For me, these past couple of weeks have been devoted to helping people recover from the recent tornadic system that ripped through North Mississippi. While my own kith and kin were unaffected by the storm, many people in the area did not share the same luck. After cordnatingwith local volunteer groups, two friends and myself, set out with my truck and all of my disaster preps and got to work.
Untill now, my preps have been centered around dealing with civil distress and disease outbreak. After two weeks of putting my preps through hard use, I have found that I was lacking in many areas. One problem that I ran into, was that I had devoted to much of my resources to self defense. While having an AR15 and enough ammo to hold off a small army, provides myself with a sense of security to no end, it holds little practicality in the situtaions that I am most likely to be in.
One of the things that I found was needed most was extra medical supplies. After two days of clearing debris, I had already burned through my basic FAK. Between dozens of cuts recieved from routine work, and my friend suffering an allergic reaction from a bee sting, the only medical crysis I could take on was premenstraul cramps.
Another thing that I found my preps lacking in was food. While food and shelter was available to us in our work area (courtesy of a local family) , for the sake of putting my preps to a test, I had brought a portion of my stockpiled food along with a camp stove and two 5 gal. water cans. On the second night I had burned all of my stove fuel and my friends had demolished the box of MRE's that I had. There was still plenty of food left, but I had expected the fuel to last longer, and I second handedly witnessed the gastrointestinal distress brought on from cheap MRE's.
One more item that needed addressing was a few of the tools I was using. I found myself wishing for a decent camp axe during many tasks that I worked on, as well as a good multi-tool and a few hundred feet of rope (there are many other things I wished for, but I'll avoid my gear fantasys and be brief) Also, the chainsaw that I was using to clear a road, busted a chain on a hidden nail that had sunk into a tree. Luckily a replacement was quickly given to me, but had I been by myself, I would have been screwed out of a valuable asset.
So! the lessons that I learned personally?
1: Manage your resources wisely.
Yeah its fun to imagine yourself fending off hoards of zombies, but most likely, mother nature is going to be the one screwing with you. That doesn't mean you shouldn't arm yourself to the teeth, but be realistic to some degree and remember to cover all of your aspects. Invest wisely and do not cut corners on important items.
2: You never can have to many meds.
You can get a little to giddy buying trauma kits and go against lesson number one, but it never hurts to have a surplus of bandages and basic meds.
3: PEPTO BISMOL.
In a dire survival situation, the shits can kill you just as surely as a zombie can. So stock up on anti-diarrhetics. Pepto might not be the best choice, it seems like I remember it having detrimental side affects or something. But for my uses, its worth its weight in gold.
4: Spare parts.
Any key peice of machinery that you may rely on, needs to have a few spare parts in case something fouls up. In my case it was the chain to a chainsaw. So now I carry two extras, I also threw a few extra bulbs for my flashlight into my EDC bag for good measure.
5: Test your preps.
The only way to know if your disaster preps will work, is if you test them. Lucky for me, I had a golden opportunity to test mine out, and it didn't involve finding my short comings in a critical moment. Take into account factors like having extra people to take care of and potentialy loosing part of your kit.
(On a side note I just want to say that the Schrade Sharp Finger knife is the best fifteen dollars that I have ever spent. That damn thing preformed some hellish utility tasks that was well out of its price range)
I hope this helped someone in some way. If Ya'll have any suggestions on further bolstering my disaster preps, let me hear them.
Thank you for taking the time to read my ramblings. Now if you'll excuse me, I havea rifle to sell.
Windmills do not work that way! goodnight!
As time goes by, I know I'll die. I'm mortal, I can face it. Yet still I say, no f*cking way, will I go in your basement,