Prepping to Be Apart

A place to discuss special considerations involved prepping and reacting to a disaster with children, pets and other family concerns.

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Myana
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Prepping to Be Apart

Post by Myana » Fri Feb 20, 2015 12:12 pm

To date, my planning assumed that my husband and I would be together in a disaster or trying to get back together. Recently he got a job with a power company; he's one of the people who'd be bringing the grid back online after a disaster or terrorist attack. If he could get home, he would. However he works on the other side of the Willamette River and during a big quake (like Cascadia) Portland expects to lose every one of its bridges. (Except the new Sellwood Bridge, when its completed.) So we may face a situation where I'll be home and he'll be at work for up to two months or so.

How should that change my prepping? Here are some of the ideas I've had.

1) I need better communication. He's got a GETS card (Government Emergency Telecommunications Service). I doubt he'll be able to do many personal calls with that, however. If we're going to be apart, I need a way to talk to him.

2) He needs a bigger bug-out bag. His office has emergency supplies but I think I should make him a second, in-office bag. One that will last him a week or so. Supposedly the company and/or the government will get more supplies to him. However I want him to have what he needs to be comfortable until they get their act together.

3) I need to review all my in-home preps, to see if there are areas where I assumed I'd have his strength, size, and/or skills. For instance, I need to re-do my water barrels. I hammered the lids on too tight and I can't pry them off. I didn't worry about it. In an emergency, I'd have my husband do it. Now I need to get them into containers I can open. I need to be able to shut down the water heater and furnace -- rather than assuming I can hand him a tool and say, "Make it so, babe!"

4) I need to get more serious about defense. Defense has always been the weakest part of my preps. We live in a very safe, tranquil neighborhood so I've concentrated on other aspects of prepping. But if he's not coming home, I need to step up my game. I need to learn how to shoot -- and I need to get guns I'm comfortable using. A small, older woman by herself looks like a much better target than a big man. Being alone will increase my danger, and I need to be ready to handle that.

Are there other things I'm missing?

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Re: Prepping to Be Apart

Post by mystic_1 » Fri Feb 20, 2015 1:39 pm

One thing you might add is some alternate rendezvous locations, if for example you need to evacuate the house while he is at the office.

It's good to have an out-of-state relative or contact that you can both get in touch with in case of a local or regional disaster. You would both check in with the out-of-state contact to let them know each of your locations and situations and the contact could relay the information between you. In a disaster it can sometimes be easier to reach someone outside the disaster area than someone inside the area.

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Re: Prepping to Be Apart

Post by TheZone » Fri Feb 20, 2015 1:48 pm

A really good nation-wide road atlas. Zombie literature is very clear that when a married couple is separated by a disaster, they will have to cross half the continent to reunite.
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Myana
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Re: Prepping to Be Apart

Post by Myana » Fri Feb 20, 2015 3:09 pm

TheZone wrote:A really good nation-wide road atlas. Zombie literature is very clear that when a married couple is separated by a disaster, they will have to cross half the continent to reunite.
My husband loved that suggestion. When I forwarded it, he wrote back, "AND we need to get you a jeep, so you can come find me! (Cause you know I'm gonna need saving.)"

Which, actually, isn't a bad idea. We've tossed around the idea of buying a BOV for some time now. I'm currently driving our second car, a 1996 Toyota Corolla. And, if we're separated, that ain't my off-road vehicle of choice...

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Re: Prepping to Be Apart

Post by TacAir » Fri Feb 20, 2015 3:26 pm

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A used Zuki will work.....
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Re: Prepping to Be Apart

Post by raptor » Fri Feb 20, 2015 5:13 pm

Myana wrote: Are there other things I'm missing?
I would suggest several alternate communication methods. Yes if the grid (power and comms) are down the internet may not be useful but then again you may have occasional access to the net.

You should consider is a Skype account for each of you. It has a messaging function so if you have irregular access to the SKYPE net work you can leave messages. I know a lot of people do not like face book (I am one but I have a FB account for this reason) but in an emergency it makes a great way to broadcast a message that others may be able to relay to you or your husband. Granted that is not a very private method but sometimes that will not matter.

There are other means like satellite messaging systems and a ham set that are more robust but I suspect that is over kill for the comms you may need.

I would likewise note that when the 504 area code was wiped out by Katrina cell phones with other area codes still worked and text messaging was still useful. You may consider getting two cell phones with different area codes as a possible alternate communication method.

I second the suggestion for an alternate rally/bug out point.

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Re: Prepping to Be Apart

Post by Maeklos » Sun Feb 22, 2015 9:59 pm

Along the lines of alternate communications - why not have him secure a P.O. Box at a post office further up from the potential disaster area? Small ones are fairly cheap, and since the postal service will still be running around the disaster zone itself, taking a 20-mile trip to hit a P.O. Box every other day or so would be a fairly easy way to stay in contact. Just poking at a map, looks like there's a town called Woodland a dozen miles or so up I-5. Might not be a bad idea to look at a P.O. Box further south, too, maybe the Wilsonville area? Again, it's down I-5, in the opposite direction. Would give you guys two points of contact outside of the Portland area itself. And the smallest P.O. Box is...what...$20/$30 a year? Something like that?
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Re: Prepping to Be Apart

Post by Myana » Mon Feb 23, 2015 10:07 am

Thanks for all the suggestions, folks! Advice on communication is most welcome, as this is one aspect of prepping where I've lagged. Or, rather, where my assumptions undermined me.

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Re: Prepping to Be Apart

Post by NamelessStain » Tue Feb 24, 2015 9:32 am

You might also want to setup "dead drops" to communicate. Let's say you have 4 dead drop locations, one goes clockwise, the other counter-clockwise. Depending on the routes you setup (or you may have to alter your route depending on circumstances) you could at least get an idea where each other is. Then plan as to who will stay in place once a dead drop has the note or marker. Something small that others would just glance over, don't use big orange arrows :)
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Re: Prepping to Be Apart

Post by emclean » Tue Feb 24, 2015 11:26 am

Advice on communication is most welcome
Ok, a couple of CB's would allow some voice communication over distance unlicensed. the midland 75-822 is my standard recommendation. as a HT it is of limited value, but a temporary CB in a car it excels.
https://midlandusa.com/product/75-822cb-radio/

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Re: Prepping to Be Apart

Post by Stercutus » Tue Feb 24, 2015 1:44 pm

1. Nearly all electronic communications these days are internet based. I'd pick one that was not as back up.

2. He should be able to figure that out. If he can't I guess you could put one together for him.

3. This stuff is mostly easy. A lot of instructions are on line at DIY sites. Sounds like you already have a good start.

4. If you are small and older and don't have much experience with firearms I'd just get a .22 pistol and/or rifle, practice a bit and call it good.
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Re: Prepping to Be Apart

Post by raptor » Tue Feb 24, 2015 3:16 pm

Stercutus wrote:1. Nearly all electronic communications these days are internet based. I'd pick one that was not as back up.

Not to de-rail the conversation but more as a branch discussion so we all can catch up on what is and not internet dependent.

What are other electronic communications that do not rely on the internet?

These come to mind:

Iridium and Global Star phones. (iridium can go handset to handset without earth links, not sure about Global Star)

text and cell phones (but many rely on internet circuits to carry messages/traffic and all rely on some form or another for telephone links).

Radio - Ham, SSB, VHF, UHF and CB all relay on radio.

Surface mail, light signals and semaphore obviously. :D

What else?

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Re: Prepping to Be Apart

Post by Maeklos » Tue Feb 24, 2015 4:58 pm

You touched on this with HAM radios, raptor, but walky-talkies. You can pick up some at your local Target that have decent (5+ mile) range. You can also get models for more money (I paid $30 for mine, and they came in a 3-pack) that have longer ranges. Throw in a power adaptor for the lighter in your vehicle and you've got a poor man's (woman's) HAM radio, since a lot of walky-talkies these days tend to have band selectors. You don't get as much a slice of the airspace as you would with a real radio, but you can still reach out and touch people who are using similar tech.
Politics is like having two handfuls of shit - one that smells bad and one that looks bad - and having to decide which one to put in your mouth.

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Re: Prepping to Be Apart

Post by emclean » Wed Feb 25, 2015 8:53 am

Maeklos wrote:You touched on this with HAM radios, raptor, but walky-talkies. You can pick up some at your local Target that have decent (5+ mile) range. You can also get models for more money (I paid $30 for mine, and they came in a 3-pack) that have longer ranges. Throw in a power adaptor for the lighter in your vehicle and you've got a poor man's (woman's) HAM radio, since a lot of walky-talkies these days tend to have band selectors. You don't get as much a slice of the airspace as you would with a real radio, but you can still reach out and touch people who are using similar tech.
the blister pack radios that you get at target have a max output of .5W, and can not have an external antenna. the ranges are theoretical, not tested.
they have their uses, but you need to be aware of the limitations.

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Re: Prepping to Be Apart

Post by 2now » Wed Sep 09, 2015 9:29 am

It's been a few years since I lived in PDX ...

The ham radio outlet has a store in Beaverton. They were always very friendly and love to get people into HAM. These days you can get a workable handie talkie for under $100 for him and a base with more power for you at home if you want.

HAM is your best private communication option and you live in an area that still has a brick and morter store.

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Re: Prepping to Be Apart

Post by MacWa77ace » Wed Sep 09, 2015 9:51 am

raptor wrote:
Stercutus wrote:1. Nearly all electronic communications these days are internet based. I'd pick one that was not as back up.

Not to de-rail the conversation but more as a branch discussion so we all can catch up on what is and not internet dependent.

What are other electronic communications that do not rely on the internet?

These come to mind:

Iridium and Global Star phones. (iridium can go handset to handset without earth links, not sure about Global Star)

text and cell phones (but many rely on internet circuits to carry messages/traffic and all rely on some form or another for telephone links).

Radio - Ham, SSB, VHF, UHF and CB all relay on radio.

Surface mail, light signals and semaphore obviously. :D

What else?
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