Submitted May 20, 2009

Unprepared for long power outage

My name is Salvador Chevez and I stayed in Houston for IKE. The biggest thing that we were all unprepared for was how long our power would be out. I would describe myself as a survivalist and was prepared for most anything except for how long it would go on. I had a ton of food and MRE's (nothing that needed refrigeration. I was also stocked up on ammo which thankfully I didn't need but a story did make the rounds that a neighbor had to confront someone who was trying to break in. The biggest thing that I learned is that with power out, gas scarce, and debris blocking roads-injuries are incredibly difficult to deal with. Regular self-adhesive bandages DON'T work. No power, no AC, so that means you sweat self-adhesive bandages right off. Now what does work is gauze, duct tape and medical bandage material. So that is definitely necessary. KI tablets would also have helped some here. I had enough water but some didn't and if you were running low, choosing between thirst and dressing a would could have gotten tough. Alcohol and hand cleaner are also very important. I had a network of friends that ended up banding together to get through things. We communicated through text but at times the network was down and not working. Now we are working on ALL getting CB's so we can find out who has/who needs what. Many changes of clothes are also necessary. No power, no laundry. And when water is limited you don't use it to wash (we were not allowed to use water for the first few days). I now keep a few packs of regular white t-shirts and cheap cargo workpants. The idea that you should keep a giant bin(s) of stuff is BULL! You need a giant bag(s) you can carry around with you. It would be nice if they were backpack bags with wheels ( i.e. Blackhawk Divers bag). You need to be able to stay fluid. You can keep most extra stuff in your pantry or closet and don't need a special holder. And if you are a real survivalist your bin will turn into binS and will get really heavy really fast (as ours did). The only thing you should keep packed in those bins are the absolute essentials and you better be able to lug around everything yourself. At times we had to move house to house and traveled with everything we needed. We are all survivalists and our bins would've taken up too much room in the truck beds and were too hard to move. More than one person had to help to lift. We all had to end up at our friend's house who had power, this meant having to pick up friends on the way who also had a ton of stuff. Too much weight and room because we WERE prepared. We all had too much unnecessary stuff. I would now carry a giant military pack, with a tactical vest that would hold smaller things like light sticks, mags, ki tablets, and combine all that with cargo work pants. Also, i would probably not recommend more than a pistol(extended mag)/revolver and shotgun combo. If anything would have happened I don't know that I would've wanted to use our semi auto ak's in close quarters. But I wouldn't say I wouldn't have one near.

Hope this has provided some real world knowledge,

Salvador Chevez

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