Submitted November 5, 2008

Most people had their homes completely destroyed by water

Hey Tom,

Thanks for writing. I live in Hurricane Alley. But living 50 miles inland makes all the difference, it seems. However, a direct hit would be devastating.

In the 20 years I have lived here we have pretty much dodged the bullet in Houston. We had Tropical Storm Allison a few years back that dumped 37 inches of rain on us over a two and half day period. Still, the entire city was not affected. I did some volunteer work. But this was after the storm. Most people had their homes completely destroyed by water. Ironically, water was their most pressing need afterward.

The things that come to mind at first were what was needed. Water, batteries, food. People should have MRE's stocked with and replacement cell phone batteries. You can't always get to an electrical outlet and there's no guarantee there will be electricity. Flares, and in this part of the country ... plenty of mosquito repellent with ddt. There was a lot of sleeping outdoors. Mosquito netting would have been nice. Unfortunately, many things don't become needed until they are needed. And it is extremely difficult to prepare for the unexpected. The situation usually has deteriorated into a basic and primitive scene, so basics are needed. There aren't many instances of wishing you had something other than for things to be the way they were.

Richard M. Chase

Houston, Texas

A Note from Survival Authority, Tom Sciacca of CampingSurvival.com:

"Water, water, every where, And all the boards did shrink ; Water, water, every where, Nor any drop to drink. "

Here's something to consider. "In adult men, about 60% of their bodies are water. However, fat tissue does not have as much water as lean tissue. In adult women, fat makes up more of the body than men, so they have about 55% of their bodies made of water."

Many people recommend that you should stock up 1 gallon of fresh water per person, per day that you expect to be out. Of course, how do you know what to expect? The bottom line is that we use water for much more than drinking. We use it for cleaning, cooking and even flushing toilets. If you have gallons of water stored up, you can actually pour it in the back of your toilet and unless there are other problems besides no water such as broken pipes, the toilet will still flush. This can help prevent you from turning your bathroom into a dangerous science project.

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