Preparedness Pays: Tools I

Today, let’s take the thought experiment a bit further. In the first post, I talked a little bit about looking around the house for things you already have that can be useful; and, I also talked about doing some advanced planning. Today, let’s dip a toe into that pool.

Whether it’s storms, earthquakes, or an invasion of pythonoids from Antares, you should have one room or area of your home (or apartment, etc.) as a designated shelter. It generally should be an interior space that is structurally sound, and best suited for use as a shelter in a variety of conditions. In a house I owned years back, mine was technically an exterior room in the basement. However, it was the old coal room and was extremely sturdy with very little above ground. It also had shelving which made it the ideal place to also store many of my preparedness supplies.

Again, you have to find what works for you and your situation. You simply need a very sound space that works for more than one emergency. For example, if flooding had been an issue I could not have used the old coal room as my designated shelter. It should also have a stock of food, water, and other supplies.

For today’s expansion of our thought experiment, something (darn those pythonoids from Antares!) has forced you to take shelter. Not only that, but your home has been damaged. So much so, you are having trouble getting out. Whatever has happened is such that you can’t count on local services to find you and get you out. So, what do you need to get out?

For me, I had a standard pry bar (one large and one small), a long straight pry bar, a sledge hammer, an axe, and some other tools including hand saws that I stored there. These were all items that I used on other projects, but stored there just in case. In fact, I have a sledge hammer in my bedroom at my current lair as since it is a basement apartment, in the event of emergency the best exit might be through one of the windows — which my landlord and I have discovered to be rusted shut. One sledgehammer, no window and out I go…

Much depends on how much damage your home took, but think about what you might need to get out in an emergency. Also, think about what it would take to get out of any room in an emergency. Do you have bedrooms upstairs? Emergency fire ladders ready to go are a good investment.

Now, back to our main focus, what would it take to get out. In the coal room I not only stored an axe or two, but the go-devil I used to split wood, a hand axe, and other implements of destruction (and construction). I also had rope, chain, and other means of pulling, lifting, and such including a come-along. Again, these were all things I used in other parts of life and simply stored there. If you have battery-powered saws and such, might not be a bad idea to store them in your shelter if possible. If not, have them where they can be grabbed in an emergency to go in with you.

Also, again, think safety. Have a fire extinguisher in that room, along with an extra first aid kit or kits. I’ll talk more about those later. For now, think about your shelter area/room as the keep to your castle. Not only have it ready for use, but have what you need to force your way out if necessary.

Preparedness is all about having the right mental and physical tools ready to go. So, for today, think about what physical tools might be good to have ready to go.