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Calamity Kit – Part II

I invited the members to comment on my recent post regarding Calamity Kits. I’m pleased to share the comments I received. I want cherylmillerville to be a very interactive ville, so I’m delighted that we’re beginning to interact like a ville. Let’s do more of that OK?

From Diane… Cheryl, Having just spent the evening in the basement 2 nights ago under a table covered by a mattress, I am inspired to give input to the calamity kit. I’ve been trained that candles and matches are a no-no since I have a gas heater. If any tornado ripped open the gas pipes, and I went to light a friendly candle, I might not live to tell the tale. Diane p.s. I love your newsletters.

From Edith… Dear Cheryl, Don’t forget Peggy Layton’s book, "Emergency Survival and Storage." It is well worth reading. I figured out how to solve the flashlight dilemma. I have ONE flashlight that always works! It plugs into an electrical outlet to recharge. When the electricity goes out, I have about 8 hours of battery-powered light. When I am done using it, it always goes back to the same outlet, right there in the kitchen, so I always know where it is. We can’t have candles because of my husband’s oxygen. One time I woke up in the night to find him sleepwalking and lighting matches, so no more flammable items such as lighters, matches, or candles. (Candlelight services at church are also "out.") We are on the "priority" list, so it is usually not very long before we are hooked up to the grid again. Edith Williams, Lawrence, KS, Community Mercantile employee

From Mary… Cheryl, because we live in Kansas we need to actually contemplate being hit by the tornado and/or at the very least, the possibility of being stuck in the basement for an hour while a storm rages and you truly need to plan for more things !!! If you have a basement, make a shelter corner (it’s a little like planning for a overnight campout, because storms like to pick the middle of the night to get really serious). Consider arranging protective half windshields using your washer and dryer to advantage. Do all this before the storm season hits.

To hold my emergency stash I use a old samonite type suitcase that closes well and that is strong enough to sit on. It will even double for a card table if you are seated on the floor. And inside I store the basics from your list plus storm blankets and small pillows. And keep a piece of rug on the floor if you have kids for them to nap on. You need a duffle with jackets, sweats, and old solid shoes, (think broken glass) plus you don’t always happen to be dressed for storm cleanup when a storm decides to hit. Pack your current clothing back into the suitcase if you do change because they are likely to be suitable for current heat conditions after the storm. Include a roll of toilet paper and baby wipes and a couple strong leak proof trash bags (to make a lined human litter box if you must) a canister of "power bars" or some kind of concentrated food (in a jar so they wont get dirty or spoil) also a pouch or packet with insurance papers, birth certificates, a household inventory list (use photostats if you don’t want to keep your originals here) and one current photo of each family member including pets.

If you have small children throw in a box of crayons and a coloring book apiece and a deck of cards. If you don’t have a basement, these emergency items need to go in a chest in or near your hallway. You might even pack in some canned goods and a can opener and a bar of soap and wash rag. We are elderly so we have our medications that need to be brought into the planning too. And last but not least, don’t forget to grab your pocketbook, bankbook, watch and wedding ring. Now this may sound like a lot of hoopla but don’t forget that it might not look like nearly enough if it is all you have left. I have been in Kansas storms that actually crackled the air inside my home and made my skin crawl with static electricity.

There are several other items that my "storm watcher" husband added. A basic first aid kit, work gloves, a small pry bar, and a proper tool for turning utilites off if you begin to believe you are actually going to be hit.
Mary Glenn, Paola, KS Mary is a 64 yr old ex-birthday party clown

Aren’t these great additions! Thanks one and all for sharing. If these comments sparked a comment in you, please click on the comment link and share your thoughts.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Hi Cheryl

    Having been through two major ice storms, a snowstorm, and a microburst (think tornado), all of which knocked out power for a week or more, three times in the middle of winter, here are some things in my emergency kit:

    First aid kit
    Coleman stove and fuel. Gas or charcoal grills can be used outside.
    A stash of quick to cook meals, like macaroni and cheese or dried meals that only need the addition of water. Include powerdered milk. Power bars are good snacks. These can be used and replaced regularly.
    Several gallons of water stored in the basement which also are rotated and replaced regularly.
    Pet food and litter
    Toilet paper and plastic bags.
    Paper or plastic plates, ceramic mugs, and eating utensils, plus a can opener.
    Candles, matches and a coffee can to set the candle in. Also a coffee can is great for heating water.
    A battery operated radio.

    We are in a severe Northern climate so I would add:

    Sleeping bags, or blankets,or space blankets.
    Kerosene heater.
    Even a generator, if possible.
    Warm clothing that you can layer, including wool hats. Most heat loss is through the head.
    A large cooler to keep milk and other perishables.

    A Coleman lantern is a nice luxury if you are without lights for any length of time and fuel canisters for these.
    A cell phone is handy.
    A deck of cards and a couple of books help pass the time, though I found I spent most of my time simply doing the basics.

    Keeping warm, dry and hydrated are essential. I’m sure there are other things that could be added depending upon your circumstances, like a simple tool kit.


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