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Ask Slashdot: How Prepared Are You For a Major Emergency?

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the supermoon-induced-volquakeno-blizzards-loom dept.

Earth 562

The northern US has been buried under snow several times this winter, and flooding has struck quite a few places in the southwest. Those pale, though, beside the recent disasters in Haiti, New Zealand, and Japan, and the seemingly inevitable arrival of a serious earthquake on the West Coast of the US. All of which has me thinking about my (meager) preparedness for a major disaster. Despite plans to stock up in case of a major storm or other emergency, right now I'd be down mostly to canned beans, sardines and Nutella. How prepared are you to do deal with a disaster affecting your region? Is your data safe? What about your family? Do you have escape, regrouping, or survival plans in the event of an earthquake, tsunami, hurricane, industrial accident, or whatever hazards are most relevant where you live? It would be helpful if in comments you disclose your region and environment (urban? rural? exurbs?) and the emergencies you consider worth preparing for, as well as talking about any steps you've taken or plan to take.

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562 comments

talking about data how safe are the data centers / (4, Interesting)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 2 years ago | (#35542808)

talking about data how safe are the data centers / cables that link them? How long does the on site fuel last? (with out refill?) even if they have refill plans that fuel may get pulled and sent to other places that need it and the data center may have no say in that.

Ah. Survival. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35542810)

You can just -hear- the sound of American apocalyptic-loving gun-toting war-is-romance people getting a hard-on. All right, lets get this over with; list your silly "must-have" apoc survival kits.

Re:Ah. Survival. (2)

NotAGoodNickname (1925512) | more than 2 years ago | (#35543054)

I keep my rocket launcher in case I get hungry and need to hunt rabbits. You called it! All the small-penises are trotting out their gun collections now!

Re:Ah. Survival. (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 2 years ago | (#35543092)

It's not about apocalypse, it's about real disasters that happen, and being prepared. Myself, living in the San Francisco area, I know that an earthquake is coming. In LA, they have fires every year. In some places it might be flooding. In Japan they had an earthquake, flooding, and a nuclear (almost) disaster.

It doesn't hurt to be prepared for these kinds of things. In my case, I have three days worth of food stored as non-perishable MREs. If you live in a cold climate, you should have blankets and things to keep warm, just in case the power goes out (because sometimes it does). Might want to have a few gallons of water, and/or a water purifier, as well. That can come in handy even during routine water shutoffs.
BRAnd of course, if you don't have toilet paper, you will wish you did. :)

Re:Ah. Survival. (1, Interesting)

Moryath (553296) | more than 2 years ago | (#35543194)

Blankets and sleeping bags.

Nonperishable food items (canned veg, dehydrated or canned soup with long shelf life, rice, flour, etc).

Drinking water. (Get a few of those water-delivery jugs, fill them up when your region gets a hurricane warning).

Flashlights, matches and candles for light. In addition to the long-lived "safety" candles, I have a few bags of cheap tealights.

Ample supply of firewood/charcoal and a grill or firepit to cook with. Having both isn't bad - they're both usable any old time.

Some rope, tarp, hammer and nails won't hurt you.
If you're in a hurricane region, it won't hurt to install some locking flip latches and measure some plywood to cover easily-damaged or large windows. Beats having to repair the window after a hurricane and you don't have the "nail holes in the house" problem after. The flip latches will hold the plywood down perfectly snug.

A few board games and books just so you don't get fucking bored as hell.

Radio (either crank powered or stock spare batteries) so you can get weather and news reports.

There you go. Sure, there are people who will suggest a bunch of other crap, but that's the basics. If you're someone who goes camping with any regularity, you should have at least half of this crap on hand already.

typo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35542822)

"do have have"

Are you armed? (4, Funny)

HornWumpus (783565) | more than 2 years ago | (#35542830)

Mod me troll. I don't care.

I've got a M1 rifle, a 12 gauge pump and a Colt Python as personal weapons.

That and a backpack full of gear I can live out of and a 4x4 that's already been up the Rubicon trail many times.

Re:Are you armed? (2)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 2 years ago | (#35542884)

Yep. I've got a .30-06 and a 16guage SxS for hunting, and a 9mm Sig for personal protection. I think I'd do ok in an emergency situation.

Re:Are you armed? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35542994)

<sarcasm>Yeah guns are really important, just look at all the japanese right now, without their guns they are really screwed.
I see them respectfully/calmly queing for food and water, it would be much easier if they were all just shooting each other.</sarcasm>

dumb fucks... :-/

Re:Are you armed? (1)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 2 years ago | (#35543070)

You don't have to queue up for food when you can go out and kill your own. I've seen deer, fox, rabbits, squirrels, and even a coyote or 2 around my house. Any of that roasted up sounds a lot better than whatever canned shit you'd get from relief workers.

Re:Are you armed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35543122)

comeback in a month and see how calm they are if help hasn't arrived in force by then.

Besides guns are for looters right now they are just worried about being alive, not going to the local stores to steal clothes, electronics, and booze like some other disaster "vicitims" we have had in the US.

Re:Are you armed? (1)

CodeBuster (516420) | more than 2 years ago | (#35543178)

The real "dumb fuck" is the one who refuses to make use of the tools available for survival; including guns. There may come a day, in the not too distant future, where society as we know it collapses. The signs are all around for those who care to look: peak oil, climate change, political unrest, skyrocketing food prices, endless wars etc. Indeed the pace of history is quickening towards an inescapable climax and when things get truly desperate there will be looting, robbing, raping and killing. In such cases, the only thing standing between those horrors and your loved ones may be you and your guns. If you want to survive then you'll have to be prepared and being prepared includes owning guns and knowing how to use them. Then again, failure of less fit members to survive might not be such a bad thing for our species.

Re:Are you armed? (-1, Flamebait)

Moryath (553296) | more than 2 years ago | (#35543210)

The japanese are a small island nation in which cordiality, community and honor are respected concepts.

The US is a gigantic "frontier" nation founded by the princible that a bunch of inbred religious fundamentalist rednecks ought to have the "freedom" to go into the wilderness and beat their wives.

See the difference?

Re:Are you armed? (0)

NotAGoodNickname (1925512) | more than 2 years ago | (#35543002)

Personal protection? Are you that big of an asshole that people want to kill you often?

Re:Are you armed? (1)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 2 years ago | (#35543048)

Well, the university I attend( and live about 5 minutes from) averages about 1 armed robbery per month reported to the school police. I'm right in the middle of a large urban city with a number of gangs that is also a major crossroad for drug distribution in the South East. I don't mess with people, but if they mess with me, they better be prepared.

Re:Are you armed? (1)

NotAGoodNickname (1925512) | more than 2 years ago | (#35543088)

It sounds like you 1) Might want to move from Atlanta 2) Might want to support removing guns from the general population.

Re:Are you armed? (1)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 2 years ago | (#35543120)

Yes, because all those gang members legally own guns. Even if guns were illegal, they'd still have them. I'd rather allow the general population(ie ME) be able to protect ourselves against people that would be armed regardless of the legality of firearm possession.

Re:Are you armed? (2, Insightful)

NotAGoodNickname (1925512) | more than 2 years ago | (#35543136)

Nonsense. There are plenty of countries without roving gangs of armed thugs. It just depends on how much effort the government wants to put into making a country gun-free. Enjoy your constant fear of armed robbery though - it sounds like a good life.

Re:Are you armed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35543134)

It sounds like you 1) Might want to move from Atlanta 2) Might want to support removing guns from the general population.

Guns don't kill people. Only dangerous minorities do.

Heheheheheheheheheheheheh.

P. Griffin.

Re:Are you armed? (2)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#35543096)

Guns? Hunting?
Bah.
The US is a pretty large country. I'd just move to the opposite coast. If California was hit by a tsunami, I'd dump as much stuff in my trunk as possible, and move to the East. Or vice-versa. Or maybe the middle part where the farmers have tons of food, and lots of generosity.

With such a large area, there's plenty of other places to move to, which are unaffected by the tragedy.

Re:Are you armed? (5, Insightful)

penix1 (722987) | more than 2 years ago | (#35543216)

If you are waiting until the tragedy happens to be getting out of dodge, then you are a victim waiting to happen. Ever see a full scale evacuation of an urbanized area? Gridlock is an outcome of panicked people trying to leave an area. Good luck with that strategy.

I work emergency management and can tell you from personal experience, the US will be rode hard and put away wet if a catastrophic incident happens today. We don't have the financial capabilities to deal with it and the "something for nothing" crowd we got for politicians these days will cut it even further.

Re:Are you armed? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35542906)

If I was surrounded by Americans I would want to be armed too.

Re:Are you armed? (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | more than 2 years ago | (#35543132)

If I were surrounded by N. Americans, S. Americans, Europeans, Asians, Australians or Africans I would definitely be armed. The Antarcticans are the only ones with a remotely peaceful history.

History, learn it.

Re:Are you armed? (4, Insightful)

Ynot_82 (1023749) | more than 2 years ago | (#35542918)

Bit of a silly response, don't you think?

OP talks about preparing for a natural disaster
What you going to do, shoot the water as it swirls round your feet

Re:Are you armed? (2, Funny)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 2 years ago | (#35542960)

Bit of a silly response, don't you think?

OP talks about preparing for a natural disaster What you going to do, shoot the water as it swirls round your feet

While people are lining up outside relief tents to get their MREs or Spam, we can be out hunting deer, turkey, dove, quail, etc. While you're eating rehydrated bread, we can be dining on some roast duck or deer tenderloin steak. You think during a flood you'll be able to drive down to the local McDonald's and order up a burger?

Re:Are you armed? (5, Insightful)

mcrbids (148650) | more than 2 years ago | (#35543154)

How many ducks and deer do you think there *are*? If there was an actual disaster, the deer, duck, quail, and lizard populations would plummet as a teaming horde of well-armed people suddenly ravage the landscape.

We moved to an agricultural society so that we wouldn't have to try to eke out our existence on the little tidbits provided by nature. Wanna prepare? Fine. But don't think for a minute that there will be lots of game waiting for your bullets.

Guns are for self-defense.

Re:Are you armed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35542982)

Katrina = massive natural disaster -> looting & roving gangs -> murder, assault -> need for way to protect self and family

LA riots = civil disorder ~ man made disaster -> looting & roving gangs -> murder, assault -> need for way to protect self and family

Mumbai style terrorist attack (same planed for Europe) ~ man made disaster -> roving terrorists -> murder, assault -> need for way to protect self and family

Re:Are you armed? (4, Interesting)

NotAGoodNickname (1925512) | more than 2 years ago | (#35543032)

Japan Tsunami = massive natural disaster - GUN TOTING POPULATION -> no looting & roving gangs -> no murder, assault -> no need for way to "protect" self and family Thai Tsunami = massive natural disaster - GUN TOTING POPULATION -> no looting & roving gangs -> no murder, assault -> no need for way to "protect" self and family See a pattern here?

Re:Are you armed? (2)

Renraku (518261) | more than 2 years ago | (#35543118)

I don't think the lack of violence was caused by the lack of weaponry. I think the lack of violence was caused by the Japanese culture. They're all in this together, basically, instead of it being every man and woman for themselves.

Contrast to Katrina, where it was all about 'me' and there were various criminals running around. People still helped people, but things fell apart instead of coming together like the Japanese did. It wasn't 'oh they're out of food today guess we're out of luck' it was 'oh they're out of food today shoot their tires out and loot them who cares if people down the road haven't eaten in three weeks'

Re:Are you armed? (1)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | more than 2 years ago | (#35543230)

I don't think the lack of violence was caused by the lack of weaponry. I think the lack of violence was caused by the Japanese culture.

You are very right here. Nevertheless firearms are more or less non existing in the Japanese society.

angel'o'sphere

Re:Are you armed? (2)

517714 (762276) | more than 2 years ago | (#35543218)

Tsunamis do not happen to gun toting populations. California better get its act together quick!

Re:Are you armed? (1)

Nikkos (544004) | more than 2 years ago | (#35543000)

Considering there was looting, rape, and murder in Haiti as well as numerous reports of looting and other issues in New Zealand, maybe it's not so silly.

Sometimes it's not the disaster you have to prepare for, it's the aftermath.

Re:Are you armed? (0)

HornWumpus (783565) | more than 2 years ago | (#35543008)

As soon as shit turns ugly there will be people ready and willing to take anything they think they 'need' from you. This should not require a cite. Japan may be an exception, then again things aren't that ugly there.

This is aside from guns being pretty necessary for living off the land scenarios.

Re:Are you armed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35543020)

He's an American, thus he expects - possibly correctly - that his fellow man will go crazy in the event of anything more serious than a 15 minute blackout.

Re:Are you armed? (1)

HackHackBoom (198866) | more than 2 years ago | (#35542950)

Good man. The 12 gauge in particular. I'm a big believer personally in Remington myself. I have a 700 long action tuned for long distance shooting and another 700 short action tuned for 100 yards.

As for gear, I made a post myself which pretty fairly lays it out.

Re:Are you armed? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35542974)

The snowflakes are coming!!! SHOOT TO KILL!!!

Re:Are you armed? (3, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 2 years ago | (#35543110)

It's not troll, it's paranoid. What sort of disaster are you expecting wherein you would need those kinds of weapons? There aren't many realistic scenarios of that type.

Re:Are you armed? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35543164)

Hurricane Katrina? Or did you not see on the news how the homes of the gun owners were the only ones which weren't looted.

Same shit in Egypt during the protests.

Re:Are you armed? (1)

Zedrick (764028) | more than 2 years ago | (#35543124)

You forgot to say where you live, but if you need weapons I'm guessing you're in Somalia or some other 3rd world country filled with aggressive lunatics.

Re:Are you armed? (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 2 years ago | (#35543144)

There is nothing crazy about owning a rifle or shotgun in an area where the deer and turkeys have a higher population density than the people.

Re:Are you armed? (1)

PhilHibbs (4537) | more than 2 years ago | (#35543204)

I'm guessing he's in some 1st world country filled with aggressive lunatics like himself, probably the USA.

I live in Manitoba... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35542834)

The worst natural disasters we might get are:

  1. Tornado - total obliteration over a localized area; not much of a need for emergency supplies. Pretty rare here.
  2. Fire - similar to above
  3. Floods - but we're high enough up and far enough from the river that the worst that could happen is basement flooding (which has never happened to this house); we have drains on standby and a pump we use for the pool

That is, aside from maybe a Yellowstone eruption or meteor strike.

Squid! (5, Funny)

MrQuacker (1938262) | more than 2 years ago | (#35542838)

I just checked my cupboards to see what I have.

There are about a dozen cans of squid, that I have no idea where they came from.

I'm Prepared (2)

Ganty (1223066) | more than 2 years ago | (#35542856)

OK, so I'm living on the outskirts of an Eastern European city but I've still made some preparations:

Backups of all data held off-site
Fully charged laptop battery always available (I rotate them)
Passport and all essential documents all kept in one safe place
Working torch where I can find it
Box of tinned food and 25 Liters of water in the basement along with a torch and tent
Cellphone always kept charged and a spare SIM in case our local carrier goes titsup

Five minutes warning of the big one and I can be out of here.

Ganty

Meh (1)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 2 years ago | (#35542858)

The biggest problems we seem to run into where I live seem to be the occasional short power outage and the very occasional big blizzard. I've been thinking of putting a LP/Natural Gas backup generator in, they're reasonably priced and it'd be nice if we ever see another huge outage like we did a few years back. Other than that I try to keep a week or so worth of food in the house in the winter time in case we get snowed in. There's a grocery store within walking distance though, so I could always pop 'round there if I needed to.

If I lived someplace earthqake/hurricane prone I'd have plans for those things. When I was living down in Florida, I had an obscure route mapped out that'd take me out of the state without having to get on the Interstate. My company asked me to bring some backup tapes to my house, which was several miles inland, one time when Andrew rolled through.

Re:Meh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35543062)

There's a grocery store within walking distance though, so I could always pop 'round there if I needed to.

You have never been to a grocery store in the advent of a disaster, or even sometimes immediately after one.

Though if you do have a week's worth of wood, that should be enough, but I'd try for a small stock of non-perishables as well.

Tips from the hurricane prone (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35542868)

Buy freeze dried foods you only have to replace them every 20 years. Buy a bicycle. Buy a generator and have your house wired to take direct plug in from it to run your freezer. Stockpile water and gasoline. $1000 investment can buy you 3-4 months of self reliant comfort

Fairly well prepared. (3, Insightful)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 2 years ago | (#35542870)

Got some food that will last a while. My house has a creek that runs behind it and plenty of wood, so we can start a fire and boil water. When the food we have runs out, I have a hunting rifle with almost a full box of ammo, a shotgun with plenty of bird shot, and a handgun(more of use against unwelcome bipedal creatures than for hunting), so I can kill plenty of critters for food. And this is suburban Atlanta. Really, in an emergency situation, I could care less about data and all that. My biggest concern is feeding and protecting my family. It's pointless to make sure your pictures and tax records survive an emergency if you don't.

Re:Fairly well prepared. (1)

technomom (444378) | more than 2 years ago | (#35543084)

Of course during a nuke event, you wouldn't want to be shooting at anything that's been eating from the surrounding areas. Those MREs and canned foods will probably do you more good then.

Re:Fairly well prepared. (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | more than 2 years ago | (#35543152)

Depends or the details.

There has not yet been a 'nuke event' where that would be generally true.

Go bags are good start (4, Interesting)

swm (171547) | more than 2 years ago | (#35542872)

Jump kits (Go bags)
You put 'em by the door for when you have to rock'n'roll.
http://www.sff.net/people/doylemacdonald/emerg_kit.htm [sff.net]

Re:Go bags are good start (2)

Nutria (679911) | more than 2 years ago | (#35543232)

  • plastic "totes" (especially the rectangular stackable ones),
  • Canned food (Hungry Man soups are quite effective and tasty, but a bit salty),
  • cutlery/utensils,
  • gallon jugs of chlorine bleach,
  • 5 gallon carboys of water,
  • jerrycans of gasoline,
  • important papers/photographs/etc,
  • external backup of HDD.

When Katrina was still in the southern Gulf, I knew that it was going to hit N.O., and so we started preparing. At the last practical minute we headed north.

Gas stove and water heater are also darned useful if you're going to stay (as in a blizzard).

Preparation is in the mind (5, Insightful)

Okian Warrior (537106) | more than 2 years ago | (#35542886)

The best preparations are knowledge and experience.

Learn to camp. Join the Boy Scouts or similar when growing up. Learn to fish. Learn to hunt. Go on hikes. Take a first aid course.

Learn to be calm in the face of a completely unfamiliar situation.

You can't really plan for an unexpected event, but you can train yourself to react rationally in unfamiliar circumstances. Having a tendency to improvise a solution will get you much further in an emergency than any preparation for a specific circumstance.

Re:Preparation is in the mind (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35542946)

I couldn't agree more. Although a machete for slashing up zombies never hurts.

Re:Preparation is in the mind (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35543022)

No no no.

It's a shovel for zombies!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jg-WFkkKOaU

Re:Preparation is in the mind (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35543040)

Yes on all of those.

Plus: Learn to ride a bike.

A bicycle can get you places a car can't go and can get you farther in a shorter period of time than hiking can.

Re:Preparation is in the mind (2)

HornWumpus (783565) | more than 2 years ago | (#35543190)

Staged transportation.

For me that's a capable 4x4 truck with a bicycle in the back and a pair of comfortable hiking boots. Camping kits that gracefully degrade. All the real important stuff is in the backpack.

Like you say I'm in the Sierra Nevada every chance I get anyhow.

Re:Preparation is in the mind (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35543142)

To go along with what you just laid out, this guy here does a pretty good job of getting you in the right frame of mind for disasters... because he lived through one. A fantastic read (instead of a novel he made it into a blog):

http://www.theplacewithnoname.com/blogs/klessons/index.html

His advice? Have your shit together beforehand, and always have "going home" as the ultimate goal.

Re:Preparation is in the mind (1)

radionerd (916462) | more than 2 years ago | (#35543174)

Exactly. Thinking about disasters is the first step in dealing with them. What's important? How do you establish contact with the rest of your family? How do you get home? Will you have food? Will you have water?Do you need electricity? Will you freeze in the cold? Do you need medication to stay alive? In our case, in Northwestern Oregon, we have a plan for all of this, we are expecting the "big one" anytime after right now. You will not be able to depend on any public infrastructure, don't bet on any telephone working for a few days, and plan on it being dark at night. Our family has a plan to contact each other using ham radio, and our home has backup power with enough diesel to last at least a week. With power, we can run our well, water is good! If I'm at work, I'll drive toward home as far as I can, and then walk, it's only 16 miles from work to home. We are armed, competent and willing to kill to defend our selves...... Better living through ham radio, "Radio" was the first merit badge I got. Knowing about radio, and industrial equipment in general has served me well all my life. The things you know will save you..... learn about radio, learn to weld, learn to work on engines, learn to fly, learn to scuba dive, build model rockets, learn about shooting, learn about horses, learn to run a chainsaw, learn every thing you can..... every geek skill you can get will help you to learn to think in a disaster.

As a pet owner... (1)

GrumblyStuff (870046) | more than 2 years ago | (#35542890)

I do believe my cat would make a fine hat for warmth and I have plenty of nutritious (if fishy) wet and dry food available. Fortunately, just about the only thing I face would be a burly earthquake and hordes of dumbshit Seattleites panicking if the last 3-4 inches of snow we had is any indication.

Western Europe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35542902)

Well, I live in the UK, several hundred feet above sea level and a good twenty feet higher than the nearest water course (a stream).

The only natural disaster I need to worry about is rain when I want to hang my washing out to dry.

Re:Western Europe (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 2 years ago | (#35542930)

What about dinner?

Re:Western Europe (2)

Mr Thinly Sliced (73041) | more than 2 years ago | (#35543182)

I live in the U.K. too and can confirm your suspicions - dinner is a disaster.

Fortunately we English have lived with this major emergency for long enough we take it all in our stride now. Ketchup. Lots of ketchup.

I have, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35542908)

the air that I breath!

Have someplace to go (3, Interesting)

heptapod (243146) | more than 2 years ago | (#35542924)

Bug out bags are nice but having a place to wait out a dangerous situation is ideal. BOBs aren't a panacea to surviving a disaster.
Backpack Fever [duncanlong.com] addresses this concern and encourages people to be realistic before grabbing their SKS and going innawoods.

Prepared (2)

HackHackBoom (198866) | more than 2 years ago | (#35542940)

Some initial disclosure: My hobbies are hunting and mountaineering. Both of my parents are also retired Army.

I have a pretty well prepared plan actually.

We have two weeks of food and water which I check regularly, and being a hunter I have about 500 rounds of dry sealed hunting grade ammunition stored (locked) in the survival bag. I've also had several forms of bush survival classes and I'm extremely familiar with what is safe to eat and natural remedies for various issues. I also have several forms of long lasting antibiotics in the kit. Since I mountaineer you can bet your ass I have foul weather survival gear, also stored and ready to go.

We have three kinds of plans which is something I recommend everyone have:

1) Natural disaster which does not require evacuation. This is the hurricane avoidance type of thing (I live in the Northeast. IF a hurricane reaches us, its probably a A Big Deal). Hunker down, away from the windows, food, candles, extremely reduced dependence on social services such as running water and electricity.

The last two both involve the following: Gear off rack, duffles loaded, ready to move within 5 minutes of the decision to evacuate. Once this decision is made, there is NO argument. My wife is very aware that I switch gears into a mode which I learned from two very serious parents.

2) Natural disaster which forces an evacuation. The biggest question here is knowing when to get the hell out of dodge immediately, versus knowing when to wait for the unwashed mashes to run in panic because they're retarded. Gear is loaded and routes contrary to those being used by mass evacuees are chosen. In cases where this isn't possible, Every police and military station in the area is marked in a map. Short wave radio is already pre-tuned and tested for known open frequencies.

3) Man made disaster which forces an evacuation. Welp. This is it. If this plan is going into effect, there are a lot of variables. Is the air safe? Are the roads safe? Is fallout a concern? The answers here determine whether or not I'm just saying a quick prayer, covering my skin and praying to god, or I'm running. If I can run, my concern and courtesy for others is very limited. I'm the very serious guy loaded to bear and not taking shit from people around me. If I need to survive, my wife and I -will- survive. I am a firm believer in Darwin's theory of evolution and my genes are the alpha ones bud :P

Re:Prepared (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | more than 2 years ago | (#35543086)

FYI you can make a decent air filter out of toilet paper rolls.

You plug the center holes well then draw the air through them lengthwise, in series. Make a bellows out of boxes, duct tape and plastic sheeting.

Always make sure you have plenty of duct tape on hand.

Avoid fire fights with other reasonably prepared people. I'd hate to have to shoot you (or vice versa.) Manners will be important.

Re:Prepared (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35543214)

So you're the serious "I'm a rock" asshole who screws everyone else over, then gets mobbed and torn apart by the zombies early on in the piece.

I am a firm believer in Darwin's theory of evolution and my genes are the alpha ones bud :P

yer, and you post on slashdot about it...

Tropical paradise (1)

gringofrijolero (1489395) | more than 2 years ago | (#35542952)

I may starve, but I sure won't freeze... And a mule still makes for pretty reliable transportation.. and communications are through drug induced telepathy..

Dominos (4, Funny)

pspahn (1175617) | more than 2 years ago | (#35542954)

The only thing we probably have to seriously worry about, is the disaster after the disaster.

If there is some cataclysmic quake/tsunami on the West Coast, I can imagine plenty of people showing up here shortly afterwards. We are not prepared to deal with a mass influx of Californians.

I guess my survival pack would include:

  • "Native" bumper sticker
  • Fake signs pointing the way to the farmer's market.
  • Public transit pass.
  • Chainsaw (for firewood, of course)
  • A pair of those sunglasses that have lenses the size of grapefruits so I don't stick out.

Hurricane Preparedness (1)

WebSorcerer (889656) | more than 2 years ago | (#35542980)

We live South of Houston, 7 miles from the Gulf of Mexico. It is part of the culture here to be prepared to evacuate since the probability is rather high that we will be running from a hurricane [ http://goo.gl/Z9KbJ [goo.gl] ].

The local government can require mandatory evacuation. Evacuation routes were formalized a few years ago, and supporting services are available along all the routes.

My primary emergency is financial. (1)

queazocotal (915608) | more than 2 years ago | (#35543016)

I am in the fortunate position of owning my own house, and the unfortunate position of having a low income that may be interrupted.

I have around 3 months stock of 'normal' food, partially in a very large freezer.
I have maybe another 6 months of 'meh - pancakes again' type food.
I do have a generator, but I've chosen to keep a surplus of 6 months electricity paid with my electricity supplier.

Natural disasters are fortunately rare in Scotland.
This year I'm insulating the house, from its largely uninsulated prior condition to really quite toasty.
This'll mean I can have the heating on more than an electric blanket next winter, which is partially paid for
by not having the heating on this winter.

Emergency by Neil Strauss (1)

Anonymous Showered (1443719) | more than 2 years ago | (#35543028)

Neil Strauss, the guy who wrote the book "The Game", also wrote a survival book of sorts for the modern age [amazon.com]. There's an outline in there somewhere that describes how you should be prepared to GTFO if your country is screwed (either politically or environmentally). You'll need a second passport, some wildlife skills and a way to run your business on auto-pilot for passive income. It's an interesting read, but not a manual for us geeks.

Farmer solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35543042)

Food: stockpiled rice and beans, and over a ton of livestock on the hoof.

Drink: rainwater barrels.

Shelter: emergency livestock shelter kit.

Security: half a dozen guns and hundreds of bullets, largest being a .45-70 lever gun capable of stopping a brown bear in its tracks.

Communications: radio.

Light: battery operated flashlights and lanterns, and a hell of a lot of batteries.

Heat: wood stove, and a lot of old wood.

Bring it. I'll be living well, while people are dying in riots, plagues and starvation.

Survival is not the only option. (2)

russotto (537200) | more than 2 years ago | (#35543046)

I work in Manhattan. Realistically, if a major disaster (as opposed to a localized one like 9/11, or a major inconvenience like the various blackouts) hits while I'm there, I'm gonna die. Either immediately from the floodwaters, buildings falling down in the earthquake, overpressure/heat/gamma radiation from the nuclear blast, etc, or from delayed effects like fallout or a later collapse, or from starvation or disease or murder as the largely isolated island (assuming all tunnels impassible and all bridges destroyed) turns to cannibalism.

Re:Survival is not the only option. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35543130)

I've a suggestion to keep you all occupied.

Learn to swim.
Learn to swim.
Learn to swim.

Do I need to be? (1)

Securityemo (1407943) | more than 2 years ago | (#35543066)

Let's see, I live here [google.se] in a town in the middle of a forest, inland, supplied by industrial rail (for the mine and forest industry), road, and a small passenger/freight airport. The town is on a hill, so there's no risk for flooding - and the ferro-magnetic mountains and rivers surrounding the area tend to absorb most of the lightning strikes. Heavy snowing might be a risk, but there's a large fleet of snow-clearing vehicles that can be brought out at any time. There are no mining activities that could pose a risk, and nothing that could explode or catch fire, not close to the inhabited areas in any case. The only spectacular accident that could befall me would be a rocket falling on my head from the local spaceport, but those are launched in the completely opposite direction so that seems unlikely. There's a certain lack of police manpower, but that doesn't pose a problem as long as you live inside the city and not in any of the surrounding villages. There's a modern fire station, and (for the moment anyway) emergency surgery and delivery capacity at the local hospital.

Recently, there's been problems with the central heating system pipes (there's a central waste burning facility that heats most of the houses in town) getting torn by the mountain shifting a bit due to mining activities, but they fix that in a day or so.

Having a weapon (gun or otherwise) at home for self-defense isn't legally or socially acceptable at all here, unless you are in the military/police, so that's not an issue. Violent crime is rare, mostly bar fights and such AFAIK. All in all, I think I'm pretty sure I'm well off on the safety front. But it'd sure be nice not to live halfway out in the middle of nowhere.

Chicagoland (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35543072)

My preps involve not just me, but my family and their loved ones as well.
Our house is the go-to place for everything anyways.
I learned a lot from the Y2K craze. When the power is out for just a short time people start getting weird. So having some power available is good. I have a NG generator that I never use. I start it up a few times a year. I may never use it but my wife feels better knowing it is there.
It is also large enough that you can't just pick it up and steal it.
I used to have batteries and an inverter but I got rid of those.
If Natural Gas supply is interrupted, it is a huge deal in my world. Everything gets shut off and then workers go house to house to make sure things are back on properly. Very time consuming. Also- the water supply by me has NG backup generators. But if NG is still good to go, we will have power and heat and refrigeration.

My preps involve trying to create as little strain on the existing emergency responses. If I can free up beds at the high school by not being there, that helps (I guess). I have a pair of large gravity fed water filters that will filter out radionuclides (alledged). I live a mile away from Lake MI, plenty of water there and I can filter anything . Their shelf life is basically indefinite. They sit in the basement and wait.

I have a lot of rice vacuum packed in sealed 5 gal buckets. We open one when we run low on our regular stash in the kitchen.
I also have a lot of freeze-dried soups to add some flavoring to the rice. Not as much beans as I would like but I'm not really prepped for some long-term apocalypse. A week or two of bad things maybe. I'm old. I can't really "bug out." I can't prep that much for the rest of the extended family.
I have a shotgun, a .22 rifle and a 9mm handgun. I clean them and shoot them once or twice a year.

I gave up trying to plan for every option. Prepping for some sort of apocalypse is not my hobby.
I have at least two weeks worth of food available at all times. That is a LOT more than most people I know. I hate shopping.
I reached a point where I am comfortable with what I have done and will just get on with my life.

How creative are you? (1)

C3ntaur (642283) | more than 2 years ago | (#35543076)

My wife and I talked about emergency preparedness the other day. She wanted to buy a kit from Costco, and I pointed out that with a little creativity we already have a lot of what we need.

Water: first off, our R.O. unit has a 2 gallon tank. Each of our toilets has 1.6 gallons in the tank. We have a propane BBQ and at least one tank of propane on hand so we could start boiling water the stored water runs out. If the muni water system isn't delivering anything at all, there's a creek nearby. And we have a ceramic purifier filter (for backpacking) that we could use in a pinch.

Food: At any given time there's at least 2 weeks' worth of dry and canned goods in our pantry. We shop at Costco and naturally stock up.

Shelter / warmth: We have a couple of tents, tarps, sleeping bags, and lots of blankets and sheets.

First aid: We already have a first aid kit.

Communications: We have a hand-crank radio, and a solar battery / cell phone charger.

Defence: In my mind, the most important item after water. We have weapons and ammunition.

Driving during a disaster (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35543102)

As a first responder I'd just like to say please please please stay off the roads marked for disastor response. Not sure if they exist everywhere but they do up here in Vancouver, BC.

If you want some good information,the Canadian government has a good guide. http://www.getprepared.gc.ca/index-eng.aspx

And taking a first aid course is pretty much a must.

Some links (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35543104)

There's a world of great info at http://www.survivalblog.com/index.html. Also, check out http://www.amazon.com/Adventure-Medical-Kits-Packwith-QuikClot/dp/B003BS2PW4/ref=cm_lmf_tit_21 for medical kits. I live off the grid, so I'm about as prepared as I can be, including my new S&W 317.

Basically not at all ... (1)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | more than 2 years ago | (#35543176)

Well,
considering that all roads would be crowded with people trying to escape, I assume I would perhaps use my bicycle.

As I live in german and people here usually have no fire arms (except hunting rifles, if they have a license) there won't be much hunting. Keep in mind we don't have that much deer etc. anyway.

Food I don't have stockpiled. I have enough for a week I guess, but not more. Considering I live in a town, we don't have an emergency fallback generator. So storing lots of food in a freezer is no option ... assuming a major catastrophe would disrupt the power supply.

What people could do in the town here e.g. would perhaps having a boat. As we live at the river Rhein. So you could avoid being depending on the road. OTOH most dangerous industries are close to the river harbour ... so if something goes wrong there (oil refinery, coal power plant etc.) you are likely cut off from the boat.

I have a sound understanding how to camp, make a shelter in the woods etc. I can craft a bow and arrows more or less with bare hands. I also assume I have a good understanding which direction to use as escape route depending on the actual circumstances etc.

So, prepared? No, not really! Panicking, not really either. Chance of survival? Perhaps 50:50 worst case and 90:10 best case.

Best Regards

angel'o'sphere

P.S. we have like 4 or 5 nuclear reactors in ~50 miles range ... if something goes seriously wrong there ... I guess I plunder the next best super market and then hide in my flat.

Puppy Chow (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35543186)

I live in the downtown, upscale area of a large city. Poodles, spaniels and terriers would be the main fare. Just put out a little puppy chow and fire up the bbq or a campfire on the balcony.

Not prepared and not preparing (1)

prefec2 (875483) | more than 2 years ago | (#35543188)

I live in Kiel at the Baltic Sea and after checking my food supplies, I discovered 2 cans of tomatoes, spaghetti, wheat, sugar, honey, milk (1l), and 2 kg of coffee powder. And some fish artifacts and vegis in the fridge. However, when a major disaster would occur, I could still leave the house and enter one of those supermarkets close by (ca 5 min by foot). My home is uphill and I live in the third floor so the possibility of a flood is minimal. The only real danger would be a explosion of an atomic bomb (but then I do not need any cans of what so ever in my flat) or the close by coal-burning power plant goes. In that case my heating system will fail and for cold winters I am prepared.

Moderately Prepared (4, Interesting)

waldoj (8229) | more than 2 years ago | (#35543198)

My wife and I like to stay fairly well prepared.

First, our home. We live in a very rural area, on the side of a treed mountain. We built our home last year, and it's passive solar, sited to take maximum advantage of the sun, built very tightly (LEED gold-ish, but we didn't bother to get certified). We maintain the forest, have large piles of wood in rotation being seasoned, and keep a large stockpile of planked wood on hand (milled from the trees on our land). Our neighbors have cows, goats, and sheep, from which they produce milk and meat—handy to have When The Shit Comes Down®. (I use that phrase facetiously—it's a generic term that my wife and I use to refer to anything that may or may not happen in our lifetimes that would disrupt supply chains, limit movement, or otherwise require short or long-term independence.) We paid a few thousand bucks to have an enormous propane tank buried next to our house, in which we maintain a two-year supply of propane. Soon enough we'll have a propane generator, a few solar panels, and a small windmill, which should allow us to maintain ~1.5 kWh of power during about half of the day, but make it possible to peak to 5 kWh when demand requires (until the propane runs out, and then we top out at 1.5 kWh).

Second, food and water. We always keep about ten pounds of oats, twenty pounds of flour, ten pounds of sugar, ten pounds of rice, and ten pounds of dried beans on hand. We always have 20 gallons of fresh drinking water stored, 55 gallons of rainwater, and we maintain a spring. Also, we have a stream. We have a small flock of chickens, a horse, and we're about to get ducks. Six months out of the year we have what's either a large garden or a small farm, and we put up a lot of food in the fall. Not enough to get us through a winter, but we do alright, and feel confident that we could ramp up production significantly, if need be. We save our seed, so the notion of increasing the size of our garden by tenfold with four months of lead time (seasonally depending, of course) isn't totally unreasonable.

Third, medical. We've got potassium iodide on hand (there's a nuclear power plant ~35 miles from us), a dose of Tamiflu for each of us, two very complete medical kits, moderate training in first aid (with more coming soon—see below), and we generally maintain a three-month supply of our medications.

Fourth, general supplies. We have an oil lamp (and, of course, lamp oil), a bunch of candles, several fire extinguishers, a NOAA radio, a hand-cranked AM/FM/shortwave radio, matches, lighters, a flotilla of batteries of all sorts, headlamps, and flashlights. We keep a couple of canisters of propane on hand (rotated through annually, thanks to grilling season) and have a propane heater that can heat our entire house for a couple of days with one of those plugged in.

Fifth, evacuation preparedness. We keep a 72-hour pack by the front door, ready to go, with a couple of hundred bucks in cash, a few days food, tinned water, flashlights, blankets, tarps, matches, fire starters, and so on. We've got sleeping bags and internal frame packs on hand for each of us. The idea is to make sure that if sheltering in place isn't safe, that we can leave without delay.

Finally, a flotilla of books (not all of which we've read, I admit) on wilderness medicine. This Tuesday we're starting an eight-week Community Emergency Response Team training course (held just once a week). This is available in most areas—google around to see if you can take it in your area. That's where you can learn to be helpful in an emergency, rather than somebody who needs help—learn to use a chainsaw, direct traffic, suture a wound, lead a panicked group of people to safety, etc. Recommended highly.

I've come to relish when we lose power in good weather. It's a chance to test out our plans. There are a lot of basic aspects to preparedness that would just never cross your mind until you actually need to carry out that plan. You know how, without power, you keep flipping light switches every time you walk into a room, or thinking "well, I'll just google that...*DOH*"? The same applies to all kinds of things, like having candles...but no matches. :)

On the road (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35543202)

a couple of weeks worth of food and water

a few extra cans of fuel

a couple of firearms and ammo

first aid kit and medication

first aid training

backup harddrives

a few hundred in cash

a bug out bag with 3 days worth of toiletries, food, clothes, money.

    I need the last one for my job alot of the time (military). I occurs often where they come into the office and say "who can jump on that plane that is running out there right now?! Usually it's to go drop off parts or tools for stranded aircraft sometimes in some very nice places, sometimes in some shit holes. Either way you'll be drinking foreign beer and eating a meal on the other side of the planet by dinner time. It can be alot of fun.

While a bug out bag won't last very long, in a pinch though it will let you get very far away in a minimal amount of time and not be completely misserable along the way.

Heavily Prepared (1)

theBully (1056930) | more than 2 years ago | (#35543208)

Just in case the earth gets demolished by a Vogon fleet I've got plenty paper bags for all sizes of human heads. Just send me youre Name, Visa Card (for age verification), Social security number (I don't have a good reason for this one), telephone number, address, and your medical record and I'll be happy to ship you bags for the whole family. As a bonus I will add a bag of peanuts (the size they used to but not serve anymore on airlines) containing salt which everyone knows you'll need a lot of in such situations.
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