Where Men Can Become Better Gentlemen

Emergency Preparedness

Taking Shelter

Before taking shelter, you need to be prepared with water, food and other supplies in a safe environment e.g. a basement with strong walls (& ceiling) and preferably no windows for stormy weather; or above ground level for floods. A good idea is to pack your supplies into storage tubs, ready for this eventuality. One suggestion we have heard of is to use a trash can, with wheels to make this easy to move around. Our suggested list of supplies to pull together in preparation:

Power, Fuel & Light

1. Consider a back up power supply; for a few thousand you could have a generator which automatically cuts in when the power goes down; for a few hundred you could have a manual start generator which would be capable of running essential electrical supplies and for a few hundred more you could have an extra circuit added to the main circuit breaker to enable you to plug this generator into your mains.

2. If you have a generator you’ll also need to store extra gasoline, this needs to be outside (preferably in a adjacent building with the generator) or in a garage

3. Even if you have a generator it is highly recommended you have flashlights, for each member of the household, plus extra batteries. It’s a good idea to use LED lights (as they are low energy and thus last longer) and if you can get them wind up/solar and/or shake powered ones - these will not require batteries at all. This also means you will not need to routinely replace the batteries in your shelter kit with new ones.

4. Candles are potentially dangerous and should be avoided. However, they are quite good at providing light (by comparison to flashlights/lanterns). If you use them go for voltive type ones and placed in a stable container (e.g. mason jar) to give increased protection and stability, significantly reducing the possibility of fire.

5. Portable cooking equipment and cooking fuel (minimally, it may prove very important to be able to boil water) for up to 7 - 10 days.

6. You should also consider a heater which, uses the same fuel as your cooking equipment (e.g. propane), as a means of keeping warm during the colder seasons – don’t forget to account for additional fuel accordingly.

7. Portable fan(s) may also be required for keeping cool in hot temperatures.

8. Don’t forget a supply of matches and/or other means of igniting your cooking/heating equipment!


1. Cell phones with ability to recharge e.g. booster battery, wind up/solar charger, car adapter etc. Ensure you have telephone numbers programmed in, including those of your neighbors.

2. Battery powered NOAA radio with spare batteries and/or facility to power with crank/solar etc.

3. Laptop or similar computer device with ability to connect to the Internet independent of home network.

4. Set of 2 or more Walkie Talkies to stay in touch with household members should one or more people need to leave the shelter.

5. You may also wish to consider a HAM and/or CB radio, as phones lines become over whelmed in emergencies whereas, the airwaves stay wide open.


1. Enough for 3 meals a day, for the number of people (plus another 4 – you never know who else might need your support), for 7 – 10 days. At home you will have access to food in the refrigerator and your freezer (until it thaws if the power is off) so use this first and then start on canned and pre-prepared goods. You may decide to keep this food with your shelter kit, just remember to re-circulate this into your everyday food to prevent it from being wasted to expiry dates. This is a good reason to stay away from MRE’s or similar products, unless of course, you like to eat these periodically!

2. Don’t forget a manual can opener!

3. You’ll need plates, cups and silverware (knives, folks and spoons) and these will need to be cleaned (using up vital water) so you may wish to consider disposable items for your shelter kit instead.


1. Water – the suggested volume is 1 gallon of water per person, per day – so stock accordingly. You can buy pre-bottled water or you could use large soda bottles, cleaned and filled with tap water (with a few drops of water treatment chemicals in e.g. iodine, although 6 drops of bleach is suitable). Don’t forget to replace this water every 3 months (don’t just throw it away but use it to water plants, flush the toilet etc.).

2. Also consider having bottle filters and/or chemicals to treat water from other supplies (e.g. toilet cisterns, rivers, water tanks etc.), as a back up to your stored water.

3. In colder temperatures hot drinks are important so store some hot chocolate, coffee, tea, bouillon cubes etc. and don’t forget powdered milk and sugar, as necessary.


Consider a sleeping bag for each person, pillow and air mattresses – although it can be relatively easy to grab pillows, blankets, comforters etc. from existing beds in your home.

Alternatively have a prepared bedding set for each person, which can work out a better cost option than most traditional "camp" bedding.

Animals & Pets

Make sure you have cages, food and toilet facilities for your household pets. For other larger animals make sure you have external shelter (barn(s), stable(s) etc.) and put them in these places accordingly.


1. Ensure you have a supply of garbage bags for getting rid of soiled eating items, packaging etc.

2. Now, what about human (and pet) waste? Have a bucket toilet, with garbage bags. We like the: Reliance Luggable Loo Toilet Seat and Bucket, from Cabela's for $20 or the Emergency Zone Honey Bucket (with all relevant accoutrements.

3. Don’t forget to have some hand sanitizer on hand (pun intended)!


1. Additional clothes (especially cold weather gear) and basic toiletries.

2. Cash – at least several hundred dollars, as ATM’s may not be operating or will be empty, and you may not be able to use debit/credit cards.

3. Entertainment – keep a pack or two of playing cards, several board games, books to read etc. to help pass the time – especially important for younger members of the household.

4. First Aid Kit – Having everything all in one place is essential, especially in an emergency. Ensure you have any prescription medications you require. You may not need to include this if you already keep this in your vehicle (as a gentleman perhaps should).

5. Important Papers – Passports, insurance information, social security cards, birth certificates, marriage certificates, etc.). Keep these together in a safe place such as a portable fire proof safe, also consider having a second set in a safety deposit box.

6. In difficult conditions there is always the criminal element, seeking easy prey, so make sure you keep the property secure and you have suitable protection e.g. firearm(s).

7. Large tarp and rope to patch any damage e.g. roof tiles striped off, tree falling onto property etc. Duct tape plus large & thick plastic sheeting - useful for patching broken windows or for sealing the doors and windows to a room you are sheltering in to keep out smoke etc.

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