Topic Takeover - What would you need for a 72-hour crisis?

(66 Posts)
ThomasRichard Thu 22-Oct-15 00:34:01

No mains water supply.
No electricity grid.
No mains gas.
No public transportation.
Possible extreme weather: snow, heatwave, flooding, hurricane.

OP’s posts: |
MrsTerryPratchett Thu 22-Oct-15 00:37:53


Will be back when DH gets home to give his list!

atticusclaw2 Thu 22-Oct-15 00:38:55

Hurrah! Will be back in the morning to join in!

Whatthefoxgoingon Thu 22-Oct-15 00:39:33

I have to sleep but will be back tomorrow to read your ideas. Marking spot!

MrsTerryPratchett Thu 22-Oct-15 00:43:59

One thing than occurred to me with DD when she was tiny is that in an earthquake zone, there is one very good reason to breast feed. I wonder if Japanese healthcare workers, for example, talk about it. They mention formula in the Canadian information but not means to safely prepare it, without power or running water.

JoelyB Thu 22-Oct-15 00:51:25

Erm. We have stored bottled water. We have a Rayburn and wood, which cooks and heats our hot water (and before you go off on one, we are poor tenants not posh sorts)
We have goats for milk, chooks for eggs, veg in the garden, and a stocked pantry.
We have oil lamps because we are frequent power cut types.
We'd have to walk to check the stock. Or take a horse. But we could do that.
I think we're OK.
I'd be focusing on the older people around me who would need help.

Titsalinabumsquash Thu 22-Oct-15 00:56:22

We have a well stocked store cupboard, bottled water, generator etc etc. We have more than enough blankets and the like to keep warm.
Chickens for eggs (and eating if it came to it!) camping stoves and disposable bbqs and matches.

It's medication we'd be stuffed for, DS is kept alive by the 30+ tablets and news he has a day, they'd run out after a month. sad

MrsTerryPratchett Thu 22-Oct-15 02:14:36

What have you lot started? I asked DH about his prep and he has reminded me that the one thing left off the list was my clothes and toiletries. I have been handed two waterproof bags and been told, "if it doesn't fit, it's not coming'.

He says he used these two sites to 'build' our kit:

MrsTerryPratchett Thu 22-Oct-15 02:18:50

He says only one toothbrush for 72 hours. I asked what if the Zombies? He said, "we will kill for our next toothbrush". I think he's joking hmm

PomBearWithAnOFRS Thu 22-Oct-15 02:40:46

I have an outside cooking area in the garden grin (ie a heavy duty grill over a baldy spot in the grass to build the fire on) and keep charcoal, wood, and those compressed straw eco-brick things in a big plastic storage bin.
We also have a Cobb and a Kelly Kettle with all the doodads, so cooking wouldn't be a problem.
I can turn out a full roast dinner with all the trimmings over an open fire if I have to so that part doesn't worry me.
We have wind up torches, battery operated headlamps, and assorted candle lanterns, and lots of candles and tea-lights to go in them for lighting.
I keep four of those big square plastic things of bottled water stashed, and we have a rain barrel, and get plenty of rain here. I also have water purification tablets and plenty of bleach on hand.
We have hot water bottles and the world's definitive supply of fluffy blankets and onesies as we can never afford to put the heating on anyway, so that wouldn't affect us much, although in a "Day After Tomorrow" type scenario, we would have to have a fire in the living room in the Cobb and fashion a chimney from old tin cans to take the smoke out of the window. (Which I could do without much bother thankfully)
We would definitely be better off bugging in than bugging out though, and most of my plans are for bug in here.
My bug out bag (just for me, each family member has one of their own) has a change of clothes and extra warm socks, a hat and gloves, fire starting kit with wind proof matches, flint striker, and cotton wool pads soaked in vaseline in it, a small fishing kit packed into a tiny tin, a knife and whetstone, wind up torch, teeny hexamine stove and fuel, toothbrush and paste, wet wipes, paracord, box cutter, tie wraps, duct tape, superglue, and a small sewing kit.
I would also shove the family first aid kit in there if I needed it - that goes everywhere with us, and is pretty comprehensive and tailored for our needs, in it's own waterproof case.

winchester1 Thu 22-Oct-15 04:53:43

We have a power but a couple of times a yr. Last yr was 3 days without water, elec (we don't have gas), not sure about public transport as we never use it.
So for us its totally fine, wood burners (2-3 yrs of wood) and cooker, outside loo, loads of candles and batteries for torches. We have our own water but its a pain to turn on so we didn't bother for 3 days just use the bottled tap water we keep around the house. We have food for a few months at least. Although milk would be an issue for the toddlers.

Now if we are talking 72hrs out the house that would be an issue as we don't keep things in the car so would have to bunk with family I suppose.

Stratter5 Thu 22-Oct-15 08:12:57

Absolutely bugging in for all of those, with the possible exception of flooding. The '53 floods didn't quite reach us, but were too close to be complacent.

We have a good, varied stock of food, about 3 months worth, depending on the power situation. Camping stove, normal BBQ, LOTS of sweaters and blankets/throws, and the basement is v warm anyway.

My main panic area (do NOT laugh) is what to do with Piggy if the SHTF. Do I let him go (non native, highly poisonous, v aggressive), or do I just have to accept that he's a goner, no matter how cute his little piggy face is? Actually, writing that down has made me realise I have no real choice sad

winchester1 Thu 22-Oct-15 08:35:53

Sausages all round I think!
Seriously I do wonder what we would do with the dogs. They are working dogs though so could maybe earn their keep if we needed to hunt for food and had ammo left.

atticusclaw2 Thu 22-Oct-15 09:21:58

If we're only talking 72 hours then we would be fine here. We would bug in for all of those scenarios including the flooding (we're on a hill) unless we're talking Noah's ark type flooding in which case we're all gonners anyway.

We heat the house entirely using biomass (log gasification boiler) and whilst that wouldn't work without the solar panel being adapted to give us off grid power (way beyond my capabilities), we do have years and years worth of logs which we could use on the multi fuel stove in the living room. That would give us heat and the ability to cook and make hot drinks.

We have candles galore and oil lamps and matches.

We could easily go for 72 hours without leaving the house/garden (and often do).

We're not as prepared for bugging out. In particular I'm not sure where we would go. We are the best located for any disaster scenario out of all of our friends and family. We do have camping gear though if necessary (although that isn't going to be great in an extreme weather scenario)

I am often amazed at how many people would struggle though with what they have in the house. We have lots of water in large storage containers, collapsable containers, water filtration straw, water purification tablets and bleach (although the cleaner cannot understand that this is for emergencies NOT for sticking down the toilet). We would also be completely fine for food.

One thing I picked up from the national geographic films (on Youtube) was how essential it is to always carry cash. If you're out and about and things stop working and you have to make your way home then cash could be essential. Full tank of petrol at all times was another thing that stuck and a family that is on board (DH just rolls his eyes and occasionally suggests a cross bow) and knows that the rule is get home quickly.

Sansoora Thu 22-Oct-15 09:33:12

We lived through a very severe cyclone about 8 years ago and to be frank there really isn't much you can do when everything comes to a halt. You can make contingencies but there's always a part of the contingency you didn't realise would be relevant and you still end up queer street.

We were prepared for things as we'd had warning the storm was coming but by day 3 of the aftermath I was happy to see the army at the end of my road with a field hospital, water and food supplies. We didn't actually need them but others did.

One thing I did learn from it though was to never have my 3 chest freezers bulging full again because without electricity, or even with a generator, everything was spoiled.

I had neighbours who died, they were washed away in the car just round the corner from our homes. So apart from the sadness of that I learned that when the authorities say to stay indoors - you really should listen to them.

The experience changed me quite a bit and I'll never forget the joy of having a shower with half a bucket full of water and a sponge on day 4 when my husband said - ok we can all have a wash now, the water situation is getting better.

Oh and my son, my severely disabled son - it was a nightmare for him. No internet, no ac, no ice cream, no anything. God forbid we ever go through it again.

Sansoora Thu 22-Oct-15 09:34:36

sorry, just to add - its not like it is on TV or at the movies.

atticusclaw2 Thu 22-Oct-15 10:01:40

I think the problem is that here in the UK we are so complacent. We don't tend to get much extreme weather, not in a high risk area for earthquakes etc and so if you are even vaguely prepared for any sort of emergency or long term scenario people think you're slightly unhinged.

I make a joke out of my store cupboard/garage but should really just have kept completely quiet about it. Its hard though because I would really like my extended family to be prepared themselves and so I do end up discussing it.

We get snowed in here if the snow comes down quickly and so we've had a week of not being able to get out (well actually we could probably have walked to the nearest village but it would have taken a while). We were completely fine and it was just like being on holiday. Last year we had a 30 hour power cut when the lines came down in strong wind and again it was completely fine. Lots of candles, good torches, log burner going, kettle on top of the boiler and a couple of battery power packs keeping the phones fully charged. We have a corded phone for power cut situations. We did discover that we had to abandon the cars half a mile down the lane because the electric gates wouldn't open but have since added gate keys to our keyrings so that we can open them when the power is off.

Sansoora Thu 22-Oct-15 10:23:55

The machinery for our pool is underground and to get down to it there's a flight of stairs. From the top stair down to ground level its about 15 foot. It was almost full of flood water and there were bloody snakes swimming around it :D I never had a plan in place for that. Well why would I because in the then 32 years I'd lived here I'd never seen a snake. I'd hate to think where the buggers are now.

Power cuts - we live with them all the time, especially in the summer. And its far easier to keep warm in a cold climate than it is to stay cool in 120 degree heat.

Just the general level of puzzlement. Emergencies aren't organised, they border on the ridiculous and you're left scratching your head and thinking WTH? I can still recall opening my curtains and seeing 3 brand new cars up a lampost, they'd been washed away from outside a showroom and were piled up on top of each other like a sandwich.

Then there's the fun of the authorities opening the dams in order for there to be an organised emptying of them rather than them bursting open. If you've never seen a wall of water you haven't lived wink

BrandNewAndImproved Thu 22-Oct-15 10:24:17

If I was stuck in my flat for 72hrs me and the dc would be fine.

We would eat cold food I always have a cupboard full of tins and cheese and bread. I have 4 bottles of water in the cupboard but would fill the bath using the water in my emersion so we could still flush the loo by using a bucket of water. I also have frozen fruit and frozen ready to eat chicken in the freezer.

I have loads of books to read! I would also tape up the windows so no outside air could come in. Not sure if that would work but if it was ebola I'm not taking any chance.

Sansoora Thu 22-Oct-15 10:25:52

Not sure if that would work but if it was ebola I'm not taking any chance.

yeah cos no amount of garlic and crucifixes are going to work against ebola.

BrandNewAndImproved Thu 22-Oct-15 10:36:20

My windows don't shut properly, the curtains move when it's windy outside. I also don't have a garden so the windows are directly on the grass outside. If someone with ebola (it is the ebola topic) was puking outside my window I wouldn't want their air particles of puke coming in.

atticusclaw2 Thu 22-Oct-15 10:37:29

Panic often comes I guess because nobody ever says "don't worry folks we guarantee the power will be back on in 72 hours." You have no way of knowing whether it would be 72 hours or 72 days.

In New Orleans, by the time those with some food in the house ventured outside on day three, everything was gone from the shelves of the looted stores, including all the non emergency items like toys and tvs.

72 hours would be fine for lots of people. You could actually just not eat for 72 hours if you had to. But who is to say that it wouldn't be much longer.

atticusclaw2 Thu 22-Oct-15 10:39:59

We've taken over the Ebola topic brand because MNHQ won't give us a general prepping and emergencies topic.

One of the things all survival sites seem to recommend is duct tape. Duct tape is good for everything (including sealing gaps around windows).

I need some more since DH keeps using it for "normal" things DIY related angry

BrandNewAndImproved Thu 22-Oct-15 10:42:43

Oh ok atticus, do you think it's an odd idea to duct tape the windows shut? The gaps are because they don't shut properly.

Sansoora Thu 22-Oct-15 10:45:24

I think I would keep silicone sealer to hand for the windows and save the duct tape for tying the kids up and locking them in a cupboard because the TV's not working.

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