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#168391 - 03/02/09 01:33 PM Re: Scenario : 'homeless ' inside your home [Re: UncleGoo]
MDinana Offline

Registered: 03/08/07
Posts: 2184
Loc: Deep south... Carolina
Originally Posted By: UncleGoo
Make sure you get all the pigeon poop--from the roof--out of your water. sick

And keep it for black powder!

I've got nothing really. If I'm kept that closed in, then I guess midnight break-ins at the local grocer are out of the question, unless it's bad enough to risk their wrath. BTW, I'm absolutely SHOCKED at how much food comes in dry/packaged form. I kind of thought pasta only. There's couscous, pasta, milk, oatmeal, grits, cream of wheat, flax, flour, kool-aid and their kin, rice, various spices (tomato sauce/powder, etc)... you could really, really store a lot of food in a single 5-gal bucket or a under-the-bed tupperware container.

But, alas, water is key to most of those foods too!

#168396 - 03/02/09 02:23 PM Re: Scenario : 'homeless ' inside your home [Re: Chisel]
falcon5000 Offline

Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 662
I'll second that on water, a water cistern or making one from the gutters can be a great asset and I would also use tarps, trash bags or what have you to make water collection points for rain. Another thing I would get is a good quality sleeping bag rated for very cold weather, the two biggest killers that will get you the quickest is cold (shelter) and water. Shelter will kill you faster than not having water but both are critical. Living in Fla for us buys us time for shelter and water is a lot plentiful here but a lot of pesticides and virus, but these past years we haven't got much rain where we are at than along time ago. We're good for shelter here from rain and cold down to 40 below zero if needed with good down winter sleeping bags from Western Mountaineering. The only need for a fire would be for cooking and to keep warm when not in the sleeping bags, we would limit fire activity to the minimum to conserve fire wood. As for food after depleting all the reserves and eating all the oranges and figs off the trees, then it's fishing, hunting squirls, cat's, dogs etc.. with a BB gun. The BB gun is quite and low profile, will not attract attention as much as the other weapons and keeping a low profile is a must or it's off to the big house. The big guns are for big game if needed and thief's and zombies wink. Unfortunately we don't have very big game where I'm at. I guess if you look at it and you are caught by a LEO, you'll get free meals and shelter anyway so it's a win win I guess. The bottom line is you live.
Failure is not an option!
USMC Jungle Environmental Survival Training PI 1985

#168406 - 03/02/09 03:11 PM Re: Scenario : 'homeless ' inside your home [Re: falcon5000]
Tom_L Offline

Registered: 03/19/07
Posts: 690
Since winter tends to be pretty cold where I live my main concern would be heating. As has been said before, furniture makes lousy firewood and giving off all those toxic fumes I don't think it would work indoors.

In an emergency we'd probably move to the smallest room in our apartment. I would attempt to insulate the windows as best as I could and make a makeshift shelter so that we could stay warm even without heating if absolutely necessary. In a pinch, we could move to the basement. A lot warmer down there if the heating is gone but much less comfortable.

Otherwise, making a small wood stove from a large paintcan is not difficult if you have access to firewood. Even an alcohol stove could be improvised easily but fuel is again a consideration. I think we could make it for a week or two at most. Of course, that's all theoretical because I've never had to do it for real (hope it stays that way)... Maybe I'm less prepared for that kind of contingency than I thought!

#168407 - 03/02/09 03:22 PM Re: Scenario : 'homeless ' inside your home [Re: Tom_L]
JohnE Offline

Registered: 06/10/08
Posts: 601
Loc: Southern Cal
I didn't think Twinkies ever got moldy...;^)

John E

"and all the lousy little poets
comin round
tryin' to sound like Charlie Manson"

The Future/Leonard Cohen

#168409 - 03/02/09 03:28 PM Re: Scenario : 'homeless ' inside your home [Re: Tom_L]
falcon5000 Offline

Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 662
A good down or winter sleeping bag can be a real life saver in a pinch. It's a good investment that will last you for a long time. Weather you are into down or synthetic (each with it's ups and downs) if the power is cut a good quality bag will save your life. I'd rather have a hot bag than a cold bag, on an investment side I would opt with a good quality bag from Western Mountaineering,Feathered Friends, Wiggy or a know good quality manufacture that people use routinely for expeditions and have good field track records. Eventually you will run out of wood and fuel unless you live in an area that has miles and miles of forest. Then your concern would be to keep that fire going which will go through a lot of wood taking time away from searching for food and water. Just a thought, I know with the emergency bags we have we can stay warm and dry for quite a long time. Also a fire is a life essential as well but will require a lot of wood over time. I try to conserve the fire as much as possible and use it when I need it the most.
Failure is not an option!
USMC Jungle Environmental Survival Training PI 1985

#168426 - 03/02/09 05:20 PM Re: Scenario : 'homeless ' inside your home [Re: Chisel]
Brangdon Offline

Registered: 12/12/04
Posts: 1201
Loc: Nottingham, UK
One of the basic scenarios I think worth planning for is a nuclear strike that requires you to remain indoors for a couple of weeks while the fallout decays away. I have enough food and water stockpiled for that, and there's plenty of bedding to conserve warmth.

For economic problems, I have made a point of keeping my gas and electric suppliers different in the hope they won't both fail at once. I also have an open coal fireplace and I keep a reserve of coal, albeit not in the main house. I live on the edge of a village, so there is potential to forage for wood outside.

In the longer term, I have dependencies on civilisation I find hard to break. I'd need to learn a new trade, for example.
Quality is addictive.

#168427 - 03/02/09 05:21 PM Re: Scenario : 'homeless ' inside your home [Re: falcon5000]
thatguyjeff Offline

Registered: 04/22/08
Posts: 41
Don't forget that most homes have a built-in 40 gallon (or larger) water reservior - the water heater. There's also several gallons that can be harvested from the pipes. Just open a faucet at the high end of the system and collect water from a faucet at the bottom end.

In cases where the municipal water is still flowing, but becomes contaminated, it's important to remember to turn off the water main to your house first so you don't get contaminated water in your system.

Granted, it may not last all that long, but it could bridge the gap during a dry spell or something like that.

#168436 - 03/02/09 06:29 PM Re: Scenario : 'homeless ' inside your home [Re: thatguyjeff]
Susan Offline

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
Rainwater is said to be twenty times cleaner than the cleanest groundwater of any kind.

If you know you'll have to harvest rainwater, the next very first thing you need to do is get up on the roof and clean it off. Sweep off the leaves and conifer needles. Take careful note of where the bird poop is -- there's actually very little on most of the roof, isn't there?. Birds mostly poop where they perch: on trees overhanging the roof (cut them off for firewood), on your TV antenna (take it down), on wires stretching across your roof (see what you can do to remove them), and on the ridgeline of your house. Remove the perches and you'll remove the major source of rainwater contamination.

Since you carried two eye-bolts and a hundred feet of thin wire with you when you went up on the roof, once it is cleaned off, screw an eye-bolt into each end of the ridge of your roof (if you've got one of those fancy, multi-sectioned roofs, it gets more complicated). Fasten one end of the wire securely to one eye-bolt and then stretch it tightly down the length of the roof to the other eyebolt. It has to be very thin (too thin for even a sparrow to perch on) and tight. This will prevent birds from perching on your roofline.

If you do this, you've just eliminated probably 98% of your rooftop contamination sources. And, if things got bad, I wouldn't really hesitate to drink the water that comes from the roof without purification. I know that everyone says, "Oh, no, you can't drink THAT! It's got asphalt in it!" Well, how much residue really comes off the roof as the water quickly runs over it? Do you think you would be ingesting as much of the petroleum product as you're already eating in your food now, or less? I know what I think!

Grocery stores will be stripped before you even think of breaking into one.

Those plastic underbed storage containers are great for storing more food where it isn't in the way, or obvious.


#168440 - 03/02/09 07:11 PM Re: Scenario : 'homeless ' inside your home [Re: Chisel]
philip Offline

Registered: 09/19/05
Posts: 639
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area
> Let's say you become 'homeless' but with a home sheltering you. No power,
> very little drinking water, and half empty pantry.

I suspect that's the most common result of disasters in the US. Katrina rendered most of the residents of New Orleans stranded in a town without power. Many midwesterners are left without power after major blizzards or tornadoes. Nor'easters in New England, blizzards and hurricanes on the East Coast.

It's less likely that your home will be destroyed than that you'll lose power. On the West Coast, earthquakes will cause power losses, but the likelihood of damage to the home is greater either from the quake or from the fires that start afterwards at the broken gas mains.

My assumption in my location in the San Francisco Bay Area is that we'll be stranded after a quake for some period of time, maybe weeks. If we're lucky, we'll have the house. If not, we'll have to go somewhere and shelter in place. We have food, water. and fuel for a month for the two of us, and some changes of clothes. Luckily, the weather here is temperate year-round (never below freezing, rainy in the so-called winter, generally in the 70s or 80s in the summer.

If the problem is one which cannot be forecast and evacuated in time (tornado, earthquake), sheltering in place may be the best option.

#168446 - 03/02/09 07:52 PM Re: Scenario : 'homeless ' inside your home [Re: philip]
Dan_McI Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 12/10/07
Posts: 844
Loc: NYC
I think that's one of the first scenarios for which one should be prepared. How long you can survive in your own home without assistance or outside support is going to be determined by the weakest links in your chain and the hardest for which to find a substitute.

As a resident in a NY high-rise, I know water and warmth are likely to be my weak points. I have enough water for a while, but space limitations make it difficult to store a lot more. If I had to remain here for days on end with no power and heat, then I would need to make some serious adaptations. I would need to make something like tents inside our apartment, and we would need to dress warmly. Not much else we can do because we have nothing in which to burn any wood or other fuel, except maybe a candle or chafing fuel. My only other option is to move, and we are soon. I have enough food to last more than a month stashed away.

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