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Old 04-14-2012, 01:36 PM   #1
happybeebob
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I thought this might be a good topic to start. With all the tornado's that are taking place what would be the things you take with you now or wish you had when Mother Nature threw a haymaker on you while towing your TM.Opened up to all the disasters,Tornado,Earthquake,Hurricane, whatever that could happen many miles from home and not knowing the particular area you are in that well when traveling. What would be the items to have in an all around good kit?

Bob
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Old 04-14-2012, 04:45 PM   #2
Bill
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Bob –

That is a really interesting question, and I’m glad you brought it up. I can’t wait to see where this discussion goes. We’ve touched on the edges of this question before, but never really gotten into it. I’ll throw in some starting thoughts for everyone to take potshots at.

There are actually two questions related to TMs and disasters. The first is the one you asked.
If you are on the road with your TM when disaster strikes, what will you wish you had with you?
-----The second is
If you are at home when disaster strikes, and you want to live in your yard in your TM for a while, what do you need to have on hand?
Both are real interesting, and they have different answers. And they both spring from the kinds of natural disasters you listed.

There is a third question that is off track, and won’t contribute much to this discussion. I hope we can avoid it. That question involves the end of civilization. The idea is that something so bad has happened that it threatens all of human existence. Anyone old enough to remember the 1950s concept of global thermonuclear war, and fallout shelters as a "solution", knows what I am talking about. It was weird. People stockpiled months worth of food and water, and hundreds of firearms with tens of thousands of rounds of ammunition. The survivalist cults of today are doing the same thing. I don’t think that was your question – and I don’t think a TM would be a big help in such a scenario – so let’s try not to go there. Or at least go there in a separate thread.

So the problem we’re discussing is a very real one - natural disaster in some locale. It might be earthquake, fire, flood, tornado, hurricane, blizzard, tsunami, or whatever. Within the affected area, traffic is a mess, some roads are impassable, communications are poor, power is out, and consumer goods are in short supply. What should a TM owner do to prepare for this?

First, and assuming that we are restricting ourselves to North America, I can’t think of a disaster whose effects can’t be escaped by driving 100 miles. They might be slow miles, they might be inconvenient miles, there might be heavy traffic and detours, you might use a lot of gas and a lot of hours. But you can get there. The worst recent example I can think of was the aftermath of Katrina's hit on Louisiana. It was hard to get out of New Orleans, even with the warnings. And you could burn a lot of gas doing it. But eventually you could get out to someplace more “normal”. So the first rule would be “Keep your gas tank at least half full." If you happen to be running low on gas when the disaster strikes, you are asking for trouble.

And of course, make sure your spare tires, both TM and tow vehicle, are inflated. There is likely to be crud on the road.

And the second rule, closely associated with the first, would be “If there are warnings, heed them.” I remember driving across northern Indiana several years ago when a whole flock of tornados suddenly materialized. The radio warned us of where they were, and where they threatened to hit. We checked a map – and beat feet out their way, even though it was way off our planned route.

The next thought is consumer goods. Within the affected area, the ones in short supply are likely to food, bottled water, propane, and flashlight batteries. It is likely that you will have a couple day's worth of these things aboard in any situation, so a local shortage won't turn life-threatening. And if you are on the road and have gas, you can get to somewhere where they are available. Of course, if you are at home and want to stay there, the answer is different, and deserves some different thought.

OK, let’s start there, and see where this discussion goes.

Bill
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Old 04-14-2012, 05:13 PM   #3
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From experience I know that when traveling in a Jeep CJ5 at 45 mph and an oncoming truck is also doing 45 mph and the truck drops a full bale of hay that hits your bumper, it is critical that your brush breaker be at least 3 inch pipe.

I have no doubt that a bale of hay hitting the Jeep windshield would have been a disaster.

I am reasonably sure that if the bale of hay had hit the ground immediately in front of the tires then that would also have been a disaster.

Though this is not a natural disaster situation, it could have been a tornado that dropped the bale of hay.

When driving across a 3 foot wide gap in a paved road, bottom depth unknown, a pair of sturdy planks comes in handy. Loma Prieta earthquake, San Jose, 1989.

Winch cable should be at least 300 feet long. An adequate supply of snatch blocks is very helpful.

Oxyacetylene torches, and the knowledge to use them.

Adequate tools to perform extensive repairs, and the knowledge. I have rebuilt a transmission and rear differential while camping, but I have never rebuilt the engine. Have also repaired leaf springs when the center bolt sheer off attempting to fight a forest fire. When rebuilding a differential it is very helpful to have a small can of white spray paint.

If all public roads are closed, then 4WD is a must.

If public water supplies are unusable then a backpacker style water pump/filter, and an accessible water source (creek, lake, etc.)

Siphon hose to acquire gasoline from somewhere.

Off road motorcycle so you can send someone out for aid when the road cannot be traveled in a 4wd truck.

Non-trivial first aid kit, and the knowledge to use it.

3 months supply of prescription medications. Might need more, depending on the disaster.

Chains for your tires. Even a 4WD truck with gnarly tread mud and snow tires may require chains in some snow/ice conditions.

GPS, maps, binoculars, compass, long range spotting scope.

Sleeping bags rated for at least 20 below.

Various sizes of tarps.

Ropes and bungee cords.

Axe and shovel. Whetting stone to resharpen the axe.

Water proof matches. Flint and striker for when the matches run out.

Duct tape and bailing wire.

Ham radio. In a really bad disaster you don't need a license, because the government will be shut down. In a pinch, CB with sideband and a bootleg amplifier might substitute for the ham radio. Dual whip antennas in a phase configuration will help get a signal out.

At various times I have had all of this equipment with my group. Not necessarily all at once.

If you have no experience boon docking or dry camping, then a copy of the DVD of my presentation a few years ago at the West Coast Rally about boon docking, and the means to play it.

If I think about it more I could probably add to the list, but this is probably adequate for the purpose of the original question.
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Old 04-14-2012, 05:20 PM   #4
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Flashlight and portable radio with extra batteries, matches and candles. A couple of those foil emergency blankets. Maybe water purifying tabs. Maybe some MRE's also.
We stay prepared for power outages at our home. Gas stove and woodburning stove for warmth and cooking, extra canned foods on hand, always bottled water. Since the blizzard in the midwest during the 70's, we always have these items wherever we live.
Having items on hand in the TM is even better since we carry a camp stove, water, extra food, blankets.
Now, the next thing for me would be, if caught in path of tornado, finding cover and hoping that my TM and TV don't get blown away!!

Karen
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Old 04-14-2012, 05:33 PM   #5
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Just for fun consider this.

Theoretically an earthquake equal to the strongest ever recorded could, in my opinion, close all major roads into the San Francisco Bay area. There are only a few. No way to deliver food and water via trucks.

So now several million people need to be prepared.

Assuming the government is still functioning, then food and water could be airlifted into the area. This is one of the reasons the FAA wants to keep the small local airports open.

This past week we had two tornadoes touch down and 45 lightening strikes along the peninsula.

There is a reason that all large data centers have been moved out of San Francisco.
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Old 04-14-2012, 05:35 PM   #6
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Good questions:

At home: We keep the Tm in the garage so I'm assuming that if the house has collapsed or is otherwise uninhabitable, the TM won't be very accessible either. We do keep "48 hour" kits in back packs for each of us if we have to leave. Also have about a 6 week supply of water and food in an accessible location along with heavy sleeping bags, a small tent, and a well equipped first aid kit. Some other stuff there too but can't remember at the moment. The key is to be prepared for the couple of weeks it might take relief agencies to arrive and get set up.

I am CERT trained and found that to be very valuable in understanding what needs to be done in the first couple of days following a disaster. I highly recommend it. Only takes a couple of weekends and is available nearly everywhere. http://www.citizencorps.gov/cert/about.shtm

On the road: First thing I'd probably do is get the heck out of the TM. I've been in 50 mph winds in the TM and it was freaky but OK. But if I hear that there is a tornado warning or hurricane force winds coming, I'm heading for shelter. Earthquakes are generally over before one could do much but if it is prolonged, I'd probably head for the truck figuring it would give me better protection though windshields are a hazard.

Disasters are low probability, high impact events. Because of that, I do some planning for being in a disaster at home but a disaster on the road is even lower probability so I don't worry much about planning for that scenario. Whatever we have in the the TM for a trip (including a serious first aid kit) is likely sufficient for a disaster.

Just my opinion, of course.

Keith
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Old 04-14-2012, 07:14 PM   #7
happybeebob
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Actually the response was better than I thought and it did give me the beginnings of a list of things for emergencies. Now Wayne is so far ahead of the curve due to where he camps I think he could survive very well in the middle of the Sahara Desert or even a distant planet. My add to things will be a weather radio,xtra batteries,flashlights,expanded first aid kit,first aid book and maybe even a course in first aid. Even the MRE's sound good to take along.
My thought here was to maybe not only help myself out a little by getting suggestions but to get other people to think of what they they would need to survive in a pinch if something happened. First few hours or so would be rather critical. Thinking out of the box is good. Take the TM owner that just put the new bunk bed in and people said how much they liked it and were thinking of doing it themselves. Looking at how they did that it also looks like it would be one heck of a litter in a pinch and stores so easy. Hope to get more suggestions from you guys.

Bob
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Old 04-14-2012, 07:40 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PopBeavers View Post
From experience I know that when traveling in a Jeep CJ5 at 45 mph and an oncoming truck is also doing 45 mph and the truck drops a full bale of hay that hits your bumper, it is critical that your brush breaker be at least 3 inch pipe.

I have no doubt that a bale of hay hitting the Jeep windshield would have been a disaster.

I am reasonably sure that if the bale of hay had hit the ground immediately in front of the tires then that would also have been a disaster.

Though this is not a natural disaster situation, it could have been a tornado that dropped the bale of hay.

When driving across a 3 foot wide gap in a paved road, bottom depth unknown, a pair of sturdy planks comes in handy. Loma Prieta earthquake, San Jose, 1989.

Winch cable should be at least 300 feet long. An adequate supply of snatch blocks is very helpful.

Oxyacetylene torches, and the knowledge to use them.

Adequate tools to perform extensive repairs, and the knowledge. I have rebuilt a transmission and rear differential while camping, but I have never rebuilt the engine. Have also repaired leaf springs when the center bolt sheer off attempting to fight a forest fire. When rebuilding a differential it is very helpful to have a small can of white spray paint.

If all public roads are closed, then 4WD is a must.

If public water supplies are unusable then a backpacker style water pump/filter, and an accessible water source (creek, lake, etc.)

Siphon hose to acquire gasoline from somewhere.

Off road motorcycle so you can send someone out for aid when the road cannot be traveled in a 4wd truck.

Non-trivial first aid kit, and the knowledge to use it.

3 months supply of prescription medications. Might need more, depending on the disaster.

Chains for your tires. Even a 4WD truck with gnarly tread mud and snow tires may require chains in some snow/ice conditions.

GPS, maps, binoculars, compass, long range spotting scope.

Sleeping bags rated for at least 20 below.

Various sizes of tarps.

Ropes and bungee cords.

Axe and shovel. Whetting stone to resharpen the axe.

Water proof matches. Flint and striker for when the matches run out.

Duct tape and bailing wire.

Ham radio. In a really bad disaster you don't need a license, because the government will be shut down. In a pinch, CB with sideband and a bootleg amplifier might substitute for the ham radio. Dual whip antennas in a phase configuration will help get a signal out.

At various times I have had all of this equipment with my group. Not necessarily all at once.

If you have no experience boon docking or dry camping, then a copy of the DVD of my presentation a few years ago at the West Coast Rally about boon docking, and the means to play it.

If I think about it more I could probably add to the list, but this is probably adequate for the purpose of the original question.
This reminds me of a joke, with the punchline being, "Doctor says you're gonna die."
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Old 04-15-2012, 06:16 AM   #9
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Aside of the previous mentioned items. CASH. ATM's, banks credits card scanners etc will not be working. Happens after hurricanes and this is always a pitfall
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Old 04-15-2012, 01:15 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Aside of the previous mentioned items. CASH. ATM's, banks credits card scanners etc will not be working. Happens after hurricanes and this is always a pitfall
A large computer company had a software error some years ago. Because of this error the ATMs were down for three days.

The area that was affected was the nation of Japan.

Some outages are bigger than others.

Regarding my previous post, and some of the weird stuff I mentioned. This was a Boy Scout Explorer Post that spent 2 weeks every summer looking for ghost towns in Nevada. We had 5 Jeeps ranging in model years 1948 through 1965. This was around 1970.

We used the torches to remove a severely broken Warn all range overdrive in the CJ5. After removal we had to weld the spline piece to the gear piece. After the weld was complete we needed to quench it. The only container we had that was suitable was an aluminum pitcher, full of Kool-Aid. What a geyser that made! We also repaired broken utility trailer frames.

Sometimes we were 40 miles from the nearest paved road. If we got low on fuel we could always transfer all of the gas to a single vehicle to go out and get more gas. Same for water. If you are alone then you do not have these group options.

One of these days I will need to slow down and be a bit more conservative. I turn 59 in July.
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