SHELTER BOUND: 1st draft Your input,please : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

The following is a letter I am working on for a friend. At this point, one of the end game moves is to prepare those who must move to shelters or the homes of friends and family on what to take. Your input and advice would be very helpful. I will compile replies and post the finished letter later.


November 20

Dear xxx,

Thanks for your letter. Good for you for preparing for two weeks! My guess is that with a little augmentation you could stretch that time to several weeks. 25 pounds of rice and flour, 10 pounds each of lentils, navy beans, sugar, macaroni and oatmeal, plus some extras of tuna, spices and cooking oil will extend your preparations considerably. If you are looking for space, try a couple of boxes under the middle of the dining table. I have tuna under the couch and a 25# bag of sugar on a shelf in my closet under the shoes.

You have hit on one of the main problems in your area- heat. If the heat is out due to interruptions in oil fuel, gas pipelines or electricity people will be asked to move into shelters. If food distribution becomes a problem, people will be asked to move into shelters, ditto if the water or sewer goes out.

One of the things you have to consider then, is what to do if you and your family have to move into a shelter, go to stay with friends, or move in with family. What would you do before you leave, and what to take?

Before leaving: turn off water and drain pipes, unplug electrical appliances, make other arrangements for pets. Shelters will not take animals if people are suffering.

Take with you: capacious backpacks for each person with the following:

Vitamins ( you do not want to get sick in a shelter!), medicines, first aid supplies, soap in ziplocks, toilet paper, female supplies, whistle for each person, cash, address book, cell phone, maps, paper, notebook, pen, Nalgene bottles for water, flashlights, synthetic sleeping bag or wool bedroll- warm even if wet, large tarp (many uses, including to cover your possesions, privacy, transistor or crank radio, snow and rain gear, scarves and hats- best single item to keep warm, and washing hair may be difficult, warm clothes- polartec, wool, etc. synthetic long underwear- polartec fabric, waterproof warm boots, rope, clothespins, prayer book, amusements- needlework, card games, Uno,books, hard candy, lifesavers, treats

If you have to leave your home these sorts of things will be priceless, but they are ordinary tools for living in any case.

Christmas is coming, and this is a chance to get and give such useful items as Nalgene bottles, folding knives, whistles, clothes, sleeping bags, packs, toys, and radio.

Vitamins, soap, sanitary supplies and medicines become essential in any time of trouble because the risk of illness is much greater in non-optimal conditions. While you may not be able to stock as much food as you want, a years supply of good vitamins takes up little room and significantly helps your chances .

Lastly, you mentioned worries about people roaming about. Pepper spray is a good alternative for deterrence of people and animals. Stray dogs may be a problem in scenarios of shortages.

-- seraphima (, November 20, 1999


* Get foam pepperspray - foam clings on contact, where the usual spray could end up back in your face if the wind is wrong. You could also use slingshot, if you're adverse to carrying a gun.

* Stuffsack for sleeping bag. When empty, fill with clothes or soft cloth, turns it into a pillow.

* Windproof lighter (Zippo).

* Good novel, SAS survival book, or survival/first aid cards.

* Parachute rope - thin, lightweight and VERY strong.

-- Deb M. (, November 20, 1999.

seraphima, in the first paragraph, you didn't mention the storage of water. That's the most important item to store, 1 gallon of water per person per day.

In the Red Cross Ready video pack that I got for free at Lucky/Albertson's yesterday, there were several pamphlets included on emergency prepardness. Perhaps you can contact your American Red Cross and get brochures to include with your letter. You mentioned many of the items included in the Red Cross brochures, but I would include waterless antibacterial handwash, a small bottle of bleach, toilet seat covers, face masks, kleenix, baby wipes, dental repair kit, eye glass repair kit, toilet paper, lice and crab medication, and plastic grocery bags to place soiled clothing in. I would stress the fact that they will be in tight living quarters with other people and the spread of cold, flu and other diseases is a concern.

Just the thought of being forced to go to one of those shelters would be enough to make me prepare for 10 years.

-- bardou (, November 20, 1999.

Then again you could feed the starving dog and rehabilitate it.


-- Paula (, November 20, 1999.

Come on now. You couldn't carry all that stuff, unless you're Arnold. It would weight a hundred pounds & be bigger than you.

Besides, any "shelter" that would require you to have that much crap, you're probably better off dead than going there.

Sounds to me like wishful thinking. Better invest in guns & ammo & forget the bug-out bag. OR else just get some toe-tags & instructions on how you'd like to be buried.

-- just a (little@reality.check), November 20, 1999.

Just-a: According to the Red Cross, most everything seraphima listed in what they recommend you take with you if you have to GET ON THE BIG WHITE BUS. Their brochure is called "Your Family Disaster Plan" September 1991 FEMA L-191 ARC 4466

I do agree with your guns and ammo assessment. It will be a cold day in hell before I ever GET ON THE BIG WHITE BUS.

-- bardou (, November 20, 1999.

Folks, these are NOT shelters...they are CONCENTRATION Camps!


They will have "Showers" at the end of the line!

-- Z (Z@Z.Z), November 20, 1999.

I'd like to hear from anyone who has ever been in a shelter for a natural disaster. What tips can you give us? Also, remember that post on the problems they had with shelter residents during the big ice storm in Canada?

-- seraphima (, November 20, 1999.

The March '99 issue of "Wired" magazine (the black "lights out" issue) had a super article on what happened in the shelters in Montreal during the icestorms two winters ago. Paranoia, communicable diseases, anger, frustration, the article covered it all (including a VERY interesting anecdote dealing with "showers"). Even thought only a couple dozen people lost their lives directly from the icestorm, several hundred died over the following year due to sicknesses contracted while in the shelters (primarily old folks and kids) That article convinced me that I don't want my family anywhere near a shelter. I'd hide out in my rented mini-storage locker first.

-- rob minor (, November 21, 1999.

Here's the Wired article... must reading! POWERL ESS!.

There are other recollections on the web of people's experiences during the Great Ice Storm of '98. Good review of the possibilities as we wind up the year. Some people had no electricity for 42 days... and it would have been MUCH longer without a huge amount of outside help. Do a search for "Ice Storm" (maybe +shelter).

-- Linda (, November 21, 1999.

Here are a couple of other ice storm links

The anatomy of Ice Storm 1998 - part 1 of 3

 It was the storm of the century. Damage topped $1 billion. Crippled communities shivered in sub-zero temperatures that numbed even the hardiest. But a pioneer spirit was unleashed, communities united

Montreal Ice Storm Ecological Disaster Hits Quebec Ontario New Brunswick New York Vermont New Hampshire and Maine

 I do not want to alarm anyone, but to simply inform you of what I saw and experienced personally. All text and images are created by me unless otherwise noted. By Patrick McDonnell 1998

Back to Emergency Information

-- Brian (, November 21, 1999.

Brian: Your first link of the above three is fine: that's the newspaper story. It is interesting and informative. The second and third links didn't work. Maybe you can check them, thanks.

-- David (, November 21, 1999.

OK, I have missed it. If we know how many died from diseases contracted in the shelters, do we know how many were sheltered? Can we come up with a real percentage of sheltered people who died in this mess? Real statistics are very persuasive, and this is information definitely worth something to me.

-- tree (, November 21, 1999.


Horrors! the second site is gone! It was a "diary" about a man's experiance during the Ice Storm of 98. To bad

The other link was for my site, forgot to edit it.

-- Brian (, November 21, 1999.

Try this link for the diary report by Patrick McDonnell [thanks for posting the bad link... I remembered the report, but couldn't find it until you posted the author]:

1998 Ice Storm Homepage

or IceStorm Diary

-- Linda (, November 21, 1999.

Here's what goes on at disaster shelters: Fist fights break out, crying and unsupervised children running around, food on the floor, garbage spilling over the garbage cans, complaints about the food, drug and alcohol abuse, crap smeared on the bathroom walls, toilets over flowing, very little police presence, sick people coughing and hacking spreading colds and flu, and no facilities to shower or bath. People up talking and walking around all night long, radios blasting, and no cots to sleep on. I don't care how bad it gets, I'll sleep in the back of my truck before I ever go to a homeless shelter. Some people like homeless shelters, for them it's a big social event, a diversion from their everyday boring lives.

-- bardou (, November 22, 1999.

Dear Just a: Excluding the sleeping bags, that list is at the TOP HALF of my bug- out bag. I would ADD a Thermarest if the person has the room and the bucks.

(CAMPREST would be the choice)


PS These ain't CHEAP!

-- Chuck, a night driver (, November 27, 1999.

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