Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Prepping For Disaster

I am going to answer this curious email that consisted of four questions, in today's blog. 

Some hyperlinks give you more information on the products or systems I mention. 


(ONE) How long have you been in your RV?

Over 6 years.

(TWO) Do you like it?

Still deciding if I like it or not... will let you know next year.

(THREE) Does it get good gas mileage?

No one buys an RV because it has good gas mileage. If you want really good gas mileage, buy a bicycle and a tent.

(FOUR) Are you prepped for disaster?

I travel pretty much prepped out for disaster.

One thing many RV-ers may not realize is that many RV parks and camps are built in flood plane zones, the theory being you can move out quickly. So pay attention when camping near rivers and lakes. I was at one camp that had a sign post taller than me and it was marking how high the river had flooded before, which their highest mark was nearly 9 feet! Imagine your RV (or home) parked under 9 feet of water. Not a pretty picture.

I spent a few decades living in far flung ports where disasters stuck, so being prepared for the before, during and aftermath to me is important. It also comes in handy for other reasons.

I keep my gas tank topped up before I camp, so if I am leaving in an emergency, I don't have to wait in line at a gas station. Also this is super handy for any electrical outages, I already have a full tank of gas for the generator. What's the use of having a generator if you have no gas to supply it? Leave early and avoid traffic.

Better to run from nothing than to get stuck in something.

I travel with nearly full water tanks. I have broken down before on a hot humid day and it was nice to be able to flush the toilet, make lunch, wash dishes and so on. Also when arriving at camp, if dead tired, it's nice to not have to deal with the water hookups right away, it can wait. Also campgrounds have to make repairs and sometimes their water is turned off and it's nice to have that tank load of water ready. I've said nice three times. Water is nice, nice, nice. Now that makes six times.

I have a pantry full of canned goods and extra foods like rice and pasta. Most of these I bought on discounted sale and added to the pantry. Also have dried beans on hand. A small pile of dried beans can feed one a long time. Combined with corn (from a can) or rice, or cheese,  it makes a complete protein. This extra pantry food has come in handy so many times. I don't travel with a car, so I am able to be super flexible about my length of stay in remote camps. I once ate out of my pantry for over a month without shopping and was astonished at how much I still had leftover. Maybe it's because I love a wide variety.

My first aid kit keeps getting bigger. I have a remedy for just about anything now. I also save leftover pain medications, you just never know when you might have something overwhelming happen.

Allimax is non prescription and makes a terrific antibiotic without side effects. I have it in all three methods including capsules,  liquid and paste form too. Matter of fact the liquid Allimax saved my ear. I had the most painful horrible ear infection and Allimax liquid cleared it up in short order. Honey is a great antibiotic type treatment for wounds, though the pricey medical grade honey (Manuka from New Zealand) is the most effective, I found regular honey works too, just takes longer.


I buy big packages of sturdy batteries since I do have flashlights and items that use them. I try to limit my type of battery  uses, but still... I end up with D's, AA, AAA and 9volts. So far I have escaped needing C's.

Also I have portable solar lights, which are super useful. I wish I had a solar panel, it's on the list, but don't have one yet. The solar lights are super useful, some are motion activated, so it conserves battery life. I have also used them for security reasons when camping. Like a motion solar light that comes on if anyone approaches my camp or locked bicycle at night etc. Mostly it startles wildlife and keeps the raccoons away.

Stash extra garbage bags! In the event of an emergency, you want to be able to bag up the mess, if you have no extra bags, heaven help ya. Also garbage bags can be used to store essentials should you end up with a hole in the roof or some such nonsense during a storm.

I have a powerful battery operated spotlight which can come in handy for a disaster or emergency at night.

One of my best disaster pieces of equipment I use daily too, is a Berkey water purifier. It requires no electricity and no water pressure. It can purify river or lake or rain water as well as out of the tap water. Awesome taste. I love it. The filters last between 6,000 and 30,000 gallons depending on water quality and some camps serve up some truly awful water that slows down the purifier to a drip, but I keep carafes of already purified water on hand, which I top up daily from the purifier. The filters can be removed and scrubbed with a brush, rinsed and reused over and over.

I stayed in a place with stinky water, it smelled awful! But the purifier removed all the stink and it tasted wonderful.

Pet food... I carry lots of extra pet food with me so the pooch need not worry. Matter of fact, I typically keep him a 2-3 month stock around.

Bug stuff... I travel with lots of assorted bug repellents and bug and ant killers etc. Disasters seem to to bring on the bugs.

Fix-a-flat for large tires and tire repair kit. Debris in the road after a disaster can cause havoc. My RV came with a 12 volt tire inflator too. It did not come with a jack. The spare tire weighs about a 100 pounds and the motorhome about 6 tons. I have already used my fix-a-flat in an emergency which reminds me, I need to restock. Two or more cans is preferred. In the Caribbean where the roads were horrible, I traveled with a tire repair kit. After 6 years, I finally had a need to use it in a remote location.

Cash. In the event of an emergency, ATM's go down, power goes out and stores refuse credit and debit cards, opting for cash only. Ditto for the black market where cash is king. Also useful for bribes.

Weapons. Your best weapon is being able to hide from the masses. People do strange things when their food and water is threatened or unavailable.

Maps. A good Atlas is indispensable and a compass.

Tools and repair supplies like duck tape and paper clips.

Fire starter. Lighters, matches, candles, gel type fire starter.

A backpack. If you end up hiking or biking, you are going to need a backpack to carry essentials.

Well, that about covers question four.

Thanks for stopping by. 

Be prepared and nothing happens but it does put the "good luck" factor in your daily life. 


  1. So glad to read this post. It makes me feel a whole lot better about your situation. You are as prepared as you can be and have good common sense which goes a long way.

    We, too, have enjoyed the Berkey for well over 15 years now and counting. Up here on the Red River it makes a big difference as our well water needs filtering. We have also made a bucket filter which works really well. We also have a home made composting potty for emergencies.

  2. Very informative and well-written post! I'm not a camper but it's helpful for everyone facing some emergency. Thanks.

  3. May I also add, based on my own experience, that you need to keep that first-aid kit where it can easily be reached with one hand. When I first got my motorhome, I cut my finger and had to hold a wash cloth on it with pressure to stop the bleeding. Where was my first aid kit? In the back of a bedroom drawer that was accessible only by opening my rear slide! I found an old bandaid in the bathroom and was able to wrap it tightly around the cut. Once the bleeding stopped, I got the first-aid kit out and put it in a more accessible place!

  4. When someone wants to know what kind of gas milage an RV gets I think RVing might not be for them. lol I read on one Facebook site where someone dumped all their water to travel, even the water in the water heater. I bet one of these days he makes the mistake of turning the water heater on with no water. I always travel with water so I can use the bathroom or wash something. For the amount of gas it takes to haul my water around I am willing to pay for the convince. I have friends that won't use the bathroom after they dump their tanks if they are going home. I just shake my head at all the flushing and rinsing some people do. I have a motorhome to use it.

    I read about the New Zealand honey recently so I looked for some at a health food store. They wanted $25 for about an 8 oz jar. I will have to think about that a while.

  5. Ah dear miss mermaid, the way you put it, it sounds fun!! I'd love to go on an RV adventure someday!! Take care!! -PP

  6. And may I add that living in a motorhome is not really camping! I consider my motorhome my home, as I am sure Miss Mermaid does, so I am really traveling and bring my home along. It is not camping when you have furnaces, air conditioning, refrigerators and a full kitchen, TVs, couches, real beds with mattresses, internet access, and a full bathroom with a shower.

    AND, gas mileage may be low, but it is amazing that this vehicle can haul all my worldly possessions for that 8-10 MPG, so I am very thankful for that. In addition, I do not pay property taxes or utilities.

    But the real value in this life is the people you meet and the places you can go, not what you pay for gas.

  7. I think your post is so informative and well thought out. Along with non-medical supplies I keep on hand are organic apple cider vinegar, hydrogen peroxide. and Vaseline. I recently had a growth removed from my arm,, and the doctor told me to cover it with vaseline before bandaging. She said it works much better than the antibiotic ointments on the market!


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