The Absolute Worst Possible Time for a Disaster

The Trinity Atomic Bomb Test, White Sands, July 16, 1945

When are you most vulnerable to a disaster? How about at night, when you are asleep? You’re totally vulnerable. Which is probably why criminals tend to do their dirty work at night.

I’ve often thought the absolute worst time for a major emergency or disaster was in the middle of the night, in the height of winter. As we approach winter here in the U.S., it’s time to take stock of your preparations.

Imagine that in the middle of January, you were to lose power, for any number of reasons. What would you do? Do you have a way to heat your home without electricity. You may have a gas-powered furnace, but does it take electricity to run? Fireplaces and wood stoves would be very welcome during that time.

Survey your preparations and assess your readiness. A major event will likely occur at the most inconvenient time, under the worst possible conditions. So, if you need more water, get it. If you need to buy more emergency survival food, do it. If you need to buy more emergency preparedness supplies, do it.


How to Find the Emergency Water Sources Hiding in Your Own Home

Emergency Water Sources Hiding In Your Own Home
Emergency Drinking Water Sources Are Hiding In Your Own Home

Let’s talk about the sources of emergency water that are hiding in your own home. This will be broken down into two sections.

When You Know You Will Be Running Out of Water

When you know that you will be losing water soon, for whatever reason, you need to act fast. It may be rather obvious, but you need to immediately fill your bathtub, your sinks, your pots and pans, any and all containers in your home that will hold water.

If you are on city water, then you should shut off your water main. This will prevent contaminated water from coming back into your house and contaminating the water in your water heater. If you don’t know where the water main is for your home, you can just go to the water heater and shut off the cold and hot water valves to/from your water heater. The building code in the U.S. requires a valve on the cold water supply to the water heater. However, your water heater may have shutoff valves on both the cold and hot water lines to/from the water heater. Shut one or both off.

When You Find Out You Have No Water

If you find out your water supply has been shut off, there are emergency sources of water hiding in your home.

The bathtub is an obvious source of water, but it will only be filled when you are getting ready to take a bath. Bathtubs hold around 50 gallons of water, and that’s substantial. Let’s look at other sources.

The water heater is a great source of emergency drinking water. All water heaters have a drain valve at the bottom. If the main water goes off, you can turn the pilot off on the water heater, and that will prevent the water from heating. Then open the valve on the bottom of the tank and drain water as you need it. 40 gallons is a common size of water heater, so most homes will have this amount of water available to them. Where else can we look?

The toilet is another source of emergency water. But not the toilet bowl. I’m talking about the tank. You can take a cup and scoop the water out. I would boil the toilet tank water just to be safe. Remember, if you have one of those toilet bowl cleaner dispensers in your tank, then you are out of luck on this one.

If you live in a multilevel house, with or without a basement, you can go to the lowest level in the house and drain the water system from that point. If the water won’t drain. Just go to the highest point in the house and open a faucet. Just remember to shut the faucet when you are done. You don’t want your house to get flooded from the top down when the water supply comes back on.

Some of your food storage items already have water in them. I’m not talking about Mountain House Freeze Dried Food, or dehydrated food items, or buckets of staples. I’m talking about how some store-bought canned goods such as tuna, vegetables, and the like are packed in water.

What about the water in the aquarium? I don’t think so.

If it happens to be raining when the water goes off, you can always collect rainwater and use that.

Next time the water is shut off to your home, use these tips as a starting point, and go from there.

Happy drinking!



“Recognizing the Eight Signs of Terrorism,” A New Video

8 Signs of Terrorism
8 Signs of Terrorism – A New Video by “The Cell”

A new video has been released on The Cell website, which is The Center for Empowered Living and Learning. The video was unveiled by Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Colorado Governor Bill Ritter.

Narrated by John Elway, the video lists the eight signs of terrorism and briefly explains each one. Here are the signs:

  1. Surveillance
  2. Elicitation
  3. Tests of Security
  4. Funding
  5. Acquiring Supplies
  6. Impersonation
  7. Rehearsal
  8. Deployment

The video is well produced and the website is professionally designed. I don’t know if it will actually help. I think that by showing people how to recognize the eight signs of terrorism, it might be training people to spy on their fellow citizens. However, that may be a cynical attitude.

You may find the video of value and certainly should view it. I don’t want to discourage you from doing so.

Here is the address:

8 Signs of Terrorism



Sorry, This Is Not Food Storage

This Is Not Food Storage
Buckets of Staples Alone Are Not A Complete Food Storage System

Look at the photo. That is not food storage. At least, it is not complete food storage.

Generally, buckets contain bulk food items such as wheat, beans, rice, flour, sugar, salt, etc. If this is what your food storage consists of, you are in trouble. You must store more than just basic staples. In general, you must store what your family eats.

My food storage philosophy has always been to have a well-rounded food storage. Store basic staples in buckets, store freeze dried foods in #10 cans, such as Mountain House food, store dehydrated food in #10 cans and buckets, and store store-bought canned and home-canned goods.

Now, if you are someone who doesn’t like to mess with the basics, then you can get a freeze dried food system from Mountain House foods. All you need to add is hot water and let it stand for up to 10 minutes. It’s the ultimate in convenience.

However in most cases, it is nice to have a well-rounded food storage program. The choice is up to you. Find what your family enjoys and then store that.



My House Was Flooded, Are These Canned Goods Safe?

A Flooded Neighborhood
This Flooded Neighborhood is Typical of Those Devasted By Torrential Rains

Your house was just flooded. The flood could have been over a widespread area of a town or from a pipe bursting in your basement. Now you have to start the cleanup. Your basement pantry was filled with all your long term food storage items. You wonder if your Mountain House food in No. 10 cans, your dehydrated food in No. 10 cans, and your canned goods are safe.

Undamaged (meaning unpunctured) canned goods can be saved even if they have been completely submerged. It makes no difference if they are #10 cans or regular size grocery store canned goods. Here’s what you do:

  • Take a permanent felt tip pen, like a Sharpie, and write the contents on the can.
  • Remove the label.
  • Wash the cans in a strong detergent solution using a scrub brush. Make sure to carefully clean areas around the lids and seams.
  • Next, soak the cans in a solution of unscented liquid household bleach, such as Clorox. Use t easpoonfuls of bleach per quart of room temperature water. Let the cans soak for 15 minutes.
  • Take the cans out of the solution and let them air dry. The cans need to be dry before you open them.

Cans that have leaks, dents, or bulging should be discarded because they may be contaminated.

If you had rushing flood waters, then the labels may have been washed off of the cans. In this situation, the only solution is to write the contents on the can when the can is put into storage, before the flood. Yes, it’s a bother, but if you live in a flood plain and are prone to flooding, then this will allow you to know the contents of a can. Otherwise, you may be fixing dinner for your family, you open five cans, and they are all vegetables. That’s only good if your family is vegetarian.

Follow these instructions and you will know what to do with your Mountain House Freeze Dried Food in #10 cans, your dehydrated food in #10 cans, and your store-bought canned goods.