This project has long been overdue. This goes way, way back even before the typhoon Ondoy (Ketsana). I think waaaay long before that. See, what procrastination brings? I bought that rechargeable thingy after the Ondoy incident. It was pretty hard when the powers are cut off. You’re pretty much cut off from the world as well.
Last week, another typhoon struck Central Luzon. Typhoon Basyang (Conson) as predicted a category 1 typhoon with winds of 90 kph (55 mph) and gusts of up to 120 kph, was moving west-northwest at 22 kph. Rainfall is not that much but the wind proves to be strong when it wants to. The strong winds blew pretty much everything in its way. Trees, roof, electric posts (even concrete ones!), walls, etc. Actually, one roof fell into our backyard.
Electricity was cut off by midnight. Thanks to the cold weather, it is not that hot to sleep. Early morning, the power was back on only to be turned off again. Lucky for us, it was restored before noon. I even pushed the cable agent to have our cable TV connected even without electricity. Minutes later, we got the power back on and cable TV. What a treat!
My emergency preparedness project is not yet complete though this rechargeable light/radio/fan helped us get through these instances. We get to hear news and be not in the dark – literally or not. You know my boys sweat too much and the fan on this gadget helped Julian get through one night we spent before without power and cold weather.
So, if you have an emergency preparedness plan, I would strongly suggest to put this gadget on top of your to-buy list. I might buy another one of this so I’d have extra. Do you think I should buy just the usual rechargeable lamp? I once had a weatherproof flashlight but it broke even before the Ondoy incident.
In addition to this project, I have compiled long ago important documents in one plastic envelope. I’m planning on putting this in a safety deposit box one day but for now, I just made copies of them placed in another house. If in case an emergency arises, I could just grab this envelope and we’re ready to go. Thinking of that makes me remember of a fire two blocks away from our house that happened about two weeks ago. The fire was huge that you can see the tongue of the fire as tall as a 2-story house.
Moving on, I have here a list of what I’d be including in this project:
- First Aid Kit. I was able to compile the stuff used for this kit already: however, I think the kit became too big for me to carry around in case we need to move out of the house. So, I guess I need to make it portable.
- Food Stock. My pantry is always stocked. But since we just moved in, it needs some organization and some more stocking. I’ve given away some of our stocks during the move a few months back to avoid spoilage and to minimize the items we need to move. I’d need to stock up on non-perishable foods that does not need preparation or cooking.
- Basic Kitchen Utensils. Manual can opener, disposable eating utensils, plates, cups and paper towels so there’s no dish washing required.
- Water Supply. I’ve been trying to order drinking water yesterday and because of the unexpected water supply interruption we are experiencing right now, they can’t seem to meet the demands from their customers. What can they do, if they themselves have not enough water for personal consumption. Currently, we’re experiencing water shortage. The minimum amount of water use for each person is 1 gallon per day. Half of that a person will drink and the other is for cooking, washing and hygiene purposes. If you have pets, they consume half a gallon per pet per day. We currently have a 400 gallon overhead water tank and a 40 gallon heater tank in our roof deck but that’s not for drinking. Perhaps we can boil it if the need arises. I’m planning on ordering more drinking water for storage in the future. Note that drinking water can only be stored safely for 6 months.
Water and food supplies should at the very least last you 3 days.
- Battery Free Flash Lights. I once have these but it got underwater and rusted during the flash flood. You just have to crank it a bit to charge and you’ve got light. I hope to find these again in the future.
- Rain Coats. For Big J, Jack Jack and me in case we need to get out of the house and into the rain.
- Traveling Bag. This contains cash, change of clothing for each person, toiletries, some energy bars, biscuits and drinking water. The clothing and food should be updated regularly so the food won’t spoil and the kid’s clothes won’t be outgrown. This bag will also hold important documents we have. In case we need to evacuate, we’ll just pick this up and go.
- Meet up location/contact person(s). In case we get separated, we will setup a place to wait for each other or a contact person to inform where we are.
- Emergency Contact Numbers. This will include the contact person(s), emergency number (171) and local fire department.
- Other stuff. A roll of trash bag, whistle, cell phones with chargers, pet food and duct tape.
- Tent and Sleeping Bags. In case, we need to camp in our roof deck. Though this one, I will only buy when I have completed everything above it.
- Rubber Boat or any Flotation Device. I hope this is not overreacting but I still have this fear from flooding. I think it would be crazy to have this in our location but as they say better paranoid than dead. Same with the tent, but this goes to the least of my priorities.
For now, this is my list. Most of it would be stored upstairs for easy access. Please let me know if I need to add some more items.
I don’t like it when crisis or disasters happen but I’d like to have something to hold on to when it does. It brings a bit of a balance to my unbalance world.
September 16, 2010 Update: I just saw Rescue Aqua 911 on TV this morning. It looks promising to me that it can make dirty water go through reverse osmosis to make it safe for drinking. What’s really great about it is that it is operated by a hand pump so no need for electricity or fuel to make it work. I want to have one of these, please?