Saturday, October 30, 2010

Safety Last

This morning, there was frost on my windshield. Cool! This afternoon, it is back up to 75, which is even more awesome. (As in, I spent the last hour "grading" outside, but really sitting there looking around and going, "it is so freakin beautiful! I love the weather!!!")

I've also been on the phone with my sister, which made me think of all things safety. You see, she is the safety manager for her plant and is thus very invested in always Being Prepared. She was chiding me about my not having a Disaster Kit (we were momentarily confused by the thought that we really couldn't call it an Earthquake Kit outside of California) and whether I should ask for emergency supplies for Christmas or go out and buy them myself now.

(My sister, being the lovable dorky one who is always Being Prepared, gave each of my young-adult cousins a car emergency kit a few years ago, including emergency food/water stuff. Since the food has expired she wants to get them an emergency kit update, but we have heard they were less-than-happy about the gift they got last time. Me, I think that I'd like to get emergency supply stuff, since I want to have it but don't want to spend my money on it. That makes it the perfect gift in my mind.)

We were also stymied by what healthy people put in their emergency food rations. I was looking around my place and telling her, I have rice, dried beans, lentils, quinoa, lots of fresh unpeeled vegetables ... and an electric stove. How the hell would I eat anything? Just hold lentils in my mouth until they softened up and then swallow them raw? Eeew! I'm also not too fond of raw veggies, so the thought of subsisting on carrots and raw beets is kinda disheartening to me. So I went out to get some granola bars at the very least (but it is not easy to stock up on those if you have a nut allergy, let me tell you) and some tortilla chips, to go along with gnawing on raw carrots and beans in the dark. (heh!) Thing is, I don't keep convenience food in the house at all, because I'll eat it, entire bags worth. So the whole "creating an emergency food kit" part is just confusing to me.

Looking on the web I see people suggesting I always have my wood-burning stove and camping stove ready... sigh. Ah the troubles of renting. Maybe I should ask for a fancy propane grill to put on my back porch! I'm not sure how often I'd really use a grill or a camping stove, but being able to heat up a can of soup sounds nice. And if I had a gas stove I'd probably be worrying about gas leaks instead ---- I am a worry-wart.

So in the spirit of avoiding grading, I ask you, what's in your emergency kit? What sort of weather-related stuff do you have stocked up? Can you add anything to my list below? (I'm going to try and get my family down with the "ship me early Christmas presents or gift cards" plan)...

I've got the basics of flashlights and candles ... and somewhere packed away is my ice-scraper. I should unearth that today.

What about these things? Are they any good? Do I need them? It says I should keep some in my car.
I'd like a battery-powered lantern so that I could read and also not burn down the apartment:

And I should probably have a news radio/charger/emergency warning thingy:
And I was looking for some way I could just cover the windshield instead of chip off the frost every morning ... or else I'm going to have to add even more time to my morning commute. Sigh.

And I need a little flashlight for my keychain. Actually that would help a lot with when I come home late after drinking, too, since I never remember to turn on the porch light. A win all around!

Any further suggestions?


Bardiac said...

Around here, I mostly worry about winter, and mostly worry about getting stuck in my car. So, I keep a sleeping bag in there once winter hits, and a snow shovel (I've never had to dig myself out, but I've lent it to others), some chemical warmers for gloves and shoes, a flashlight, some sports beans (during summer, they're for if I bonk during a ride), a swiss army knife.

And most important all year: a bird book and binoculars.

Susan said...

When I lived in the northeast, I had the kind of rubber thing you can put under a tire if you get stuck in the snow.

Otherwise peanut butter can work (not sure if that's included in your nut allergy); tuna; or something like that you can open and eat without cooking. Canned veggies work too.

Belle said...

Space blankets rock. I'm always astonished how anything that thin can be so warm. I keep them in my car emergency stuff too. Water is always good, and tablets that make bad water drinkable.

Food? Crap, I think I need to work on that too. What I'd normally stash is so not on my veg/WW regime. I liked can veg, so Susan's suggestion makes perfect sense. I can also do peanut butter and tuna. Can opener needed. Spoon/fork. Fiber bars, I guess? My house is gas, so power outages aren't a big problem, but since my stove is auto-light and thus needs electricity to light - matches. Also good for candles. Because I can never keep flashlights handy or with batteries that work.

the rebel lettriste said...

For winter: sleeping bag, flashlight, ice scraper, and a bag of cat litter for traction when you need to get out of snow.

For in house emergencies:
I have heard tell that there are solar powered flashlights! You put them in the window and then they charge up! I'da loved one of those during Hurrican Ike. Also, if you do live through a fullon emergency, the Nat'l Guard comes and gives out water and MRE's. The MRE's are gross, but they do usually provide sustenance in the form of peanut butter.

The worst, when the power was out for so many days, was obtaining caffeine.

grrlpup said...

Minute Rice will soften in room-temperature water in a couple of hours. I used to mix it up at breakfast when backpacking and it would be ready by lunchtime. Combining it with something like Tasty Bites (foil packet of Indian food) makes a good meal. Emergency food should be tasty, to boost morale!

Also, instant pudding (with dried milk if you want). Jerky. Tang.

rented life said...

Way late in the game but this post reminded me how my mother buys everyone first aid kits. Getting married? Graduating? Having a baby? Got a new car? You will get a first aid kit appropriate for your situation. Yes, even I got one as a bridal shower gift all those years ago.