Saturday, March 17, 2012

My Own Organizing: Water and Other Disaster Supplies

emergency supplies, mostly water, in garage on shelves

I live in earthquake territory, where preparation for a possible quake makes all sorts of sense. But, like anyone else, my preparedness sometimes is a little lacking. However, this past week I took some good steps forward, and I'm so pleased I just had to share.

I know to stock up on water, and I'd actually done that some months ago — and then found I had no good place to put the bottles. I had some of them in my garage cabinets, but I didn't really like that answer; if a bottle sprung a leak, it could do a fair amount of damage.

So this past week I got some shelving, which fits into a little niche in my garage just perfectly. (I didn't even realize that; I had the shelves put up somewhere else, and then my neighbor noticed the better place for them.) I'm not handy at all, but these Plano shelves really were as easy as they claim; the "two minutes to assemble" claim was actually true. So now my water has a good home.

And I did one more thing. I carry an emergency kit in my car, because I may be away from home when a quake hits. But I was overdue to order replacement supplies for that kit, and I just took care of that.

Anyone going to join me in taking at least one baby step toward being better prepared for earthquakes or other natural disasters? If so, please share in the comments!

Update on July 5, 2012: This shelving is now bolted to the wall, and there are restraints to help keep the bottles on the shelves if there's a quake.


Claire Josefine said...

Good for you, Jeri! I would like to recommend a couple of things I do that aren't usually included in the disaster-preparedness advice. One, i grow as much of my own food as I can (as in am physically able; if I had help, I could be growing for the entire neighborhood...). Two, I have built community with my neighbors. If Peak Oil and others who argue -- and I suspect they are right -- that our industrialized civilization is unsustainable and will, at some point, come crashing down (which is just a larger scale of systems crashing due to earthquakes, etc.), then it seems sensible to become self-sustaining on a smaller, community level. My neighbor has clean drinking water in her creek. I grow food. Another fishes. If we coordinate and build healthy relationships with each other, we are better able to survive if and when we are cut off from socially-provided services.

MarySees said...

I have a bug out bag. It was better organized a couple of years ago. I need to get some more things. I don't have water stored, and I should. I do have a Big Berkey.

I was trying to keep seeds in my bug out bag, but I got bugs. I do have a survival book, a Swiss knife-type tool gizmo, and a small flash light. I also have a large hunting knife with fishing line and matches in the handle. I had a couple of those tiny emergency blanket packets, but I gave them to a young man. (I had the feeling I needed to give them to him. Then I found out he was going to Alaska.) I need to get some more of those.

I had some food stored, and I need to replenish that.

Anonymous said...

One small step: I have some extra hiking boots that I don't use any more, so I keep them in the trunk of the car in case I can't get into the house to get practical clothing, or am stuck somewhere in heels and need to walk a long way.

Jeri Dansky said...

Claire, I think what you're doing with your neighbors is very cool. It reminds me of the Burlingame Neighborhood Network — but on a grander scale.

Jeri Dansky said...

MarySees, I had to Google Big Berkey — but now I know what it is!

Anonymous: That's a good step! I also keep some shoes — in my case, good walking shoes rather than hiking boots — in my car at all times.

Jeri Dansky said...

I just got a helpful comment through Twitter from San Francisco's Neighborhood Emergency Response Team program: Great! Next step: Use a shelf-securing strap to attach the rack to the wall. Then consider elastic cords around bottle area.

I had planned to secure the shelves next — all the bookshelves in my home are bolted to the walls — but the elastic cords in the bottle area is something I hadn't yet thought of.

Cynthia Friedlob said...

Oh, I so need to check the supplies that have been sitting unused (thank Heaven!) and get replacements for things that have expired -- like antibiotic ointment and band-aids that have lost there stickiness. We have emergency backpacks in the cars as well as at home. Old sweatshirts, extra pairs of socks, and gloves are included.

Theresa Finnigin said...

Great post! I too have an ER kit. I make a note on my calendar when items might expire or need replacing as a reminder so it's always up-to-date. Looks like you have plenty of water and a great storage solution. Kudos :)

Margaret Lukens said...

Congratulations, Jeri! I am a big fan of taking baby steps. One little step always seems to inspire another. To keep up to date, I use the change of seasons and the weekends when we change clocks between daylight savings and standard time (that's six times a year) as an opportunity to tweak and improve my emergency preparation. Recently checked my fire extinguisher (ABC-type, for the most common household fires)and the smoke alarm batteries.