prefer Dinty Moore, some like oats, instant potato flakes, and dehydrated carrots- that doesn't make it complicated. That makes it flexible. The point is you buy what is available to you in your area inexpensively that your family will eat- it really isn't helpful to have food you hate in the survival kit if you have kids. A kids appetite will already be deadened by the trauma of some disasters (variable by child and disaster, of course)- and they won't eat much if they hate it. So of course what's in my kit will vary from what's in somebody else's. Again, this is the beauty of it- it's flexible, individual, and tailored *by* and for the family that puts it together, unlike a government bureaucratic one size must fit all 'coz we're too big to do it any differently approach.

::: even to the highly educated and well-fed with internet access. Or are you blogging from the public library?::

Quite often I have. Other times I've used a relatives computer. Currently our computer (which was a gift from a computer geeky friend) is part of our home business and homeschooling. By selling things via ebay and through email lists it pays for the internet connection and then some. We buy these things at yard sales for a quarter and we sell them for more online. I highly recommend this to others who need to bring in some extra cash. It opens up a nationwide market to us that was not available before. And I don't have a college degree.

::Of course it's wise to make preparations for a disaster. It's wise for the individual, but it's the REASON for FEMA's existance, or so we thought.::

REally? Why did you think so? Can you point us to some official documents supporting the claim you appear to be making- that the REASON for FEMA's existance is to make preparations for individuals for disaster?

::If FEMA's policy is every man, woman, child, infirmed, elderly person for himself, then please spend FEMA's tax money on said survival kits and send them to every man, woman, child, etc.::

Have you really not ever read FEMA's own website and publications? FEMA's policy has ALWAYS been that the first 72 hours, minimum, will be the responsibility of individuals, local and state officials in the disaster area. In case it slipped your attention- this is a HUGE country and FEMA is not God (neither is the government). It cannot be every where all the time. They have to have time to mobilize resources and shift them in the right direction- unlike the individual, local and state officials who will already be in the vicinity of their own local emergency.

::They were paid to do a job. They failed. The individuals who failed to prepare -- or DID prepare but were unlucky, or were too young or old to prepare, paid a very high price.::

Quite often preparations go awry- they are washed away in a flood, or, as happened to us once, shattered on a Kansas highway and forgotten as family members are busy bleeding and in need of medical attention- and air lifting out to a better hospital. This is nobody's fault, not even FEMA's. Because some people cannot prepare is no reason most shouldn't. Because sometimes your preparations will go up in smoke, or wash away in a flood, or get flattened in an accident is no reason to avoide preparing at all. But we both know that you cannot claim that every person who suffered dreadfully from this disaster had a disaster kit that just washed away.
Those too young, too old, too disabled did pay a price- but they suffered the cost of their local and state officials refusing to implement their own disaster plan- and they knew, they have always known, that FEMA has told them they won't be there for 72 hours. You could know this too if you read their website.

::What price will be paid by those who took the money, but failed to do their jobs?::

I hope the mayor and the governor- and that is who you are describing, will never be elected to political office again. I hope they pay the price of being ashamed to hold a press conference or show their faces in public ever again. They _failed_ to do their job when they failed to follow their own plan AT ALL. FEMA has certainly bungled some things and been inept at others- but they did actually attempt to do their job. They did not leave several hundred buses under water, for instance, nor did they turn in their badges and walk away, nor did they loot businesses, nor did they send people to the convention center and not bother to tell anybody else about it and forget to provide them food and water. FEMA's blunders are typical of Big Government (a good reason to despise BG). The mayor and governor are guilty of criminal negligence.


:::Is their a limit to the number of medals of freedom Bush is allowed to award?:::

I do hope you remember to include your ADD medication in your emergency kit.

All great ideas, GreyOne!</... (Below threshold)
Nahanni:

All great ideas, GreyOne!

If anything Katrina has shown who will and will not survive.

Those who scoff at duct tape or having emergency kits. Those who never take reponsibility for themselves and their actions, the ones who always think of themselves as a "victim". Those who think that "someone else" such as the local/state/fedarl government is responsible for their personal wellbeing are all ones who will end up being bloated, maggor riddem corpses.

Those who take responsibility for their own welfare. Those who know there may be a time in their lives where they have to survive without the "critter comforts". Those who have a basic knowledge of first aid. Those who know how to do things for themselves are the ones who will survive.

It is simple natural selection, survival of the fittest.

I remember a passage in Stephen King's book "The Stand" where (I forget the name of the character) one of the characters in the book is some college professor or professional student siad that before she would have looked down on Stu Redman as some dumb "redneck from Texas". But after the disaster she would give all the intellectuals, college professors and other elitists in the world for 100 more Stu Redmans because they know HOW to do things besides talk.

GoMommyGo is one of those w... (Below threshold)
Nahanni:

GoMommyGo is one of those who obviously believes that someone else should be their nanny.

Don't worry GoMommyGo, you won't survive long enough in a disaster to care about which governmental entity "let you down.

The bright side of that is that is that there will be one less idiot in the gene pool. with your demise.

For at many years now our f... (Below threshold)
Peter:

For at many years now our family has kept a very well stocked area in our garage. Basically I just started buying extra cans of stuff that we go through a lot of (and has a long shelf life) when it was on special. So not only do we have lots of food but it was all bought at a discount. Other advantage is that it cuts down on shopping time. Over the years the system has worked well:

When stock of an item gets a bit low keep an eye out for it to be on special. When it is, buy lots. Put them at the back of your stock and move items from the front into the house.

It may sound a lot of work but really isnt and the 'system' wasnt put in place all at once but gradually built up.

We probably have enough food to last 3 months at a pinch.

Look, at some level we need... (Below threshold)

Look, at some level we need to take some personal responsbility - even if we're living hand-to-mouth.

For example, on a budget so tight you can't spend $23 on the stew ... then buy one can a week using money from recycled cans.

You think I'm joking, but when you consider how 'fat' our poor are in this country, putting aside one can of stew or a bottle of water during the 40 or so weeks outside of the hurricane season isn't all that difficult.

The problem is - no one, from top to bottom - did anything resembling contigency planning. For example, from time to time I make sure my 5 year old knows what to do in case of a fire a night vs. a fire in the kitchen when mommy is there.

I have my own evacuation plan coordinated with my wife and other family members that includes places to rendezvous point in case we have to evac. separately.

Point is, those who fail to plan should plan on failing when it gets tough. I mean sitting around waiting for the government to take care of my aged parents is about as imprudent as me waiting for Social Security to take care of my retirement.

"There is just something ho... (Below threshold)
Tresho:

"There is just something horribly, murderously, demeaning in the thought processes of those who would discount the importance of urgently encouraging everybody to do as much as they possibly can to try to have three days worth of emergency supplies." I repeated this because it bears repeating.

DUCT TAPE - I read or heard an account of some men in the flooded area of New Orleans who used a large wad of plastic sheeting fastened together with duct tape as an emergency life raft to escape a flooded building. I wish I had saved the url.

If you build a 20 foot seaw... (Below threshold)

If you build a 20 foot seawall on ground that is subsiding at about 1 inch per year it would no longer be a 20 foot seawall in 20 years. If the ground subsides at different rates along the seawall it will be a cracked seawall. Will a cracked seawall hold back a flood?

Let me be clear. I not onl... (Below threshold)
GoMommyGo:

Let me be clear. I not only encourage everyone to prepare for disasters, I have done so myself.

That does not absolve the government of its job.

I admit, I'm no expert on FEMA. I have been to their web site where I found a memo titled First Responders Urged Not To Respond To Hurricane Impact Areas Unless Dispatched By State, Local Authorities. http://www.fema.gov/news/newsrelease.fema?id=18470

Two P.S's First, I'm flattered that so many of you were moved by my comments.
Kudos for promoting this open exchange of ideas. Some sites don't allow for comments and that makes me very suspicious.

So, please, tell what FEMA IS supposed to do.

If you can afford tobacco, ... (Below threshold)
Matt:

If you can afford tobacco, alcohol, soda-pop, illicit-drugs, candy, ice-cream etc you can afford to set aside a bit for water and emergency food.

Any recommended storage methods when you could face storms that could destroy your house or flood it? Kit that is inaccessible is useless.

Would burying a large waterproof box in the yard (assuming detached dwelling) work? How about a large floatable container with a very long lanyard in case of a flood?

I understand the best bet is not to be where the possibly predicted natural disaster will occur, but often and for many legitimate reasons one can't evacuate in time.

The point I am making is th... (Below threshold)
GoMommyGo:

The point I am making is that blaming the people in charge may or may not be productive right now. But blaming the victims is ALWAYS counterproductive, especially when it's done by the people in charge.

GoMommyGo said: "I admit, I... (Below threshold)

GoMommyGo said: "I admit, I'm no expert on FEMA. I have been to their web site where I found a memo titled First Responders Urged Not To Respond To Hurricane Impact Areas Unless Dispatched By State, Local Authorities. http://www.fema.gov/news/newsrelease.fema?id=18470"

GoMommyGo, I'd like to point out that you made several comments earlier in this thread where you told us FEMA did not do its job- and now you admit you do not know what its job is.
Wouldn't it have been better to find out _before_ you made the accusation?
Second point- the part you quote points out quite clearly that _state_ and _local_ officials are in charge- not FEMA. That would be people like Blanco, Nagin, and the local NOLA police force.

STate and Local Authorities are presumed to know best where help is needed most urgently and they are in charge for many reasons, and one of them is so that they can best allocate resources and triage the response- in this case the Red Cross is telling people that Blanco and state authorities (NOT FEMA, NOT BUSH) *told* them they could not go into NOLA. IN fact, they were prepped and ready with supplies for the relief of the Convention Center evacuees immediately after the storm and Blanco wouldn't let them in because she didn't want to encourage people to go there- it was one of two official shelters for those who could not evacuate, and she did not want to encourage people to go there by admitting help and assistance and sustenance. I think she should be tried for murder.

I am going to suggest that rather than take our word for what FEMA's job is you continue to read their website, keeping in mind at all times that state and local authorities means *local* officials for the states and towns in which the disasters occur. STate and local authorities does not mean Federal agencies.

I am not sure what or who you mean when you imply that hte people in charge are blaming the victims- the people in charge are, as the link you share points out, state and local officials, and they are blaming Federal Government rather than taking responsibility for their own failures.

I would also point out that most people are not blaming the victims, but rather are encouraging each other and anybody else who will listen to *learn* from the past. Years ago the left could have gotten on board with FEMA's recommendation to stock up on supplies for three days, but they chose to mock it, denigrate it, and display ignorance about the importance of some of the contents- I wonder how many more people would have been prepared if their political bedmates had been foresighted adn thoughtful enough to say, "You know, I still hate Republicans, but stocking up on three days worth of supplies isn't a bad idea." Instead, they chose to say "We hate Republicans and stocking up is stupid... or too hard... or too complicated... or not your responsibility.... or too expensive..."

Nobody is to blame for the hurricane. Local and state officials have much to answer for in their failure to follow their own plans and their blame of the Federal Government for their failure. And personal responsiblity is a good thing- it can keep you from finding yourself in the same situation another time. Refusing to acknowledge individual failures that contributed toward a horrible situation is not helpful or compassionate. That kind of patronization and paternalism is what is counterproductive. It's more likely to produce more people who passively wait for what happens rather than plan for it.

You know, even Mayor Nagin told evacuees to bring three days worth of food and water to the evacuation centers because there would not be much there. Do you really want to insist that those who did not listen to him bear no responsiblity for the results of that decision? Encouraging people to rely on government to the point that they ignore what their own local officials tell them because they expect government to feed them even when it has said it will not is crippling.

Don't forget toilet paper. ... (Below threshold)
Zarba:

Don't forget toilet paper. My wife sure won't...

and Nahinni, don't you thin... (Below threshold)
GoMommyGo:

and Nahinni, don't you think celebrating my predicted death is a bit over the top? Put the compassion back, conservative American.

Ay... this is time consumin... (Below threshold)
GoMommyGo:

Ay... this is time consuming.

"GoMommyGo, I'd like to point out that you made several comments earlier in this thread where you told us FEMA did not do its job- and now you admit you do not know what its job is.
Wouldn't it have been better to find out _before_ you made the accusation?
Second point- the part you quote points out quite clearly that _state_ and _local_ officials are in charge- not FEMA. That would be people like Blanco, Nagin, and the local NOLA police force."

Yes, it would. And I have. According to their website:
http://www.fema.gov/about/
"FEMA Mission
DISASTER (This part of the mission seems to have been accomplished -- irrestible snark). It strikes anytime, anywhere. It takes many forms -- a hurricane, an earthquake, a tornado, a flood, a fire or a hazardous spill, an act of nature or an act of terrorism. It builds over days or weeks, or hits suddenly, without warning. Every year, millions of Americans face disaster, and its terrifying consequences.

On March 1, 2003, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). FEMA's continuing mission within the new department is to lead the effort to prepare the nation for all hazards and effectively manage federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident..."

From the "What We Do" section:
..._prepare_ for emergencies and disasters, _respond_ to them when they occur, _help people and institutions recover_ from them, mitigate their effects, reduce the risk of loss, and prevent disasters such as fires from occurring.

FEMA's MEMO said locals were in charge. Their web page says THEY have statutory authority.

Speaking of FEMA Memos. Here are a few more:

(http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/9/5/16455/30830)
The reports coming out of NO claim that FEMA has blocked aid over and over. They are the bureaucracy that has killed people. Don't defend FEMA, even congressional Republicans aren't that sycophantic.

I understood the author and many of the commenters to imply that if these Katrina victims had just had the whatever (brains, money, foresight, etc.) to make a survival kit, instead of sitting on their hands and waiting for Big Gov't to rescue them, they wouldn't be in this mess. I guess I got that idea from the comments on personal responsibility -- which I am not arguing against. But I expect those who are paid to prepare to also take responsibility for their actions or inactions.

I don't think people who were not there have the moral authority to tell people who were what they should have done.

I would suggest you store m... (Below threshold)
Naman:

I would suggest you store more water. Well informed sources (ok, survivalists, but at least they know this subject matter well) recommend 7 gallons of water per person per day. This seems alot, but it includes water for washing and other non-imbibing activities. Don't forget that the human body can subsist for weeks without food, but only a few days without water.

If I lived below sea level ... (Below threshold)
waterwatereverywhere:

If I lived below sea level in the bottom of a bowl, I'd own a kayak, canoe, boat, or at least a raft.

Subsequently rescuing those too lazy to walk to high ground is thwarting natural selection. Using helicopters to rescue them is ridiculous. LA is full of fishing boats!

GoMommyGo,But I gues... (Below threshold)

GoMommyGo,
But I guess it's OK for you to criticize everything FEMA has done, right? Because, of course, you were right there when the decisions were made to let everybody die.

"I don't think people who w... (Below threshold)
Mary in LA:

"I don't think people who were not there have the moral authority to tell people who were what they should have done."

Well, the fact is that none of us were there -- not me, not you.

GoMommyGo, if you're still here, let me ask you this: Knowing what you know now, and having seen what we all have seen, would you have obeyed the order to evacuate, or would you have trusted the government to rescue your family?

Everyone should include two... (Below threshold)

Everyone should include two funnels (one large, one fairly small), which will save a lot of wasted liquid if transferring, and something that can be used for siphoning. (One of those little tubes and hand-squeeze pumps used for aquarium cleaning would be good enough.)

The correct name for duct t... (Below threshold)

The correct name for duct tape is actually HP tape. As in High Pressure. In the military it comes in olive green.

In Naval Nuke plants it is used to seal low pressue (yep military naming conventions are stupid) lines up to 15 psi.

15 psi is the pressure you get under 30 feet of water.

GoMommyGo, if you are reall... (Below threshold)

GoMommyGo, if you are really reading FEMA's information with objective eyes, how is it that you continue to miss the point that they are not, never have been, cannot be, are not supposed to be, the First Responders?
Look:
"On March 1, 2003, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). FEMA's continuing mission within the new department is to lead the effort to prepare the nation for all hazards and effectively manage federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident..."

Manage federal response and recover efforts does not equal first responder- it means that when the federal government gets involved, it will be that branch of the government known as FEMA- not that it's FEMA's job to respond first or to prevent hurricanes or to operate in place of the state and local officials.
In LA politicians squandored, misused, and abused money given to them to build up the levees. They had money to spend on the Convention Center, on the Governor's mansion, on a new Supreme Court building, on upgrading locks for increasing barge traffic (which was actually decreasing-)- in short, pretty much everything BUT protecting their OWN city. That is not FEMA's fault. The people responsible here are the local politicians and those who elect them.

"From the "What We Do" section:
..._prepare_ for emergencies and disasters, _respond_ to them when they occur, _help people and institutions recover_ from them, mitigate their effects, reduce the risk of loss, and prevent disasters such as fires from occurring."

Nothing here indicates they are first responders. That is still state and local officials- and when the state governor refuses to give control to the feds, as happened here, you cannot blame the results on the agency that was denied any authority or control.

"FEMA's MEMO said locals were in charge. Their web page says THEY have statutory authority."

Where? Nowhere does it say they are the First Responders. Nowhere. Pretty much everywhere they warn that they won't be there for at least 72 hours. FEMA is a federal agency- it does not have and should not have a full response team in every single town and city in this nation.

"Speaking of FEMA Memos. Here are a few more:

(http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/9/5/16455/30830)
The reports coming out of NO claim that FEMA has blocked aid over and over. They are the bureaucracy that has killed people. Don't defend FEMA, even congressional Republicans aren't that sycophantic."

Um- you just linked to the Kos kids and you expect to be taken seriously? Instead of linking to Kos kids how about a link to an actual, factual story? The reports I'm reading coming out of NO claim that state and local officials blocked aid over and over. You want to talk about bureaucracy that kills people? It's the governor who wouldn't let the Red Cross in to the Convention center because she didn't want them comfortable enough to stay- even though she knew that those at the center were those who had no means of evacuating. Or read about the horrible story of St. Rita's nursing home- an evacuation plan in place, buses offered, and the director of the home simply refused to evacuate. They are assuming she's dead. They know that most of the residents are dead. They are still mopping up bodies in there- that's not a FEMA problem- that's local.

"I understood the author and many of the commenters to imply that if these Katrina victims had just had the whatever (brains, money, foresight, etc.) to make a survival kit, instead of sitting on their hands and waiting for Big Gov't to rescue them, they wouldn't be in this mess. I guess I got that idea from the comments on personal responsibility -- which I am not arguing against. But I expect those who are paid to prepare to also take responsibility for their actions or inactions. "

I agree, but that's the mayor and governor. You've given zero specific instances of FEMA failing in their proper responsiblities. You have assigned responsibilities to them that are not theirs.
Look- I am not fond of big government and I think we could do without FEMA altogether. It's slow- that's what behemoths are like. It's bungling- also a trait of large governmental agencies. What they did not do was deliberately deny food and water to the convention center- that was the governor. People DIED in that center- babies dehydrated, while Red Cross buses, stocked adn supplied waited just a short distance away to go relieve them, but the governor refused to let them. What FEMA did not do was to refuse to bus people out because it might result in a liability- that was the mayor. It was the governor who refused to call up even half of the National Guard available to her. It was the governor who refused to let the Feds have any control and then tried to blame them for not doing what she would not allow them to do.
It was the Mayor and Governor who admitted a year ago that they needed a better evacuation plan. It was not FEMA whose officers turned in their badges, deserted their posts, and looted stores- that was the first responders, NOLA police.
Anything laid at FEMA's door so far can be described as bureaucratic bungling- what the mayor and especially the governor have done is deliberately withold resources from people who needed them, deliberately refused to provide aid and succour to their own people, and refuse to follow their OWN evacuation plan.
FEMA cannot fix that. The Mayor told people coming to the convention center and the Dome that they should bring their own food and water because he wasn't supplying much- that people did not listen to him because they thought, as I read one person said, "I'm sure somebody will provide" is not FEMA's fault.

::I don't think people who were not there have the moral authority to tell people who were what they should have done.::

As others have pointed out, if you really believed that, you wouldn't be participating in this thread.

That statement doesn't even make sense. I wasn't in Germany during WW2, either, but I certainly have some moral authority to say what I think should have been done. I wasn't in Mississippi during the period of lychings, church bombings, and denying blacks the right to vote, but I certainly have some moral authority to say that those actions were wrong.
My family was in a pretty disasterous car accident two years ago because a driver took his eyes off the road and allowed himself to be distracted- everybody in the world has the moral authority to tell us that was a mistake, and if he'd paid more attention, the accident wouldn't have happened. It's true, and what's more, we'd be incredible fools if we expected somebody else to protect us from taking our eyes off the road, and we'd be fools if we did not learn from that experience and try to do better in the future.
The Welfare state makes fools of people, and in this case teh mindset it created resulted in thousands of deaths- and that cannot be put at FEMA's door.

I thought the military call... (Below threshold)
Naman:

I thought the military called duct tape "100 MPH" tape? Is that stuff the same or is it a different variety of duct tape? Anyone know?

Naman,Different wa... (Below threshold)

Naman,

Different war.

It was used as a temporary patch for bullet holes in aircraft.

Of course I could be wrong, my military specialty was Reactor Operation. As far as I'm willing to go is to say I've heard rumors of patch jobs. :-)

The military still calls it... (Below threshold)
Matt:

The military still calls it 100MPH tape.

It is ususally OD green or an ugly brown color. Comes in a roll generally larger than duct tape and costs the Govt more of course. Problem with duct tape or any persuasion, is that it doesn't stick real well if trying to apply it in severe cold, or if there is the slightest amount of moisture on the surface. Has a slight tendency to get tacky and slip if the tempatures get really hot (120 or better). However, once duct-tape is stuck and cures for a couple of hours it is there forever.

Not 100% sure how 100MPH got it's name. Last I heard was Vietnam era because it was used to tape the leading edge of helicopter rotor blades to keep them from chipping and would stick until speeds in excess of 100MPH were reached.

Use for everything. Reinforces feet to avoid blisters better than anything else. Also if you are so dirty that 100MPH tape won't stick to you, it is time to find a shower!!

All Dylan's aside, the mos... (Below threshold)
steve:

All Dylan's aside, the most difficult thing to do in a bad situation isn't pulling a trigger on someone.
It's denying a friend your supplies .

I'm still getting clicks th... (Below threshold)

I'm still getting clicks through from this from time to time, and do you know how embarrassing it is to know that people are reading my statement, "The Welfare state makes fools of people, and in this case teh mindset it created resulted in thousands of deaths- and that cannot be put at FEMA's door."

Thousands, as we know, didn't die. I should have known better than to believe the MSM.

well now that some time has... (Below threshold)
claudia:

well now that some time has passed and fingers are about to fall off from pointing....what have we learned from all this? i'm a "rita" victim. and talk about getting screwed by fema and the "gov". most dont even realize we in texas even had a hurricane! wake up y'all, it could happen anywhere, at anytime. pay attention. stay alert. and always be "the boyscout" and be prepared!

in the military, things tha... (Below threshold)
whatever:

in the military, things that are highly functional( or just plain cool) are called "high speed".
Such as "That's a high speed soldier!"
or "That is one high speed tank.".

It obviously is not referring to the actual MPH of said soldier or tank. It can/does apply to,say, an action as well. After witnessing something cool you might hear "That was pretty high speed".

High speed = 100 MPH.
Mystery solved.




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