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I realize that I don’t update this blog with enough frequency, especially lately. Thing is, my father has been sick a lot of late, and I spend more and more of my time in a hospital, or doctor’s office, waiting room.

Well, this time, just as my father is admitted to the hospital for a possible heart attack, every cell phone in this house died. Just. . .quit. So we bit the bullet and decided to upgrade our phones. And for the first time I got a ‘smart’ phone.

Which is ‘smarter’ than I am, to my amazement. So now, I can blog from my phone, of all things. Can’t really write from it, of course, but at least now I can update more often, and I will try to do that.


As for today, I imagine there’s no one who hasn’t seen the footage from the flooding in Colorado. To say it’s bad is like saying that Oregon barely defeated Tennessee last Saturday. I’ve seen entire towns flooded on the TV and the Net, roads and highways washed completely away, and at last check-up there  are over a thousand people unaccounted for.

That doesn’t even touch the number of people who had to evacuate the rapidly rising flood waters. Which reminds me that maybe it’s time for an update on. . .emergency preparedness. Any of you who have followed my ramblings for any length of time know that’s a thing of mine. Events like the Colorado flood simply bring the idea roaring to the forefront.

If you had only minutes to evacuate, could you locate and carry everything you need to survive for several days? Emergency food, water filtration, medicines, things like that?

You need to keep a small backpack or other easily to carry bag packed and ready for just such an emergency. Maybe a flash drive with copies of important papers, drivers license, gun permits if you have them, insurance policies, family photos, all those things that you might need in an emergency, and the things you couldn’t replace.

Help would probably be on hand, that’s true. But if it wasn’t, you need to be able to take care of yourself for say, three days, without help from anyone else. Do you have a tent, or a tarp and rope to make an emergency shelter? A way to start a fire, even in the rain? A first aid kit? OTC meds?

Make sure you do. Mountain House makes meals in a pouch that only need hot water to make a decent meal. A simple mess kit, such as the ones available from surplus stores and camping supply stores, or even Wal Mart, will allow you to cook something like that, no matter where you find yourself.

A larger backpack could even accommodate a small fuel tab stove, which can also double as a heat source. Keep a few ten hour candles in your bag, too. Waterproof matches are great. Make your own by dipping wooden kitchen matches in melted candle wax, and storing them in an old medicine bottle. A few cotton balls, soaked in Vaseline, and stored in another medicine bottle, are a great fire starter.

Evaluate your area. Do you know what foods found in nature are safe to eat? Find out. Peterson’s field guides are small, easy to add to your bag, and could be a big help if you’re on your own for any length of time.

A good knife, kept sharp, can be a life saver. A pair of heavy duty shears, like you might use in the kitchen, can also be a big help. A quality multi-tool, like Leatherman or Gerber might help you out of a jam.

A good Maglite, even a small one, can give plenty of light in a dark situation, and double as a candle. Take along extra batteries. Got a set of GMS radios? Take them too. Most have weather band receivers now, and can let you get updates from the NWS/SAME warning system.

So take a look at your specific needs, and make sure you can meet them with that bag. It just might save you a lot of grief later on.

Or it might even save your life.