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#220807 - 04/03/11 08:21 PM Re: What's Wrong with FEMA's List [Re: Doug_Ritter]
ironraven Offline
Cranky Geek
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 4642
Loc: Vermont
My response to that question is usually "where to start". While he covers the high points of what is wrong and how to fix them, I'm afraid that the only people listening are the people who look at those lists and shudder.

However, in the interet of giving a balanced view, the 72 hour recommendation while obsolete and optimistic isn't a horrible one. From 72 hours to 120 or more, so long as you have appropriate clothing and have been able to salvage it, and a shelter, the only difference really starts to be how much water and food to stash.

When a man dare not speak without malice for fear of giving insult, that is when truth starts to die. Truth is the truest freedom.

#220811 - 04/03/11 09:23 PM Re: What's Wrong with FEMA's List [Re: Doug_Ritter]
Am_Fear_Liath_Mor Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/03/07
Posts: 3078
What's Wrong with FEMA's List

At least you have a list or six, over here there is nothing to speak off as a one stop shop for preparedness information. I believe that the Federal Emergency Management Agency is part of the Dept of Homeland Security, each with individual budgets of $5.8 billion (2008) and $55.1 billion (2010) respectively. We have a single individual called Clive based at a local police station who organises the Tayside Strategic Co-ordinating Group.


#220812 - 04/03/11 09:25 PM Re: What's Wrong with FEMA's List [Re: Doug_Ritter]
Frisket Offline

Registered: 09/03/10
Posts: 640
Yes but putting numbers on something so complicated makes people complacent and lacking in the end. I never go by numbers like Hours or essential count since I understand how to do away with single use Throw away items and prepare for the indefinite length of time. Storing food and water is a major difficult thing so I personally store what I can afford and store without going insane with stuffing cans of food into every single nook and cranny of my house doing away with room to live. Ive watched a video of a women who prides herself on long term storage and stuffs food under her kids beds in their closets in and under all the furniture....After awhile I wonder how much of her kids lives will be taken up cuz mommy wants to stuff a can of beats into your teddy and toy trucks..

Edited by Frisket (04/03/11 09:38 PM)

#220819 - 04/04/11 12:45 AM Re: What's Wrong with FEMA's List [Re: Doug_Ritter]
stevenpd Offline

Registered: 09/15/07
Posts: 81
Loc: SoCal
I agree with the comments made. With that said, anyone with some of the items on anyone of the lists would be better off than not at all. There also could be the possibility that it just might get someone to start thinking , "What if?", dig into the subject a little deeper and discover that the lists are a good starting point. But not the end-all, beat-all solution to a problem.

Just my $0.02 worth.
“Always remember the 6 P’s”
(Prior Preparation Prevents [censored] Poor Performance)

#220820 - 04/04/11 12:49 AM Re: What's Wrong with FEMA's List [Re: Doug_Ritter]
Art_in_FL Offline

Registered: 09/01/07
Posts: 2432
JT Hats of Only Knives makes hay over the FEMA recommendations but the FEMA list pretty well covers the bases. The FEMA lists are also clearly intended as an entry point to preparedness, not the final word.

Many of the issues raised are mere quibbles. He eschews bottled water because it may not be enough and insists that filtration and/or chemical treatment are required. Does he not know that chemicals and filters are not everlasting; that they also have limitations. The greater amount provided is a difference of degree, not kind. Which pretty well characterizes his objection.

I also wonder how much of this is youthful enthusiasm for 'buying the best'; which is invariably estimated on a combination of cost, and unique capability in improbable conditions.

He seems naive to the hyperbole of advertising. Breathlessly intoning that "The Ka-Bar Tac Tool urban survival knife was designed for SWAT teams breaking into barricaded rooms, but works just as well for getting out of one". Which is fine enough but just because something is designed with SWAT teams in mind it doesn't mean SWAT teams will actually use the product. SWAT teams I have evidence on use a good number of bartering rams and haligan tools, sometimes a crowbar and/or sledge hammer. If any SWAT team commonly uses the Ka-Bar Tac Tool as their main entry tool I have missed it.

Might it work? Yes. Is it better than nothing? Yes. But a $16 pry bar would be better still.

His advocacy of the AMPCO Fireman's Axe is an oddity. With some familiarity with local fireman's equipment I can say that no local engine company commonly uses such axes. They have axes in good number but none of the spark-proof variety. Theirs are the much more common steel headed variety. The only fire units which might routinely carry such a singular tool locally would be the hazardous materials response unit. The reason they are not more common has to do with their cost. Whereas a steel-headed one goes for about $100 the spark-proof variety goes for somewhere between twice or three times that. Durability and edge holding is also an issue.

One wonders what exactly lay in JT Hats stockpile of preparedness supplies. Is it all gold plated and overpriced with its suitability determined by advertising copy. Or is he just perusing online catalogs for items that catch his eye and fancy to fill a notional reserve to serve during a hypothetical situation?

#220821 - 04/04/11 01:08 AM Re: What's Wrong with FEMA's List [Re: Art_in_FL]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 7191
Loc: southern Cal
Don't lose sight of the fact that the original commenter is in the business of selling survival items. He has an axe to grind, so to speak. Naturally, he recommends pricey stuff - all too human, I'm afraid.
Geezer in Chief

#220824 - 04/04/11 01:36 AM Re: What's Wrong with FEMA's List [Re: Doug_Ritter]
rebwa Offline

Registered: 01/25/09
Posts: 295
Good for him for telling it like it is with regard to the FEMA list(s) and reality. The 3 day food and water supply recommendations are a joke even for just fairly common winter storms. While all his specific recommendations might not be what I’d buy--I applaud him--- for hopefully getting people to think a little. And if people aren’t going to either take the time to research or actually use a tool or item frequently his recommendations are at least better than FEMA's. In my opinion, anything to get people to prepare more than most do.

#220827 - 04/04/11 04:30 AM Re: What's Wrong with FEMA's List [Re: Doug_Ritter]
Richlacal Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 02/11/10
Posts: 778
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
One thing for sure,The psychology is in order as he managed to get our attention,As broke as this side of the world is presently,We are darned lucky to even have a FEMA!I would bet,All of us here & anyone friendly to us,are Leaps&Bounds ahead of ANY, FEMA generated list,We can all Thank Doug Ritter for that!

#220832 - 04/04/11 08:06 AM Re: What's Wrong with FEMA's List [Re: Richlacal]
Paul810 Offline

Registered: 03/02/03
Posts: 1428
Loc: NJ, USA
The kit at Ready.gov seems to be the one FEMA advertises most to the general populace. I've seen a multitude of tv ads and heard radio ads directing people to that website.

With that in mind, I don't think that particular list is too bad. It's obvious it's made to be a starting point with general recommendations (vs. you have to buy these exact items). It even says such things as, "at least three days food and water."

I can see where it's just about impossible to make a list that serves everyone in the United States equally well. Differences in financial situations, family situations, and the types of expected emergencies pretty much dictate what one will have available to them. (which might explain why they have multiple lists for more specific situations)

It's also worth keeping in mind that FEMA's recommendations obviously aren't for 'the end of the world as we know it" type events. It pretty much assumes that events will be localized with first responders able to make it into the area and help get people to relative safety (i.e. sit tight and wait until help arrives).

I know for me (and many other here), that just wouldn't fit with our typical modus operandi. Instead, we would likely be out helping our neighbors, extended family, whoever; and being the first responders. Therefore, it's obvious that truly preparedness minded folks like us would need to be better equipped than the average individual.

Essentially, someone who is used to the preparedness concept is going to look at the list differently than someone who has never once thought about being prepared for an emergency. For a preparedness minded individual, it might not meet our bare minimum. For an average person, it's going to be better than nothing.

When you are trying to appeal to the latter, you're going to try and stick to what they already have available as much as possible. That way, it doesn't become a huge financial and time commitment to put a kit together. Better they throw some items in a box now because they're available, than to keep putting it off until something finally happens.

For us, it's strange to think that...some people either simply don't care or don't want to think about it. However, these are the people FEMA is really trying to reach. They don't want to make it so complicated and expensive that it will drive these people away.

It really is a logistical nightmare trying to put a list together for an entire country, especially if you want the average person to actually consider following it. While I don't think the Ready.gov list is perfect, it definitely offers a good place to start for most people.

#220833 - 04/04/11 11:15 AM Re: What's Wrong with FEMA's List [Re: Doug_Ritter]
Leigh_Ratcliffe Offline

Registered: 03/31/06
Posts: 1355
Loc: United Kingdom.
One point that the membership might like to consider:
When your formulating these list's is it not better to consider what might be commonly obtained rather than best choice. As in you may not have access to MRE's or L.E.D lights or butane lighters.
I don't do dumb & helpless.

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