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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

Long time no see!

The reason for opening this thread is mainly this:

I'm not saying I believe that guy 100%, but he had a couple of hits.

I'd like to be prepared just in case, you never know when something happens. So please tell me what will I need, given this situation:
  • family of 2 adults + 3yo kid + cat
  • living in an apartment
  • may have a BOL (countryside relatives, but might get hard to get to if it snows a lot)
  • car in good condition, unfortunately not a 4wd

Let's assume an eq strikes and leaves us all without power, gas and heat (worst case scenario would be the building toppled, I know). How can we bug in? I have read about the ingenious use of tin cans + rubbing alcohol + toilet paper to heat a room, and I must try this in the near future. Any other ideas for heat (let's not forget it's winter, and the weathermen just announced we're in for a rough next week)?

No power... how would that hurt us and what can be done to prevent the harm?

About the no gas part, I think I might have that covered (I have a camping propane tank, I'll fill that and then connect it to the cooker if needed). Any other suggestions?

I have done just a little prepping, cause money is tight (isn't it always?). What we have until now:
  1. drinking water
  2. empty water jugs to fill with tap water for sanitary uses
  3. canned food (not much, though)
  4. lighter
  5. am/fm battery radio
  6. matches
  7. 2 flashlights (really love the last one I got with its 9 leds, seems to do a good job)
  8. batteries for the lights and radio
  9. we have plenty of clothes and covers to keep us somehow warm if no heat
  10. pet food

That's all I can think of right now, if I missed something I'll edit later.

What else would you think we'll need if the s hits the fan just a little?
 

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Bad Moon Rising
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Check this .pdf out --

http://www.seismic.ca.gov/HOG/waterheaterbracing_08-11-04.pdf

It discusses banding your hot water heater to the walls against earthquakes, and other recommendations.

The hot water heater may hold between 20-40 gallons of water in it, that in an emergency is potable and that you can access without leaving your house.

(So long as it hasn't been knocked over and spilled during the earthquake...)

Other input includes the fact that broken gas lines contribute to post-quake fires.

Have fire extinguishers available, and ensure you know where the gas shut-off valves are located, and have the tools to shut off the gas. Same with water - broken water lines may cause all your stuff to be ruined, and insurance policies may not pay off for water damage. Make sure you know how to turn off the water to your house or apartment building - there should be a valve somewhere. Know where it is.

If the structure to your residence is damaged, you're going to need plastic tarps, plastic sheeting (think painter drop cloths), huge contractor garbage bags, and duct tape, to try to preserve as much of your belongings as possible.
 

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Depends on where you are located. Empty water jugs are useless if the water mains break. What are the lighter and matches going to light? Canned food for how many days? In a earthquake, SHTF could be a lot more than a little. Good luck on that heating system. Sorry for being so negative; but, I just don't see you making it unless it's nothing major.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
@Grotius Thank you, the entire site seems like a good read. Unfortunately we only have a small water heater, less than 15gal. Better than nothing though.
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@Steelhead Thank you. I don't plan to keep the jugs empty, I'll fill them. Canned food for 3 days.
I know, I kinda don't see myself making it too, this is why I opened this thread.
About the heating system, I'm very limited in options assuming all utilities get cut off. Without power I can't use the electric heater we have. Without natgas there's no cooker/stove running. Well maybe they won't all stop working. I assumed the worst case scenario. If only one utility stays on then I guess it improves my chances of making it.
---

Prepping is not very usual for urban Romania, so I'm afraid with the next-to-zero prepping I have, I am still better prepared than most fellow Romanian city dwellers. Sad thing to say, I know.
 

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Quiting is not an option!
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Learn to dehydrate food. You can do this in your oven. Dehydrate left over meals for soups in the future. Fill the water jugs. With out food and water you will not make it. It's more important than heat.
 

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Close off everything but one room to conserve heat and set up your tent in it(Drape blankets over it and cover most with plastic--let it and you breathe). You will be surprised how little room one needs. Have water jugs and HCL(pool Chlorine)(makes excellent "clorox"). Most cities are by rivers/lakes/water so getting it from there to your home should not be a problem if you can defend yourself enroute--not alone--move tactically--never the same route or time. Cheap preps are died beans/grains/pastas/condiments. Cooking oil is a necessity for most food preparations. If you do not have a firearm then make one. A simple single shot is not hard to make but you will need a bit of ammo. Perimeter alarms and barriers/barricades will help.
 

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Actually no one really seems to have looked at or addressed the first question I'd have for the scenario. That is whether or not the building your apartment is in has been structurally compromised.

If the answer is yes, then you're going to have to bug out, either to an area shelter (if one is or can even be setup) or to the undamaged home of a family member or friend.

There are a number of factors which go into whether or not the building would be compromised, and honestly none of them you'd have any way of controlling. However, by making some inquiries and gathering information, you might be able to make an educated guess on whether the building would be compromised by an earthquake.

One of the first is how old your apartment building is, and whether it was built or has been retrofitted for earthquakes? The next question is just how tall the building is, and what sort of earthquake is most prevalent in your area? These two questions are related, because some types of earthquakes impact tall building much greater than shorter structures, while in others, taller buildings withstand the stresses better than shorter ones. I would also recommend finding out the 'usual' size of the area impacted by earthquakes in your area. Lastly would be what is the 'usual' sort of magnitude for earthquakes in your area?

The second to last question, about the size of area impacted is also good to know, because that can provide some indication of the scale of response required (and whether or not local and/or national gov'ts would be up to the task). It can also provide some indication on whether or not friends and
family would be impacted and whether their locations would be viable BOL's.
Keep in mind that earthquake propogation is determined by temperature and underlying rock strata, again not something you have any control over, but can help give you an idea of the extent of the risk.

By way of example, in August of 2011, there was a quake at a fault located in Mineral, Virginia which measured 5.8 on the Richter scale. For the eastern US, that is a fairly powerful earthquake since the part of the country rarely has anything so significant. Which means that most construction is done without reinforcing for earthquakes like is standard in California, Japan, and other areas prone to earthquakes. The other significant thing about the Virginia earthquake is that due to the soil temperature and underlying rock formations, earthquakes in the eastern US are felt ~10x further than an earthquake of the same magnititude would be felt in California. Some of the 12-story office buildings in an industrial park near where I work in southwestern Connecticut were evacuated during the earthquake. The fire department also had to come in and inspect the building before people were allowed back in, because the building had started to sway so much that there was concerns about structural damage. And this was in a building about 340 miles (544 km) from the epicenter.

I would suggest following some of the advice given by others about slowly building up a small stockpile of water, canned goods, etc. That sort activity can help you prep for emergencies in general. For specific concerns about earthquakes though, I definitely recommend doing some 'homework' to learn more about the specific threat for your area.
 

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I have read about the ingenious use of tin cans + rubbing alcohol + toilet paper to heat a room, and I must try this in the near future.
No you must not try this. Unless you're intent on comitting suicide. Unless you have good air circulation the fire will suck up your oxygen and you'll die of carbon monoxide poisoning. Fire for light, yes (cause it's small - i.e, candle). For heat, no. Unless you have a fireplace.

You also mentioned a cat. 3 cats inflicted themselves on our family in the last year. They make even candles dangerous. You have a cat, you never sleep with a candle going. Just don't. Cats can get where you'd never think they could. Then you're warmer than you ever want to be.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thank you all! I am overwhelmed by the number of answers and especially by the valuable info.

@judyt00 Thank you for the youtube link. Did you try it?

@Alynn I always thought I'd need some expensive dehydrator; I'll look into the oven thing.

@-06 I'm ashamed to say I have no tent yet. But yes, I thought about only using 1 room (out of the 2 the apartment has :) ). Already have some of those cheap preps (dried beans, pasta, mre + cooking oil). Use of firearms is heavily regulated in my country, all that's available to us is non-lethal weapons.

@Todjaeger Thank you for your time! Looks like I have some homework indeed. My city is 250km away from the most active seismic area (also the one that gave most of the 6.0+ eqs). I have read that if the coming earthquake will be a deep one (140km+ depths), the area north of the quake zone will be most affected. This is where we live. But if the eq will be more shallow, the waves will go mostly to the south.
The building has 5 floors and it was built in 2007. I have no idea about earthquake requirements for buildings, I'll have to search that. Usual size of damaging earthquakes was 6.5 and more. Vrancea zone can deliver earthquakes up to 7.5, if I remember correctly.
Frankly I don't think the local or national authorities will be up to the task.
Thanks again!

@Steve28 I definitely don't want to get too warm :)
 

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didn't see any mention of a wheeled wagon/sled for bugging out .... you won't get very far with a 3 yr old and baggage .... you can't count on using your current vehicle

this topic has been covered extensively in the archives
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Never thought about that. I have a sled, I'll get it into shape (winter is coming anyway).

Also, I'll look in the archives.

Thanks!
 

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We had a bad winter storm, that the snow crushed several homes , no earth quake involved .
Had there been one, the devastation would have been exponentially more significant.
that said , if it snows significantly i would remove it from the roof if it is accessible.
Thanks for the heads up ,potential earth quake .
 

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in earthquakes, things fall and break. get emergency candles that are in tins, not glass. use newspaper or other padding around food sold/canned in glass jars and stock them on the lowest shelves possible. same for oil lamps with the glass globes. etc.
you get the idea.
good luck to you and your family.
 

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Even if you don't have and can't get a good tent, get some 1"x2" or equivalent construction lumber so you can build a 'blanket fort' to at least have a place that can be kept warm for warming up occasionally. Put it together with hardware so it can be taken down and stored and then reassembled quickly and easily if needed. Might even use it from time to time as a play house for the 3-year old and the cat so they get used to the idea of being in it.

If you can find them over there, a propane catalytic heater using the equivalent of our 1 pound propane bottles can be used to keep that one area warm. Make sure there is ventilation and never use it when asleep. It is only to take the chill off and warm up and to keep wet pack food and water from freezing. It isn't to heat the room to comfortable temperatures. Layered clothing, some activity, warm food and drink will be the main things to keep you warm, not external heat sources.

You will need a way to warm up (not necessarily cook) food, and to make hot water for warm drinks, which are important to keep the internal body temperature up and for psychological comfort. I would advise against any liquid fuels. Only something like Sterno, Heat Cell, Echo Fuel XB gelled fuels should be used. And only with a fold up stove designed for them. If you can't get one of the cookers, you can make a small burner with a large tuna can, some cardboard, and paraffin. Just do a search for tuna can stoves. Do not use any liquid fuel. And do make sure of ventilation, especially with the tuna can stove. It will produce some smoke.

Additional food should be obtained. Preferably food that needs no cooking, or at most, warming up. Heavy on meats and some comfort foods. Plenty of water. You need a lot, even in winter. At least seven days worth.

For lighting, if you can't get wind up flashlights, have plenty of batteries for LED flashlights. And have at least one lantern type so you don't have to hold it while doing things. I'd stay away from candles unless they are designed with wide bases or are set up to hang, are enclosed with globes, and use short, round candles. Tall skinny taper candles just are too dangerous, as are any open candles around animals and children.

You will need alternative sanitation facilities because the sewer system is not likely to be working. The simplest and cheapest is a bucket with a special toilet seat lid, or even a regular toilet seat adapted to the bucket, plenty of sawdust or wood chips such as used for dog bedding, or cat litter to keep the smell down. Use plastic bags in the bucket so the waste can be contained to reduce the smell after a few uses.

If your research indicates there is even a moderate chance of the building having structural damage and therefore you will probably have to leave the building, I would make it a high priority to get a decent family tent, or make some sort of alternative shelter with more light lumber and tarps, made up and ready for assembly in the same way as the 'tent fort' that would be used in the alternate shelter, too. The other suggestions would still apply.

I would keep everything in totes or duffle bags, or similar containers to make them easy to move if you do have to leave the building. Wheeled containers are best, if they are of much size at all. An alternative is some type of wheeled cart small enough to use in the building, but large enough to carry a decent load.

Just my opinion.
 

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Chains keep us together.
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Hi all

I have done just a little prepping, cause money is tight (isn't it always?). What we have until now:
  1. drinking water
  2. empty water jugs to fill with tap water for sanitary uses
  3. canned food (not much, though)
  4. lighter
  5. am/fm battery radio
  6. matches
  7. 2 flashlights (really love the last one I got with its 9 leds, seems to do a good job)
  8. batteries for the lights and radio
  9. we have plenty of clothes and covers to keep us somehow warm if no heat
  10. pet food

That's all I can think of right now, if I missed something I'll edit later.

What else would you think we'll need if the s hits the fan just a little?
I'd get a tent, a couple of air mattresses and gas shut off tool, axe, shovel. That's incase you find yourself outside the building. It makes sense to keep some of this stuff in the main vehicle you could be 20 miles away just as easy. 3-5 days of food if you're planning on someone coming to your aid. The first think the gov. will do is close the roads stopping anyone from going in to help.
How many floors in the apartment? How close are you to a gas station, factory or large building which could explode? Is there anybody under you that might build a fire? what's the level of crime in your area now?
accidents happen the more people are around...
 

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You will need a way to warm up (not necessarily cook) food, and to make hot water for warm drinks, which are important to keep the internal body temperature up and for psychological comfort. I would advise against any liquid fuels. Only something like Sterno, Heat Cell, Echo Fuel XB gelled fuels should be used. And only with a fold up stove designed for them. If you can't get one of the cookers, you can make a small burner with a large tuna can, some cardboard, and paraffin. Just do a search for tuna can stoves. Do not use any liquid fuel. And do make sure of ventilation, especially with the tuna can stove. It will produce some smoke.
Given the OP is in Europe, they should be able to get Esbit hexamine solid fuel stoves. I have one for each of my bags, small, light and compact. Stable solid fuel.

I'd definitely recommend taking a look at www.esbit.de
 

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One thing I am becoming a big advocate of, now that I have looked into it enough to start doing it myself, is caching.

I have done a small cache, in my yard somewhere, in the event that my house is taken down by an earthquake. More than a BOB worth of gear, less than I store in the house.

If the house stays, or the contents can be salvaged, great. If not, at least I do not have to start from zero.
 

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Wandering Not Lost
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Having grown up in EQ land, and living there again a few years ago, I first created a BOB with every essential I could think of for 3 days or more for me and my daughter. Kept it in stairwell closet (town house) next to front door. If we had run, or if she had too and I was at work, we had two designated meeting places (fire station and/or church) within a few blocks from our place. In the event we could not leave I'd designated either underneath our staircase where BOB was as safest spot, or interior 1st floor bath, but it had no windows so it was last resort. This plan was just an earthquake plan, not a forever bug out.

I stock up on glow in dark sticks (get bunches at dollar store) they light well enough to see long and last long. In an emergency they are easy. I even keep them in my car and a few little ones in my purse. I also have kerosene lanterns but only if environment stable. Otherwise flashlights. I can use little Sterno cans on a counter top under a grill or other stand. If your room is large enough you shouldn't have to ventilate as they use these in good sized rooms for hours with no direct open air in banquet rooms, etc. Just long enough to cook. Propane camping heaters are good, just need to crack a window a bit. And I'd consider sleeping bags. If you've got warm clothes on and the room is cold, a sleeping bag will make a big difference too. I got one rated for 30 degrees at Wally World for camping last year for $19. You 3 yr old could share.
May also want to keep extra gallons of tap water for toilet flushing. Many folks have their water tied to electric pumps.
 
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