How prepared are you really?

Discussion in 'Preparedness & Survival' started by powersbj, Jun 30, 2009.

  1. powersbj

    Seattle Area
    Active Member

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    Seems like most worries here is Great Late PNW earthquake. So other than our stash of food, ammo, and hopefully medical supplies what else have you done?

    Strapped down the water heater?
    Is your house foundation anchored?
    Is your carport braced?
    Do you have a wrench near your gas/water supply?
    Do you know how to get water out of your hot water tank?
    Are your heavy dishes all in lower shelves?
    Do you own heavy work boots and gloves?
    Supplemental heat in case its in the winter, water for the summer..

    Please continue the list and fill in things forgotten.
    ikemay, Sgt Nambu and Certaindeaf like this.
  2. toys


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    you really cant truely prepare for everything. you can do a minimal/reasonable amount and go from there. Just because you brace/reinforce something for a particular magnitude eqarthquake, doenst mean we cant have one larger.

    being able to improvise is good also, thinking outside the box when needed.

    keeping your cool when everyone else is running around like chicken little will help.
  3. CEF1959

    Willamette Valley, Oregon
    New Member

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    Hehe. That's actually a good point about the gas lines. What a cruel irony if all your stockpiles of supplies went up in flames 10 minutes into the disaster when your house burned down.

    When San Francisco suffered its catastrophic earthquake in 1906, most of the damage was caused by fires. A lot of those fires resulted from chimneys toppling over, sending hot coals all over wooden structures. But a lot were caused by busted gas lines. Broken gas lines caused fire damage in the more recent SF quake in 1989, though with much less damage.

    One big difference in 1989 (and today) is that modern gas lines are supposed to be built to a code that anticipates sustaining earthquake damage. But there are limits.
  4. eldbillbo

    New world samurai and a redneck none the less

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    Very good points as this would be the most likely disaster to happen in the PNW with the exception of title waves
    more info here
  5. Natty Bumpo

    Natty Bumpo
    Clackamas County
    Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Simply by not living in or near a city makes gives one a huge advantage. Most of the serious problems will be likely be "social" rather than "supply" related in a natural disaster setting.

    The sole disadvantage I can think of by living rural would be potential difficulty in getting to a larger town for medical treatment.
  6. Randini


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    I agree you really can't truely prepare for everything, but if you are a hard core survivalist who wants to try and be prepared for say WW3 one thing to consider is your health, therefore you would have all your teeth pulled after all a dentist may not be around after WW3.:laugh:
  7. SheepDog223

    Well-Known Member

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    It doesn't cost anything extra to keep a barrel of gas or diesel and a barrel of water around. Just rotate the fuel and water once a year and repeat. Might work best to use up the gas in the summer time when prices are the highest and refill in september or so. Then you'll be prepared 11 months out of the year. If you need a barrel I think I might know a guy. :)

    Also insulation for your house would be nice if you had to ration your heating.
  8. MountainBear

    Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Living on the dry side of the cascades in the shadow of some rather ominous volcanic mountains, my worries tend to lend themselves more towards wildfires and volcanic eruptions (although I suppose earthquakes would accompany those).
    In preparing for fire evacuations, I keep my valuables in one place. My documentation, bank documents, photocopies of ID's, etc. are kept in a location that I can grab them and go with a moment's notice. A lot of the "preparation" I do is to not let my stuff get too spread out. Putting my tools away, keeping guns in the safe, keeping my hiking/hunting/bug-out gear in its cabinet are all becoming habits. I try to keep a few extra gallon jugs of water in the refrigerator. If necessary, I could be comfortable, fed, and watered for four or five days if asked to evacuate (without additional shelter, honestly, I'd feel safer in the woods than in a red-cross shelter).
    I don't have gas lines in my house, so no worries there. The house was well-built, to code, so it should hold up okay. As for getting water out of the water heater or the like, I'm not sure it would be necessary. But I expect I could figure it out.
  9. Sun195

    Pugetropolis, WA
    Well-Known Member

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    Eathquake Prep "stuff" - besides the usual food/water/whatever:

    1) Moved from our 1927 house on post-n-pier foundation (which would have been difficult to retrofit) to a 1986 house w/ slightly better earthquake standards. I had mixed feelings about the 1927 house - on the one hand, post-n-pier isn't any good for earthquakes; on the other hand, it had survived several moderate earthquakes during its life w/o major damage. There are probably upgrades that should be done to our current house, but we're considering a remodel/build-out of the basement & I'm reluctant to do anything until then.

    2) Taken CERT training - which is a pretty good general training for most disaster situations. Whether your neighbors form an "official" CERT team with you or not, it's a good skill set to have - cribbing, searching, avoiding hazards, etc. If you have the chance to take this, I highly recommend it.

    3) Gas/water shut-off wrench in my disaster prep supplies. Also other tools like crowbars, shovels, fire extinguishers, etc.

    4) HAM License - good for listing to what's going on in an emergency; should probably join ARES/RACES, but I'm just not that into it...

    On my to-do list:

    1) Strap the water heater: need a new heater, so will do this when we replace it

    2) Replace gas fittings to appliances - I understand these can fail in an EQ and there are better ones to connect your stove/dryer/etc.

    3) Earthquake Valve on Gas Main - not certain I'll do this yet, but these cut your gas if things get a'rockin.

    4) Bolt various book cases to the wall - need to do this; haven't yet

    5) Acquire a chainsaw - most of the homes around here are wood; seems like a chainsaw would be a useful tool for search-n-rescue (plus, I'd just like to have one...)
  10. artifactr

    Seattle, WA

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    Yea, many people seem concerned with bugging out. It may be much more likely that the best option is to stay put and secure your home in a time of emergency. If you have no power or water, will you have a backup source of heat? will you have enough water and food? for a week? a month?
    It's important to remember that Mindset>Skillset>Toolset. But you will probably need all three to truly be a survivor. Being prepared starts with having the correct mindset to deal with any situation. Make plans for the what-ifs and then make a back up plan. Learn to use all that fancy gear you may have. Try going in the woods for a week and living off the land. *read and take classes* like CERT which will also help you to build a network. Remember that almost no one will survive alone.
    I think living in the NW there's alot of things that could happen, whether it's a wave, quake, eruption, or missiles flying over the Pacific at some of our many military installations in the area. The best we can do is plan for the worst and hope for the best!
  11. mxitman

    N. Seattle

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    I'm trying to get as prepped as I can for the big quake, my house was built in 1938 and has since been updated in 1997 with foundation bolts, new wiring and plumbing to name a few. I had a earthquake valve put on my gas line last year when we remodeled our kitchen. I also installed a 1" electric solenoid valve on my incoming water supply, it's a normally closed valve that needs 120V to open, I have it wired through a water/floor sensor circuit, if it detects water it automatically shuts the valve off, or if we lose power the valve closes. it can be opened manually if needed.

    I also have a considerable stash of food,water,cooking fuel,heating fuel etc. The usual firearms and self defense stuff. I also have extra blankets, tarps, and 4x8 sheets of plywood, 2x4's &* 4x4's up 12' in length in case I need to shore up part of the house,nails,screws,padlocks,cablelocks,etc... My wife thinks I have too much stuff and thinks I'm kinda crazy sometimes when I make her do drills, like shutting off the gas and water lines outside the house at night with no flashlight, I tried making her change the tire on her car for practice one night but I couldn't get anywhere I have all of the bookcases screwed to the walls with L-brackets, but I couldn't do nothing about where the heavy items sit on the shelves.

    I've looked into the cert training and want to do that this fall if I can get the time, I also have a pretty comprehensive first aid/trauma kits setup in the house. fire extinguishers in almost every room along with flashlights and enough batteries for 2 years probably. I also have a detached garage and keep half of most of my supplies there so it's in 2 locations in case I have a total loss with the house.

    I'm sure when it happens though there will be something I forgot, but what can you do except prepare and practice. Something that most people wouldn't think of to have specially in a earthquake zone is hydraulic jacks, I have (4) 25 or 30 ton jacks that I used to re level my house that I keep in the garage. If need be I could pick up almost anything to get someone out or to shore up a beam in a house. Very handy to have. I also have the chainsaw too, plus all my gas cans are kept separate and all are labeled like; (plain gas mower, 32:1 Mix Weed Wacker, 50:1 Mix Generator, Diesel) I have just a small generator which is easy to move and lock up behind the house.

    I setup my electrical with a generator sub panel it only feeds my refrigerators,freezers,Gas furnace, electrical outlets on main floor and bathroom upstairs. I only have one breaker on at a time during use. Used it 2 winters ago when we had that big storm and it worked good, our power was out for 3 days.

    just some of my preps, it's just keeps going
  12. Sgt Nambu

    Sgt Nambu
    PDX OR
    Member Emeritus Silver Supporter

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    When you live in the city it's good to have Social Adjustment Tools!:D
    BTW, not nearly prepared enough!
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2014
  13. Frankenrifle

    Active Member

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    These days those items should be scanned and placed on a dedicated thumbdrive or SD card. With the ubiquity of smart phones that can display PDFs/.GIFs there is no reason to keep paper copies anywhere but in a safe-deposit box. With the incredible storage capacity you get with an SD card you can store your important documents for all of your family members and even include maps to local Red Cross shelters, detailed books on first aid, and itemised lists of your possessions for the insurance adjuster.
    Sgt Nambu likes this.
  14. WashCoDad

    Active Member

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    Earthquake supplies is what every non-prepper will even buy things for.
    Major items I stock for an earthquake:
    Ins policy that covers my house.
    Propane grill kept 10ft away from structure with 2 extra tanks and lighter.
    Everything else kept in tin can shed away from all other sructures.
    Axe, shovels, basic hand tools.
    Case of Water and Steri Pen to drink from rainwater tank.
    Couple sheets of plywood and screws.
    Case red bull.
    Case ramen cups.
    Bucket toilet with tp for the lady folk.
    Few gas cans.
    Spare tent.
    Our old pot to boil water.
    Ruger 10/22 set up to look like AR. With flashlight and spare ammo.

    Have more supplies in the garage for most other disasters but might not do me any good if house comes down on them.
    Sgt Nambu likes this.
  15. Sgt Nambu

    Sgt Nambu
    PDX OR
    Member Emeritus Silver Supporter

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    I do something very similar. My garage is detached from the house so chopping and digging into it are not out of the question. I keep a full array of supply's in it including an 8 man tent and bedding, food, water and an SKS w/ a 30rnd mag and plenty of ammo. I also have a set of pioneer tools outside to aide in getting into a collapsed building.
  16. John H

    John H
    Whatcom County
    Well-Known Member

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    Don't forget to have a list of all neighbors is a .5 mile radius , which ones are Obama or Hillary supporters, or anti gun , or bleeding heart liberals or what ever for houses to hit if need be.

  17. mjbskwim

    Well-Known Member

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    How do you build ANYTHING under ground to earthquake specs?
    I mean the earth shifts,it cuts the lines. You think the new plastic lines are better suited for this? They may stretch a little more but there is no earthquake proof anything under ground

    Know where your water meter is if you have one. Learn to shut it off also.
  18. Martini_Up

    NW USA
    Well-Known Member

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    Most of the spreading of the fire was caused by Army Gen. Funston from the Presidio using dynamite and black powder in an attempt to create a fire break. Seems they didn't really now really how to use it and blew things to hell and spread the fire even more... not to mention the artillery they used on buildings :eek:
    Sgt Nambu likes this.
  19. Znztivguy

    Znztivguy New Member

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    Before all of that....
    After retiring I gained 40 lbs after having my first child....
    WELL....I guess what I'm going to do, is be active and hit the gym and train as if calamity were to happen tomorrow.
    Gear I have.....
    Strength of will I have....
    Training I have....
    PHYSICALITY to pull it all off...... I rate myself as a -1 start from the beginning......

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