Oct192012

10 Comments

All-Purpose Prepping Lists for North Texas and beyond!

Guest post by Kathleen H.

After experiencing a 3-day span of no electricity in a snowstorm that took out hundreds of utility poles, we survived. We did the best we could with what we had, which at that time wasnt much.

image by John Mundy

My mother-in-law and brother-in-law lived up the road one mile. During the aftermath of the storm, you could travel by tractor, but not by car. There was one small generator between the two houses with options to plug in two things. My family of 4 would travel up to their house to sleep at night and during the day we came home. We both had propane heaters in the bathrooms for some warmth. We took turns using the generator as needed to keep the fridges running for some time. We would cook on the charcoal grill. YUMMMMM, not! My house was out of power for 3 days, but my in-law’s house was without for 5 days.

This was the beginning of my prepping.

After power was restored, I started buying things I felt we needed. We live in a very rural area, 6 miles from the closest community with a very small grocery store. I had a big list with lots of needs. I felt overwhelmed as I kept adding to the list, but my thoughts were coming fast and in no particular order, so I had to slow down and organize. This is what I came up with:

Heating, lighting and cooling

Generator of some size, hopefully for the whole house (still don’t have that one)

Fuel for said generator in store-able containers

Flashlights of different types and sizes

LOTS of batteries for each type of light

Lanterns

Oil lamps with oil and wicks

BUDDY propane heater

Small propane bottles for heater

Solar powered LED yard lights (bring in at night to use) BUY GOOD ONES!

Fans – hand held battery operated

A battery operated larger fan

Candles, matches, and waterproof matches, too

Tea light votives (I have these everywhere)

Battery operated candle lights

Portable heaters to plug into generator

Plug-in night lights that turn into flash lights when power goes out

Other useful items to have on hand

Car or solar chargers for all electronics. Keep electronics charged at all times!

Apps for the IPAD and smartphones:

  • Flashlight
  • Compass
  • First Aid handbook
  • Survival handbooks

Portable DVD player/mp3 player, etc.

image by ccarlstead

Board games

Puzzles

Books

Coloring books and crayons or colored pencils

Playing cards

Portable radio

Solar blankets

Flash drives with all important info

  • Birth certificates
  • Shot records
  • Pet records
  • Marriage licenses, etc
  • Deeds to properties along with mortgage company information
  • Car titles
  • Social Security cards (copies)
  • Banking information – all accounts; include safe deposit box information
  • Lists with names and numbers of doctors, dentists, pharmacies, etc.
  • Lists of meds taken, dosage, doctor and condition taken
  • Copies of credit and debit cards, front and back
  • If you have assets (CDs, stocks,etc.) have the info to get to your agent.
  • Pastor’s contact information
  • Contact information for family out of the area
  • CASH!
  • Photos of house, cars, and belongings-each room!
  • Legal documents (wills, restraining orders, divorce, military service, passport, etc.)
  • Flash drive with back up of computer storage! VERY IMPORTANT!
  • Recent photos of all family members and pets.
  • Addresses and other info of people who are your ICE contacts
  • Copies of all drivers licenses or issued photo ids
  • Copies of insurance agent’s info and policies for
    • Home
    • Car
    • Life
    • Health

First Aid/Health List

  • Medical kits-small for the cars and large for the house
  • Extra meds, bandaids, supplies for use in an emergency
  • Meds for anyone that uses them including pets (at least a 3 day supply)
  • Q-tips
  • Cotton balls
  • Alcohol prep pads
  • Alcohol and hydrogen peroxide
  • Meds for colds, coughs, flu
  • Meds for diarrhea, gas, constipation, nausea, dizziness
  • Allergy meds, sinus meds
  • Sinus cleanse bottle and tubes of meds for it
  • Thermometers
  • Soaps, shampoos
  • Washcloths, towels
  • Antibacterial soap
  • Steri-strips
  • Syrup of Ipecac
  • Good chart for poison anecdotes
  • Rattlesnake kit
  • Toilet paper and Kleenex
  • Baby wipes
  • Turkey baster (or something else to flush out wounds)
  • Extra toothbrushes and toothpaste with covers
  • Bottled water-lots of it!
  • Rags for using in splints or wounds
  • Dental floss
  • Deodorants
  • Lotion
  • Sun screen
  • Caldescene powder
  • Benadryl creams, lotions and pills
  • Anti-biotic creams
  • Gauze pads
  • Bandage wraps
  • Keep your old crutches, boots, etc.

Pet Supplies

  • Leash (make sure they always wear a collar)
  • Toys and chew things
  • Food
  • Meds including monthly worming, etc.

Cooking in a crisis

With power out, there are only a few things you can do in the cooking department. If your generator has outlets, you can use the outlets to plug in a small appliance here or there to help in the cooking department.

I did purchase a two burner hotplate that can be plugged into the generator for cooking. We used the charcoal grill for several things, but after that we purchased a propane grill. It also has a burner on it. Either way, make sure you have plenty of charcoal and/or propane.

Other things I recommend based on my experiences:

  • Manual can opener with varying ways to open cans.
  • Ice chests to fill with ice and food to be put in snow (winter)
  • Keep a supply of peanut butter and crackers (or your allergic equivalent)
  • Jerky
  • Peanuts, sunflower seeds, almonds, etc.
  • Canned Spam
  • Ramen noodles
  • Dry cereal
  • Granola bars
  • Power bars
  • Gatorade
  • Packaged tuna salad kits
  • Cans of fruit
  • Heat and eat soups
  • STORE IN RODENT PROOF CONTAINERS!!!!!

Since that time several years ago, I have prepped in many ways. This is just a small part of what I continually work on. I am now working on a notebook with information about things I have found to be useful from the internet. First aid is my main focus right now.

My prepping supplies have increased, as has my prepping in general. I have learned so much, and constantly learn more.

It is an awful feeling to have when you can’t do anything about the situation. With children or not, with pets or not, with seniors or not.

My mom’s prepping story

image by sabertasche2

As a side story, my 83 year-old mother lives alone in a city in Texas. She has medical issues, including wearing hearing aids that she removes at night. She has an alarm system which gives her peace of mind.

I was spending the night with her when about 2 AM the power seemed to be reduced, lights dimmed, fans slowed, and then everything went completely dark. I grabbed my phone and turned it so the light would come on, then powered on my iPAD to the flashlight app. It let me see well enough to get down the hall to check on my mother who hadn’t heard anything, even as the alarms were going off, not in the screaming mode but more of a quiet alarm sound.

After I got her calmed down, I asked for flashlights that were scattered here and there. I had given her a lantern, but it did not have batteries. After about 30 minutes, I was able to get the lantern going. With no radio or TV for info, we didn’t know that there was a DON’T DRINK THE WATER code out. HMMMMMM Electricity came back on after 3 hours.

You would think a city of 250,000 would have been a little bit more prepared. The next morning, many places were closed due to the BOIL WATER NOTICE. I had decided to take my mother to the store and get her some things so that she would be better prepared if this happened again. Wal-Mart was crazy with people buying water. They even had a Greeter standing in the water aisle. People were buying flashlights, lanterns and other supplies like crazy!

We did find her two lanterns and batteries (which are now installed). We got one of the nightlight type lights that becomes a flashlight when the power goes out and a hand crank radio from RED CROSS with solar charger and USB port. I made sure we bought her a case of water to have on hand and there is a flashlight app now installed on her iPAD.

I feel much better about her now with these purchases of less than $75.00. Did she want to do this? NO! But after that experience, she understands why I prep the way I do.

 

 

There may be links in the post above that are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission, which does not affect the price you pay for the product. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers.

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I'm the original Survival Mom, and have been helping moms worry less and enjoy their homes and families more for 5 years. Come join me on my journey to becoming more prepared to handle everyday emergencies and worst case scenarios.

(10) Readers Comments

  1. Sometimes, it really takes a situation to awaken our survivor senses and start preparing for the next situation that may or may not happen. I admire your dedication to really prepare everything if in any case something happens in your area again. And I’m more than glad to see that you have included sorts of LED lights on your lists. I do hope you and your mother are safe at all times and do continue to use LED powered lights and candles for your own safety.

  2. We used to live in a rural area in eastern Colorado ,I started to get into prepping after waking up with 6ft snow drifts in my drive way and only maybe 2days of food for my family of 5. Now we have moved back to my husbands home town in northern Tennessee with his parents til we can get on our feet.I have now got my mother in law in to at least some prepping since we can get both snow and tornados or some severe weather and you never know when the power is going to go out,ice/snow storm hits,etc. We are slowly building up our was for heat,lights and food.Now my only issue that I have to figurs out is how to prep for my husbands needs since he has seizures that several things may trigger to include heat and stress. Anyone have any good ideas?

  3. I would look at a vented space heater rather than an electric heater. Electric heaters draw a LOT of power. You wil need a Huge generator to run them and if not tied to your home wiring BIG, read expensive, and easily stolen extension cords to safely run them.

    If you are running a liquid cooled genset you can run a remote radiator inside yout home with a fan on it to provide heat and electric. This adds cost to set up and maintence as more fluid is needed to fill the system you also still need the radiator outside as you do not want that heat pumped into your house if the need to run the generator in the summer.

    If you have non electric central heat it will be possible a to hook it to the generator and still use less electric than the small electric space heaters.

    A propane or natural gas stove or indoor safe burner set will serve you much better than the electric hot plates as they will place a very high demand on your generator. Remember electric stoves and ovens run on 220V for a reason. Electric heat generation requires a lot of power and is inefficient.

    Fans are a consistent and high draw so are hard on batteries and will quickly drain them.

    If you think you will need to run the generator for days on end make sure it is designed to run that way. I prefer a liquid cooled diesel or natural gas or propane unit depending on the fuel you have available. Gas goes stale quickly and your cans should be rotated out on a regular basis.

    A word of warning the number of watts listed on the generator for advertising especially on “consumer grade” lower priced generators is a SURGE rating that they can only produced for a short period of time like athe starting of an electric motor. They typically can only put out 1/2 this stated amount on a continous basis.

    You really don’t want your generator to fail you on day one or two of your emergency. Overtaxing a small generator will kill it quickly. Some cannot be ran for more than one tank of fuel at a time then be required to cool for certain period of time. This is needed not only for the motor but the electric windings in the generator.

  4. Excellent article. Since I live in the northern part of the states, sharing these types of first hand experiences are invaluable to me because of the cold weather we get. thanks

  5. Great insight on the situation seniors face! A few things I hadn’t thought of.

  6. Since I have developed a rather strong adverse reaction to MSG in food, and it is in a lot of prepared foods, I have gone through what I have stored and replaced all food items with MSG and am careful to read ingredients before purchasing them. I was surprised at how much of the foods I enjoy and was eating very often contained MSG. I was almost afraid to ask a doctor because even I thought I must be nuts, but after almost every meal my face would start turning scarlet, feel like it was on fire, even my ears felt like they were on fire. Finally got the nerve to ask and found it is a more and more common allergy, to the point that some companies are even using other names to disguise the fact they use it (it apparently enhances flavors and is some sort of preservative) so you have to be very careful. Some children and elderly in particular can have life threatening reactions to products that contain MSG. Once I eliminated it from my diet I sure started feeling better almost immediately. I ended up getting rid of several large trash bags of food. I took it to the food bank and told them that all of it contained MSG and they needed to be sure the people they gave it to were made aware of that since it could cause them problems like it did for me, but I could not see throwing away hundreds of dollars of food in a community with so many hungry people. I might have done wrong, but just knew too many people in my community needed food to throw that much food away because I was allergic to it. BTW most Campbell soups contain MSG, most Fritos and other corn chip products contain it, Hamburger helper mostly contains it, my beloved Jimmie Dean breakfast bowls contain it, as do Jimmie Dean sausage crumbles. And on and on and on. My understanding is you are just best off cooking from scratch and being careful to use if you can organic products in what you cook and eat. People watch me like I’m an idiot when I’m shopping as I read the entire list of ingredients.

  7. Oh, and you can sign up with USDA for notifications on food recalls. I know just about everyone has peanut butter in their stockpiled foods. You need to check what you have to make sure it is not amongst the hundreds of products containing peanuts that have been recalled, some made as far back as 2010. I think it is possible salmonella exposure, in peanuts that originated from a company called Sunland, I’m fairly sure, but recalled products are including peanut butter crackers, peanut butter under a lot of generic or low cost brand names, cookies with peanuts or peanut butter in them, ice cream with peanuts or peanut butter in them. As far as I’ve seen none of the name brand peanut butter companies have been involved in the recalls but there is a lot of stuff you would not consider to worry about that have been recalled. And the original company just extended their recall dates, so it is something to keep on top of.

  8. Another tip I picked up on recently is for when you buy bulk fruit or veggies at the store. Each piece should have a small stamp on it. It will tell you the country or origin and will have either a five or four digit code on it. If the food has been grown organically, the five digit code will start with the number “9″, if it a GM product, the five digit code with start with an “8,” if the code has four numbers, that means it was grown in the traditional manner and is neither organic nor GM. While best to grow and use your own so you really know what is in it and has been used on it, these codes help you know what is best to buy and how they were grown. When an item does not have the stamp or sticker on it, I just do not buy it regardless of how good it looks.

  9. Years ago my late ex father in law has a generator. We had an ice storm
    That took out power for 4 days. Being the only one with a generator everyone and their brother came begging for him to keep their fridges running. People totally took advantage it his inability to say no to friends and neighbors. Ive opted to not have a generator . They are only as good as your fuel storage. They draw attention to u that u may not want. Ive prefered to concentrate on alternatives that can serve me well for the long haul.

    • The problem with most generators is the noise. If this is a SHTF scenario, they will irritate your neighbors because their noise carries a message, you are prepared and they are not. Within three weeks people will go beserk and kill for food and maybe heat. Better to lie low and let the sheeple to die out before you start up your generator and light up the neighborhood.

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