5 Earthquake Preparedness Tips for Business Owners

Earthquakes are generally as a result of an instant release of energy into the earth ending in seismic waves. Earthquakes can not only happen anywhere but also anytime leading to injuries and losses. Have you ever asked yourself whether your business or employees will be safe if an earthquake occurs today? Are you ready for an emergency? If not then it’s time to get prepared. But how? Read through to learn the top 5 earthquake preparedness tips for business owners.

Are you prepared for an earthquake at work?

  • Identify potential problems

Do earthquakes usually occur in your area? Are they a threat that you have to deal with? You need to determine whether earthquakes are common and confirm whether they are a risk to your business. Start by preparing for the things that are likely to affect your business and organize yourself from there.

 

  • Prepare an earthquake survival kit

If a strong earthquake occurs today, you are likely to miss electricity, water, internet, sewage services and gas among other things. When you don’t have enough time, an emergency survival kit can provide you fast with important emergency supplies. A disaster survival kit may contain things such as water, food, flashlight, batteries, medications, multipurpose tools, and a map of the area.

 

  • Come up with a response plan

Work together with your workers so that you know what to do during and after an earthquake. You need to know who will be responsible for what and when. Regularly check the plan and ensure that you practice the safety actions. Check with those who are disabled and see whether there are plans in place for them. Also know what you will do if damages have affected your store, building or factory. Make sure you have an evacuation plan, emergency exits, and office earthquake kits. Do not forget about establishing a telephone line that workers can call in case of an emergency.

Prepare your business for an earthquake

  • Protect your financial data

What would happen to your business financial data if your store or office were damaged by an earthquake? What about other sensitive business information and customers’ data. If you want to protect your company’s records, you need to have an internal and external data backup site. Instead of storing your data in a computer hard drive use a company’s server and let your employees know. In addition to this, get a data compromise coverage from your company’s insurance. This will significantly help you with the legal and financial burden in case any information is stolen, lost or accidentally released.

 

  • Create a business continuity plan

How long will your business continue to run in case an earthquake occurs? For instance, if you are dealing with goods and services you may still continue to get orders even if your main store is closed. A business continuity plan involves knowing how to communicate with your suppliers and customers, how to take care of orders, and how to retrieve your company’s lost data.

 

These are the top 5 tips to help you prepare for an earthquake. Since natural disaster such as an earthquake can occur anytime, the success of any business will depend on how quickly it’s able to recover. Enough preparedness will allow your company to continue to run efficiently.

Leona is part of the content and community team at Specialty Fuel Services – providers of emergency fuel continuation services, in locations affected by catastrophic events.

Staying Safe in an Earthquake – How to Be Prepared

Nobody wants to confront a major natural disaster. Yet some disasters – hurricanes, blizzards, and tornadoes, to name a few – come with warning signs, allowing for minor preparation and escape.

Earthquakes, on the other hand, happen immediately and with no warning. They are so all-consuming and widespread that you cannot jump in the car and escape them.

If you are in the impact zone, you will be affected. But the degree to which you are affected can be minimized. It all depends on how prepared you are for the quake. Preparation does take some time, but you will reap the benefits many times over in the event of a major earthquake.

What Is a Quake Like?

Ordinary life immediately precedes an earthquake. You are washing the dishes, watching TV, doing homework, or putting on a helmet for a bike ride. Then you feel that initial jolt.

You may not realize it at first, thinking that it is something else – that someone dropped something heavy. Then you become aware of the noises, of chandeliers rattling, the house frame squeaking, glasses dropping and breaking, car alarms going off.

If you are indoors, items that are not secured – books, TVs, glassware, and lamps – will topple and fall. Hanging items will begin to swing. As these things are falling, you become aware that you might just become the victim of one of these falling things.

If you are outdoors, trees sway and water sloshes out of swimming pools.

The first jerk is followed by several more back-and-forth jerks. You may find it hard to stand.

Even though most earthquakes last only seconds – rarely more than thirty seconds – it will feel like forever.

Right after the shaking stops, the noise continues: dogs barking, people shouting, alarms ringing. Milder aftershocks continue for minutes or hours. Your electricity has probably gone out. Water may not be safe to drink, or water mains may be broken. Gas lines may erupt.

You have just experienced an earthquake measuring 7.0 or greater on the Richter scale.1

Predicting Quakes

Unfortunately, no one can predict earthquakes. According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), no scientists have ever predicted a major earthquake, nor are any scientists expected to be able to do so in the foreseeable future.

The best that scientists can do is produce tables that calculate the probability that an earthquake may occur. The milder the earthquake, the greater the probability that it will occur within the next 30 years. More severe quakes measuring 7.0 or higher on the Richter scale – those truly life-altering, disastrous quakes – are less probable to happen.

For example, because Southern California already experiences quakes between 5 and 6 on the Richter scale about four times per year, there is a 100 percent chance of another quake of similar strength happening within the next 30 years. However, because major magnitude-7.5 quakes have happened about once every 87 years, Southern California has only a 36 percent chance of another one happening in the next 30 years.2

Be Ready: Making an Earthquake Preparedness Kit

To help make your recovery from an earthquake safer and more comfortable, you should stock up your home with a set of essential preparedness items. Keep these items stored in a clean, dry place.3

Essential Items

  • Water: One gallon per person for every day. Provide for a two-week supply of water.
  • Food: Non-perishable items such as canned food or dry camping food that can be reconstituted with water. Be sure to have a can opener as well.
  • Gas/Water Shutoff Tool: This specialized wrench fits gas and water shutoff valves and can be purchased at your local home improvement or hardware store.
  • Flashlight: Have both battery-powered and crank flashlights. Keep a full set of fresh batteries on hand, too.
  • Radio: Purchase a hand-crank radio.
  • Medications: These are essential daily prescription items that are needed to maintain regular health.
  • First-Aid Kit: Basic kit that has gauze, adhesive bandages, antiseptic, aspirin or ibuprofen, and heat packs.
  • Tool Kit: Small tool kit with screwdrivers, pliers, and a hammer. If you wish, you may substitute a multipurpose tool.
  • Eyewear: Extra glasses, contact lenses, and solution.
  • Personal Documents: Assemble a fireproof lockbox with prescription slips, home and car titles, birth certificates, passports, and all insurance policies, including homeowner’s insurance policy.
  • Contact List: Written spreadsheet or other type of list of phone numbers and addresses of relatives, close associates, local hospitals, and police and fire stations.
  • Cash: Several hundred dollars in small bills.
  • Thick Blankets
  • Paper Maps: Detailed maps of your local area.

Extra or Optional Items

  • Baby Supplies: Bottles, formula, diapers, food.
  • Pet Supplies: Food, ID, collar, carrier.
  • Entertainment: Books, cards, board games.
  • Signal Devices: Whistle, air horn, flares.
  • Feminine Sanitary Items
  • Rain Gear
  • Camping Stove: Stove with extra propane canisters and waterproof matches.
  • Plastic Sheeting
  • Duct Tape
  • Gloves
  • Towels
  • Knife and Scissors
  • Water Purification: Tablets or bleach.
  • Sleeping Bags

How to Make Your Home Safer in Case the Big One Strikes

Chances are good that your home is not prepared for an earthquake. While your house may seem solid and safe, it is likely not ready for the rigors of a magnitude-7.0 earthquake. Undertake these projects now for a safer home:4

Secure Water Heaters

Secure heaters to walls with metal straps. These bands can be purchased as part of a kit, available at home improvement stores.

Attach Bookcases, Filing Cabinets, and Tall Cabinets to Wall

Affix any kind of furniture that can tip over to a wall stud, using a metal L-brace or a nylon strap.

Create Barriers on Shelves

Attach ledge barriers along the edges of shelves to prevent items from sliding off and falling.

Secure Gas Appliances

Attach flexible connections to allow appliances to shift without breaking their lines. As with the water heater, attach large gas appliances to the nearest wall.

Minimize Shattered Glass on Windows

Install clear or shaded safety film on windows. This will prevent glass from scattering across the floor.

Secure House to Foundation

Consult a contractor to install anchor bolts between the house framing and the foundation.

Strap Down Chimney

Attach reinforcing bars or metal straps to the chimney to prevent it from snapping and breaking off in the event of an earthquake.

During and After an Earthquake: Keeping Yourself and Your Family Safe

During The Quake5

DO:

  • Drop to the ground and take cover under the nearest strong piece of furniture, like a table or desk.
  • Stay indoors. Even though open outdoor spaces are safer than being indoors, falling objects can injure you as you try to move outside.
  • If you are driving, stop at the nearest clear, open area, away from buildings. Remain in the car.

DO NOT:

  • Stand under a door frame. Once standard advice, this is now outdated, as modern door frames are rarely stronger than other parts of the house.
  • Stand next to buildings, trees, or power lines, which could collapse and injure you.
  • Go to a window, as glass may break and hurt you.
  • Stand next to book cases, high pantry cabinets, refrigerators, or other top-heavy items that may fall.

After The Quake

Even though the earthquake may last only seconds, the aftermath may go on for days or weeks to come. Follow these fifteen steps, in this order:

  1. Wait for the aftershocks to end.
  2. Check yourself for injuries first before assisting others.
  3. Put on shoes to protect yourself against broken glass.
  4. Check for fires and extinguish them immediately.
  5. Shut off natural gas and water lines.
  6. Move yourself and your family to the nearest open area.
  7. Open windows to ventilate your home.
  8. Check your house for structural damage.
  9. Begin gathering water from the water heater release valve, ice cube trays, and toilet tanks.
  10. Check sewer lines for damage before flushing the toilet.
  11. Inspect the chimney for cracks that may indicate potential collapse.
  12. Keep the freezer closed for as long as possible to retain the cold.
  13. Set up charcoal grill outside for cooking.
  14. Stay at home if at all possible. Roads will be impassable.
  15. Check your emergency radio for information.

Earthquakes are devastating events. Fortunately, you and your family can remain safe by following basic safety plans.


Source: Fix.com Blog

Sources:

  1. How Long Earthquakes Last – http://quake.utah.edu/regional-info/earthquake-faq
  2. Earthquake Probability – https://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/2015/3009/pdf/fs2015-3009.pdf
  3. Red Cross Earthquake Preparedness Kit – http://www.redcross.org/get-help/prepare-for-emergencies/be-red-cross-ready/get-a-kit
  4. 6. Prepare House for Earthquake – http://www.military.com/money/home-ownership/maintaining-your-home/tips-to-make-home-earthquake-ready.html
  5. Quake: Do This / Do Not Do This – http://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/natural-disasters/earthquake-safety-tips/

32 Survival Uses For Trash Bags

 

Heavy-duty plastic bags, like those meant for trash and yard debris, can be used in a surprisingly wide variety of ways to help ensure your survival during a disaster situation like an earthquake, hurricane, or even Zombie outbreak. These light-weight, extremely low cost, readily available, and incredibly versatile tools should be in every B.O.B. (Bug Out Bag)  and Emergency kit.

Trash Bags

We’ve listed a few of our favorite survival uses for plastic bags, but keep in mind that this everyday item is only limited by your imagination… and whether or not you happen to have a few on hand.

 

 

MEDICAL 

While it might be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a trash bag or yard debris bag; a clean, unused bag can be used for a wide variety of medical purposes.

Waterproof bandages – After applying the appropriate bandage to a wound, place a layer of plastic bag over the bandage to protect it from outside moisture and contamination. Secure the protective covering properly, and remove and change the bandage and covering as needed.

Fight hypothermia – The potentially deadly effects of hypothermia can be battled by utilizing a large plastic bag as a “hot box” or additional layer to trap heat next to the body. Simply cut a hole for your head (and arms if needed), and wear the bag as a pullover. You can also simply drape the bag over your body, as you might a survival blanket.

Cold Compress – Fill with snow, ice, or cold water. Fold or tie off bag and apply as needed.

Handle medical waste – Plastic bags can be utilized as gloves for handling medical waste and contaminates such as blood, organs, vomit, and fecal matter… though we’re not sure why you’d handle the last two, unless you’re cleaning up a mess. Check the bag for punctures and/or rips BEFORE you try them on as gloves.

Tourniquet – Like many other flexible materials, large plastic bags can be used as a makeshift tourniquet. While it wont be the best thing for long term use, it can make a world of difference for the short run… remember it’s all about surviving the moment, you can worry about the long-term later.

Sling – Plastic bags can be used to support and immobilize a broken or wounded arm.

 

WATER

Containers come in handy when you need to collect, transport, and/or treat water, but there’s even more that you can use them for when it comes to water.

Collection/Storage – Lining a trash can, hole in the ground, or other receptacle with a clean plastic bag makes the collection of rainwater safer than simply letting it fill into a potentially contaminated container. Plastic bags can also be used as scoops for collecting water from pools, streams, and other bodies of water.

Solar Still – Fully enclose the leafy green area of a tree branch, securing the plastic bag tightly at the opening. Let it sit in the sun for a few hours as the condensation builds within the bag . Carefully remove the bag when ready, and repeat the process as needed. This method doesn’t typically result in large amounts of liquid, but every little bit counts… especially during a survival situation.

Transport – Creating a sturdy double walled bag for transporting water can be done in just a few steps. Cut or tear open the sealed end of a plastic bag so you are left with a tube. Twist or tie a knot in the center of the bag so you are left with two open ends and a shape like an hourglass. Fold one side over the other and you’re left with a double walled water carrying device.

Filter/Purify – Water isn’t any good to you if it isn’t safe to drink, but a simple plastic bag can go a long way to making water potable. Learn other important tips and tricks for water filtration and purification here: H20 (Water).

Gravity Filter – Gravity filters are simple multi-layer systems that remove the majority of contaminates, and you can easily make one at home. Double wall a plastic bag as seen in the WATER: Transportation portion of this article. Cut a small “spout” hole into the lowest point possible, without destroying the integrity of the bag too much. Reinforce the spout with a bit of duct tape so it doesn’t split when filled. Next, place a coffee filter, bandana, or similar cloth or material for filtering inside the bag and up against the spout. Then carefully pack and layer the following materials into the lower portion of the bag: 2″-3″ finely crushed charcoal, 2″ fine sand, 1″ small stones, 1″fine sand, and 1″ moss, grass, or other porous material. Gently fill the bag with water, tie a knot into the top, hang it up, and allow it to do the job.

Solar Treatment / SODIS – This can be a fairly unpredictable method for treating water, especially during cloudy or winter weather, but when done properly, it can work like a charm. The SODIS method relies on the power of solar rays to purify water; this is only helpful if larger contaminates have first been removed with basic filtration methods like the one listed above. Utilizing a large plastic bag for this method should be a last resort, as not all bags are made from food grade materials. This method is only effective when using CLEAR plastic, tinted or colored materials will not work. 

Solar Shower – Fill a darkly colored plastic bag with water, hang it above head height, let it sit in the sun for a bit to warm up, poke a couple of small holes in the bottom, and enjoy a nice warm shower.

 

FOOD

Collecting, capturing, and storing food can be difficult during a survival situation, but a trash bag can make the task a whole lot easier.

Collection – Whether you’re raiding the wilds, a nearby farm, or grocery store, containers come in handy… and that’s just what a trash bag is, a container. No matter what you find or where you find it, you’ll need a way to carry your collected goods.

Storage – Just like with water, lining a trash can, hole in the ground, or other receptacle with a clean plastic bag makes the storage of food much safer than placing it into a potentially contaminated or uncovered container. Plastic bags can be sealed by twisting the top and adding a bit of cordage, or simply by tying a knot in the top of the bag itself.

In addition to being a great lightweight container for food items, plastic bags can be tied and hung away from the ground and the prying hands of Zombies, other survivors, and wild animals. A well-sealed bag can offer the advantage of a longer shelf-life of some foods… as long as you store it in a cool dry place.

Trapping Set them as netting for bugs and fish, or use them as sacks to quickly and more easily bag a bird, squirrel, or other small animal that lends itself to capture.

 

SHELTER

From additional security to being used as shelters themselves, heavy-duty plastic bags can be utilized in a number of ways when it comes to provide protection from the elements and the undead.

Tarp Tent – Just like an emergency blanket, poncho, or tarp, a plastic bag can be used to create basic Tarp Tent style shelters and protective covers. Cutting the bag down the length of one side, and slicing it along the bottom, can double the square feet of material available for your shelter or cover. Make sure to carry a bit of paracord with you to help when securing your shelter.

Tube Tent – Tear or cut open the sealed end of a large plastic bag, duct tape the tube to another bag, slide yourself inside, and rest well. The ambient heat from your body will build and help to keep your body warm… even in wet and windy weather.

Ground Cover – This one is as simple as it sounds, but it’s important too… especially when you’re sleeping in the wild. Keeping your body away from moisture and the cold of the ground can greatly increase your chances of survival.

Window Black Out – Just because you’re home doesn’t mean you have to look like you are. Blacking out your windows is an important step to ensuring you aren’t hassled by outsiders or spotted by Zombies in a post apocalyptic world. Covering your windows with black trash bags can keep the light from getting out, and you from being seen.

Quarantine – Duct tape and plastic bags can be used to create a fairly effective quarantine area, whether at home or in the field. Simply seal off an area with the bags and duct tape, and make sure it isn’t breached. You’ll need to fully cover any potential areas of transmission, such as heating vents, windows, doorways, etc. 

 

GEAR/OTHER

Beyond water and food collection, medical assistance, and shelter; plastic trash bags can be utilized as a substitute for many types of gear.

Rain Poncho – The only downside to wearing a plastic bag as a rain poncho is that they don’t breathe. This means that while it will hold the rain and snow out, it will also hold your sweat in. Pay close attention to your body temperature and water-loss when wearing a non-permeable covering like this.

Gear Bag / Dry Bag– Twist the bag a few times just above the line of the gear inside. Fold the excess over top of the bag and carry it upside down. This should create a relatively water-tight seal that still allows for somewhat easy access to important gear and supplies.

Water-proof Boots/Gaiters – Applied over boots, and even bare or minimally covered feet, plastic bags make an excellent material for water-proofing and protection from the elements. They can also be wrapped around the shins or legs as makeshift gaiters for travel through swampy or other exceedingly wet areas.

Flotation Device – Filled with air and twisted shut, heavy-duty trash bags are extremely lightweight and buoyant. They can be used to assist in crossing deep water by simply being held onto, or they can be applied to a raft or other flotation device.

Sleeping Bag / Mattress – Similar to being used as a Tube Tent, large plastic bags make great sleeping bags when stuff with materials like leaves, fabric, stuffing, packing peanuts, etc. Fill the bag as full as possible and crawl in, or use it as a sleeping surface for the night. Not only will this method protect you from the cold, it will help to keep away potential contaminates as well.

Washing Machine – Placing garments into a plastic bag that has been partially filled with water and soap, can actually make a world of difference when attempting to get your clothes clean. Once everything is in there, just jostle it around, empty it out, rinse your clothing, and hang them to dry. Remember, proper hygiene can go a long way to keeping you alive.

Restroom – Sometimes the plumbing goes out, but that doesn’t mean you don’t need to use the bathroom. Placed into a drained toilet or into a 5 gallon bucket, plastic bags can make dealing with waste, a much cleaner and easier process. These can also be used to line latrines when you’re worried about contaminating a nearby water source.

 

OTHER MISC USES

Creating smoke for signal fires, lashing, patches for clothing and other gear, And of course… collecting and removing refuse, among about a million other uses.

Because not all trash bags are made with the intent of heavy-duty use, it’s a good idea to grab a few construction grade bags from your local hardware store or garden center. Keep a few on hand in your Bug Out Bag and E-kits and utilize them as needed… though we hope you never have to.

 

[source]

7 Items You Must Have in Your Emergency Survival Kit [infographic]

There are several people who don’t think of bad situations that might happen to them in future. It is good to live in the present but you can’t overlook such times when your life and survival are in trouble. And, that comes with an emergency. Whether you are at home, in office or travelling, emergency situations can strike anytime. But, when you have the required equipment and supplies with you, there are better chances of survival and you can easily deal with the unfavorable situations. There are only 7 essential items that you need to have in your emergency survival kit. And, they are:

  1. Water –  Water is an important and unmissable element of your emergency kit. Survival experts have been emphasizing on carrying at least 3 gallons of water per person for a 3-day supply. Because you will need it for multiple purposes that include- drinking, cooking and sanitation. Keep checking the expiry and accordingly replace your bottled water once in a year. There is a specially packaged water which has a longer shelf life ranging from 5 to 50 years.
  2. Food – Like water, food is also important for the body and should be a part of your survival kit. So, include non-perishable food items in your kit with a minimum of 3-day supply per person. Along with this you can also keep some candies, mints and nutritional bars. Freeze dried food is also a good option since it has a shelf life of 5 to 25 years. In case, you are with kids and pet, carry baby food and formulas and pet food. Keep replacing these items annually.
  3. First-Aid- If someone in your family or you yourself suffer an injury or a health issue, you should be prepared with the basic first-aid supplies in your emergency kit. These include a thermometer, some general medicines, eye wash solution, eye drops, aspirin, antibiotic ointment, hydrogen peroxide to wash and disinfect wounds, glucose for diabetes patients, cotton roll, sting relief pads, bandage strips, scissors, tweezers, adhesive-tape, and burn gel.
  4. Lighting and Communication– In times of disaster or an emergency, the problem of power outage maximizes tension. To tackle such a situation, carry with you, a solar powered or hand cranked radio, lantern, battery-operated torch, candles, lighter, waterproof match sticks, whistle for signaling, some spare batteries and cell phone chargers. These will act as the source of lighting and communication in any kind of emergency.
  5. Shelter and Warmth– Weather can have disastrous effects, especially when you are already dealing with an emergency situation. But if you ensure to have these essential supplies in your kit- a tent, vinyl tarps, body and hand warmers, raincoats and ponchos, sleeping bags and thermal blankets, you can make the chances of your survival, better.
  6. Sanitation and Hygiene- Keep a pail to use as toilet, a seat for pail, tissue rolls, toothbrush and toothpaste, garbage bags and plastic ties, baby diapers, wet wipes, sanitizer and soaps to maintain hygiene in and around yourself.
  7. Survival Gear– Other tools that help you in emergency situations include shovel, axe, can opener, duct tape, multi-function knife, dust masks, heavy duty gloves, a sturdy rope for towing, plastic sheeting and a portable stove and fuel. All these are also equally essential.

Other important items that you should not miss to include in your survival kit are fire extinguisher, garden hose for siphoning and firefighting, sturdy shoes, cash and some change, paper, pencil, spare clothes, eye glasses, and baby diapers.

Want to know about emergency survival kit in detail? Look at this infographic designed by More Prepared, an emergency survival expert.

7 Items You Must Have in Your Emergency Survival Kit

Mina Arnao  is the Founder/CEO of More Prepared, the emergency preparedness experts for over 10 years. More Prepared’s mission is to help families, schools and businesses prepare for earthquakes and other emergencies.  Mina is CERT trained (community emergency response team) and Red Cross certified.

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Wealth of Survival Information

This is the mother load of all free survival PDFs and manuals. They have separated the topics into categories, so its super easy to browse in a nice easy layout.

All are FREE and they can be downloaded and saved to your computer.

Source and Entire List: Survival Information

We would also recommend printing them out because what good are they on a computer if the power grid goes down?

shop-now-yearzerosurvival

 

 

Apocalyptic Dish Washing

by Guest Blogger OmegaMan

 

If you’ve prepared, you’ll hopefully have enough long term food and water supplies in an apocalyptic scenario. Ever wondered how you are going to clean your dishes after you eat with out wasting water?

Gross-Pile-of-dishes

In all the survival training manuals I have ever read, I have never seen this issue addressed. I know a perfect solution that will not waste your precious water supply but yet effectively clean your utensils and most anything else for that matter. Have you ever heard of Ammonium Chloride?

Probably not by that name. Or, you may have put it in your swimming pool as an algae control. But, most likely you know it by the popular brand name Lysol.

Ammonium chlorides in fact are so effective at sanitation that they are even used by the CDC in their employee wash down stations.

Also, did you know many bars use ammonium chloride compounds to sanitize bar glasses? Have you ever seen the dip and rinse techniques used by bartenders?

I often wondered what they were using, then asked. Much to my surprise one of the most common brands used is: Steramine.

Steramine

Wow, talk about effective! – 150 tablets for roughly a $10 investment.

Each tablet sanitizes a gallon of wash water. What a great and inexpensive way to protect your family without the huge expense of spray cleaners, soaps and save on storage. All it takes is one minute to effectively destroy most pathogens. Just one minute that will save your precious water supply and may save your life.

I hope you enjoyed my little survival tip, be sure to check back often more more insightful posts. Stay Prepared…OmegaMan

Homemade Emergency Canned Heat

can_wlid

We lost power at 4:23 am on Saturday morning. We had power restored at 11 am on Monday. It was a long few days. We were able to stay in our house. Thankfully no pipes broke and there were no major events other than the power outage.

I want to really encourage you all to be prepared for such emergencies. We have moved twice in the last year and had let our supplies dwindle. We had no propane for the camp stove. We had no firewood. Not a good situation to be in. We did have some knowledge though and that helped us to get through until we were able to get wood and propane.

You can make your own “Sterno” at home for heating water. It is an open flame. By that I mean OPEN FLAME! Especially when initially lit. The flame starts out tall and then gets shorter. I found this to be true each time it was lit (not just the very first time). tall_flame

Never to be put where it can tip over, get knocked over, be around children (we have 5 of those), etc. I decided to clear one side of my sink and put the can in the sink to hopefully minimize any accidents.The flame is burning off alcohol so it can not be put out with water. I wanted to be clear that I put it in the sink not so I could douse it with water, but in case it tipped over I would at least not have flame rolling across my floor.  I was also careful to clear the area around the sink of anything flammable.  This homemade cooking/heating gave us some hot water and our first hot meal (Spaghetti-o’s) in 24 hours.  Having a way to heat food & drinks really boosted our moral.

Supplies:

  • Large metal can & its lid
  • Roll of toilet paper
  • Isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol)

How To Make:

Clean The Can: You need a large clean metal can and it’s lid. In our case, I emptied a can of crushed tomatoes into a bowl, cleaned the can and lid (be careful of sharp edges) and dried them. Do NOT throw away the lid!

The Toilet Paper: Remove the cardboard tube from the toilet paper roll. Fold the TP roll in half length wise and then in half again (you’re crushing the roll and making it as compact as possible). Insert the roll of toilet paper into the can. Wrap additional toilet paper around your hand (making a mini-roll of TP) and compact in the same way you did the large roll – use this to fill in any spaces. Repeat until you have the can tightly packed with toilet paper.

flat_roll

folded_roll

Adding Alcohol: Slowly pour the isopropyl alcohol over over the TP in the can until the TP is saturated. This took nearly 2 bottles in my case.

Use:

Hold a match to the alcohol. It should light right up. This will burn nicely for quite some time. To put the flame out simply lay the lid on top of the flame. I am told that snuffing (eliminating any source of oxygen) is the only way to put this flame out. That is why you need the lid. I used tongs to put the lid on because I had them available. Make sure the flame is out and keep it out of the reach of children.

After several uses you see a bit of charring on the TP & some blue candle wax from lighting it (we were conserving matches).

After several uses you see a bit of charring on the TP & some blue candle wax from lighting it (we were conserving matches).

cooking

You will need to hold the pot above the flame (resting the pot on the flame will put it out). I used an oven rack across my sink.

 

**Please know that I am sharing this in the hope that it may come in handy one day to you or your family. YOU are 100% responsible for your safety should you choose to try this. I can make no guarantees on how well or how safe it is. As with any open flame; you must make sure there is proper ventilation. Keep yourselves safe! I used the canned heat several times before we were able to obtain propane for our camp stove and I had no problems using it. I made sure my children were no where near me when dealing with the can in any way.

 

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