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The Emergency Preparedness
Tip o'da Week

Emergency & Disaster Preparedness Tip

The material presented on this page is intended to start you thinking about what you can do today that might someday save your life. If nothing else, our "Tip o' da Week" might just make your life a bit easier when a disaster strikes. We do not present topics that cost a lot of money (like structure reinforcement.) These are "do it yourself" projects and are relatively inexpensive.


FireBox stove in use with fire powered pan charger - Hatsuden Nabe

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The Fire-Powered USB Thermoelectric Generator and the Firebox Folding Stove

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Are You Prepared?
By Lon Stuart, Tech Pubs

Note: TheEpicenter has formatted the information below but has only made minor editorial changes with the submitter's approval.)

Imagine the following scenario:

While working at your desk, you hear a distant rumbling. It's not a jet taking off at the airport. The building begins to shake, lights flicker and you realize that a major earthquake is in progress.

The natural thing to do is dive under your desk or the most sturdy piece of furniture close by. Meanwhile, debris is falling from the ceiling, bookcases are tipping over and calamity reigns for several minutes (it seems like an eternity - ask anyone who has been through a big quake...).

But, what if you have a 72-hour office survival kit stashed under the desk? Sit back, crack open the box, pull out your flashlight and wait in relative comfort with the non-perishable food and three-day supply of water you have on hand. Water in sport plastic bottles is great for this use, but remember to change the water on a regular basis.

Did you cut yourself on a broken vase as you were diving under the desk? No problem - the first aid kit in your 72 hour supplies will fix you up with a Band-Aid or even a substantial bandage, if you need it.

If trapped inside a building, a 72-hour kit could save your life or make you more comfortable for the duration. Life gets lonesome in a hurry if you have to live underneath a desk.

Suppose you are able to exit the building after the shaking stops. Your first thought is of home and family.

Do these disasters strike at high noon when the temperature is mild and balmy? Never!. They usually come when the weather is gray, mean and nasty. Do you have a heavy jacket, blanket or space blanket in your 72-hour kit or car? We do have cold winter temperatures nearly half the year, you know.

After a disaster, you have two choices:

  1. Stay at work until things settle down and roads are cleared or...
  2. Head for home on Shank's ponies (your own two feet).

The first choice is preferred, if at all possible, but if you feel the extreme urge to head home, it's going to be a long walk. Be sure to let company disaster officials know what you plan to do and where you plan to go. (They might hog-tie you until the urge passes...)

Stay away from telephones - they probably won't be working anyhow.

What else will I need?


Editorial note from Epicenter:

Below is a list of supplies that Lon has compiled and recommends.

OFFICE 72-HOUR KIT

ITEMS INCLUDED IN BASIC KIT

Size    Description                                     Shelf Life

1 each  FOOD ENERGY BAR
        (3600 calorie, 1 person for up to 3 days)       5 years
6 4oz   WATER POUCHES                                   5 years
1 btl   WATER PURIFICATION TABLETS                      3 years
1 each  BLANKET (emergency reflective)
1 each  PONCHO (emergency)
1 each  TUBE TENT (2 person  / with rope)
1 box   MATCHES (windproof / waterproof)
1 each  CANDLE (100 hour)
3 each  LIGHT STICKS (12-hour, non-flammable)           4 years
1 each  FLASHLIGHT
1 each  FIRST AID KIT
        (moderate level care, with book (see list)      3 years
1 each  KNIFE (Swiss / pocket)
1 each  WHISTLE
1 each  WASH CLOTH (handy-wipe)
1 roll  TOILET TISSUE (in bag)
5 each  DUST MASKS
4 each  ZIPLOCK BAGS
1 each  GARBAGE CAN LINER
1 each  BACK PACK (to hold 72 hour kit)
1 each  SOAP (hand, antibacterial (Dial brand)
1 each  CHAPSTICK (Blistex, PF 10)                      3 years
1 tube  SUNTAN LOTION
        (full block, wet/dry Face Aloeap/, 1 oz, PF 25) 3 years
1 each  TOOTHBRUSH & TOOTHPASTE  (travel kit with case) 3 years
1 each  CONTAINER (1 quart / sized for water tablets)
2 each  BATTERY
        (D, for flashlight/with bag)                    2 years
        (Duracell, "copper top")
4 each  BATTERY
        (AA, for radio/with bag)                        2 years
        (Durracell, "copper top")
1 each  RADIO (small / in bag)

OPTIONAL ITEMS (essential)

Size    Life    Description

1 each          CASH
                $75 paper and coin
                (Do NOT store money in your 72hr kit)
1 each          JACKET & GLOVES  (keep in car)
1 each          CHANGE of CLOTHES  (with walking shoes)
1 each          BLANKET  (wool blend)
1 each  dated   MEDICATION  (prescription and over-the-counter)
1 each          SLEEPING BAG  (keep in car)
3 each          PERSONAL HYGIENE

OPTIONAL ITEMS (for consideration)

Size    Life    Description

1 pack  dated   FRUIT, DRIED
1 each          COMPASS
1 each          2nd EMERGENCY REFLECTIVE BLANKET (use under tent)
1 each          WASH CLOTH  (white)
1 each          HAND TOWEL  (white)
1 each          TENT 2-MAN  (Odyssey)
4 each          WARMER PACKS  (18 hour / hand and body)
3 day   5 year  MRE
               (food 10-lbs, MRE, Side, Fruit bars, Desserts, Hard Candy)
3 each          MRE HEATER  (to heat 3 entree / 1 a day)

There it is - food for thought - and we've covered most things you need for an office 72-hour kit.

Remember, it's not IF it happens, but WHEN!


Some background about this week's submitter: Lon Stuart is a Technical Writer at OEC Medical Systems, Salt Lake City. Lon is an active Ham Radio Operator and has been Chairman of the North Salt Lake Emergency Preparedness Committee for about 3 years. Besides being committee chairman, he is also communications manager for the city Emergency Preparedness Committee. He is also active in several other Emergency Preparedness organizations, including an ad hoc committee at work.

Thanks again to Lon Stuart for submitting this Emergency Preparedness "Tip o' da Week"!


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