Friday, January 6, 2012

When the Sun Burps - Homebound Part One

It’s late February, the snow is still on the ground but the sun is shining and it is about a balmy forty degrees. You don’t feel like going to work, so you play hooky and look forward to watching Days of Our Lives.
After lunch you take a trip to Starbucks, treat yourself to a latte, make an afternoon snack and snuggle on the couch. Stephano Demera has risen from the dead … again and just when Bo and Hope are going to reunite for the umpteenth time …. Everything powers down. Lights out.
Without warning, a large X10 solar flare has unleashed a powerful CME that smashed into earth and caused a geomagnetic event.
You hear a loud whistle sound, an engine whistling. An airplane? It grows louder, faster, louder. You run to the front door just in enough time to see a large passenger plane dropping from the sky. It lands in the distance but close enough for the ground beneath your feet to rumble and the explosion causes your ears to ring.
Further away you hear another and another. You literally see four planes fall from the sky. No power, no lights. You need answers. People are confused. They are in the street, some are screaming that they have to get their kids at school … it is immediate mass hysteria.
An X10 solar flare not only causes massive radiation doses to those in the air, it can cause CME’s which in turn could trigger EMP’s that knock out power grids, not for hours but for weeks, if not forever.
What do you do?
But at the moment the lights go out, planes fall from the sky, you haven’t a clue what’s going on.
Your house is dark, you have no power. Who the heck has a battery operated radio anymore?
First thing first. Give it five minutes. Allow news stations and others to transfer to generator power.
Check your cell phone first, call the electric company. They may have a prerecorded message informing you if it is an all out outage or local. If that fails, do you have a laptop? Internet? Does it work? Let’s say it doesn’t. What now?
Without power, without a radio, phone, internet, how can you find out what is happening?
Anyone? Anyone?
Yes, the car. Theoretically, anything that is not running during an EMP will run. Do not start your car, merely switch it to use the battery and access the radio. Look for stations that may have news. If there is nothing there, do not give up hope. Try again in a few moments.
Remember, the worst thing you can do is leave the safety of your home or neighborhood. Stay put, get informed, assess the situation, then devise a plan. Listen to the advice of authorities.
Now let’s say, after a half an hour, you finally hear a news report. You are told about the CME and that it has affected most of the country.
Massive blackout. No power. No power no gas stations. You have a half of a tank of gas, not enough to make it to Aunt May’s in Nevada where they have power.
The city is being shut down. You are now stuck in your home until order and power are restored.
What do you do to survive?
Over the next several days I will be walking you through the process of being homebound, in cold weather and surviving until the event is over or you can move safely to another shelter.
Tune in tomorrow …. As we move onto part two.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Week One - Survival Shopping

As we engulf on the ‘end of the world’ preparation journey, it is so important to remember that while I am trying to keep you on a shoe string apocalypse budget, there will be a few things you may need to buy on the side. Most are very inexpensive and I’ll try to incorporate them into our weekly budget.
Did you find you space? Your area to store you supplies? If not, that is a must. The worst thing you can do is store them away from your home. What if you get stuck? What if you can’t leave? You need to prepare your home.
The easiest way to save money is if you are a milk or soda drinker. Those half gallon/gallon jugs that you recycle? No more. I want you to wash them out and ONCE a week, fill one with tap water. This will save you money.  Just one gallon a week.
And now for the weekly shop and prep list. Ready?
This is fairly simple. Go through your closets and drawers and find 8 articles of clothing you no longer wear that are warm. Or at least as many as you can. These will be stored in your shelter for layering.
If the world ends tomorrow, if everything shuts down and even without a stockpile of food, you can still survive. However, essential things need to be had right away. Starting with the ability to cook your food.
No lights. No gas. You need to eat and boil water. Hence why it is important to have these right away.
If you don’t have a Coleman stove you need to make one. Or what I call a Sterno stove. One of the best sources of cooking inside is STERNO.  You can buy a six pack of Sterno at Walmart for just a couple bucks. These are something I’ll include on your ten dollar a week list occasionally. But to jump start, get three cans of Sterno.
You also need 3 bricks and a metal grate (Small and for a Coleman stove) These are also available at Walmart for 5 bucks. Except the bricks, you can find them anywhere.
A VERY thin tin pan with a lid. Thin will help heat faster and the lid seals in heat. You don’t need a large pan, small is better. Like an egg poacher. You can boil two cups fast. Did you know that once the water boils, you can blow out the Sterno,  add a fist of pasta, place on the lid and let it set and it will cook on its own? Hence conserving the Sterno.
Many things can be cooked/heated with Sterno. Remember four hours of heat per can.
How to make the stove:
Prop the grate on two bricks and a can of Sterno under the grate, one a brick. Light the Sterno. That easy!
And finally, here is your FIRST weekly list. ALL of these items can be purchased at the dollar store.
·         One box of Band Aids
·         One bottle of Ibuprofen
·         One bottle sanitizer
·         One bag of beans (Any kind)
·         One box of instant Rice
·         One box of Oatmeal
·         One gallon of water.
I realize it doesn’t seem like much, but I promise, after 51 weeks, you’ll be stocked up!
Good luck!
Tomorrow: Surviving in your house without preparation.