PSA for emergency items

I had a comment thread chock full of great ideas the last time I posted about this issue.
Today, I want to continue with a few more ideas.

Since most common tools for the kitchen, bathroom, and for personal hygiene, come from China, we thought of some common, every day items that, in the future, will be very handy to have to replace what breaks, or wears out.

Among them, nail clippers. And while we are at it, extra emery boards, and fingernail polish remover which, in our home, doubles as a solvent to clean up gummy or gluey items.

I did score a stainless steel coffee pot in the camping section of Walmart for less than $20. When the lights are out, or when the electric coffee maker poops out, there will be coffee.

Not to forget, cheese graters, can openers, kitchen scissors all break or corrode over time. Extra cork screws and bottle openers might be a good idea.

Today, we are buying an extra pair of reading glasses, and polarized sun shades.

The goal is to buy necessities while they are at their cheapest price, which is right now. We may have a pricing shock in the near future on all things which we consider essentials for a comfortable life.

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Lookout's picture

I'm betting on higher energy costs.

I've got 10 pounds of organic coffee beans in stock too.

What’s the story behind the price hike? Weather events linked to climate change have impacted important coffee-producing countries, and global supply chain concerns are impacting importers.

Drought and heavy frost are thought to have killed roughly 20% of Brazil’s coffee plants.

Almost any tool (kitchen or otherwise) you use regularly is another good idea. Shop the used stores, flea markets, and such for the best bargains.
I recently bought a draw knife and hand scythe...but love my battery powered drills, leaf blower, chain saw, and so on.

Do you all have a battery powered radio to use if the power goes out? Sure was a good thing to have during the blizzard of '93 when we lost power for a week. Allowed us to keep up with local happenings - road closings and such.

That's all that comes to mind this evening. May add more tomorrow after a bit of pondering. Great idea for an essay and well worth discussing, OTC.

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

@Lookout When I was looking for a coffee pot, the Chilton's for sale were on ebay and all used.
Seems I survived a hurricane years ago with a battery operated radio giving me the places to avoid. I doubt I could locate it, although I might find it in one of the the barns.
I stay way ahead on coffee. Not organic, not whole beans, but 100% Columbian coffee, and I am always 7 to 10 lbs. ahead of running out. Prices are increasing every week.
I guess what prompted this essay was my shopping for a cheese grater. I had to toss my oldest but best one. It had rusted beyond use. The replacement is usable, but junk. The old one lasted 20 years. We shall see.
There is a concern cotton products might be in short supply or suddenly very expensive.We will buy another couple of sets of sheets, more socks, more underwear, more tees.
And as far as a cotton shortage goes, it wouldn't hurt to get some denim jeans, while supplies last.

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@Lookout without electric? I cannot. So I keep a Melitta system and some ground coffee on hand.

Good idea to examine your tools. I have been replacing some old ones like my boxcutter which was decades old.

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NYCVG

Lookout's picture

@NYCVG
but must admit I lack a hand coffee grinder. That is a thought. I have a buddy with an old timey wooden box hand coffee grinder. Have not seen one at trade day yet, but will keep looking. Various versions are available like this one on line.

Speaking of coffee. Heard a great interview with pollan and rogan about coffee...

15 interesting minutes... especially for coffee drinkers

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

@Lookout might be worth considering. My hesitation is that it might need more strength than I will have.

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NYCVG

@NYCVG Jars, cans, twist top bottles...it is rare I can open them. I have been fights with wine bottles, and even beer caps.
I am mindful of rats and mice. I am hesitant to store anything it it's original paper box or thing plastic bag. Although a canned vegetable does not have the taste or nutrition of fresh, or even frozen. It is last in the pecking order.
But, canned food will keep for a long time, requires no extra storage to keep out varmints, such as mice and ants. There may come a day when a can of Campbell's Soup is all you get for the day. I have had numerous days like that in my long life.

I hope you can either find a grinder, or that you can find a brand that is ground that you will like.

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@on the cusp @on the cusp Bed Bath & Beyond had an ad for the "world's easiest to use" can opener this week. It promises minimum hand strength necessary.

$10.00 called--EZ Does It. I'll get to the store near me the first chance I get.

As far as wine, that solution happened years ago when a few excellent California and French Pinot Noir winemakers offered screw top bottles. (Yes, I am fussy about wine. Late husband and his family spoiled me. His dad worked as a salesman for a French winery and helped introduce French wine to Long Island. This was a very long time ago.)

Nowadays, I can only manage 2-3 ounces of wine without getting dizzy, so with the screw top, plus adding a bit of plastic saran wrap between the bottle and the cap, the wine can easily last a week tasting great in the refrigerator. Father-in-law would be turning over in his grave at this heretical practice, but it works for me.

Getting this old and staying happy is a matter of looking for solutions to arising problems. Keep on learning.

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NYCVG

@NYCVG
If hand strength is an issue, how easy it is to hold is going to be more important than how hard it is to crank. Even a mediocre one is quite easy to crank if the burrs are sharp and it’s clamped to the counter somehow, but none that I know of comes with a hold down clamp.

If your planning for short term emergency use, almost any grinder can produce a coarse irregular grind, which may only be suitable for cowboy coffee. Heck, even a mortar and pestle will do in a pinch.

Generally, yard sale manual grinders are a hit or miss proposition, quality models are likely to be dull and worn out, not to mention beat up. Ones that look “like new” probably are faux antiques that barely work.

That said, a nice grinder can be a pleasure to use, especially when you’ve just woken up. Unlike an electric one, it doesn’t scream at you at an uncomfortable volume, it purrs at you and smells delightful.

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Truth is the daughter of time, not of authority. Meanwhile people are dying because of the material self-interest of a few. - Eduardo Giuliani

“Without a diversity of opinions, the discovery of truth is impossible.” - Alexander von Humboldt

@ovals49 @ovals49 I am a "any coffee will do in a pinch" person. I have had many a cup of Jamaica Blue Mountain, and after that, most any coffee is just coffee.
I drink 2 mugs of black coffee in the morning. Rarely any more than that. Husband drinks a big mug with some milk. I have powdered milk for emergencies. He will drink it black, anyway. He is more caffeine effect than the taste and pleasure of it, and can go without it.

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@ovals49 sounds better.

I have small ones for herbs. A larger one is a good idea.

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NYCVG

@Lookout I buy propane ahead of time. I do not have choice, really. The local family is related by blood to the propane company 20 miles away. Needless to say, their prices differ very little.
They come with refills, leave the bill on my door. I drive by the next day or so, give them a check. My life here is like it would be nowhere else.

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@Lookout tomorrow. I have it on my list.

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This is an important matter to everyone and c99 has been responding to reality, which is more than most people seem ready to do.

If there is a total breakdown I will not be able to survive---almost 79 (a few days before Joe Biden turns 79) living on the 20th floor in Lower Manhattan. NYC will be on fire and filled with young armed gangs. I'll see myself out before that ending.

But I can and will do quite nicely for at least 2 weeks and probably can manage a month, if a short term breakdown happens. That will be more than sufficient time for me to execute a dignified pleasant end, if it comes to that.

I have a myriad of lighting supplies--including a miner type headset. Solar powered thingies. Candles and candle holders. AM/Fm battery powered radio, etc.

Also tarps, tapes, huge garbage bags and weights to secure them on my balcony if the electric compactors are shut down. Also considering the hibachi grill recced the last time we talked about this.

Food water paper goods. towels sheets extra blankets and the sober understanding that it might be necessary to hide any lighting or sign of life from the rest of the world.

Also, I am not alone. My neighbors and I came thru Hurricane Sandy as a team 9 years ago and we will do that again if we need to.

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NYCVG

@NYCVG we might not have to be facing a choice to go out on our own terms, or actually surviving this apocalypse and coming out on the winning end.
I can assure you, I used a hibachi on the tiny balcony of a town home where the office peeps could see it. They did nothing to stop me. They are small, and as far as fired up grills, the least charcoal and least amount of fire I can think of is a hibachi. They are very inexpensive.
e picture you paint of NYC does match up with movies, books, and with various expert predicting what might come and how to prepare. your friends will be the critical players.
My husband and I say little or nothing locally about our preparations. We could be a target one day.
I hope you have room to put some more food away, extend your supplies to last a month.
Your tarps, tools and lights sound great, chica.

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@on the cusp has amazing storage space. Floor to ceiling kitchen cabinets and way more closets than is usual in even the largest apartments in NYC.

Before this pandemic began the project I had in mind for Spring of 2020 was a complete paint job so I'd been cleaning out my closets for months when this thing hit. Forget the paint job, and the effort was to simply have nothing I no longer need or use or wear, turning into prepping for who knows what......

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NYCVG

After the big freeze in February in Texas, started a list of things needed to make sure I had for the “next time” since sure it will happen. Candles were in short supply and so have stocked up on those. Like the beeswax ones because there is no fuss.

I do have an antique coffee grinder that was in my family and I am the only one who drinks coffee so it was given to me. But agree need to keep our supply stocked up. Since I use milk in my coffee, have some powdered whole milk for those times.

Containers to store water. In our area water stopped and if you did not have any stored up.....same for the period when we were told to boil water. Was nice to have some already purified and ready to drink.

For those of us who have always camped, those solar showers that you hung on a tree branch would be nice for a quick rinse. I also have a solar lantern that has a small solar panel. This was so handy when camping in Africa in Zambia when they were having rolling blackouts.

Divine Order was way ahead of me on understanding of all of the principals of solar and so I have two Goal Zero solar battery power units. Need to replace to homemade solar panel he had and I should be able to charge up phones, computers etc.

Emergency solar blankets are great for holding in heat when you are sleeping. Just a few random thoughts of how to prepare ourselves and not be caught out.

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Life is what you make it, so make it something worthwhile.

This ain't no dress rehearsal!

@jakkalbessie @jakkalbessie collection and a solar powered generator. Our Christmas gift from us to us will be the generator.
Maybe next essay will focus on water.
Now, those blankets sound great. Where did you get yours? What is the cost, if you can recall?
Candles and cigarette lighters double as handy and a basis for bartering. A candles-for-beans, a lighter-for-rice based economy.
I made it to safaris in S. A., Kenya twice, and once to Tanzania. Those were some of the most interesting and glorious days of my life. You and I were so damn lucky.
And divineorder got to see and experience those safaris, and got to experience them with you by his side. What a great life, huh?

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@on the cusp @on the cusp and jackalbessie, but I did spend a few years at The Farm in Summertown, TN. No running water, electricity or central heating in those tents and old school busses. Great and lasting life lessons, though.

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NYCVG

@NYCVG cooks, laundry service, men to dump water into the containers when we showered, actual bathrooms, and Masai Mara guarding us day and night. Tents with amenities.
Nonetheless, I have lived in a house that had water for everything but drinking, hence, hauling to and from the neighbor's well, trading some packaged beef from our ranching efforts. I am no stranger to outhouses, and showering under a water hose.
I have endured more than a few hurricanes, and the power outage aftermath. Lamps, candles, matches, grills, jugs of water, etc...What I haven't before focused on is shortages. I see empty shelves everywhere right now. And I see price increases on everything right now. I am trying to imagine when I cannot find or afford necessities of life, at least for a few months to a year. And I think our future, not just short term, will be fraught with such shortages. I am acting on my gut instinct to get ready for my life to as is this now, and that life ahead.

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@on the cusp Solar blankets is what we called them. They are sold in camping and sporting good stores. They are called emergency blankets. We called it solar because we turned the silver(heat retaining) side away from our ice chest to keep things cool. Worked quite well.

Another thought. We bought rolls of radiant barrier from Lowe’s or Home Depot. Used it to shield our windows during the summer from the heat and in the winter turned them inward to retain the heat from our heaters. Our very tiny place in Santa Fe had evaporative coolers for cooling and radiant wall heat for the winter. Lucky for me, the person downstairs always seemed to like the heat and kept my floors warm.

I do feel lucky from all our trips to Africa. My sister and I were headed to Kruger National Park before the pandemic and hope to be able to go there in the near future. Think it will be great to see her face when we are very close to elephants, giraffe, etc. in our own car. That is the wonderful thing about going there, you drive yourself except for night safaris.

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Life is what you make it, so make it something worthwhile.

This ain't no dress rehearsal!

@jakkalbessie was to a private preserve that was adjacent to Kruger. There are just no words adequate to the task of being inside a vehicle in the land of animals running free. I always likened it to we tourists being in the cage while the animals in complete freedom watched us.
I may look into the blankets. We have an Academy Outdoors store nearby.
When I was a kid, nobody had A/c. They did to windows what you describe.
Temps have increased. If global warming continues apace, I will move to my property in Colorado, hope for the best.

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snoopydawg's picture

Sounds like a few tweaks here and there would help with the backup and if nothing else get the national guard to working on unstopping the plugged up backups.. if not then it’s just one more thing that has been rigged against everyone not in the upper stratosphere of class. Remember when food supplies got bogged down and Trump did nothing about it? Looks like another Trump tradition that Biden’s following. But boy ain’t it great that Trump is gone? No more mean tweets. Yippee!

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10049621/amp/Cargo-ships-anchor...

A dollar store is selling a gallon of water for a buck in nice containers, but they are going to raise prices to $3-5 because of inflation. I always take extra water camping because you never know. Good thing I did this time. Went to drop the trailer off at the fixit place and the power tongue died in the parking lot. Blew a fuse..anyway might think of extra fuses too. I am..

ps..who directed you to that sweet coffee pot? Hmm?

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In a free country civil liberties are not only for certain groups.
So this is how liberty dies . . . with thunderous applause.
The donor class doesn’t want it, and Americans elect the bribed. So suck it up.

I know! Snoopydawg! All the sports and outdoor stores had was French press. Good ol' Wallyworld...
During hurricanes, we might have a dozen gallons of water in 1 gallon jugs. Thing is, fungus will develop in a few months.
There is catching rain water off the eaves for lots of uses, just not drinking. I would love ideas on various methods of storing water for drinking.
hope your trip was a blast!

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snoopydawg's picture

@on the cusp

The spot we were in was isolated and so it was quiet once the people got to drinking last night. Sam had a blast and loved the hikes we took. The trailer was perfect except for the few odd things that still need attention. Once they are done I’m going to be a very happy dawg. Hopefully a few more trips before winter but if it’s not bad I may go down south to where I’ve never been. Goblin valley and canyon lands.

As for water check your local dollar store. Mine sells a bit of bottled water for $1 that is $3 bucks or more at the regular store.

See my photos in the photo thread. I still can’t believe how easily she ran up that rock face after falling into the ravine. Kids you know?

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In a free country civil liberties are not only for certain groups.
So this is how liberty dies . . . with thunderous applause.
The donor class doesn’t want it, and Americans elect the bribed. So suck it up.

@snoopydawg I can catch water for bathing, dish washing and so forth. It is drinking water that has me worried. Water in a jug is not ok to drink for very long. It develops a fungus. Even if I stocked up, even if I filled cleaned and scoured milk jugs with filtered water, at some point, I would not be able to drink it.
I hope that people will have ideas. I will do some research and post something in the future, unless anyone wants to take the ball on prep essays and run with it.
This topic is for everyone to contribute to everyone else's awareness, and survival.
I think it bothers me to the point of essaying it because I have to stock up my office with ink cartridges, copy paper, keep the office in basic lunch items, stock up for my brother's pantry, and my own home. Lots of responsibility, and lots of obvious shopping problems going on.

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@on the cusp Spouse and I go on multiday backpacking trips a good bit and we've owned over the years many different systems for making potable water in the backcountry. Our current gravity filter system is the bees knees as far as I'm concerned. And like I said, it is spendy. What I like: no pumping while the mosquitos eat you up next to that beautiful clear stream--you can just grab 4 liters or so of "dirty" water and run, hang it up in camp and let gravity take over, no chemical taste, and field cleaning is damn simple.

We have 10gallons of water stored in the basement that I renew every year or so. For drinking in an emergency if I was worried about how long it was stored, I would use our gravity filter and not worry. When we bought ours years ago it was the only one on the market. It looks like many different companies have copied their design. It could well be that one of those new designs is better or a better bang for your buck. I'm sure there are many reviews out there for "gravity water filters backpacking" that can inform you of the current offerings. Thanks for the post! Good reminder for us all.

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@peachcreek hoo, boy! Lots of ideas being offered here.
let the research begin!

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Lookout's picture

It isn't too early to order your seed...before the rush and while this year's seed harvest is available. Anyone starting a new garden bed might want to consider starting now. Our favorite method is to mow low over the area. Then cover with cardboard. Add 4 or more inches of manure on the cardboard. Then mulch 6 or more inches deep (we use wheat straw, but grass clippings, leaves, or old hay works). Next spring no plowing, just plant and keep the bed mulched.

I'll try to get a shot or two of our cisterns to post here. Berkey filters will clean up cistern rain water to drinkable quality. They ain't cheap. There are several ways to make your own if they are too pricey.
How to Make a Berkey Filter & Save Some Bucks

There are several YouTube ideas too. Here's one (5 min)

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

@Lookout My favorite feed store uses heritage, non-GMO seeds.
It's always something!

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Dawn's Meta's picture

sun including housewares.

We bought an insta heat propane gas water heater. Uses bottled gas, and heats for dish washing or for a shower. Must be ventilated, but surely a luxury when no hot water is available. They are mail order and maybe fairly inexpensive.

An outdoor room with a sink and a shower head with threads for a hose is all that is needed. Some people have stone rooms with the same even for hand washing clothes.

We have a Berkey. They are a great and simple purifier. Camping pump style purifiers are good too.

Great OT and great topic, thank you.

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A society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they know they shall never sit. Allegedly Greek, but more possibly fairly modern quote.

Consider helping by donating using the button in the upper left hand corner. Thank you.

@Dawn's Meta I will have my hubby check it out.
I do not look forward to dropping a well at our property in Colorado, but I can't see a practical way to avoid doing it.
We intend to power it with solar. If possible, or for as long as possible, we will stay off the grid.

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Granma's picture

I've been reading about all the people starving, literally starving in Brazil, some African countries, Afghanistan, and other places. The multiple disasters around the world have left millions of people with nothing. The pandemic has orphaned many children. I read about a 51 year old woman in Brazil, widowed by Covid, who is trying to feed her 5 children and 12 grandchildren.

I wonder if it isn't a better plan to give extra dollars to feed people around the planet who desperately need help and food.

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