Monday, February 18, 2019

10 Disaster Supplies You Can Improvise

If you head out to the grocery store the evening before a major storm is set to hit, you can pretty much be sure that stores will be running low on several items that people feel they absolutely must have, even if it means fighting over the last loaf of bread.  Fortunately preppers can improvise many things, including the most common "emergency" supplies...

  1. Bread.  Yes buying bread is the easiest way to acquire this staple but head over a couple of aisles to the baking supplies area and for the price of a loaf of bread you can buy the ingredients to make a dozen loaves of bread.
  2. Milk.  A gallon of milk is another critical item that people grab first when prepping for a weather emergency.  Head over a couple of aisles and grab a big container of Nido powdered milk and you will be able to make gallons of the stuff whenever you want it.  Bonus the stuff has a really long shelf life.
  3. Toilet paper.  It's always nice to have a large supply of toilet paper on hand (giant packages of the Costco stuff is the best IMHO), but if you run out you can always substitute wet wipes, newspaper, leaves (!), or even a bandanna (be sure to wash in it a bucket of bleach water).
  4. Bottled water.  Again, Costco bottled water is cheap and it is always a good idea to keep a few cases on hand but if you need emergency water you can: fill up the bathtub and any other containers you have on hand with tap water, bring water up by the bucket from a local creek and purify it, even melt snow if necessary.
  5. Light.  A lantern and flashlights are things to always have on hand but there are several items that you can improvise a candle with including Crisco, crayons, and even rubbing alcohol.
  6. Water filter.  Sometimes when the power grid goes down, so does your water supply (usually a well pump won't work without electricity).  Even if you have bottled water you may run out and end up needing to filter rain or creek water so here are a few ways to MacGyver some DIY water filters.
  7. Mittens.  With a few inches of snow falling on Las Vegas yesterday evening, many people were unprepared because it rarely ever snows here.  Having snow gear isn't something many locals keep on hand but if you need to improvise such gear, it's easy enough to layer jackets then throw on a pair of wool socks in place of gloves.
  8. Tourniquet.  Not many people keep an actual tourniquet on hand for an emergency (although this may be changing due to active shooter and Stop the Bleed training) but in an emergency you can improvise many items (sock, t shirt, belt, bandanna) to keep someone from bleeding out before they reach a hospital.
  9. Baby supplies.  If you always use disposable diapers, keep a supply of cloth diapers/safety pins/plastic diaper covers on hand.  If the spouse breastfeeds, keep a canister of baby formula in reserve just in case.  If you always feed your baby jarred baby food, keep a mortar and pestle on hand in case you need to DIY your own baby food when the power goes out.
  10. Evacuation.  If you don't have an easy and straight forward method to evacuate during a disaster, here are several examples of how to improvise such things.

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