72 Hour Kit Rotation Required

72 hour kitTime to Check Your 72 Hour Kit

In the September 2013 “Every Needful Thing” newsletter, we included a list of items to pack in an emergency escape bag, AKA your 72-hour kit. Hope you made one!  We included some things that can last a long time and others that have a shorter storage time. This month is a good time to pull out the bag and review it’s contents.

  1. Exchange the food - Did you pack some granola bars and cracker packets? How about some nuts or peanut butter items? Many of these items contain oil of one kind or another that oxidizes or goes “rancid” if kept for over six months. Take out your snacks and eat them – or at least taste them to determine if they are still fit to eat. As you eat them, add these items to a list as a reminder to replace them on your next shopping trip.  It’s a real disappointment to open one of these packs and find them yucky. Can you imagine how bad you would feel if you were in an emergency situation and that is all you had to eat? Do you have an 72-hour kit for your children? Are they still eating those “chicken sticks”? Have their favorite snacks changed? Staying up to date on their  favorites will make a disruptive situation a little more comfortable.
  2. Check clothing sizes - This is a good idea for adults as well as children. Kids are always growing and changing sizes, so make adjustments by including some currently fitting and well used clothes for them.  Since disasters can happen any time of the year, a bag of extra jackets for snow or lighter weight clothes for warmer weather is a good idea. Adults, include some extra socks, “sweats” or jeans and long sleeve shirts that can be rolled up if necessary,. Rain ponchos are a must, how does yours look?
  3. Rotate Batteries & Medicines - Do you have battery operated items like two way radios or flash lights in your kit? Batteries leak when stored for a long time and can ruin the item they’re in.  Remember to store batteries separately. Prescriptions have expirations. Rotate these, too.

Keep Your 72 Hour Kit Updated

References:

http://www.ready.gov/kit

Additional Articles in the April 2014 Issue:

  • A discussion of the importance of “duck and cover” in surviving a nuclear attack
  • What are your plans to provide protein in your diet in an emergency situation? Here are some items to add to your supplies …
  • Are members of your family hearing impaired that might not hear a smoke alarm?
  • Our featured contributor this month is Tess Pennington of ReadyNutrition.com. She shares an article about Bio Mass Briquettes. Now you’ll have an environmentally friendly use for those shredded documents.
  • Sun Ovens are a perfect partner for bio mass briquettes, here’s how …
  • Some of our friends have complained that their yards were so shady that they doubted they could grow anything in a garden. In answer to their questions, here are some plants that can be grown in shade. Don’t give up on your yard either. Read more …
  • Speaking of gardening, do you use Epsom salts? Here’s why.
  • We can all be prepared to take the initiative to save a life, should we be faced with a life or death situation. Here are three critical first aid procedures that can be accomplished with one dressing.
  • Our Solar Chef has included a wonderful recipe for Solar Stuffed Shells. Give it a try, these are yummy.

 

Billie Nicholson, Editor
April 2014

Basic Need: Your 72-Hour Kit

FAMILY SUPPLY LIST

Ready Kids & The Federal Emergency Management Agency present:

Family Supply List

Emergency Supplies:

Water, food, and clean air are important things to have if an emergency happens. Each family or

individual’s kit should be customized to meet specific needs, such as medications and infant formula.

It should also be customized to include important family documents.

Recommended Supplies to Include in a Basic Kit:

- Water, one gallon of water per person per day, for drinking and sanitation

- Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food

- Battery-powered radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert, and extra batteries for both

- Flashlight and extra batteries

- First Aid kit

- Whistle to signal for help

- Infant formula and diapers, if you have an infant

- Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation

- Dust mask or cotton t-shirt, to help filter the air

- Plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place

- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities

- Can opener for food (if kit contains canned food)

Clothing and Bedding:

If you live in a cold weather climate, you must think about warmth. It is possible that the power will be

out and you will not have heat. Rethink your clothing and bedding supplies to account for growing

children and other family changes. One complete change of warm clothing and shoes per person,

including:

- A jacket or coat

- Long pants

- A long sleeve shirt

- Sturdy shoes

- A hat and gloves

- A sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person

Consider these items

Below are some other items for your family to consider adding to its supply kit. Some of these items,

especially those marked with a * can be dangerous, so please have an adult collect these supplies.

- Emergency reference materials such as a first aid book or a print out of the information on

www.ready.gov

- Rain gear

- Mess kits, paper cups, plates and plastic utensils

- Cash or traveler’s checks, change

- Paper towels

- Fire Extinguisher

- Tent

- Compass

- Matches in a waterproof container*

- Signal flare*

- Paper, pencil

- Personal hygiene items including feminine supplies

- Disinfectant*

- Household chlorine bleach* – You can use bleach as a disinfectant (diluted nine parts water to one

part bleach), or in an emergency you can also use it to treat water. Use 16 drops of regular household

liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners.

- Medicine dropper

- Important Family Documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account

records in a waterproof, portable container

September 2013, every Needful Thing                 Billie A. Nicholson, editor

Water Storage and Purification Vital to Emergency Preparedness

Water StorageStoring Water is Essential

In an emergency, public water supplies may become disrupted or polluted, making it unsafe to drink. Since water is more essential to sustaining life than food, properly storing or purifying water will prove vital to getting your family through the effects of an emergency.

The general guideline for the amount of water to store is at least one gallon of water per person, per day – two quarts for drinking and two quarts for food preparation and sanitation. It hotter weather, everyone may require more water than this.

Another recommendation is to have a minimum two-week supply for your home. Three day’s worth of water should be included in your 72-hour kit.

Water should be stored in plastic, food grade containers such as water and beverage bottles. Glass and cartons should be avoided, as one can break and the other decomposes easily. If you have a water bed, that water should only be used for sanitation purposes. It is also important to remember to NEVER store water in old bottles of chlorine bleach or milk cartons, regardless of how well you cleaned them out.

Multiple ways to purify water for drinking:

1. Boil water vigorously for 3-5 minutes. However, a WAter Pasteurization Indicator (or WAPI) can help you use less fuel and energy to heat the water to a temperature that will eliminate pathogens and make it safer to drink. If you are using a Sun Oven, the WAPI will indicate when the water has been heated long enough for it to be pasteurized. See WAPI article on Page 3.

2. Add unscented household bleach (5.25% sodium hypochlorite) as per the chart below. Stir and let stand for 30 minutes. If the water does not have a slight bleach odor, repeat the dosage and let stand for 15 minutes. Use fresh bleach.

3. Water purification tablets (Halizone or potable agua). Different types of tablets are available at drug stores or sporting goods stores. Follow the manufacturer’s directions. Do not use tablets that are yellowish in color and/ or have a strong odor, and don’t use products that are past expiration dates.

4. Iodine: Use 2% tincture of iodine to purify small amounts of water. Add three drops per quart of clear water. Let stand for 30 minutes. NOTE: According to the Department of Environmental Quality, Division of Drinking Water, pregnant or nursing women or people with thyroid problems should not drink water with Iodine.

5. Water from swimming pools can be safely treated and used as drinking water. Let the pool water stand for at least 72 hours to reduce the chlorine level. Do not add chemicals to the pool during this time. Use a combination of ceramic and carbon filter purifying pump/filter to extract water from the pool. This type of filtration system is effective in removing organic contaminates and enough chlorine to render the water safe to drink. Most of these filter types can safely convert up to 13,000 gallons of water before the filtration system needs to be replaced.

Additional tips on water storage and purification 

• Stored water goes flat. Aerate the water by pouring it between two containers.

• Immediately after a major disaster, prevent contamination of home water supply by shutting off the main incoming water valve. If water from the tap looks cloudy or has an unpleasant odor, don’t chance it – PURIFY IT.

• Clearly label and date all storage containers, especially those reused from other products.

• Consider canned soups, juice from canned fruits and vegetables, bottled soft drinks, bottled juice, etc., as sources of liquid.

• Use water stored in the hot water tank, ice cube trays and toilet tank (not bowl)

• Dirty water can be strained through paper towels or clean cloth to remove particulates. Boil and treat with chlorine bleach as directed.

• There is no effective way for home decontamination of water which contains radioactive or chemical contamination

 September 2011, Every Needful Thing                                           Jason M. Carlton

Part II: Color Codes for Emergencies

Last month, we began a series on organizing your neighborhood to be able to work together in case of an emergency. (Part I: Organizing Blocks and Block Captains). This is part two of that series.

In light of recent events along the East Coast – Hurricane Irene and the earthquake in Virginia, our hearts go out to all those affected in the disasters. These types of events also serve as an important reminder about the swiftness and unpredictability of natural disasters. 

September is National Preparedness Month, so we have tried to provide articles that will help families become a little more prepared. I would like to personally challenge everyone to take at least one preparedness item from this newsletter (i.e., color-coded cards, water storage, making a family plan, etc.) and focus on completing that one element of emergency preparedness. 

Emergency preparedness isn’t something that should overwhelm you or put you in debt. It is most easily accomplished by starting in one area, completing that task, and moving to the next. 

Share what you are going to focus on in September by posting it on Sun Ovens Facebook page. Here’s the link: 

http://www.facebook.com/SunOvens 

Jason M. Carlton 

Color Codes Save Time

Color codes

 

In an emergency, time is of the essence. The challenge is weeding out those who need immediate medical attention and those who need basic first-aid. If each household had three colored sheets of cardstock with their 72-hour kits, and if used properly, a lot of time can be saved in an emergency.

Immediately following a disaster, each household should evaluate their injuries and medical needs. Then, using the following descriptions of each color, place either a green, yellow or red sheet of cardstock on the front of their house where it can be easily seen from the street.

RED indicates an immediate need of attention – profuse bleeding, severe life-threatening injury, someone pinned in debris, etc.

YELLOW indicates a delayed need for attention – broken bone, minor cuts or abrasions, someone trapped in debris but not severely injured, etc.

GREEN indicates no need for medical attention or other immediate assistance.

While it is important to use the cards, it is almost more important the cards be used properly. A household using a RED card when the injury is a minor cut can delay responders reaching another household with greater medical needs. This triage system works effectively for the neighborhood only when it is used properly.

One of the ways neighborhoods can assure each resident has these colored sheets on-hand is by encouraging a local Boy Scout to center his Eagle Project around emergency preparedness. The distribution of these cards to each household can be part of that project

September 2011, Every Needful Thing                                                                      Jason M. Carlton

Putting Food in Your 72-Hour Kit

Grab your 72-Hour Kit and Go!72-Hour Kit

In an emergency, many people may need to leave their home quickly. Are you prepared for that, too? Hopefully you have put together a 72-hour kit for each member of your family and have it ready to go at a moment’s notice.

If you haven’t put one together, this article will help you develop a menu for a 3-day food packet that can be easily put together for each family member.

Day 1 

Breakfast - Granola, hot chocolate

Lunch - Tomato soup, jerky,

fruit roll up, candy

Dinner - 1/2 Ramen noodle soup,

fruit bar

Day 2 

Breakfast - Oatmeal, apple cider

Lunch - Chicken noodle soup,

jerky, raisins, candy

Dinner - Peanut Butter/Jelly,

MRE Bread

Day 3 

Breakfast - Granola, apple cider

Lunch - 1/2 Ramen noodle soup, trail mix, candy

Dinner - Cheese & crackers, fruit cup

Feel free to add any additional items to this menu to help make your taste buds happy, as needed. If you are taking any medications, it is wise to include three days’ worth of those medications in your 72-hour kit.

Plan to rotate the food in your kit between six and 12 months. Anything that has oil or nuts will get “rancid” within a few months. Frequent checks will assure what you take is fit to eat.

NOTE: You also want to make sure you have the supplies to cook the food!

August 2011, Every Needful Thing                                                                 Jason M. Carlton

Emergency Preparation – Basic Need: Your 72 Hour Kit

Family Supply List

Ready Kids & The Federal Emergency Management Agency present:

Family Supply List

Emergency Supplies:
Water, food, and clean air are important things to have if an emergency happens. Each family or individual’s kit should be customized to meet specific needs, such as medications and infant formula. It should also be customized to include important family documents.

Recommended Supplies to Include in a Basic Kit:
- Water, one gallon of water per person per day, for drinking and sanitation
- Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
- Battery-powered radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert, and extra batteries for both
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- First Aid kit
- Whistle to signal for help
- Infant formula and diapers, if you have an infant
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
- Dust mask or cotton t-shirt, to help filter the air
- Plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Can opener for food (if kit contains canned food)

Clothing and Bedding:
If you live in a cold weather climate, you must think about warmth. It is possible that the power will be out and you will not have heat. Rethink your clothing and bedding supplies to account for growing children and other family changes. One complete change of warm clothing and shoes per person, including:
- A jacket or coat
- Long pants
- A long sleeve shirt
- Sturdy shoes
- A hat and gloves
- A sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person

Below are some other items for your family to consider adding to its supply kit. Some of these items, especially those marked with a * can be dangerous, so please have an adult collect these supplies.
- Emergency reference materials such as a first aid book or a print out of the information on www.ready.gov
- Rain gear
- Mess kits, paper cups, plates and plastic utensils
- Cash or traveler’s checks, change
- Paper towels
- Fire Extinguisher
- Tent
- Compass
- Matches in a waterproof container*
- Signal flare*
- Paper, pencil
- Personal hygiene items including feminine supplies
- Disinfectant*
- Household chlorine bleach* – You can use bleach as a disinfectant (diluted nine parts water to one part bleach), or in an emergency you can also use it to treat water. Use 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners.
- Medicine dropper
- Important Family Documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container

Emergency Sanitation

When You Lose Water Service

If you have no water service during an emergency, turn off all faucets, valves and outlets. This includes the valve at your toilet. This will prevent flooding when water service is restored. Turn off gas or electricity to your hot water heater. If it runs out of water and keeps heating, the heater will be ruined or might explode.

With no water service, you must find a way to safely dispose of human waste and garbage. If you don’t, you will soon be spending your time taking care of sick people, including yourself. The leading cause of illness and death during disasters is inadequate sanitation, poor hygiene, and contaminated water supplies.

There are three kinds of water

Potable water is drinkable and can be used for cooking and bathing. Gray water is leftover from cooking, washing and other hygienic purposes. It can be used for irrigation of plants or flushing toilets into a septic system or a functioning city sewer. The third kind is black water, sewage containing human waste. You will be responsible for disposing of black water if your septic/sewage system is not working.

A Luggable Loo or bucket toilet can be a good option to have along with your 72 hour kit. Keep basic supplies inside the bucket. They can include toilet paper, baby wipes, garbage bags, disinfectant wipes, feminine products, spray deodorizer and chlorine bleach or other sanitizing chemicals.

Setting Up Emergency Sanitation

bucket toiletTo set up a bucket toilet for use, put a garbage bag inside the bucket. Mix one cup of liquid bleach to two quarts of gray water and pour into the lined bucket. Add a little more disinfectant after each use. Change the bag when it is one-third to one-half full. Carefully tie the top and place bag into a larger lined can. Close toilet lid after each use to control odors. There is a variety of commercial chemicals which will make your emergency toilet smell much better.

If you are able to shelter in place, make a permanent port-a-potty out of your toilet, assuming you do not have sewage backing up into your toilet. With advanced planning, you can have an automatic sewage back-up prevention valve installed on the sewer pipe which exits your house. This will be worth it’s weight in food or gold, if the sewer system fails. It will also prevent rats from crawling up an out of commission sewer pipe into your home.

To set up your in house toilet, make sure the water supply is off. Empty the toilet bowl. Insert a large rag into the exit hole to keep sewer gas from coming up and entering the house. Line the toilet bowl with a 13 gallon plastic trash bag. Duct tape the edges around the back and sides of the bowl completely. Then insert a second bag inside the first. Tape this bag lightly around the sides and lower the seat to hold it in place. Pour a small amount of disinfectant into the bag after each use to help prevent the spread of germs and disease. You may want to add sawdust or poo powder to solidify the liquids. The bag may be used several times before changing.

To change the bag, lift the seat and carefully remove the inside bag by loosening the taped edges. Twist the top edges together and seal the bag. To avoid accidental spills, place an empty bucket right next to the toilet and lift the bag into the bucket. Use this bucket to transport the black water waste outside. Put in a fresh bag, lightly tape and repeat as above. Cover the entire toilet with a 30 gallon trash bag to control odor.

How Much Waste Per Person?

emergency sanitationEach person creates an average of five gallons of human waste each week. The waste, if not handled properly, will stink and make people sick. Never throw human waste on the open ground. If no other alternative is available, bury it in deep trenches and cover with two to three feet of soil,  100 feet away from your house or water supply to avoid contamination. (LDS Preparedness Manual)

 

October 2013, Every Needful Thing       Billie A. Nicholson, editor

Emergency Communications

There are two major aspects of communication

First is remaining informed. What is the current situation, what alternatives are available and how can you get this information? The second is keeping in touch with family members to implement your personal emergency plan, and contacting emergency service personnel, should you require immediate attention.
The biggest problem with keeping informed will come if electricity is out. This means no television or radio and no internet.  Your computer can run on batteries for a while, but without internet you will not be up to date. What do you do?
A battery operated radio, tuned into an AM channel (AM radio waves are omni-directional) will provide some news and weather updates. A hand cranked radio will not require a stock of batteries. Emergency alert radios broadcast weather forecasts and warnings provided by the Emergency Broadcast System. These radios have an alarm system that comes on automatically to give warnings if an alert has been issued in your area.
Citizen Band radio (CB) popular a few years back, can provide useful information about road conditions, but don’t have a long range.

Local emergency scanners will let you listen in to local communications between fire, police, local safety personnel as well as government transmissions. These are more expensive and most useful if you are involved professionally.
Ham radios, also known as amateur radios, are reliable and involve thousands of operators throughout the world. In addition to equipment, and a tower, an FCC license is required. [http://www.aarl.org]

Emergency communications when separated

If an emergency occurs when your family is separated, your stress level as to their location and condition will raise. Your first thought will be to grab your telephone. Is it working? If it needs electricity and the power is out, it is useless. An old, landline phone will.
Hopefully, you have kept your cell phone batteries charged. As long as the towers are functioning, it will work. In a local disaster, the circuits may be jammed with users doing exactly what you are. Shift modes to text messaging. These take less band width and will go through easier.
Also consider that a long distance telephone call may be easier to make than a local one. When you make your Family Emergency Plan, include an out-of-town contact as your family’s contact person. Everyone in your family should have a copy of this contact information and be instructed to phone that number to check in. Take the time to make hard copies of this just in case high-tech equipment doesn’t work.
Emergency CommunicationsAnother option is to have a set of “walkie-talkie” radios. Formally referred to as a hand held transceiver, these are useful for communicating with others while hiking,  biking, and working; keeping track of family members in a crowded public event; checking with travel companions between cars; or talking with neighbors and arranging meeting places. The Cobra Microtalk set we have also has a NOAA all hazards radio channel.

 

October 2013, Every Needful Thing                               Billie A. Nicholson, editor       

 

Before Evacuation

Semper Paratus – Always Ready

This Latin phrase is most well known as the motto and the official marching tune for the United States Coast Guard. Perhaps it should become the motto of the emergency preparedness and food storage specialists as well. In the September issue we discussed the basic needs of preparedness. This month, we will continue this conversation beginning with what to do when we have to evacuate. What reasons would cause you to leave your shelter? Make your list of top 10.

When Sheltering in Place is Not Possible

When sheltering in place is not possible and you know you must go, there are some steps to take to secure and minimize future damage to your property.

Assuming that you have already prepared your evacuation kits (each family member has one), often referred to as “bug out bags,” get them into your escape vehicle, which you NEVER , EVER let the gas tank drop below half full.

Identify where you are going, get the address, and look at your maps to determine alternate routes to the shelter before you get on the road. Take the maps with you.

Remember to take your stash of cash. Hopefully, you have small bills and some coins, too, in case you need to have exact change in vending machines.

Grab your important papers, including emergency contact telephone numbers, extra glasses, medicines and any supplies for children and pets. And don’t forget to pack the children and pets.

Secure the following items:

  • Find your main electric breaker and turn off the main power switch.
  • If you have city water, find your water meter. The shut off valve will be there. This can be a handle (move it perpendicular to the pipe) or a knob (turn it clockwise to close). If you have a well, shutting off the electric will suffice.
  • Turn off any natural gas valve. This will be at the gas meter. May need a wrench.
  • Secure outdoor furniture so they do not become missiles.
  • Lock all doors and windows.

October 2013, Every Needful Thing                                 Billie A. Nicholson

Emergency Preparation – Your Family Emergency Plan

PLAN TO PROTECT YOURSELF & YOUR FAMILY

Prepare yourself and your family for a disaster by making an emergency plan. Most important thing: update and practice your plan.

Download the Family Emergency Plan, print the pages and fill them in offline. This is an In Case of Emergency (ICE) communications listing. Basic descriptions of all family members and contact information are listed. Each family member should have a copy with them at all times. Even if you do not have a personal telephone, with the numbers you can call when you do have telephone access.

Your emergency planning should also address the care of pets, aiding family members with access and functional needs and safely shutting off utilities.

You may also want to inquire about emergency plans at work, daycare and school. If no plans exist, consider volunteering to help create one. Read more about school and workplace plans.

Once you’ve collected this important information, gather your family members and discuss the information to put in the plan. Practice your plan at least twice a year and update it according to any issues that arise.

September 2013, Every Needful Thing                              Billie A. Nicholson

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