First, let me start by saying that my thoughts and prayers are with those folks in Claiborne County, TN who are picking up the pieces after an EF3 tornado leveled homes and businesses Sunday night. Though I have been without power for more than 24 hours now, I am not claiming any particular hardship. We are all safe, the only particular damage was from the hail shredding my garden. And that damage was by no means complete.
I am not preparing for the Rapture, at least not in the material sense. In a true EOTWAWKI scenario that will be measured in years and not months, my preparedness is probably lacking. I know I need to put together a “go bag”, I just haven’t gotten around to it. What I have done is prepare for a 6-week disaster where I will shelter-in-place with my family – something like an ice-storm that can wipe out most of East TN for upwards of a month . We have enough rice and beans to sustain us for more than a month. Our house is masonry and has a basement. In 2011 we had an EF0 land 1/4 mile from our house. Other than the racquetball-sized hail doing a number on our roof, the house handled that storm just fine.
I live in an area on a peninsula of only 500 homes with the typical lot being at least an acre and a half, so we are very low density. Thus, we are among the last in the area to get our power restored after a major event (40k were without power last night, we are now among the only 1000 remaining. Lucky us). After two 5-day outages in 2011, we had about 1/3 of our house moved onto a separate panel and bought a 6500w Honda generator. We keep about 20 gallons of 100% gas on hand which will last up to 3 weeks if we are careful. If, like in this case, we can easily get more, then we don’t need to worry. Since food, water, heat (woodburning stove in the basement) and power are taken care of. And with a 5 and 3yo, it would take a pretty serious incident for us to consider leaving.
Since our Telecom comes from the opposite direction as our power, this afternoon, I managed to run some extra extension cords and was able to hook up the TVs and the router. I am now sitting in a mostly dark house writing this on the internet with the TV on in the background. (Just a quick shout out to David for realizing I was out of action last night (from a Facebook post I sent from my phone, thanks!) and adding a post to the queue for today (or yesterday I guess now).
Last night I used the back of my mini-Grip to open the panel which hides the starting cord for the generator (the battery is long dead, but like most Honda small motors, it is a cinch to pull start) – I can’t remember the last time it took more than a single pull. It made me think about my emergency supplies, and in this instance the Leatherman Wave that lives in my gear closet with the supplies I would grab, even if they are not pre-packed. The Wave has a couple of blades on it, but I don’t have a particular knife that is earmarked for my “Go” supplies. I always have at least one EDC knife on me, usually 2 so I am likely to have a knife to complement the multi-tool. But if I get serious about making a kit, I will probably include the Benchmade High Canyon as it is a solid bushcraft knife, which makes it a versatile tool for anything I encounter. I would grab my Mora Bushcraft, but it lives in my fishing gear. And the purpose of this exercise is to discuss what knife if any is waiting on standby for an emergency, not my favorite knife that I would grab on my way out the door.
So that brings me to the QOD:
Do you have a go-bag, and do you have a particular knife that is your SHTF knife? Just for our edification, what else besides a knife is in your kit?