Tuesday, September 28, 2010
A complete (practice) disaster
Once or twice a year, our neighborhood has a mock disaster. No one specifies what has befallen us, though flood and earthquake are possibilities that come to mind. We all check in at a central location, where someone has a HAM radio, and we're encouraged to practice our family disaster procedures at home.
This year, our family decided to try out our 72-hour disaster kits. We each have a backpack full of personal supplies, plus a family duffel bag of food and misc. We grabbed those, threw some bottles of water in the back of the van, and randomly drove to a pond we've been wanting to visit a ways down the freeway. Then we piled our backpacks on a picnic table and attempted to cook and eat dinner.
Cooking, we managed. We had pieces from three different kinds of emergency stoves, plus a firepit at the campsite. Thanks to our time in Cub Scouts, we had a "buddy burner"* made out of paraffin, a tuna can, and cardboard. We'd realized we didn't have a pot in the kit before we left, so there was a big pan for warming up our can of beef stew.
There were not, however, any bowls for our stew, or cups for our water. And everyone was dismayed that we'd eaten up the granola bars in some past "emergency."
We ate from the communual pot, found a geocache, made friends with the feral cats in the dumpster, went out for burgers to supplement the emergency rations, and had a great time.
Still not ready to think about basements full of mud, traffic jams full of panicked people, and/or actually living on our provisions, though.
*Note discussion at this page about the possible dangers of plastic-lined tuna cans. I think ours was old enough to not have a lining.