Thursday, May 29, 2008

Shopping for Disaster Preperation, pt1

After building lists for my proposed kits based on some very helpful FEMA publications, I’ve begun shopping for various items. There will be 4 “kits” by the time this is done: Home, To-Go, Car and Work. I’m just starting with a few things for the kits and addons to my cache of tools:

Car Stuff:
Jumper Cables, A Shovel, A Camp Axe, 2 Tarps, Magentic Pick-Up Tool, 25’ Measuring Tape

Home Stuff:
New Container for first aid supplies, New duffel bag (for To-Go kit), Scissors, Xtra socks (for To-Go kit), Another extention cord, Flashlight, Hand-Crank Weather Radio/Lantern, A thermometer/Compass Keychain, Back-up batteries, 25’ Measuring Tape

While purchasing the tools, I made a terrifying “discovery”: “Home Depot” salespeople are criminally ignorant. One of my coworkers has a really nice digitial calipers and I’m frequently borrowing it. So I decided to get one of my own while I was there. I looked all around the measuring section of the tool department to no avail. So I asked the saleperson working the desk in the tool department. Here’s the actual conversation:
Me: Hello, do you know if you carry any digital calipers?
Salesguy: (blank stare) Um, I don’t even know what those are.
Me: It’s just a pair of calipers with a digital readout.
Salesguy: (blank state continues)
Me: You use it to measure parts.
Salesguy: Oh! Follow me! (walks)
Me: (follows)
Salesguy: Here you go. (walks off)
Me: (realizes he took me to a display of laser levels & stud-finders) Dumbass.

Aside from that misadventure, my shopping trip was fairly enjoyable. My supplies don’t look like much but once I get it organized, I’ll be on my way to being ready for anything except maybe global thermonuclear war. [After a careful review of the “Terms & Conditions” for my lease, it appears that my apartment complex would not be OK with me building a bomb-shelter even if I do live on the first floor. Darnit.]

The hardest part about this whole venture has been deciding which books to take with me. At first, I told myself “Only the important ones” but with 800+ books, that’s not really feasible. So, I’ve limited myself to books which I would need in a disaster. So far the must-haves are:
“San Antonio Key Map” – Need to Update.
“Texas Highways Kep Map” – Need to Update.
“US Army Survival Guide” – Check.
“Edible / Poisonous Plants & Animals Guide” – Missing.
“Rocks & Minerals Field Manual” – Check.
My “Workshop Book” – Check. (This is an excellent book I found in an antique store. It has tons of homemade recipes for everything from whitewash to furniture varnish to metal etching acids.)

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