Monday, February 1, 2010

Little Bits of Faith = Plenty in Times of Need


I grew up at the base of Mt. Hood. Every year, and I mean every year, someone (or many someones) got lost or stranded on the Mountain. I grew up hearing the stories of lost hikers, stranded motorists and rescue / recovery efforts. I loved the mountain but also have a healthy respect for Mother Nature. 

Disasters will happen. They are a part of life. In my lifetime, my family or community have suffered the following - MAJOR floods (twice), Mt. St. Helen's eruption, massive winter storms (both snow & ice), mudslides, MAJOR home fire, MAJOR tornado. Most of these have resulted in loss of power, water, communications, or transportation for extended time periods. I'll have a few more to add to the list before I die, I am sure. I do not fear disasters - I choose to prepare for them. While on my mission, there was a massive flood in Chile. Many died, homes were lost, transportation halted and a major water purification plant was wiped out. We were out of water for days. The only one home when the flood hit was the 10 yr. old daughter of the family we lived with. She had the presence of mind to fill every container in the house with water. Impressive. However it gets better. She also filled the bath tub AND the washing machine with water. Not only were we fine, but we had enough to share with others. 

As missionaries, we walked to every member's home and checked on them and found out who had water and who didn't. I was shocked that everyone was fine. They had enough for themselves and were sharing with neighbors. Every member. One sister took us into her kitchen. Kitchens in Chile are very small and hers was no exception. I could reach out my hands and touch the walls on either side. She said when she joined the church she was a bit overwhelmed at food storage and then she read an article that said just set aside a little. So she did. She moved some pots off what looked to be a counter. It wasn't a counter but a box with a lid - kind of like a laundry hamper. Inside was filled with 2 liter bottles of water that she had been filling over the years. Through out her tiny home she had stashed bottles of water and other little bits set aside for an emergency. Her little bits of faith were plenty in time of need.

Anyone who has been camping will tell you the basics of a regular 72 hour kit will not an enjoyable disaster make. So I scoured the internet and picked some knowledgeable brains and developed my own extended kits. The most important of these (in my opinion) is the car kit. Stranded motorists happen all. the. time. Perhaps I will never need them, but I know that I will pass someone who will. 

I am not posting all of this as some kind of soap box or prediction of disaster. Rather, I forgot to back up my lists when I changed computers last summer. I have been re-typing these for future reference so I decided to post them as maybe they can help someone else (and I won't have to re-type them again.) If you see anything I have overlooked, please comment or email. 

Extended 72 hr. Kit
5 gal bucket w/ a cushion lid (can be used as a stool)
Nylon cording/Rope
Bungee cords
Matches (water proof and strike anywhere)
Duct tape (all disasters are better with duct tape)
Small stove / fuel 
#10 can
MacGyver tool (multi-purpose tool)
Hatchet and Whetstone
Weather Radio & batteries
Dish soap / sponge
Hand towel
Can opener / punch opener
Collapsible, portable water container
Heavy gloves
Fish hooks and line
Hand crank flashlight

Car Kit
Basic Tool kit
First aid kit
Map and compass
Weather Radio and whistle
Light sticks/ flares
Flashlight and batteries
Rope/bungee cords
bug repellant
Chap stick
food (top ramen, crackers, nuts, seeds, hard candy)
Metal cup & spoon
Hand sanitizer
Sleeping Bag 
Blanket / space blanket
White sheet
Window marker
#10 can
CDs (use as signals for overhead planes) 
Scriptures (military size) 

Garage Resources (I needed a list because in the heat of the moment, I will completely forget some wonderful resources available) 
Water barrel
Bike / bike pump
camp stove / fuel
camp lantern
Dutch oven
Extra gas cans
Charcoal / lighter 
Rope / bungee cords
Hand truck

Evacuation Plans (again, because I will not be thinking clearly)
By Car:
1. Load Water in car (as much as possible)
2. Load the following:
     72 hr. kits
     extra gas
     sleeping bags 
     camp stove
     scrapbooks, genealogy, journals, etc.
3. Change into practical clothing (layers) with sturdy shoes
4. Grab comfort items for kids (blanket, toy, books, cds, snacks)
5. Double check for Maps, cell phone and car charger, and MONEY
6. Post a note on door w/ ICE number
7. Turn off gas, water and electricity to house.
8. Get GAS in car & in extra can.

By Foot:
1. Load 20 gal water jug onto handtruck
2. Strap bucket kit on top of water jug.
3. Change into practical clothing (layers) with sturdy shoes
4. Double check for maps, cell phone / charger and MONEY (fanny pack items)
5. Each person had a back pack (one is full of comfort items for kids  - blanket, toy, book, snack)
6. Take bike and possibly Umbrella stroller 
7. Turn off gas, water and electricity to house
8. Post a note on door with ICE number
(depending on number of able people in family - pull the handcart and suitcase kit and walk the bike or stroller.)

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