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Lightweight prepping A little while

Found at: zaibatsu.circumlunar.space:70/~solderpunk/phlog/lightweight-prepping.txt

Lightweight prepping
--------------------

A little while back, a bunch of folk in the phlogosphere wrote about their
emergency prepardness efforts [1,2,3 - probably more, apologies if I didn't find
your post in my quick search].  I didn't join in at the time for whatever
reason, but not because this kind of stuff doesn't interest me, so here's my
belated contribution.

I've entitled this post "lightweight prepping".  I like the word "prepping"
because it's shorter and nicer sounding than various combinations of
"emergency", "disaster", "prepardenss", "readiness", "resilience", etc.  But I
don't really self identify as a "prepper" because that term for whatever reason
has ended up tied to an extremist, somewhat delusional instantiation of the
whole concept.  This gives the term a pejorative sense, which I think is a
shame.  Yeah, it's true that a lot of preppers have a tenuous grip on reality
and are arguably "over-prepared".  But it's just as true that most "normal
people" are rather "under-prepared".  I wish there was a nice, inoffensive term
for people trying to walk the middle path between these two extremes.

I haven't yet actually got at all set back up after moving to Finland, but back
in Auckland I got myself in a position where I was comfortable with the prospect
of facing 72 hours of no water, electricity, gas, internet, telephone or postal
service, during which time I could not leave my house - I was focussed more on
"bugging in" than "bugging out".  I certainly believe that tougher "threat
models" than this are within the realm of plausibility, but 72 hours of
self-reliance in one's own home seems a nice goal.  It's not that hard to
attain, and should be enough to get through a lot of plausible scenarios.  And
if you can *comfortably* get through 72 hours, you can probably *survive*
getting through a week.

The weather in Auckland is never bad enough that being inside your home without
the ability to heat it or cool it using external energy sources is a serious
risk to your health, so my preparations basically boiled down to:

* Stockpiling some water and food.  Our prepping supplies and camping supplies
  overlapped a lot and so were stored in the same cupboard.  This meant I had a
  pile of gas canisters and a small stove that could be used to heat any of this
  food/water.

* Having a basic first aid kit and a stockpile of basic medicines and personal
  hygiene supplies.

* Having some good flashlights and a stockpile of batteries, so we could see in
  the dark without external electricity.

* Having some portable radios, a stockpile of batteries, and notes on which
  stations had arrangements with the city's Civil Defence team to repeat
  emergency information, so that we could have some idea of what was going on
  without phone or internet.

* Being prepared for a little bit of general purpose MacGuyvering, by keeping a
  shoulder bag near all this stuff which contained some duct tape, knives, rope,
  etc.  You know, the fun stuff.

* Making sure we had somewhere to poop.  Yep, really!  This is not at all a
  glamorous part of prepping and often overlooked, but it's of quite some
  practical importance.  If the external water supply to your house is cut-off,
  your toilet's cistern is not going to refill after each flush.  That means
  before the first day of this scenario is out, it's probably going to be empty
  and your toilet probably isn't going to flush at all.  If you keep using it as
  a toilet, it won't be long before it smells pretty unpleasant and eventually
  it will become a health hazard.  You could, of course, go outside and dig a
  hole, but if the reason for this scenario is, say, extreme weather, then this
  might not be an option.  You could manually refill your cistern, but this
  drastically increases the amount of water you need to stockpile.  Thankfully,
  this is not actually a difficult problem.  It's easy to find large plastic
  buckets with tightly-sealing lids designed for parents of infants to store
  used cotton nappies/diapers in before doing the laundry.  These buckets are
  *designed* to store human waste for a couple of days without being unpleasant.
  Add a few garbage bags to use as liners and you're good to go.  As a bonus,
  the bucket is big enough to hold quite a lot of the above supplies when it's
  not being used as a make-shift toilet, so you can easily keep all your
  prepping stuff neatly stored in one container, which has a carry handle so you
  can move it to where you need it.

I should really get off my ass and get set up for 72 hours temporarily off-grid
here in our new place.

[1] gopher://sdf.org:70/0/users/hobbsc/phlog/20170927.org
[2] gopher://sdf.org:70/0/users/yargo/glog/./t17553.txt
[3] gopher://sdf.org:70/0/users/tomasino/phlog/20170924-go-bag.txt