Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Drought in Texas, What Can I Do? Part 2

Keep a Months Supply of Food and Water
Focus on skills:
Every adult and child above the age of 10 should take an Medical First Aid class.
If you haven't had a CPR course in 3 years take a refresher course.
Have a basic First Aid Kit for home and car.
If you are not established with a primary care physician, make an appointment.  If things get hectic a doctor that has a relationship with you has a greater obligation to see you under urgent conditions than someone they have never seen before.  Emergency rooms will not be an option unless you are dying, so you need an office based Dr.  If you need specialty care he/she can arrange it for you much easier that you can for yourself.  In addition, if they have been in practice for a few years, they will know the best specialists to send you to.

Have on hand a variety of ordinary tools and a book on how to make simple repairs to household appliances, plumbing, electrical.
Be sure you have back-up power at least to connect to the internet.  Battery backups with protection against power surges and electronic noise.  APC products are very reliable; I have been using them for 20 years.
Have an emergency radio that requires no power, you supply the power by turning a crank.
Have lots of flash lights and spare batteries. "Enoloop" rechargeables are by far the best on the market; the hold 90% of a full charge for 2 years and cost no more than other NiMH rechargables; available from Amazon.  LED lights give the most light for the least power by far.  Have several for the house and a couple for the car.

For the car, road services may not be available so carry tools and equipment to be able to help yourself and other.  Long 12" heavy duty jumper cables.  A tire pump that works of of your car battery.  A can of that stop leak stuff; it works.  Be sure your spare is aired up and holds air.  A basic tool kit.  A couple o blankets.  A quart of oil.  A gallon of antifreeze.  Non perishable food for a couple of days.  A couple of gallons of water.  Be sure you have a jack that will work on your car.  Women:  if you have never changed a tire; do it at least once in your own driveway with someone experienced watching that can give you instructions if you get stuck.  Doing it at least once with lessen the fear factor if it happens when you are on the road.  There is so much metal debris ANY tire can go flat these days, so don't be fooled into thinking that if you new expensive tires you can't have a flat; it is just plain wrong.  Everyone who drives a car should be able to change a tire, no excuses unless you are disabled.  So practice in a safe place with an experienced person.  Know where your car's guide book is.  Some cars jacks go in odd places and it is hard to figure out without the manual.  Accept the fact that you and your clothes are going to get grimey in the process.  It is not the time to be prissey about the procedure.

Keep your car 3/4 full of gas.  Learn to check the oil and coolant levels and do it at least once a month and before any car trip of any distance.  The idiot lights can, and often are, wrong.