MARA NORTHEAST PREPARE With the number of natural and man-made disasters occurring these days, it behooves us as individuals and as families to do our best to be prepared. The middle of an emergency is not the time for emergency planning. Various things are covered briefly on this page, with links to other places for further information. 72 HOUR KITS Outside assistance will, generally, reach a local disaster area in North America within 2-3 days bringing needed items such as food, water, clothing and medical assistance. A 72 hour kit is intended to sustain life for that short period. Generally designed to be portable, it can be stored in a vehicle or kept close at hand in the home should the need for immediate evacuation arise. Kits are available from commercial sources or can be assembled by or for the individual concerned. Whichever route you take, make sure the kit has adequate materials to meet your needs. Some of the ideas floating around, such as the kit in a milk carton, are a starting point, but barely that, as they do not contain sufficient for an active adult. Keep the kit in a container, which will stand up to transport. A plastic box is better than a paper bag for storage in the trunk of your car. The small backpack that high school and university students overstuff works well for either home or vehicle. LONG TERM STORAGE For disasters of greater geographical area or magnitude, food, clothing, fuel, required medication, basic medical supplies and such things should be stored in the home in such quantities as to last for a minimum of three months. Leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) have been warning their membership for decades to prepare and store for a minimum of a year. Not just for widespread calamity but also for personal hardship such as sudden and prolonged job loss. FOOD STORAGE QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS PUTTING FOOD BY “The completely updated classic shows you how to stock your pantry with local, seasonal ingredients all year long For more than thirty years, Putting Food By has been the go-to- resource for preserving foods-from fruit and vegetables to meat and seafood. Now, this essential volume has been updated to reflect the latest information on equipment, ingredients, health and safety issues, and resources.” LDS SITE WITH EMERGENCY AND STORAGE INFO AND LINKS EMERGENCY POWER If you are in an area that suffers from power outages you might want to think about a backup power source. For those with the space and technical abilities, consideration might be given to wind, water or solar power. For most of us, an alternate power source is an electrical generator - either gas or diesel powered. Before you slap down the plastic for that generator of your dreams, consider what you absolutely need to have operating when the outside power fails. Also realize that you will not have everything turned on at the same time. Once you have the list of things you want, determine the power required (in watts) required. This can be found in the literature that came with the item, on an attached plate or from web sites. Total these up for the generator wattage you need. For example, if your total calculated is 4800 watts (w) or 4.8 kilowatts (kW) you need a 5000 watt (5 kW), or larger, generator. A generator will have a peak power that it can supply for a short period of time. This comes in handy when your freezer cuts in, as motors consume more power to start then to run. Therefore, you might see a generator rated at 6kw peak/5kw run. Use the lower figure to choose the unit you need. An article about installing your own generator appeared in the March 1998 issue of POPULAR MECHANICS. Perhaps there are some good ideas that you can use. A word of caution as electrical codes vary from place to place. Find out the standards for your area and do it right. Also from POPULAR MECHANICS is an article covering the ten most common questions asked about generators. Whether you do the installation yourself depends on your technical skills and comfort level around lethal voltages and currents. If you have the slightest doubt, get prices from several qualified electricians, ask for references on similar jobs and then decide. HONDA GENERATORS DISCOVERY DIESEL GENERATORS KOHLER GENERATORS NORTHERN - Generators and Transfer switches - Info on selecting generator size YAHAMA GENERATORS GEN/TRAN - Transfer switches HOW IT WAS DONE HERE - My own installation! Notes from others. In the process of being re-written - stay tuned. GENERATOR INSTALLATION AND OTHER THINGS A presentation to the Bishop's Council on choosing and installing a generator, safety tips, and other stuff. Please note, the fact that specific links appear on this page does not imply approval of these sites or products nor does non-inclusion of any site signify disapproval in any way. If you have a favorite site, let me know by sending an e-mail to