As Hurricane Gustav bears down on us…

31 Aug

I don’t know what YOU’RE doing, but As Hurricane Gustav bears down on US, we’re starting to get ready…

To run like the devil was chasing us!

Are YOU ready?

Most predictions now, are that Hurricane Gustav will make landfall as a Category 3, near SW New Orleans, LA. And, we’re gonna start seeing the rain and high winds, in about 10 hours. The main bulk of the storm should land early tomorrow morning.

We’re located about 65 miles away, so that’s not good. If it’s a Category 3, we’ll get a ton of water, lots of tidal surge, and heavy winds. It’s looking like it’s gonna be ugly. Man, I hope FEMA learned something from the last time…

If you’re reading this and you’re within the cone of the storm, I thought I’d take some time to help you remember how this works…

Which translates to “I thought, that instead of preaching the “Gospel of Shipping Containers,” I’d try to help you remember to get “all your groceries together,” as you head out the front door, in advance of the storm.”

Let’s look at that kit you’ve put together, to help you survive this hurricane, okay?

Now I know that some of you will probably want to put enough supplies together to last longer than three days,  but the idea is that you can pick this bag up and run like hell, when it’s time…

And, most of you will want to modify the contents of this list to suit your own personal preferences.

Why? Because there  are people on this planet who are really picky, no matter what the conditions are,  and others of us who can’t stand powdered milk or “potted meat.” Nothing says; “You’re not my favorite child!” like handing a kid SPAM! Blah!

Now, I say “Eat it and like it!” But, if you’re more compassionate, you might wanna have your kids participate in the selections you bag up…


Package each meal for each member in individual bags. Label them with stuff like “Breakfast – Day One” etc…

This prevents any loss of food for any one person in your party and allows you to keep track of your stuff.

Meals Ready to Eat – MRE’s are invaluable, here. They have everything you need, and even things you don’t.  (I still have about 862 tiny bottles of Tobasco Hot Sauce from last time!) I allow 4 meals a day, because without anything else to do, eating seems to help pass the time. I’ll diet later.

Pick foods your family will enjoy.

It’s very important that you place foods in this kit that your family will eat without being finicky.  You might plan to place foods in your kits that your family particularly enjoys but that you don’t always serve. Any treat, during a storm, is a godsend.

Place food in your kits that are easy to prepare or ready to eat.

When you need to use this kit, remember you will have in most cases been evacuated from your home either by car or on foot.  It will be a stressful time for your family.  You may be in a Red Cross Shelter, in a campground or on the road or on the way to relatives homes.  You will not have all the luxuries of home. Cooking at best will be difficult.  Please keep this in mind as you choose your foods for this 72 emergency survival kit.

And, don’t spend a lot of money! You’re gonna need it later, I promise!

This is a survival kit.  You will want to be comfortable but not extravagant.  The food you place in here, due to its convenience, will cost more than you desire to spend, however, you can keep the cost very reasonable.

Ideas for Food;

Beef Jerky               Saltine Crackers
Corned Beef Hash         Soup-for-One
Roast Beef Hash          Cheese & Crackers
Beef Stew                Oyster Crackers
Chili                    Dried Beef
Ravioli                  Fruit Cups
Applesauce Cups          Vienna Sausages
Pudding Cups             Bread Sticks
Cookies                  Snack Pack Cereal
Canned Milk              Powdered Milk
Fruit Rolls              Fun Fruits
Packages of Raisins      Packages of Peanuts
Granola Bars             Beef Sticks
Box Juices               Hot Cocoa Mix
Suckers                  Hard Candy
Trail Mix                Power Bars

This list is just to give you some suggestions for putting together your own kits.  As each families taste differ you will need to adjust for your own families taste. Duh!

As much as you guys and gals know I hate Walmart, it looks like they’re really gonna cash in on this one!

Menus – Examples

Breakfast-Day 1     Breakfast-Day 2       Breakfast-Day 3
—————     —————       —————
Cereal              Instant Oatmeal       Granola Bar
Powdered Milk       Fruit Roll            Granola Bar
Fruit Cup           Box of Apple Juice    Box of Grapefruit Juice
Box of OJ           Hot Cocoa/Ice Tea     Hot Cocoa/Ice Tea

Lunch-Day 1         Lunch-Day 2           Lunch-Day 3
———–         ———–           ———–
Cup of Soup         Beef Jerky            Box of OJ
Saltine Crackers    Peanuts               Cheese & Crackers
Box of Apple Juice  Applesauce Cup        Fruit Cup
Pudding Cup         Box of Grape Juice    Granola Bar

Dinner-Day 1        Dinner-Day 2          Dinner-Day 3
————        ————          ————
Corned Beef Hash    Chili with Beans      Beef Stew
Applesauce Cup      Saltine Crackers      Bread Sticks
Box of Grape Juice  Box of OJ             Box of OJ
Granola Bar         Tapioca PuddIng Cup   Fruit Cup

Pack instant mix puddings and jello!!!

Finally, “OJ” in a box. I was hoping for a “prison cell,” but if you can squeeze his big head into a little tiny box, I’ll be satisfied! “If da box don’t fit, you must acquit!” LOL!

Repack dried fruit into margarine tubs, or coffee cans.  The cellophane type packaging will let them dry out to rocks.  Warning:  Some raisins aren’t dried enough to keep well.

Cookies have a high fat content. Because of this, you’ll want to consume them first. They’ll go bad (rancid) otherwise quickly. That’s my excuse, and I’m stickin to it…

Cheese & crackers have a fairly short expiration date, or have so much anti-oxidants that I can’t stand them. But, kids love them. Again, eat them sooner, rather than later.

I’d add to this list: peanut butter, jam, Ramen noodles (or the equivalent.) Macaroni, mushroom soup mix, tuna, rice,  (If you have a 20 lb bag of rice, I guarantee that you won’t starve…)

You may want to tape to the container a ‘grab list’ to grab at the last minute.  E.g. cheese, tuna, sandwich stuff, — stuff that will keep for a few days without refrigeration but that you don’t want to keep in the kit due to long term storage problems.


CANNED HEAT (STERNO) – This can be purchased at most sporting goods stores as well as most grocery stores.  You will need to store 1 large can per person per day. Maybe more, because some idiots drink it. Seriously. Can you imagine? You really have to need a drink, to swallow Sterno!

BUDDY BURNER – Don’t set your “buddy” on fire after he passes out from drinking the Sterno. IAlthough he’ll burn for hours, t’s a felony. Select a shallow can (tuna, cat food, etc.) and insert coil of corrugated cardboard the height of the can.

Pour in some melted paraffin wax to partially fill  a can.  Allow it to harden.  Place a birthday candle in center to help light it, and make your kids crazy. They’ll spend hours trying to figure out who’s birthday it is! A lid on the can with a wire handle will help control the heat.

You won’t be loved for lighting these indoors.  They are smoky, and reek of the stink. Kinda like your Mother-In-Law. Hey, I wonder if you could get your Mother-In-Law to drink Sterno? Talk about a 2’fer!

A much better alternative is to carry a gallon of rubbing alcohol and a lidded tin  3/4 of the way full of salt.  The salt acts as a wick for the alcohol.  A catfood tin works great, and the plastic lids  that come with some of them keeps the salt from escaping.

VAGABOND STOVE – No picking on Vagabonds! They never did anything to you! Sheesh! You’re a bunch of felons, you are! So… Use a number 10 can.  Cut opening around the top of the can with a can  opener punch.  This is to provide a draft for your fire.  Then cut an opening at the bottom of the can  large enough to fit the Buddy Burner or a small fire.  Cook on top.

Use the can opener backwards on the rim, so that it stabs the side of the can instead of the face.  By  doing this at both ends you can just get the buddy burner down on the inside of the can, and have  less risk of getting cut on sharp edges.

This cut up can is also a very good charcoal burner.  WARNING: Put on non-flammable surface. It gets HOT.


Lighting Equipment

GAS LANTERN (Coleman, two mantle)

Burning at the rate of 5 hours per day, the following amounts of white gas would be used:  Per day – 5/12 quarts; per week – 2/12 quart per month – 3 1/8 gallons; per year 38 gallons.

But get a 1 mantle lantern instead.  It makes very little difference in the amount of light, and  requires only half the fuel.

DON’T forget to have spare mantles for it!.

CANDLES (Burning time)

3/4 diameter x 4″ tall – 2 hours and 20 minutes
7/8 diameter x 4″ tall – 5 hours
2″ square x 9″ tall – 7 hours per inch or : 4 inches – 28 hours

Use the tea candles, for “short” light needs.

Heating or Cooking Equipment


I would get a backpacking stove instead, due to the room.  Most stoves can be run on unleaded auto fuel, if disaster strikes your neighborhood. You know, stuff like a fire, a riot, a flood, a tornado, a hurricane, or an earthquake…  The  most critical need for help after the disaster is during the first 72 hours, yet  community and government assistance will probably not be available during this period.


With a minimum of expense and trouble it is possible to ease the stress of a difficult situation and  may even save you and your families life.  In any form of emergency situation, several things take place, both physical and emotional.

  1. We will all experience emotional shock and a certain amount of hysteria.
  2. The propensity of accidents increases.
  3. The greatest threat to loss of life are accidents that lead to severe bleeding or other forms of injury or trauma.

If we are not able to address these injuries as effectively as possible, this will greatly increase our  own stress and could virtually debilitate some people and prevent them from acting in a sound and  rational manner.

WE must keep in mind that in the event of a severe disaster, all familiar public services, including  medical, will be immediately over-taxed and as a result, will be basically ineffectual to you as an  individual, particularly during the first 72 hours.

Assistance Organizations such as the Red Cross, Hospitals, the Military, National Guard, etc., require a  certain amount of response time no matter what you’re seeing on TV. Believe me when I tell you that they are looking to you to take care of yourself and your family completely for a period of a few hours up to 72 hours.  It takes approximately 72 hours until their operations  are even close to being in full service.

First Aid Kit

In any emergency a family member or you yourself may be cut, burned or suffer other injuries. If you have these basic supplies you are better prepared to help your loved ones when they are hurt. Remember, many injuries are not life threatening and do not require immediate medical attention. Knowing how to treat minor injuries can make a difference in an emergency. Consider taking a first aid class, but simply having the following things can help you stop bleeding, prevent infection and assist in decontamination.

Things you should have:

* Two pairs of Latex, or other sterile gloves (if you are allergic to Latex).
* Sterile dressings to stop bleeding.
* Cleansing agent/soap and antibiotic towelettes to disinfect.
* Antibiotic ointment to prevent infection.
* Burn ointment to prevent infection.
* Adhesive bandages in a variety of sizes.
* Eye wash solution to flush the eyes or as general decontaminant.
* Thermometer (Read more: Biological Threat)
* Prescription medications you take every day such as insulin, heart medicine and asthma inhalers.
* Prescribed medical supplies like glucose and blood pressure monitoring equipment and supplies.

Things it may be good to have:

* Cell Phone
* Scissors
* Tweezers
* Tube of petroleum jelly or other lubricant

Non-prescription drugs:

* Aspirin or nonaspirin pain reliever
* Anti-diarrhea medication
* Antacid (for upset stomach)
* Laxative


It is important that you take a comprehensive survey of your own family units needs and insure that  you have included any special items that are unique to you.  Your needs could be very much  different than the suggested lists, only you can decide what you and your families needs are based on your resources and experiences.

Once you have established and gathered together what you feel are necessary requirements for both  an Emergency Preparedness Kit and a substantial First Aid Kit; you will need a container that these  items will go in.

1-  Fishing Tackle Boxes
2-  Tool Boxes
3-  Sweater Storage Boxes
4-  Rubbermaid Tote and Go

The items listed above are ideas for storing your large First Aid Kit.

These boxes need to withstand the rigors of rapid transportation. Please keep in mind that none of  the items you gather together are of any value to you if they cannot be brought to the point of need and be in useable condition and render the service that the items were intended for.

1-  Rubbermaid Tote and Store
2-  Suitcase
3-  Footlockers
4-  Plastic Garbage Cans
5-  Corrugated Cardboard Boxes

The items listed above are ideas for storing your 72 hour emergency kit.

These kits do not have to be complicated!  Rather, simple is better than complex, however, the need  of quality and durability should be one of the major criteria for any items included.


The Civil Defense Bulletin Reads:

“Water to be stored should be drawn into containers before it is needed.  Don’t wait until an emergency happens before laying in your supply.  When an emergency occurs, it may be to late to act.  The public water service may already be interrupted or contaminated. Also, if thousands of households are trying to fill water containers at the same time, they would reduce the pressure in the street mains.  This would make things like fire fighting more difficult.  Waiting until something happens before you draw and store the water you need could cost you your home or even your life.”

Good Methods of Storing Water –

Store Bottled Water – may be stored up to six months with no detrimental effect or rotation required.

Store Water in Old Bleach Bottles –  No not rinse the Plastic Chlorox Bottles before filling with water.  You should not get ill from drinking this water as the residue left in the bottle is probably just the      right amount of chlorine to protect the water.

Purchase five gallon water containers from a camping supply store or Army Surplus store.  Keep in mind, however that you will need to transport this and possibly on foot so consider the weight involved if you choose this method.  Water weighs approximately 8 pounds per gallon.

Water Purification Methods –

Boiling-  Most water can be purified by boiling it, and it  will destroy the bacteria.  In order to  improve the taste it will be necessary to aerate it after boiling.  This is accomplished by pouring it from one container to another several times.  This should be done after the  water has been allowed  to cool.

Chlorination-  You can use any commercially available bleach solution.  It should contain 5.25% Sodium  Hypochlorite.  Add the following to a clean container in which when the water is added. It can be thoroughly mixed by stirring or shaking.

4 drops per gallon
20 drops = 1/4 tsp or
enough to purify 5 gallons.

After adding the proper dosage and stirring, allow the water to stand for 30 minutes.  It should then have a distinct odor of chlorine. If this odor is not present, add another dose of the solution and let stand for another 15 minutes.

The taste or smell or chlorine in water as treated in this manner is a sign of safety. It is not harmful.  On the contrary, if you cannot detect chlorine in water you are trying to purify by this method, do not drink it.

Purification Tablets – Tablets that release iodine may be used safely to purify drinking water.  These tablets can be found at most drug stores and sporting goods stores.  The names vary but it is generically known as halazone tablets.


Store these items in water proof containers.  A plastic bucket is ideal for this.  Make it accessible to your emergency kits.

Suggested Items:

Books & Magazines, Paper, Coloring Books, and Activity Books, Felt Tip Markers, Colored Pencils, Scissors, Games, Small toys, any Hard Candy, Children’s Vitamins, Pain-Reliever, Cold Remedies, Band Aids, and First-Aid Cream, String, Clothespins, Feathers, Straws, Wooden Blocks, and don’t forget your marbles!


Remember that you can turn off your hot water heater, and drain water out of the drain connection.  Also, your toilet tank contains 5 gallons of good clean water. (If you don’t poison it with a toilet cleaner tablet)

Be Careful About Rain Water!

2 liter pop bottles are also a good way to store water, and don’t
require a cup to drink it.

PAPER CUPS, PLATES, BOWLS and DISPOSABLE UTENSILS are GOOD! No washing, and easily disposed of. This will also cut down on contamination issues.

SOAP – Liquid soap (soft soap or pump ivory) works best when water supplies are limited.

I’d use dish detergent for this.  Rinses easier.

FIRST AID KIT – It is assumed that major medical needs will be taken care of by community resources.  The community has a plan which will deploy paramedics, fire departments, police, And other medical personnel as needed to areas where major injuries have occurred.

NOT A GOOD ASSUMPTION.  Most communities don’t have a “realistic” plan, and even those that do are so badly overloaded that you may easily die before getting medical attention, even if you are at the hospital.

The purpose, therefore, of the items included in the family First Aid Kit is to treat minor injuries so that they do not become a major threat to health during the first few days of an emergency.

If you are serious take a 50 hour first aid course.  And take a refresher every two years. For NEXT time. It’s too late for that now. Grab a first aid manual, if you have one, and throw it into the kit!

When this is over… again… Learn second aid.  Knowing what to do during the first 24 hours after an accident is critical!.  Get a copy of “Medicine for Mountaineers” It has a lot of stuff you don’t need (Altitude sickness…) but has instructions for using morphine, antibiotics, sulpha, various drugs.

SLEEPING BAGS and BEDROLLS – Wool blankets resist fire, they warm even when wet and they are less bulky than sleeping bags.  There must be adequate and appropriate sleeping cover for every member of the family.

Wool blankets take forever to dry, are warmer than cotton, and are expensive.  Use polyester filled sleeping bags, and get a decent stuff sack for them.  If you live in a warm climate and don’t think you need much bedding, then use acrylic blankets.  They are much warmer, wet or dry, are cheaper, and the moths find them distasteful.

An alternative is to use polyester filled quilts.

My winter sleeping bag is 8″ x 20″ stuffed in its stuff sack. It’s a LOT smaller than 2 blankets.

Keep some basic hand tools ready. An adjustable wrench is a good start. You can use it to turn off gas lines, water lines, etc…

Most gas lines have a pressure regulator at the house entrance. You’ll know when it’s time to turn it off.

Don’t forget a battery powered radio, and extra batteries. And, having a camera in your pocket isn’t such a bad idea, either! You might find something worthy of recording for history!

Obviously, this is just a “reminder.” I’ve cobbled together  as much stuff as I could find, to help us jar our memory while we get ready for the hurricane. It’s in the middle of the Gulf now, and it’s trying to figure out where to strike…

I’ve got packing and securing to do, so I’m gonna call it quits for now. There’s lots of stuff I’ve forgotten, I’m sure. So please just add them to the list, using the comments box, below.

Take care of yourselves, and anybody else you can. If you don’t have to go out, DON’T! It’s gonna be dangerous, ugly, and possibly even life-threatening…

Here We Go! G_d Bless You All, and Good Luck!

Stay Tuned…

PS Sorry about the crappy formatting. I’ll fix it later. Right now I’m trying to do eight things at the same time… Is this REALLY what Bill Gates meant, by “multi-tasking?” LOL!

(And if you’re one of those types who feel like I’ve “stolen” a part of your article [included here in my post], remember this is for a good cause, PRESERVING HUMAN LIFE. There is a very real hurricane approaching us, with very real bad intent. If you’re pissed off about “copyright issues,” take it up with my lawyers, if I live.)

3 Responses to “As Hurricane Gustav bears down on us…”

  1. renaissanceronin August 31, 2008 at 5:42 pm #

    Okay Sports Fans, the storm begins…

    It’s 5:45pm here in Biloxi, and the show has started. The high winds have begun, and it’s raining hard enough that you can’t see the building next door…

    This is just one of the first “bands” of weather to arrive, before the real show starts…

    Keeep your heads down!


  2. Kablivi September 21, 2008 at 1:19 pm #

    Wow, what a great resourceful article and I’m sure your upbeat communication style is greatly valued by the many people facing damage and loss through the storms that have hit the area. These are difficult times and these devastations raise many questions inside ourselves… none more important and persistent than… What is the meaning of all this? What is the meaning of life? Why is life so full of challenges and ongoing suffering? I urge you to take a look at, you may very well find a new perspective and some clarity on questions you might never have even given a voice to.

  3. Airsoft March 13, 2010 at 1:23 pm #

    Right on !! Damn I’m getting hooked on your blog 🙂

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