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Monday, February 08, 2016

Less than lethal

The subject of planning for emergencies and security always seem to come up together. With these two always comes the topic of firearms. The one subject which never seems to really come when people start talking about emergency planning, is anything to do with options you can give yourself which do not include firearms. We have discussed the use of force during situations and one very important aspect of the use of force continuum is having options. 

When you hear a bump in the night we all think this is what we are going to find. But what if you find something different lurking outside? 

Are you going to shoot them because this is the only option you have prepared for and given yourself to work with? Are you going to pistol whip the kids to make them leave? If you have answered with some form of "You bet I would!" picture this being your loved ones. Your loved ones looking for shelter, food and you are not there to help them. Would you want them to be shot? If your still saying yes just go away now................... 

For the rest of use we can give ourselves options to use, especially if you are not trained with firearms and can never own one due to your personal beliefs. Now these options are not better or worst than firearms. Each is a tool and can be used for different tasks. As with any tool if you do not know how to use the tool it might as well be a door stop. We should also think of these tools as option makers which should be used in conjunction with our personal abilities and skill level. 

Three of the main options you see being sold to people are Tazers, stun guns and batons. Each of these have advantages and disadvantages. A big issue is people will ask their friend what they should get, then they go buy one, put it somewhere and forget it. Tazers have batteries and batteries die, batons take a bit of skill to use above the level of a caveman smashing something and if your attempting to use a baton for less than lethal you need some training. 

Before we go any further it is absolutely important, as in do not buy anything we are talking about, NO, do not do it until you have checked your local laws!! In some locations, like sunny Southern California, simply having one of these tools is a crime! You do not want to make it through a really bad situation to only find yourself in jail facing more bad situations because you did not check the laws. No ignorance of the law is not a defense and stores will sell things which are illegal to own!! DO YOUR HOMEWORK!!!! 

Remember these tools are less than lethal but can cause permanent damage and could also kill someone. Sure you bought the baton to defend yourself without killing someone but the one time you used it the bad guy ducked and you smashed his head in......... 

The biggest tool I heard people are told to buy is Pepper Spray. Without getting into all the details, yes I could bore you with the details, not all spray or delivery options are the same. Do a little research before you go buy a keychain spray of this stuff and think you are safe. Hint; the key chain stuff in a size you will carry probably ain't enough to stop someone....

These photos of people standing within arm reach of the bad guy and deploying their tools to end the situation are very misleading. Having been sprayed and partaken in training with others being sprayed I can tell you in each of these pictures it would be nothing for the bad guy to reach out and grab the women. Once he has his hands on her he does not need to see and is probably even more motivated to hurt her because he is in pain. 

 These photos using other tools also give a false sense of confidence on how these tools work. 

This distance you see with the spray is what is used during training to ensure the trainee is inundated the first time and does not have to go through the process more than once. A hand held up between the two at this distance will do a lot for the bad guy and give him time he can close the distance with. 

At this distance you can not expect to spray the bad guy and the situation ends. This is where you have to utilize the tool as part of your overall response to the situation. You could deflect the reaching hand, deploy the spray and make some distance. This is a good idea of how to properly utilize pepper spray. Use the spray from the greatest distance you can. The spray takes time to work, might only be a second or two but in a confrontation tenths of a second make the difference

If we had the video of the situation in this picture odds are we would see the bad guy, with the club. Continue forward as he followed through with the swing. For their positions it would appear the guy in the helmet will be struck by the club if he just stands there. The club guy might even take two or three swings before the spray effects him to the point he can no longer fight. In a small percentage of the population there are people who are not affected at all by pepper spray. Again, these are tools and should be part of an overall strategy for surviving the situation. If you look at the guy in the helmet he appears to be law enforcement of some type. 

Let's say he is for this post. They guy swinging the club is sprayed and as the cop changes position to gain space and time the club man keeps coming. At this point the cop would be thinking of changing tactics and would move further up the scale for using force. The shotgun, if loaded properly, could be his next step to stop the situation. Ok gun folks pay attention to this next part..........

There are less than lethal rounds made for shotguns! Again these are designed to be less than lethal but the person deploying the tool needs to understand how to deploy it. For all of the kinetic energy rounds or even the baton targeting is the key to helping ensure nothing becomes lethal. 

These are some of the types of less than lethal rounds available for shotguns. In essence most of them are bean bags thrown really hard from the shotgun. Some rounds are a softish plastic which bounces a lot. All of them are designed to cause pain. Pain makes people stop doing what they are doing because nobody likes pain!!!!! The next time you see a protest on TV or a situation where police utilize these remember they are made to hurt but not kill anyone. 

Sure these look bad, I can tell you from experience they hurt and take a few weeks to heal up, but none of these people are dead. We will skip discussing why these people were targeted......... For those of us out there who focus our security planning on firearms, here are some new ways to utilize your shotgun (you have one right) and a reason to buy more ammo. These do not fly like regular rounds and take some practice to learn to deploy correctly. 

This is getting a bit long so I will wrap it up here. In the future there will be more postings on less than lethals and I will attempt to give more details on selection and deployment. For now, if I found the women and children in the second picture in my area and I needed them to leave..... I would step up wind of them, move ten to fifteen yards away and utilize the pepper spray more like a mist to inundate them as little as needed. After a few minutes and once the kids started feeling the irritation they would leave! At least I hope they would!!  


As Always,

Stay Safe!!

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Recommendation - ARLO

Here is something I have been using for a just over a month now. remember I do not make many recommendations and will only recommend stuff I use...... and I do not get paid to endorse anything.

This is the ARLO camera system and I have had it set up for about a month.


We had a little situation at the house just before X-MAS. Neighbors noticed someone going through the wife's truck!!!! They came outside, the person jumped in a car and drove off! THANK YOU NEIGHBORS!!!

Luckily nothing was taken! On a side note....... I was vindicated on a 20 year old "discussion" between myself and my better half...... she has a habit of leaving the truck unlocked..... Remember if the door is locked in most cases the bad guy will move on.

Needless to say I was annoyed and did some searching on the internet. I had bought cameras when we first moved into the house but was unhappy and returned two sets before I just put the idea on the back burner. This time the search did not take long for me to find something which fit what I wanted. I wanted easy to set up, no running wires throughout the house, battery powered so I did not have to hire someone to run power and discrete. No sense having giant cameras sticking out everywhere screaming "WE GOT STUFF TO STEAL". The idea here is not to scare off the bad guys but to have a record of what happen. The ARLO system has fit all of these.

The cameras are small, can be used inside or outside and have infrared capabilities. You can operate them right from your phone or lap top after setting up an account with ARLO. Which only takes a few moments. You also get limited free storage space on the ARLO system.

The system is really easy to set up right out of the box. The only thing which takes a little while to figure out is the motion detection system and setting up when you want the cameras to record. After a few days I figure most of the system out. I do keep tweaking the sensitivity and angle of the cameras to cut down on the cameras recording things I do not want recorded. The first few days I got video of every car going down the street and when the neighbors walked their dogs. All very interesting but not something I want a recording of.

I did have to run over to Best Buy and pick up one of these brackets to get the angle I wanted on one of the cameras. Right out of the box they only have the magnetic ball mounts and although these are great I couldn't get the angle I wanted.

The quality of the video is really surprising! Even at night the video is good.

Battery life is over a month and so far I have only had to change the batteries on the camera watching the front door. Five weeks and two days before the battery indicator was low enough I figured I better change batteries. I also like how the video is saved on the internet and not at the house. Even if someone breaks in they can not take what has been recorded.

The cameras do not work in real time. You can watch the cameras live on your phone or other device but there is a delay. I had fun walking around trying the cameras out while looking at myself! The delay is a few seconds. Only other issue I have had which could be called bad is the motion sensors. You have to position the camera so someone goes across the view to trigger the motion sensor. Given the lay out of the house this is kind of hard in a couple of spots. Had UPS drop some stuff off and unless they are ninja the camera did not work right. Not a deal killer just something to work with.

If you are looking for something to add to the security around your home I do recommend these cameras. Think of them as another layer to ensuring the safety of your family and maybe having more information to turn over to Law Enforcement should something happen. And always remind your better half to LOCK THE DOORS!!!! (she going to be mad I wrote about that)

As Always,

Stay Safe!!!  

Monday, January 25, 2016

Planning - #4 Sanitation

For this trip down the rabbit hole it is time we address one of the least talked about components of emergency planning, sanitation. Remember we are using the same scenario for this post as we have been using for the last few. There has been an earthquake, your home is safe to stay in and now you have to make it a few days till things are normal. Make sure to look up what is the greatest threat in you area and substitute your greatest threat for this planning.

Your prior planning has worked out so far, following the plan your entire family has made it home and are safe. Your home is standing and you will be able to shelter inside. You feel good, your family just sat around the dinner table eating, telling the adventure of getting home, laughing together and now it is time to clean up. You gather up the dishes and move to the sink. Without thinking you load the dishwasher as one of the kids yells out the toilet won't flush....................

Let's roll this back for a moment. You followed the guide lines put out by the government, you have one gallon of water per person. You have figured out the water is going to run out faster than you thought it would. It takes a lot of water to accomplish what most of us do in a day and now you need to wash dishes, clean up and figure out what to do for bodily functions!

Should there be a emergency the scope of the 'Big One' in California, tornado, tsunami, flood or whatever the major threat in your area is odds are our regular sanitation system is not going to work properly or at all. Imagine the garbage not being picked up once a week. Water not coming out of the tap and the toilets not working. For most of us we have never lived under these sorts of conditions and have no frame of reference to work from. Most of us take these things for granted. Luckily we are going to take a couple of steps to make this situation not so shocking should it ever happen. 

For this post we are not planning on having to deal with this situation for more than a few days. Otherwise we could spend hours talking about how to build a well for safe water, proper methods for disposing of garbage, waste water disposal and long term sanitation. For this we will focus on short term solutions to immediate issues. 

Big box stores are great for getting the things we can use for this issue. Buy bulk of garbage bags, cleaners, paper towels and the very important toilet paper. Just make this a habit even if you do not have a big box store you can do it at the Dollar Store, 99 cent store or other discount stores. Save paper plates, plastic utensils and other paper products from kids parties or other events. We do not need a lot just enough for three or four days. 

The concept we want to work with here is to not add to the already stressful situation we have found ourselves in. There was just a natural disaster, you're stressed out wondering what is next, who made it, what damage has happened and is there more to come? We do not need to add more stress and we definitely do not want to get sick right now! The last thing we need is to become a casualty due to illness, not be able to help those around us and worst yet loss a loved one after the event due to poor sanitation practices. 


Most of us have enough cleaning supplies around the house we can go a day or two without having to run to the store and get more. If you do not have any cleaning supplies we need to talk! Fellas, although I am sure you think this is what your 'pad, crib, cave, place' looks like.....

Odds are it looks more like this......

And you need to buy some cleaning supplies. Why? Because when it comes to be the knight in shining armor you need something to shine the armor with!!!!

Among the most important things you can pick up for the "just in case" stash is garbage bags. Buy the ones contractors use. Ones made to hold stuff and not rip. The normal ones you put in your kitchen garbage can can work but we might be putting more than the average garbage in this if we have to. Now is not the time to have a bag leak!!!!

While I was looking for photos I found some for the ladies or some of the fellas! If you're bored during the emergency you might be able to entertain yourself with some of the latest in emergency fashions??????

Or the best one I found

Ok that was funny! Now getting back on track here......... We just had dinner, by utilizing paper plates, plastic forks and plastic cups we can just throw everything away! Dishes are done!! We also just saved water for drinking, washing and other things. Our gallon apiece is going further now.

We want to clean up after eating and now the paper towels and cleaning supplies come in handy. After cleaning we just add the towels to the garbage bag. Now for some of us this might sound weird but separate your garbage. Put uneaten food in one bag and paper or plastic products in another. This way you have a ready source of burnable items if needed. You can even go a step further and separate the plastic from the paper since plastic is really something we do not want to burn to heat ourselves or cook on.

As you go through the emergency you want to rise your level of sanitation as much as you can. Flood waters carry bugs which will make you sick. Cramped quarters allow bugs to spread. Piles of garbage attract rodents and bugs. All of these things can and will make you sick.

Now the gross part......... at some point someone is going to have to go and it won't be something you want to leave in the bowl for a few days! We need to figure out what to do with the 'Poo'. Your going to be glad you have garbage bags for this next part...........


Most the time you can use water and flush the toilet by pouring water it to the tank BUT if you need to pick between flushing and drinking, drinking the water is a much better use. So we need to figure out what to do. Although it may smell urine does not need to be flushed every single time you go. This saves water for when you really need to flush. If an area outside, away from everyone, not near a water source can be found, for a limited time most of us are equipped to urinate outside. This is not a long term solution but for a day or two, if done properly, it is fine. In some cases we need to figure out an alternative means.


 There are several types of containers you can buy to handle this situation for a limited time. If you can buy some! If not make you're own. A five gallon bucket can be easily turned into a emergency toilet with the addition of a plastic bag. If you have little ones or other who are going to urinate in the bag, shred some paper and place it into the bag to help soak up the liquid. Saw dust will work also.

Now we are going to need to do something with these bags. Remember this is short term answers. utilize a pair of rubber gloves, gloves you only use for this purpose, you do not want to use the same gloves you use when cleaning the kitchen. Close the bag, ties it off and use some duct tape to make sure it is closed. Really good bags ought to be able to last a day or two without issues. Find another container like a garbage can and place the bags inside. Mark the can and secure the lid if you can. Hopefully your city has a plan with what to do with this type of waste after an emergency and it will be worth it to find out. You do not want some city worker telling you they can not remove the waste because you did not follow the guidelines they have.

Remember to have hand sanitizer in the bathroom or wherever you have designated the facilities at. You might not have the water for people to use to wash their hands but you really have to make sure they clean their hands after using the facilities! Also make sure their is air freshner!

This post is getting long, let's wrap it up. Sanitation becomes a major issue is the system fails. In underdeveloped areas the lack of proper sanitation causes illness and death on a regular basis. For those of us in developed areas the sudden loss of the system is something we do not know how to live with and our bodies are not accustomed to dealing with. We need to take a few steps to assist ourselves and prepare.

Buy cleaning equipment and supplies.
Have paper plates, plastic utensils and cups on hand.
Address solid waste issues now by having plastic bags and buckets on hand.

Do not get sick and become a casualty due to poor sanitation...................

As Always,

Stay Safe.        

Monday, January 18, 2016

Planning #3 - How to Cook?

Now that we have sat down and started to think about planning a bit more let's take a trip into the rabbit hole. Grab your government suggested list, coffee and find your favorite place to sit. Think about the situation we have been using for this example, the 'Big One' hits Southern California or whatever the greatest threat to your family is in your area.

Your prior planning has worked out so far and after a few hours of being scared your entire family has made it home and are safe. Why, because everyone already knew the plan was to go home and met there. Your home is standing and you will be able to shelter inside for the duration of this emergency. You look at the stuff you put away for just such an incident and feel good about what you did. Now it is time to make a meal, sit around the dinner table and be thankful everyone is safe. Going to the cupboard you grab a couple cans of chili, some cornbread mix, along with some onions and other vegetables to add to the chili from the fridge.

Taking a can over to the can opener you find yourself confused for a moment or two...... You put the can in the opener correctly? You pushed the handle down correctly? Why won't the can opener work? Of course one of the kids sees you doing this and pops off with "There's no power, duh!" Searching through the drawers you realize you have three wine bottle openers but no manual can opener!!!!!


You can have a pantry full of cans, enough for a year or two but forgetting just one thing can make them almost useless! We relay so much on electricity every day some of us might not have any idea how to function without it. For some of us "older and wiser" folks we remember the way back days...... before the internet....... before cell phones....... but see if you kids can operate a can opener.

Of course you panic looking for some way to open the cans..... until your better half hands you the can opener. Ok, this obstacle has been overcome!!!!

Going to the stove you turn the knob and nothing happens. No clicking, no gas sound, no gas smell? It takes you a moment to realize your home might be alright after the incident but the gas you use to cook comes from somewhere else! Now you have a pot full of chili, with the added parts you put in to make it special and no flame to heat it on.................. "OK NO BIG DEAL!" you tell yourself as you go to fire up your BBQ.

And down the hole we go........... Do you have charcoal? Do you have enough for three meals a day, for at least three days? Maybe you have a hiking stove? Do you have enough fuel to cook for the whole family for three days at the least? Do you have pots and pans you can put on an open flame, you know without the plastic handles which will melt?

You don't have another way to cook?!?!?!?!?!?!? OK........ Maybe you do not BBQ, go camping or do anything where you would have a readily accessible alternative way to cook with no power or gas. You need to find one! Without a safe way to heat up food or boil water if you had to the next few days are going to be long....... Even if you live in an apartment there are small grills you can buy for BBQing.

When you buy one you can get one which runs off of gas like the one in this picture. Just remember gas runs out. If you can find one which you can utilize by burning stuff. Briquets are good and most of these types you can burn wood in if you had to. Besides everyone should have a BBQ! Everyone can have an enjoyable time with friends and a BBQ. You also can get practice using your alternative cook system, always training! Even if you are the only one who knows you are training.

Were good now and your cooking with fire!!! You put the chili on the BBQ and go to figure out how to cook the corn bread.................. The oven doesn't work......... For most of us this means no cornbread to go with the chili. If you have a Dutch Oven and are cooking on briquets your in business!!! Of course now is not the time to try and figure out how to cook cornbread in the Dutch Oven, Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance. A few weekends spent at the BBQ will pay off now when you "need" to cook.

 Alrighty, we got the BBQ going, chili is cooking and we got the cornbread baking!! What are we going to eat on? We could use our regular plates, silverware and cups BUUUUT we would need to clean all of those after we eat and the dishwasher doesn't work! Not to mention we only have a gallon of water per person per day...... Hopeful we have some paper plates and red cups sitting around from the last time we you had people over for a BBQ or kids party???? This sure will cut down on the amount of water we have to use to clean up after eating.

Speaking of cleaning up....... Do you have any dish soap? Do you only have soap for the dish washer? This is starting to take us down the rabbit hole a bit far so let's back up a bit........

When your planning you obviously can see we need to use some forethought in the planning. Something as simple as heating up a can of chili can go off the rails because of the littlest thing. For now let's not go too far down the rabbit hole when it comes to cooking!!!!

Do you have another way to cook without power? Can you open a can? Can you heat up food? Do you have the pots to cook over an open flame? Have you practiced cooking with your alternative method? Just cover the basics for now and make sure you have the options available to look after your family if the need arises.

As Always,

Stay Safe.    

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Planning #2, Cookie Cutters - 2016

Continuing with our plan from Planning #1 (1st post of 2016) we will take a little step down the rabbit hole. Not a big one but just a little one. As a reminder, we are using a plan centered around an earthquake since this is what the internet says is the greatest threat to the area my family lives in. You can quickly do a search and see what the greatest threat to your family is and personalize the plan to your needs. Hopefully we can take a little step down the hole with each of these post and not become overwhelmed as we work toward putting our loved ones and ourselves in a better position when something happens. Remember there are no cookie cutter answers to preparedness.

When we ended the 1st post on this train of thought, we had a bare bones of a plan. If something happens and this is all you had to work with you are ahead of the game. Staying firmly in the grasp of the K.I.S.S. system. here is what we had:


Let's work backwards on this KISS framework. "Why?" because the last part can help in almost every situation you might face. Plus I have always been accused of doing things ass backwards!

Your at home after a major earthquake. Your home is still standing and you will be able to stay there. For those of us in California we are going to say the 'Big One' has struck. If you are in Southern California this means the San Andreas fault has slipped and you had a heck of a ride! If you still have power and water your good to go. Most you will have to deal with is if you need to go to work the next day or not. Odds are most of us will just be at home if the 'Big One' is as bad as they predict because we won't be able to get to work.

For most of us the power is more than likely to be out due to power delivery being disrupted some how. Lack of power can also lead to lack of water if you live in an area which needs water pumps to move water to your house. The amount of fires predicted to happen afterwards could also cause water pressure to drop from all the water in the system being used to fight fires. The 'Big One' could also cause the sewer system to stop working and might even damage the system to the point you are swimming in sewerage. (for those of you in flood areas flood waters overflowing sewage treatment plants is common) We can also be sure the regular flow of deliveries to the grocery store are going to disrupted. Which means you have to go with what you have for maybe a day or two or more.

This is why we start with what we have at home. At some point you could be isolated from outside assistance and have to go it alone for a period of time. This period may be a few hours or a few days. Remember at the end of the day you are responsable for you and your family, no one else is.

What do you need to have on hand at your home or apartment to stay where you are? A quick search of the FEMA website suggest we all have three days worth of supplies to hold us over after a earthquake. This is a good place to start in order to give you an idea of the bare minimum to survive.

Of course the first item on their list and almost every other list is water. "Why?" Because you can not live or function for very long without water. Within three days of no water you will most likely be a ball of flesh lying on the ground waiting for whatever is next. Of course you have had to deal with cramps like you never had before, you might of even had the worst dry heaves and at some point you really lost touch with reality. For each person the exact length of time varies but this three day thing is a good rule of thumb. Having been a heat casualty, twice, I can personally attest not having enough water in you really sucks!!!!

Some of us might be thinking "Well I will just print this list I got from the internet go on down to the store and buy everything on the list. Problem solved!" Here is where we start to go down the rabbit hole..........

FEMA and others tell you One (1) gallon a day per person is all you need to cover the issue of water during an emergency and we go out and buy our gallon of water. Of course the fine print on the list says this water is for drinking, hygiene and more might be needed for cooking. Just for fun take a gallon of water along with you all day. Try to only use the one gallon for all your water needs during the day. You are going to have to make some decisions during the day.

Most of us get up in the morning and make a trip to the bathroom, remember you got one gallon for the whole day........ Guess how much water it is supposed to take to flush a toilet? Yep, one gallon. Damn! You sure are going to be thirsty the rest of the day. Ok, instead we go with the "If it ain't brown do not flush it down" train of thought and we do not flush with the water. After you brush your teeth, wash your face and jump into the shower for a bird bath how much water is left?

Now you need to make some breakfast, hopefully the only thing you use water for is coffee? Of course I personally can not think of anything more important to use the water for than making coffee!!! Got a big old protein drink you need to mix up first thing in the morning? How much water does that take? How many bottles are you going to be making for the little one during the day? Making oatmeal, orange juice from concentrate and coffee for breakfast also made some dishes we might have to take care of later.  

Speaking of workout stuff. How much water are you going to be drinking during the day? Is it hot outside? Is it cold outside, we still need to be hydrated even in the cold? Are you going to be helping pull people out of rubble from the quake, tornado, mudslide, tsunami? Do you need to do more than just sit on the porch waiting for life to go back to normal? If so you are going to be drinking more water!

Does anyone in your home have special needs you need to take into account? Children need a lot of water, especially babies on bottles or babies who needs mom to drink a lot of water to make milk. We have to take the bare minimum the government says we should have of items and use this only as a starting point for our personal planning.

We do not want to just use the COOKIE CUTTER answer provided by the Government or other resources to prepare. These answers are the minimum in a general sense and in no way takes your personal situation into account. You can stay alive on a gallon of water a day but in most cases you are going to do little more than just live. Let's just use these answers as a starting point in our planning.

What we need to do is personalize the plan to our situation and are availability of resources along with space. Given the space you have available figure out how much water, food and other items you can store. Of course you probably do not have enough space to store everything you would like to have on hand during an emergency. What do we do?

Start with just having the bare minimum from one of these list. Have three days worth of supplies on hand to just keep you alive. If you can work the supplies into your normal food supply this is even better! Say you go through a box of cereal once a week. Next time you are at the store buy two, now you have breakfast for the three days. Once you are "UP" by one box of cereal keep it this way. Do not let yourself fall below having one opened box of cereal and one unopened box of cereal.

You go through a roll of toilet paper a week. Next time you are at the store by two rolls. Now you have enough toilet paper for three days. If you have a list which does not say to have extra toilet paper on hand......... find a new list!

Some items on any list are items you just buy one time. A hammer, duct tape or a tarp are items you only have to buy one time and have other uses besides waiting for the world to go crazy to use them.Try never to buy items you can only use for a very specific purpose. Why have a "special" tool you can only use for one purpose when there are plenty of other tools, with multiple uses which will complete the same task?

Taking the suggested amount of water just add one more person. This will give you extra water to work with. Say your family is three people big, add a fourth person. Now you have a built in supply to use for cooking, cleaning and other items while still ensuring each member of your family has a bit more than the minimum to make it through the day. If you have a little one in the house just pick a day and keep track of how much water you use to make bottles or other food for them. Now add that amount to your one day supply.

Do you have furry family members? Did you add their water into your plan? Ok, go back and add them to your plan. The entire time you are planning add the furry ones as another person! Of course their food will be different but you get the idea.

Once you have this amount for three days rotate the water into your regular use. If you get into the habit of never falling below the minimum, like we did with the cereal box, you can easily keep three days worth of water on hand.

Do you have a way to purify water if you have to use questionable sources? Boiling water is something people have to do from time to time when the city water supply is compromised. Having water on hand means you do not have to do this right away. Do you have a water filter to use if you needed to? Do you know alternate water supplies hidden in your home? Do you know where to find water near your home? Do you have the means to purify, carry and store water from a source outside of your home? Do you know how heavy water is, the stream two miles away is going to be to far for you to get water from if you have to carry it everyday.

As you can see we could spend a lot more time just talking about this one item, water. This is what is meant by "Going down the rabbit hole". For most of us we do not have the time to go to far down the hole. We just want to feel better about our situation if something happens. In order to do this we have to put in some effort, not a whole lot, but just enough.

Continuing with our plan we are working with;

Water - need 6 gallons a day at my house most days.
4 family members = 4 gallons
1 extra (phantom member) = 5 gallons
1 extra for the little one who needs bottles = 6 gallons

6 gallons X 3 days = 18 gallons a day

Might as well round this up to 20 gallons a day! Gives us more built in extra, above and beyond what will just keep us alive. Also gives us some to use if someone is at the house who is not normally there and maybe something to help a neighbor out with if they need something.

You can get a list and buy everything the list says you should have and be done with it. Of course when the need comes to use the items you might be left short. Left short at time you really do not want to be caught short! Never think a 'cookie cutter' approach is the answer. the people suggesting these things do not know the details of your life or the needs of your life like you do. Take a moment now to do a little planning. The "you" in the future will like the "you" in the past a lot more!

As Always,

Stay Safe.