Fire Season Part two (prep for humans and animals.)

Last week we talked about hardening your home and yard for fire season. Since then we have all had to deal with the reality of fire and global pandemic together. We are going to go ahead and do our post on ‘preparing for an emergency part two’ anyway however, so as not to trigger anyone (us included) we have decided to use a much less likely emergency to talk about: Subterranean Apocalypse.  Yep, Mole People.

Poster of 1956 film the "Mole People"

Go Bags:

If the mole people should pop up in your back yard you will want to get out of your house and to a safe area as quickly as possible. So what should be in your go-bag?  We’ve broken it up into what should already be in your car. What should be beside your bed, and what should be at the front door. (For a handy checklist .pdf try this one from Ready.gov)

In your trunk:

Water a gallon per person/day. We know that is a lot of water to carry around. We actually put one gallon per in our trunk and leave the rest in a place close to our front door.

Food. We keep a box of protein bars in our trunk. We also remember to replenish them every once in a while because we always forget to eat before we go to the gym.

First Aid kid. Band-Aids-disinfectant-butterfly closures-instant ice packs-aspirin-ibuprofen-allergy medication (including a fast-acting like Benadryl for bee stings etc. and a normal for seasonal allergies)-gauze pads-medical tape-eye wash-eye patch-small scissors-tweezers-tampons (good for personal hygiene and for large wounds to curb blood loss)-hand sanitizer-laxatives/anti-diarrhea meds-antacids

a pre-packed first aid kid

Pre-packaged first aid kits are a good start.

Blanket. We like the space blankets for go bags, but we also always carry at least two normal blankets in our car. They are great for emergency warmth, and emergency beach trips (We hear the mole people don’t like the ocean).

Map/Atlas. As anyone in Northern California can tell you cell phone towers can burn. And Mole people would know this and use it against us, so don’t just rely on your cell phone. Paper maps are not reliant on Wi-Fi or cell reception. One great thing to do would be to pick different routes out of your area on the map and drive them every now and again so that if you are evacuating you are not suddenly in new territory. Another great thing about paper maps is that you can write notes on them so if you find something on your non-emergency travels that will help you in an evacuation (i.e. where the nearest gas station is) you can note it on the map.

Power bank. Yes, we all have car chargers now. Most power banks can use the car charger port…but you might need to access things like your laptop. You might need to charge your digital camera to take pictures of the invading mole man army, or you may need to recharge your portable lantern/radio.

Goal Zero solar power bank is great for emergencies.

This power bank is portable and can be recharged with a solar panel.

At least one change of clothes including socks/underwear. Not only is this helpful for Mole Men invasions, but it’s also honestly a piece of mind at any time. We have all been caught in a sudden downpour or spilled that coffee all over us on the way to work.

A flashlight. If you have a multi-function flashlight that can also double as an emergency flasher and a lantern that is best because it means less space needed in your trunk. Also, Mole Men hate emergency flashers we are told.

Nebo multi-function flashlight

Good multi-purpose light is handy in an emergency.

-Basic tool kit. Hammer/mallet-Allen wrench set- adjustable wrench- adjustable screwdriver-duct tape-multi-tool/pocket knife-small folding shovel-work gloves-a roll of plastic- rope- zip-ties. Also put an extra house key and an extra car key in your tool kit.

A deck of cards or another small portable game. Yes, you want to keep abreast of where the mole men are, but we get exhausted quickly when constantly bombarded with all the information our phones provide to us. Keep something around that you can use to distract your mind every now and then.

Uno is a good choice of card games for evacuations

Uno is a good choice of card games for evacuations

-a small fire extinguisher.

 

On/in your nightstand:

-A pair of easy to put on running/tennis shoes. Your instinct in the middle of the night (when the mole men show up) will be to run barefoot or to put on slippers/sandals but we have all seen horror movies where people would have been okay if they had been wearing real shoes. Make sure these are shoes that you can actually wear for a long period of time. No brand new vans or hiking boots that will give you blisters. These should be broken in and ready to go.

Spare glasses/medications. Mole men love bathrooms. They might dig up there. Or in an Earthquake, you might not have time to get to wherever you normally store these. Keep some in a bag together in your nightstand where you can reach them in a hurry.

-An Extra house key and an extra car key.

-Extra mask(s). Put some extra masks everywhere. But also keep some in the bag with your glasses and meds. When you get away from the Mole people it would be a shame to get the Rona.

a mask and sanitizer display at Standard 5&10

fabric masks won’t keep the smoke out, but it will keep Covid at bay. Don’t forget sanitizer too.

-A piece of paper with a copy of your i.d. and the phone numbers for your out of state contact and any local emergency numbers you might need (vet, local hospital, insurance agent, Mole handler) Remember that you might not have reliable cell coverage.

-A small flashlight

-A small multi-tool or a pocket knife

a multi-tool is critical

A good multi-tool checks a lot of boxes in the tool kit.

-A whistle- to signal for help in case you are trapped when anti-Molemen troops (or search and rescue) arrives.

-Cash- Not a lot, enough for some gas or a meal. Hopefully, the banks are still working, but mobile banking might be down, and you have food and water in the car (right) But you never know and a little cash can go a long way in an emergency.

-A family picture- Your phone won’t erase pics just because the cell tower is down. You can replace any that you have saved on it. But having at least one family picture can be a great mental health boost when the Mole Men are rampaging through town.

Near your emergency exit point (Whatever is closest to your vehicle):

-Water one gallon per person per day for 3 days

-Food enough canned/dried/preserved food to last 3 days (Check the expiration dates regularly)

-Camping Stove/Portable Grill/Camping Cookware and Mess Kit

-Flashlights/Lanterns.

-Extra batteries for radios/flashlights/etc…

-Gas shut-off wrench

A gas shut off wrench is key if you have natural gas.

A gas shut off wrench is key if you have natural gas.

-Extra fuel for your camp stove.

-Personal hygiene items (t.p. soap, toothpaste, shampoo, tampons, razors, baby wipes, etc)

-Manual can opener

-A fire-resistant safe with important papers. Insurance docs/birth certificates/Social Security cards/Bank Account information/Passports etc.

A fire resistant safe

Keep important papers in a fire resistant safe.

-Extra phone charger (One per phone! It cuts down on fighting and it’s good if one gets lost).

-Fire extinguishers (you should have more than one. But don’t rely on them they are for small fires not to save your whole house from mole people with torches. Things are replaceable you are not!)

-Battery or hand-crank radio (assume that the internet will be spotty at best. Radio frequencies are harder to crack into for mole men. ALSO before the mole men arrive find out what frequency your best local source of news is. )

-Full first aid kit (like the one in your car, but with more supplies. We like the First Alert prepacked kits)

A prepacked emergency kit is a great way to start

A prepacked emergency kit is a great way to start

If you have Kids Add:

A map in your home kit and in their backpack with pre-determined meeting locations on them.

-An emergency contact list also in the home kit and in their school backpack.

-Extra clothes (More than the one full outfit change recommended for adults)

-Diapers/wipes/extra formula/extra bottles (You already have a baby go-bag ready you just call it your diaper bag. Just always make sure when you take something out that you replace it).

-Extra snacks that don’t taste like protein bars. Fruit snacks/granola bars/etc.. Kids will need their energy and with mole men, after us, none of us have the strength to do the “eat it or go hungry” fight.

-If they have a Linus item (i.e. a blankie or favorite stuffed toy) be sure to grab it if you need to leave. Mole men love to take Linus items and kids are easily traumatized these comfort items are needed in an emergency).

-A handheld gaming system. Don’t invest in a new one, use a Gameboy or something. The point is a distraction, not the newest item. (Don’t forget batteries)

-Headphones (If you have kids you already know why headphones are important when you are cooped up together)

-Non-electronic distractions. Coloring books, board games, crayons, puzzles.

-Children’s versions of medicines. Tylenol, cough meds, allergy meds. And any prescriptions the children might have (like inhalers!)

 

If you have pets add:

 

-Transport options. Cat carriers/leashes/harnesses/Lizard boxes/portable bird cages w/covers

A portable food and water bowl

-Any special needs like a heating pad or heat lamp

-A sealable container of extra food. (Do not just assume you are going to be able to wrestle your 50lb open bag of dog food away from the Mole Men)

-Any medications they might need

-A toy for each.

-Make sure dogs/cats are chipped. Put your contact name and number on housing for other animals.

                                              -For more information about making sure your fur babies are ready for an emergency check out the American Humane Society’s animal prep factsheet here.

 

Knowledge:

                Before the Molemen invade is the time to learn things like: 

-CPR (Check out your local Civilian Emergency Response Team training to help you and your neighbors here)

-How to locate and shut off your natural gas and electricity

-Basic First Aid (Get certified with the Red Cross. For more info check their website here)

-How to use your camp stove

-Where your local emergency shelters are

-What your child’s school policies are in case of an emergency

-What evacuation zone you live in.

-How to cook and eat mole men (this one may not be as relevant)

                If you have kids:

-Teach them the evacuation plan.

-Teach them where supplies are and how to utilize them (I.e. how to use that manual can opener)

-Teach them the route to the local emergency shelter.

-Make sure there is someone you trust close by that they can go to if you can’t get back to the house right away. And that they know how to get there.

                                                                -For more info on getting kids ready for emergencies check out the Ready Gov page on Ready Kids here.

 

And there you have it. Basic prep for a Mole Man apocalypse or an Earthquake/Volcano/Cyclone/or anything else that 2020 hasn’t thrown our way yet.

Stay Safe!

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