Emergency Preparation Summary - September 6, 2013
EMERGENCY PREPARATION APPRAISAL
by Dawn Wood, Saturna Coordinator
Situations such as earthquakes, tsunamis or fire can leave us homeless; thus we have the recommendation to pack some bins with emergency supplies that are kept separate from the main dwelling. Summer into fall is a good time to check one’s emergency storage bins – desirable at least every few years! I recently set aside my procrastination for this task; here are my discoveries.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that most of my food supplies were still good: dried beans, barley, etc were okay as were a tin of pasta, crackers, and jars of dried tomatoes and peppers. I became aware that my dietary preferences have changed, so I have added more dried foods and grains along with some spices, seeds and dried fruits.
Among the old supplies three cans of soup looked iffy, though only one had some rust. I tested another well past its best before-date with no ill effects; however, I have only replaced one can, opting for more varied dried goods.
My First Aid and toiletries kit fared well, with only a roll of duct tape starting to look sticky near the top edge. Both of my large bins’ lids had been sealed with duct tape; this had dried out and some spiders had been busy, but no contents were damaged by them.
The second bin contains a camp stove, fuel, dishes, cutlery, coffee pot, etc as well as a sleeping bag, linens and towels. My unpleasant discovery was that all the fabric items smelled slightly musty, though showed no visible signs of mould. Freshly laundered, they now are in tiptop shape to be returned to the bin.
Two five-gallon water containers seem to be okay with an annual replenishment, though usually six months is recommended for replacement with a few drops of bleach.
I keep clothing in my Grab & Go bag and the contents can be modified seasonally. I also have a backpack with other emergency tool supplies, lights (solar or battery operated) and radio, etc which I keep in my car.
My own view of all this emergency preparation is to seek the maximum time span for replacements; otherwise, I suspect that most of you are like me and find this a chore that is too time consuming, thus being avoided altogether. Whereas ten years between bin checks is definitely beyond the recommended time span, we can each find what to us is a reasonable span for appraising and replenishing our emergency supplies. Good sorting!