Archive for May, 2014
- Frequently clean roofs, gutters, yards and landscape to eliminate combustible material.
- Have a a Survival Plan in place that includes a family communications plan.
- Keep a ladder that will reach the roof and high places in the house.
- Make sure you have at least 2 weeks supply of emergency foods, purified water and personal protection.
- Keep An Emergency Car Kit in your car at all times.
- Have a water plan – Keep a power hose with long range of use.
If your Home or Neighborhood is immediately affected…
- Remain calm. Listen to the radio or television for updates and evacuation information.
- Be prepared to evacuate immediately. Keep your Survival Kit both in your home and in your car—including food, purified water, emergency power, smoke-inhalation masks and appropriate tools.
- Wear protective clothing when outside – sturdy shoes, cotton or woolen clothes, long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, gloves and mask (or handkerchief).
- Have an arrangement for temporary housing at a relative or close friends. (Barring that, have a list of pre-designated community emergency centers.)
- Place a ladder against the house in clear view.
- Keep important papers, valuables and critical documents in a fire-proof container and have them ready to move at a moment’s notice.
- The most dangerous aspect of fires is smoke-inhalation. Make sure you have smoke masks and be ready to evacuate before smoke becomes a serious threat to breathing.
- Move flammable furniture into the middle of a room.
- Keep An Emergency Car Kit in your Car updated at all times.
Post Fire Recovery Tips
- Do not try to return home unless cleared to do so. (Use local alert systems to stay informed.)
- Most Wildfires last several days. Be prepared to be away from your home for at least a week until the fire is officially cleared.
- If you have evacuated, do not reenter your home until fire officials say it is safe.
- For several hours after cleared from the event maintain a “fire watch.” Check for sparks and smoke in the house.
- If you detect heat or smoke when entering a damaged building, evacuate immediately.
- Avoid damaged or fallen power lines, poles and downed wires. Avoid all contact with electrical outlets and compromised power sources in your home.
- Follow public health guidelines for safe cleanup and removal of ashes, carbon-compromised and scorched materials.
- Try to minimize breathing dust particles and after-smoke.
- Use non-flammable cleaning materials.
- Discard any food, water or beverages that have been contaminated by smoke or scorched.
- Do not use any water source that you think may be contaminated.
- Avoid compromised appliances until proper professional evaluations have been made.
Here are three action steps to help you get prepared right now….
1. Register now for a FREE Survival Plan at Survivalplan.com
2. Click here to get the best up to date Survival Kit on the market.
3. Click here to get yourself a Three Day Three Person 24,48, or 72 Hour Emergency Long Term food Kit.
Alternate plans to provide your own utilities might seem like a complicated matter, but they don’t have to be. If, after an emergency, water is no longer running, there’s no need to die of thirst sitting in your house. Replicate the actions of your local water treatment facility and you’ll have safe water in no time. Here’s how to set up a small system for water disinfection and usage right on your kitchen countertop.
Get The Gear
For this setup, I’m using one of the commonly available blue water jugs with a spigot for my clean water reservoir, a 5-gallon water cooler jug as my disinfecting vessel, a jug of concentrated bleach, a large funnel, a stainless mesh strainer, a pack of coffee filters (the flat, round ones are best), a raw water collecting bucket, and a bowl of bleach water with a rag for disinfecting surfaces.
Before you can start disinfecting water, you’ve got to find some. Hit your backyard rain barrel, your nearby creek, or any other source of local fresh water. No matter how clean it may look, it should be considered contaminated by harmful organisms and in need of disinfection. Use your designated bucket to bring it back to the house.
Your local water plant filters raw water in a variety of ways, and so should you. The raw water you collect might be muddy or dirty, or contain visible particles. A quick trick to filter it is to pour the water through a coffee filter or a clean cloth. For ease of use, I lay this filter in a kitchen strainer, and put that in a large funnel. I’ll pour the raw water from the bucket through this filter, into the water cooler jug. Let the water stand for several hours if it is muddy, and just pour the clearer water off the top. This will make disinfection much more effective. Remove the funnel and strainer when you’re done and put it in the bucket to avoid cross-contamination of wet surfaces.
Your next step is to carefully use ordinary household bleach to disinfect water. Read the labels before you start doling out chemicals. Ordinary bleach is 5.25% or 6% sodium hypochlorite, and it can be used for disinfection at a rate of 2 to 4 drops of ordinary chlorine bleach per quart of water. However, many bleach manufacturers have gone to a “concentrated” bleach solution, which is 8.25% sodium hypochlorite. If this is the case with your bleach, keep your minimum dose to 2 drops per quart, and lower the maximum dose to 3 drops per quart. As a rule, colder water needs a little more bleach than warm water, and muddier water needs more bleach than clear water.
Calculate and then double-check the numbers to figure out how many drops of bleach you’ll need for the volume of water you have. Once the bleach is added, shake the container for a minute. Use your cloth and bowl of bleachy water to wipe down the bottle exterior and any surfaces that may have had raw water splashed on them. Set the bottle in a dark place, or at least in the shade, for one hour. In that time, the bleach will kill any pathogens and make the water safe to drink. Pour it in the water carrier with the spigot, and you now have safe running water again. Use it wisely.
Whether there is a disaster, a water shortage, or the power went out on your electric well pump, follow these steps and you’ll be back on the path to safe water. Just be aware that chemical disinfection doesn’t remove toxins, fallout, etc. It just kills the living pathogens that would make you sick.
What would you do if the water stopped running? Tell us your plan in the comments…….
Thanks to Tim Macwelch at OutDoor Life