Saturday, May 31, 2008

May Showers Bring...

If April showers bring May flowers, one wonders what May showers are supposed to bring? Logically June flowers, but that remain to be seen. Mostly what May showers brought is record flooding here in central Iowa. My town was 6" from being completely closed off to cars. Every thoroughfare into and out of town was under water except for one, and that one would have closed for the same reason had the waters risen another 6 inches. Things are better this morning, the waters have receded a little, but it makes a person stop and think. (It makes me stop and think, maybe I'm not normal though.) This is the second year in a row we've had some pretty extreme flooding in Central Iowa. Maybe this is what we have to look forward to as weather cycles start to change in relation to global warming. And maybe spring flooding is normal and it's merely a coincidence that it was excessive the past two years. Hard to say. :-D

The gardens have survived the rainy May fairly well. Nothing appears to be washed away. The corn is late getting in the ground, but that's the story all over the state. My tomato plants have definitely enjoyed all the rain, but I think they are on the verge of waterlogged and I'm glad today is sunny and warm. My Brassicas are absolutely huge! I'm amazed every time I go check on things how well they are doing. My garden continues to be a firm island of certainty amid the rapidly changing reality of expensive energy. It makes me feel a little better to know I'm figuring out how to feed myself and my family without using any fossil fuels.

I've started 72 hour kits for myself and Dave. I think watching all the people in NW Iowa shift through the remains of their houses spurred me into action. It's one of those preparation things that has been on my list of things to do for awhile. I bought some Bug Out Bags from Cheaper Than and I'm going to fill them with food, water, first aid, basic shelter and survival gear. We'll have a basement when we move next month, so for most events we'll shelter in place, but I want us to have a quick safe way to leave if we need to. These 72 hour kits will be that safe way. If you are reading this and you don't have 72 hour kits made up for you and your family, please start one now. Look at what happened post Katrina, look at what happened in Myanmar and China, if something ever goes really wrong, and the government can't get to you for 3 days, what are you going to do? Don't leave it to chance, don't bet on the odds of it never happening to you. Set aside 25$ a month for the next 3 or 4 months and put together something that could save you and your family a lot of heartache.
Here's what's going in our kits, keep in mind these are for two fairly healthy adults with no children, living in tornado alley in a state that ranges in temp from -40 to 110 easily. Your kits should be tailored to your specific health needs, weather variables and possible emergency scenarios.
In each bag:
6 MREs plus some snacks
water purifying pills
single serve coffee packets
Aqua blox 3-5 (boxed water in 8oz servings)
basic first aid (burn care, cuts, sprains, aches, etc.)
copies of important identification in ziplocks
important contact numbers
emergency blankets (the silver reflective kind that fold up really small)
whistle/compass/thermometer combo
waterproof matches
small bar of soap
hand sanitizer

Special for my bag:
small ziplock of kitty food in case I can evacuate with my cat.

Special for Dave's bag:
spare socks

Both of us usually have knives/mutitools on our person, so I'm not including those.
The thought behind the bags is what do you need to stay comfortable and healthy for 3 days that you can put in a bag and grab on the run to the basement for a tornado or on the run out the door for a fire. If you find yourself with room to spare in the bag, consider putting a deck of cards or something of that nature to occupy time or a couple rolls of quarters for pay phones/laundry mat dryers.

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