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#205445 - 08/02/10 04:05 PM Re: Suggestions for a single woman living in the burbs [Re: StephanieM]
Roarmeister Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 09/12/01
Posts: 897
Loc: Saskatchewan, Canada
Originally Posted By: StephanieM
I have been extremely interested in being prepared in case of a natural disaster for a long time. I have done some things like getting a water filtration system in place, I have a solar oven, a fair amount of stored food for a single person. I am fairly well equipped with tools, and camping supplies, and lived out in the country so I can garden, raise small animals and the like.

I currently live in the burbs in Houston. I am curious if you were me, what would you be doing to get ready. I feel that in case of a hurricane I would be able to make it a several weeks just fine, but I am thinking longer term.

Looking forward to your answers,

Hurricane country? Do you live in an apartment or house? The reason I ask is that you can make do as an emergency water source - your water heater. Apartment dwellers don't usually have direct access to theirs. You can drain the fluid as required but you may need to demineralize, filter, even boil the water to make it potable, but most of the time it should be OK. Most people think about filling the tub, which is fine if you know before hand that you are going to be without water.

#205450 - 08/02/10 05:41 PM Re: Suggestions for a single woman living in the burbs [Re: Roarmeister]
Susan Offline

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
And never forget that running may be your best option under some circumstances.

Keep some bags or totes near the front door with necessities. Even if you have to run from a very local disaster (toxic tanker overturned, etc), all the places upwind of the spill will be stripped of useful goods by the time you get there.

When I saw the lines of traffic at a dead stop on the freeways ahead of Katrina, my foremost thought was, "I would sure hope that I had the sense to bring a bucket toilet and some sawdust along..."


#205452 - 08/02/10 06:04 PM Re: Suggestions for a single woman living in the burbs [Re: StephanieM]
LesSnyder Offline

Registered: 07/11/10
Posts: 1541
Loc: New Port Richey, Fla
a couple of suggestions for stay in place hurricane events with probable power outage..fill a 33 gallon trash can in your tub/shower for flushing toilet...slowly add water directly to bowl... try this before you need to use it for real....get a dedicated pump up garden sprayer not to be used for anything else, bungee a small black trash can liner around it, place it in the sun. A warm shower does wonders for your disposition ( I hate to shave with cold water). Place another trash can under the eaves of your house to catch extra water... haven't had a filled one move yet in a 125mph breeze. Obtain a couple of the 3 day ice chests, one for ice (freeze 2 liter bottles (not milk), one for any refrigerated left overs, place in chest before any anticipated power outage so you don't have to open the door of the fridge. I have converted my emergency cooking to propane, and have one of the 1 pound bottle fill adapters from a 25 pound tank. Although not recommended by "authorities" I find the flickering light provided by a couple of Dietz lanterns comforting... running on lamp oil (parafin),but I've used canola/peanut oil in the past. I've got a couple of the closet dome LED lights, but haven't tried them for real yet. Get a NOAA weather alert radio, programable for your specific location. During the 04/05 hurricane season I did not loose internet service. I think a hard wired lap top with a 12v to 5v USB car charger would be great for post storm information/entertainment. Put a split key ring on your LED flashlight (I use a AA mini MagLight as I have tried to standardize batteries) so you can clip it to a belt snap ( I have a tendency to misplace lights) Get an LED headlamp for hands free use. A cordless drill/charged batteries (if you can find a "yankee screwdriver") comes in handy for putting up plywood. "Ply locks" have worked well in the neighborhood if you have a recessed window. If you board up, it gets pretty warm till you get the boards off, might think of a battery fan to sleep with. Just a couple of ideas of things that worked for me living on the Gulf Coast for a little over 55 years. regards Les

#205454 - 08/02/10 06:47 PM Re: Suggestions for a single woman living in the burbs [Re: LesSnyder]
Chisel Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 12/05/05
Posts: 1155

#205465 - 08/02/10 09:28 PM Re: Suggestions for a single woman living in the burbs [Re: Chisel]
StephanieM Offline

Registered: 08/01/10
Posts: 28
During Rita I stayed in, I thought the chaos on the roads was worse than what the potential damage would be. I have practiced filling every container of water when a hurricane is coming in. Growing up out in the country meant power was more fickle. I have flushed toilets without running water more than once! Living in Houston has meant for me buying cooking fuel, lighting sources, and some no cook food for hurricane season. Ike left my neighbors without power for up to 3 weeks.

I love the idea about the cordless drills and charging them up. I almost purchased one of those portable power things yesterday, but I like the trash liner idea better. I have an ample supply of candles, some battery operated lights, and I have a couple of lights that are charged when you shake them.

Thanks for the many suggestions. Being a single woman, I assure you, most of my friends think I am nuts because I have been making a point to store food, and start preparations like I have. It is good to know there are others out there with similar thoughts.

#205469 - 08/02/10 10:43 PM Re: battery operated lights [Re: StephanieM]
Russ Online   content

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 5029
Get a quality LED flashlight. I like the AA lights from Fenix and 4Sevens. 4Sevens' Quark AA2 is a great light IMO. Its single AA sibling is a bit smaller and gives up little in performance. Fenix also makes a very high quality light -- L2T and LD20 are both two AA battery lights. All lights mentioned use common, easy to obtain batteries. Welcome to the forum.

#205495 - 08/03/10 03:33 AM Re: Suggestions for a single woman living in the burbs [Re: StephanieM]
Susan Offline

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
The general rule is storage of one gallon of water per person, per day. But that's just for drinking and cooking, not for dish washing or bathing or flushing toilets. For Houston in the summer, I would double that. Allow extra for pets -- a large dog will drink as much as a person.

If you only store 30 gallons (of course that might change!), that's not enough for toilet flushing. But if you have access to mildly contaminated water (creek, lagoon, golf course lakes, etc), you can use that for flushing toilets. But not for every time someone uses the toilet. Remember the old hippie water-saving rule: "If it's brown, flush it down; if it's yellow, let it mellow."

If you have people who automatically flush (or kids), slip the top end of the chain off the end of arm inside the tank (the other end of the chain is attached to the flapper).

If you plan on filling your bathtub, fill it now and see if your stopper actually holds it for a day or more. Mark the full line with a crayon or tape. Some metal stoppers don't last much longer than a bath takes. Consider replacing with a rubber stopper, if possible.

Also investigate the bathtub Water BOB, a heavy bag that fits inside a bathtub and holds about 100 gallons of water. Useful if you have prior warning, such as a hurricane. Useless for earthquakes.


#205500 - 08/03/10 04:32 AM Re: Suggestions for a single woman living in the burbs [Re: Susan]
StephanieM Offline

Registered: 08/01/10
Posts: 28
So let me be more clear about my water.

I keep about 30 gallons of bottled water at all times.
I have more jugs in the 5 gallon size that I have on hand, that will give me another 10.
My downstairs bath tub will told water for a couple of days, I haven't checked it past 36 hours.
I have one large trashcan for water right now, I would like to get a couple more of the 50 gallon ones, so that would bring me up to about 150 in trash cans.
I have a small goldfish pond in my backyard that I could utilize about 100 gallons out of it as well.

When a hurricane is on its way I fill all available buckets full of water, which would most likely give me another 25 gallons.


365 gallons

I do have a natural water supply from my house within walking distance which is a tributary stream to Lake Houston. If that would fail, there are a couple more streams nearby, and then the lake itself. I have a berkeley water filtration system, and I am guessing I could fairly easily set up a gravitational system, should I encounter having to pull water from the tributary stream that feeds into Lake Houston that's close to my house. I also have a solar oven that should aide myself in treating water as well. I thought this was a decent start, it is really just me at my house. Any recommendations on the gallons I should be keeping?

#205502 - 08/03/10 04:43 AM Re: Suggestions for a single woman living in the burbs [Re: Susan]
StephanieM Offline

Registered: 08/01/10
Posts: 28
Oooo love the water bob, that would make both bathtubs extra water storage units!

#205521 - 08/03/10 01:41 PM Re: Suggestions for a single woman living in the burbs [Re: StephanieM]
librarian Offline

Registered: 07/26/06
Posts: 34
Loc: Conroe, Texas
Stephanie, I am "librarian" aka Jackie. I live across I 45 from The Woodlands, on an acre of mostly uncleared land. My husband and I are retired teachers. I am trying to plant edible landscaping, and , of course, I have the usual hurricane supplies to which I am adding as much as possible. i have been on this forum for years but do not post much. You sound like you are well on your way to independence. More later.

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